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Norway: 10 years after the Utoya massacre. Mgr. Eidsvig, “Violence and terror have been a clear attack on human dignity and Christian values”

Today, all of Norway is commemorating the 77 victims of Anders Breivik, who on July 22nd 2011 made a car bomb explode in the city centre of Oslo, killing eight people, then, less than two hours later, shot another 69 people to death on the island of Utøya. This morning, Bernt Eidsvig, bishop of Oslo, officiated a memorial Mass in St. Olav’s Cathedral. And, from 12.00pm to 12.05pm, the bells of the Catholic churches all over the country will ring to commemorate the victims. Then, a national memorial event will be held in the evening, which will be attended by King Harald and several prominent Norwegian political and social figures. “Many wounds are still open”, bishop Eidsvig stated, because on one hand “what happened ten years ago cannot be worked through”. On the other hand, “we have made progress, and quite fast”, in the belief, as voiced by the Prime Minister of the time, Jens Stoltenberg, that “the answer to evil and murder is no longer violence and destruction but rallying around the values that keep us together. Evil must be defeated by good”. In an interview posted on the website of the diocese of Oslo, mgr. Eidsvig also pointed out that “that terrorist attack deprived us of some of our natural innocence and of the belief that all people are inherently good”. And, even if the reason behind Breivik’s attack is still unknown, “violence and terror have been a clear attack on human dignity and Christian values”, since “Western democracy and the rule of law cannot be imagined without the Christian tradition”.

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