In November 2021, we asked all 12 bishops seven questions:
- How many priests do you rate in your diocese who do not want to serve with women?
- These people are (perhaps) actually and practically cooperating with the women and what is the bishop doing to comply with the decision made last fall?
- If a male priest still insists that he cannot serve with a woman, can he be a regular priest in your diocese?
- Do you know of anyone who lost their job, resigned, or changed their views as a result of last fall’s decision to equalize women and men?
- We know local priests in Sunmore say they are “organizing a list” to “stop” those who oppose women priests from working with women. Does the bishop know this is happening in your diocese?
- What do you think about such a practice?
- Want to do something to bring this event to life?
Diocese of Bjørgvin, Bishop Halver Nordag:
1. As far as I know there are three.
2. I conversed with them about this and argued to follow the decision, but I cannot compel anyone.
3. We don’t hire anyone who doesn’t want full service with girls. Anyone already on the job before the decision was made last fall will be allowed to continue as a priest. But I say they must abstain from a service, otherwise they have reserved themselves against receiving communion from a woman.
6. It will not be accepted.
7. There is no current title in Bjørgvin (see question 5).
Diocese of Nord-Hålogaland, Acting Bishop Stig Lægdene:
Approximately 2-3, but this also applies to alternatives widely used in Nord-Hålogaland.
2. I think those in charge are asked to bring it up to the bishop.
I don’t know, but I hope they won’t be forced out of service.
5. I don’t know.
6. Alteration of lists to suit opponents of women priests is illegal and a practice that legitimizes discrimination against women.
7. If I were our bishop, I would put an end to such a practice. I wanted the ecclesiastical council to take the initiative, which would not ordain future priests who want to ordain, but do not want to collaborate with women. The Swedish Church has long had such rules.
Diocese of Borg, Bishop Adele Sommerfeld:
– I do not rule out that some priests may be enemies of women in priestly service. But I am not aware that some, now or in my time, have held back from participating in worship services and communion celebrations with female pastors, or accepting women as bishops.
And the Diocese, Acting Bishop Olav Gadding:
1. I don’t know if this applies to priests in the diocese of Møre now.
2. I know that the bishop has been in conversation with the pastors concerned about this for the past year.
3. There is no more room for this. From October 2020 the decision of the Synod of Bishops will be fully applicable in the Diocese of Møre.
4. No one lost their job, so I don’t know of anyone resigning. I don’t know if anyone has changed their view on women’s ministry, but I have seen different practices.
5. I’ve heard of this happening before. I don’t know that’s happening now.
6. There is no room for this.
7. Over the last one year the Bishop has been in conversation with the pastors concerned.
Diocese of Stavanger, Bishop Anne Lise Adnoy:
– With us, male priests should cooperate with female priests. (Does not want to answer questions)
Diocese of Achter and Telemark, Bishop Stein Reinertsen on holiday.
Email from the Diocesan Office:
– As far as we know in the diocesan office, there are no priests in our diocese who exclude themselves from serving together with women priests. We are also not aware of anyone being turned away by this.
Diocese of Sør-Hålogaland, Bishop Ann-Helen Feldstad Jasnes:
1. I don’t know anyone in Sør-Hålogaland.
2. Not applicable in Sør-Hålogaland.
3. If he is unable to comply with the arrangements that apply to pastoral services in the Church of Norway, it is impossible.
In Sør-Hålogaland, it is in no way acceptable for a male priest to refuse to cooperate with a female priest, and he must follow the applicable structure. We cannot have local projects that undermine this.
7. Yes, be clear about the rules applicable in the Church of Norway regarding permanent and temporary appointments. Because I am a woman, it would be completely unwise for me to engage in the appointment of a priest who could not accept me as a bishop and who could cooperate with me in all areas. This naturally applies to all female priests. I ruled out a viable alternative on that basis.
Diocese of Hamar, Bishop Solveig Fiske:
2. Not applicable.
3. No, it won’t be like that.
6. It is an unsustainable practice to adopt a double standard in church life. I think it is an extension of the planning of the work to facilitate and does not conform to the decision of the Diocese that reservation does not have the right to collaborate with women in the ministry.
7. Yes, here a common culture needs to be created and anchored in the community of colleagues, which can mean what one wants, but not have different practices.
Diocese of Nidaros, Bishop Herborg Finset:
1. None of the priests in Nitaros wanted to serve with women. For new hires, the question of cooperation and collaboration is a topic in all interviews. A person who cannot get along with his peers will not be appointed to Nidaros.
4. No one knows, but after the decision at the bishops’ meeting last fall, we focused internally on our own procedures for appointments.
5, 6 and 7: Not applicable.
Diocese of Tunsberg, Bishop Jan Otto Myrseth:
2. Not a current issue.
3. Not a current issue. It is inappropriate to ordain priests who cannot cooperate with all their peers.
6. I stand by the Synod’s conclusion that all priests should cooperate with all their colleagues.
7. Not a current issue in Tunsberg.
Diocese of Oslo, Acting Bishop Anne-May Grassas:
– The Diocese of Oslo has no male priests who reserve themselves to collaborate with female priests. So other questions do not apply to the Bishop of Oslo.
Synod president Olav Fix’s response to the tweet:
1. There is no comprehensive overview of this, but each bishop is familiar with the priests in his own diocese.
2. We take it regularly together, and every bishop follows it in his own diocese. A Coordinating Committee on Gender Equality has been set up. Safety representatives and shop stewards are also actively involved in working towards equality, diversity and inclusion.
3. The Synod’s decision last fall states that such a reservation as a priest in the Church of Norway is not a right.
5. I am not aware of specific examples of this. But the Bishop of a Quarterly Diocese must attend to such specific questions as they arise.
6. All priests should cooperate with each other. The synod’s decision clearly shows that one wants to move away from such a practice.
7. A work in progress for equality and creating a good working environment for all employees in the church.
“Music geek. Coffee lover. Devoted food scholar. Web buff. Passionate internet guru.”