Visit during High Mass from the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches

Many may have noticed that WWC convenes in Trondheim these days, from 22- 28 June, with 150 representatives from 345 member churches present. On Sunday 26 June five of these chose to celebrate mass with the Catholic parish in Trondheim. They were from different countries and different Christian churches, two being Catholics, and the others Lutheran.


Five members of the Central Committee og CCW, from Germany, Ireland, England, Lebanon and Switserland.

The representative from Lebanon greeted the congregation before Mass. He told us that most Christians in Lebanon, the Maronites, belong to the Roman Catholic Church.

We met the five representatives in front of the Interim Church after mass and got some information about their meeting in Trondheim. "We cover both administrative and theological topics. We are having a variety of discussions like religion and violence, the Middle East, as well as the churches and the rights of children. There was a ceremony in Nidaros Cathedral with the Crown Prince and Princess present and a speech by the Minister of Cultural Affairs. In Erkebispegården (The old Archbishop’s Palace) we met the Mayor of Trondheim And did you know that the Lutheran theologian Olav Fykse Tveit from Norway is the present general secretary of The World Council of Churches"?

Our five visitors were both happy and impressed to see so many nationalities under one roof in St. Olav interim Church. It seems to us that local Catholic congregations are able to integrate Catholics from other countries and cultures quite easily. Many churches around the world practice restrictions concerning membership that make integration impossible. For that reason, there may be several nationally separate congregations in one city that actually belong to the same church, the representative from Geneva told us.

Our meeting ended by the building site of the new St. Olav Cathedral., where parish priest Egil Mogstad informed the visitors about the building process. Naturally, the question of financing came up. The significant contribution by Bonifatiuswerk and other private donations were mentioned. "For the rest of the funding, we will depend on the contribution of local parishioners. As is usual in Norway, a large part of the funding consists of loans. The only way to cover the repayments will be through monthly contributions to the new St. Olav Church by a sufficient number of individuals and families of the parish, apart from the ordinary contribution for the day-to-day operation of the parish", said Fr. Egil.

Some of the visitors recognized the basilica structure, and were familiar with the Basilica of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill, which to a certain degree has inspired the architect’s design for the new church.  

Next on the program was lunch with the other members of the committee, and further sessions. We wish them continued success in their work.