A Norwegian Lutheran bishop has announced that he will not participate in an ecumenical service to be held in Trondheim's Nidaros Cathedral June 2 during Pope John Paul II's visit to the country.
Bishop Per Lonning is not boycotting the service because he is opposed to ecumenism. Quite the opposite, the former member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches says he will stay away to protest what he sees as the Pope's slowing down of the ecumenism of the 1960s and 1970s.
Lonning is quoted in the Lutheran World Information news service as saying, "What I do is not a protest against, but together with, my Catholic brothers and sisters whom I have learned to know and appreciate during my years in ecumenical work."
The Lutheran bishop added, "I know I have a considerable number of Catholic friends with me in this."