Church of Norway gets more authority to name bishops and priests

Oslo, Norway - All parties in the Norwegian parliament Thursday agreed to give the Church of Norway greater authority to name its own bishops, but formal ties between state and church would remain. "The agreement that all parties in parliament have agreed on mean that there is broad consensus about the relations between state and church," Culture and Church Affairs Minister Trond Giske said.

Giske especially praised the opposition for showing a will to compromise.

Under the deal the church - likely via the general synod - would also appoint priests.

The move aimed at increasing democracy in the state Evangelical- Lutheran church.

Some 80 per cent of the country's 4.7 million inhabitants are members of the Church of Norway.