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Norway: Erik Varden appointed bishop of Trondheim. “Our job is to show the light that no darkness can extinguish”

Erik Varden, abbot of Mount St. Bernard, Leicestershire (Great Britain), will be the bishop and prelate of Trondheim, in Norway. The diocese had been vacant for ten years and held by the bishop of Oslo, Bernt Eidsvig. Father Varden was born in Sarpsborg (Norway) on 13th May 1974, from a Lutheran family, and joined the Catholic Church while he studied in Cambridge. A member of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance since 2002, he made his solemn profession in 2007; ordained priest in 2011, he was appointed abbot in 2015. Through the Scandinavian Bishops’ Conference, then new bishop stated that “in a world, in a time that is increasingly affected by indifference and cynicism, by desperation and division, our job is to do something different: to show the light that no darkness can extinguish, to stoke good will, to let ourselves be reconciled, to help a community built on trust, to show that death has lost its power and life is meaningful, beautiful, inviolable”. According to mgr. Varden, “this is a great responsibility as well as a privilege and a source of transformative joy”. Words of joy have been uttered by bishop Eidsvig at the fact that “central Norway has a pastor again”. In the prelacy of Trondheim, there are the Cistercian nuns on the Island Tautra and the Trappists in Munkeby, who, with father Erik Varden, “will not only receive a bishop, they will receive a brother”.

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