The general synod of the Church of Norway has voted for the first time to radically change the Lutheran church’s relations with the country’s government—a break toward autonomy that may take six years to complete.
A total of 63 out of 85 synod delegates voted in mid-November that the church should no longer be referred to in the country’s constitution as a state or national church, according to the church’s information service.
The Church of Norway’s synod, which has 11 bishops, said it should assume all church authority now resting with the king and the government. Only 19 synod delegates voted to retain the church-state system.
“The synod’s decision is historic,” said Jens Petter Johnsen, director of the Church of Norway national council. “What matters is the relationship between church and people, not between church and state. We will do our utmost to strengthen the service of the church and with our people.”
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).