The Words of the Jørgensen Family
Norderval had to take the east-resolution back at the bishops. During the northern bishops meeting in Bastad in August, where 40 bishops were taking part, Bishop Monrad Norderval asked a question about the persecution of the Christians in the Communist counties. Norderval closed with the suggestion that the meeting should send a resolution to the communist, regimes and to the UN to ask them to stop these unworthy persecutions. The bishops were sympathetic to the thought, but none of them wanted to send such a letter. So Norderval had to take his asking for the resolution back.
Norderval has now published the whole matter in Morgenbladet (another newspaper). Here it says among other things:
"I saw here some time ago the words of a Russian-orthodox bishop, who dared to say that in Russia the relationship between Church and State was good. That a bishop can say, even if he knows very well that it is the communists states wish so destroy everything what is called religion. He can say that about a state who forbids his church citizens to believe in and to obey the Lord whom they want to witness of. We must all understand that such a bishop is the servant of the state and not God's and Christ's servant. Oh no, we know it even better.
I have read through the files of the 1453 Russian women who protest against the persecutions, which they had to tolerate because of their Christian belief. And they are writing to us that we must let the world know about all that, which happens behind the Iron Curtain, without any thought to want the reaction of the government will be. It cannot be worse than it is, they write.
We have heard the same words when Hitler was persecuting the Jews. We were told then that we should not say anything, because it would only be worse for the Jews, if Hitler got irritated. And while we kept quiet, Hitler murdered 6 Million Jews.
Today one accused both the Pope and the rest of Christianity, because they did not say anything at that time. They should have created a world opinion of that kind Hitler would not have dared to act against it.
Maybe ten or twenty years later we will all be accused in the same way, because we are keeping quiet about a crime against man and his rights, just as they had done at that time.
We have done our utmost to get the whole matter into the light of the public.
We have again and again tried to get it before the United Nations. The Norwegian Parliament did its best, our foreign minister put the matter before U Thant. But it did not come any longer.
We have tried the World Council of Churches In vain. We have tried the Lutheran World Federation. In vain. We don't get anywhere. Because the complaints concerning the Eastern World.
If they had been directed against the United States or Greece, then they would have been listened to once.
But nobody dares to say anything against the communist. They are immune. They can do, whatever they want, we shall keep quiet to that.
I do not want to leave the meeting with a bad conscience and therefore I suggest that the Norwegian Bishops' meeting takes a resolution and speaks up.
It does not even have to be in a form of protest, if you believe this to be too dangerous. There don't even need to be given name or country.
But the address must be distinctively clear in any case. The guilty ones must understand that we talk to them.
We could very simply express our deep sorrow over that which happens and we could therefore write something like that:
The Norwegian Bishops' meeting in Bastad 1970 expresses its deep sorrow over the persecution of Christians and Jews which takes place, as it has been proven again and again in many communist countries. As seriously as we can, we will therefore ask both the communistic regimes who are guilty in having violated the human rights and the United Nations to stop these unworthy actions,
It went as have mentioned in the beginning. Nothing came out of it.
All sympathized with the thought. It was not that. But the Norwegian Bishops' meeting was a private affair, it did not have a public status.
The right place for that I wanted to do would be the United Nations or the World Council of Churches or the Lutheran World Federation.
So we were as far as we had been before. I was asked if 1 was asked if I was willing to take my suggestion back. I did it for the sake of the prestige of the Norwegian' meeting.
It would in any case have been a little bit shameful if it would have been voted against it.