Norwegian diocese admits inflating Catholic census to receive government funds

religen_001The Diocese of Oslo, Norway, has revealed that Church membership statistics have included many people who had not identified themselves as Catholics and may not have been aware that they were counted as members of the Catholic Church. Bishop Bernt Eidsvig said that the diocese had counted immigrants who came to Norway from predominantly Catholic countries. This practice which the diocese now agrees was “not satisfactory”—allowed the Catholic Church to claim greater government subsidies.Bishop Eidsvig said that the number of people “assumed to be Catholics” without evidence was “at least a thousands, maybe many times that.”