World Council of Churches head appointed presiding bishop for Church of Norway

(Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC)World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit in 2020

The (Lutheran) Church of Norway has appointed World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit as its new presiding bishop.

The Church Council made the announcement on Jan. 30 and Tveit's inauguration will take place during the church synod in Trondheim on April 26 in the Cathedral of Nidaros.

Tveit will step down from his post as the WCC general secretary at the end of March 2020 after serving two terms in office.

Among the 12 Norwegian bishops, the presiding bishop is "a first among equals" (primus inter pares), the WCC said on its website.

He or she is a tenant of the Bishops' Conference. The presiding bishop has the responsibility for the Cathedral of Nidaros (the medieval name for Trondheim) together with the Bishop of the Diocese of Nidaros.

Tveit said he is looking forward to reconnecting with Tr√łndelag, where he spent a meaningful part of his childhood.

'BISHOPS SHOULD LISTEN'

"A bishop should listen to others while unifying and uniting the diversity of our church under our common faith," said Tveit.

"As presiding bishop, a particular responsibility rests on you to be a representative for the entire church while also being a public figure.

"This means that disseminating your message in a favourable manner is sometimes more important than dominating the debate and getting the last word in," said the newly appointed bishop who has vast experience in ecumenical and inter-faith work.

In his home country, Norway, Tveit, has served as a member of the board of directors and executive committee of the Christian Council of Norway, moderator of the Church of Norway - Islamic Council of Norway contact group and the same for the Jewish Congregation contact group.

He also was a member of the Inter-Faith Council of Norway and a member of the board of trustees of Norwegian Church Aid.

Previous assignments include the position of secretary for the Church of Norway Doctrinal Commission, 1999-2000, and Church-State Relations, 2001-02.

Tveit is an ordained pastor in the Church of Norway and has served as a parish priest.

Before taking up the post of general secretary, Tveit served the WCC as a member of the Faith and Order Plenary Commission and as a co-chair of the Palestine Israel Economic Forum core group.

In his home country, Norway, he served as a member of the board of directors and executive committee of the Christian Council of Norway, moderator of the Church of Norway - Islamic Council of Norway contact group and the same for the Jewish Congregation contact group.

He also was a member of the Inter-Faith Council of Norway and a member of the board of trustees of Norwegian Church Aid.

As WCC general secretary, Tveit has led the fellowship of churches through such gatherings as the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (Kingston, Jamaica, 2011) and the 10th Assembly of the WCC (Busan, Republic of Korea, 2013).

He has also been instrumental in leadership of international consultations on such topics as climate change, peacemaking and refugee resettlement.

(Photo: Marcelo Schneider/WCC)World Council of Churches General Secretary, Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit greets Dr. Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, general secretary of the Muslim World League who visited Geneva' s Ecumenical Center in Switzerland on Nov.9, 2017.
Copyright © 2016 Ecumenical News