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Oslo bishop accused of offering pay-off for abuse victim’s silence: The Church of England Newspaper, Jan 21, 2011 p 7 January 25, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church of England Newspaper, Church of Norway.
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The Rt. Rev. Ole Christian Kvarme, Bishop of Oslo

First Published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Bishop of Oslo has been accused of offering money to a women in exchange for her silence after she accused a clergyman of sexual misconduct.

The Norwegian press reports that the Rt. Rev. Ole Christian Kvarme was contacted by a member of his diocese 18 months ago.  The parishioner stated that while on a pastoral visit to her home, a clergyman put his hand down the front of her blouse.  The 70 year old woman wrote a letter of complaint to the clergyman, expressing her disappointment with his betrayal of her trust.  The clergyman offered an apology, the Oslo newspaper VG reported, but did not refer to the incident in his note.

The parishioner notified Bishop Kvarme, who then met with her.  “The Bishop thought it was a terrible matter, but was happy I had held my faith. He didn’t mention any more about it,” she told VG.

She wrote to the bishop last year to follow up on the incident, and now claims the bishop offered her 10,000 kroner in exchange for her silence.  She responded by lodging a complaint with the police, who are currently investigating the affair.

Bishop Kvarme confirmed he had offered money to the woman, but denied it was for her silence.

The Minister of Church Affairs, Rigmor Aasrud, declined to comment on the matter as it was under investigation, but stated “one cannot simply buy one’s way out of these types of matters.”

“We are not aware that the church has used money in this way before. It is not a natural way of using money that the Church has received from us,” she said.

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