From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Norwegian Bishops Appeal to Church of England over Radioactive Waste

From "Frank Imhoff" <>
Date Tue, 11 Jun 2002 11:20:36 -0500

"Let Life in the Oceans Continue"

OSLO, Norway/GENEVA, 11 June 2002 (LWI) - Church of Norway bishops
have sent a strong appeal for the protection of the environment to
the Church of England. The Sellafield Declaration addresses the
threat to seas and shores by radioactive waste from the nuclear
fuel reprocessing plant at Sellafield, northern England.

Through the appeal, the Norwegian church leaders are calling on
British authorities to " take all necessary steps to bring an end
to the life-threatening pollution as soon as possible."

A Church of Norway press statement says the declaration, handed
over on May 29 to the Church of England in London, originates from
the local communities and congregations along the Norwegian coast.
On its way down the coast from Kirkenes to Bergen, the document
was signed by bishops of the five dioceses bordering the North
Sea. The country's six other bishops sent their letters of

The Norwegians are urging their sister church on the other side of
the North Sea to follow-up on the matter with the British
government. Both churches are signatories to the 1996 Porvoo
Common Statement between the British and Irish Anglican churches
and most of the Nordic and Baltic Lutheran churches.

Under the Nordic Council, Scandinavian governments have criticized
British authorities over Sellafield, saying the facility posed a
threat to the health of the Irish and North Seas and the Atlantic

In their appeal titled "Let Life in the Oceans Continue," Norway's
bishops say the existence of a majority of their coastal
communities is "inextricably bound to the sea. ... If the
resources of the sea become polluted the very existence of the
coastal people of our land--and of other lands--will be torn
apart." They stress that pollution created by radioactive waste
can cause irreparable damage for future generations.

In a covering letter the Norwegian bishops say: "We see our
initiative as one way of deepening the Porvoo communion as it
continuously invites us to share resources and concerns as we are
involved in service and witness to our societies and the powers
[to] be."

The 3.8 million-member Church of Norway to which 86 percent of the
population belong, has been a member of the Lutheran World
Federation since 1947.

(The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the
Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund (Sweden), the LWF now
has 133 member churches in 73 countries representing over 60.5
million of the 64.3 million Lutherans worldwide. The LWF acts on
behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as
ecumenical relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human
rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission and
development work. Its secretariat is located in Geneva,

[Lutheran World Information (LWI) is the information service of
the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). Unless specifically noted,
material presented does not represent positions or opinions of the
LWF or of its various units. Where the dateline of an article
contains the notation (LWI), the material may be freely reproduced
with acknowledgment.]

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