Chair of Church of Norway’s Council speaks about living with disagreement in the Church

Church of Norway National Council

Kristin Gunleiksrud Raaum (front row, second right) with Church Council members.

Posted 7 June 2016

At the opening of the meeting of the Church of Norway’s National Council on 7th June, Kristin Gunleiksrud Raaum, Chair of the Council, said that to live with disagreement in the Church does not mean that anyone should be forced into silence and that respect is to learn what is essential or important to the other.

The Church Council 2016-2020 was elected at the General Synod in Trondheim in April and this was its first meeting.

Ms Raaum talked about how the Church can live with disagreement. She took into account that this year’s Synod by a large majority advocated a marriage liturgy for same-sex couples, stressing that the decision should not be understood as someone having “won” or that the matter was finished.

“It’s very easy to talk about unity and togetherness and community. It is not so easy when you feel that a decision goes against everything you believe in or hold as sacred and given,” she said, adding: “The situation demands that we do not pretend that things are easier or less painful than they are.”

The Church Council leader sees great opportunities in the period ahead: “We have a responsibility to open up people’s encounter with Jesus,” she said.