Changes Called for at National Church of Iceland

News

Changes Called for at National Church of Iceland

The National Audit Office, which is the executive authority in the affairs of the National Church of Iceland and makes decisions on its financing and operations, stated in a report published last week that the bishop should step down as chairman of the Church Council.

hallgrimskirkja_pk

Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík's landmark church. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

Other items criticized in the report include that an overall policy on the operations of the Bishop’s Office has not been made and that this must be improved, among other items by defining the institute’s goals and how to evaluate its achievements, visir.is reports.

Also religious affairs and operational and financial affairs must be separated, the National Audit Office suggests. Moreover, two independent organizational units should be created within the Bishop’s Office with two different managers.

Other suggestions include that the bishop’s duties within the Church Council be limited as his serving as the council’s chair lessens the time he has to serve his main role as the professional leader of the National Church of Iceland.

The risk is also at hand that the bishop must rule on issues within the council in which he has already had part on lower administrational levels.

The National Audit Office proposes in its report that the bishop step down as chairman of the Church Council but remains a council member. He would have freedom of speech and could submit ideas but not vote.

Fréttabladid reported last week that three out of every four priests in the country find it necessary to simplify the organization of the National Church of Iceland, as stated in an electronic survey conducted by the National Audit Office.

In related news, according to the National Registry, members of the National Church of Iceland continue to decrease. From July 1 to September 30, 605 people delisted from the National Church, mbl.is.

Meanwhile, members of the country’s three independent churches increased by 149, other religious associations saw an increase by 21 members and 435 people decided not to be registered to any religious association.

Click here to read more about the troubles of the National Church of Iceland.

ESA