After addressing an ecumenical council on the importance of the church being a “messenger of peace”, Bishop of Iceland Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir told reporters that she trusts the police need the newly-acquired cache of MP5 submachine guns.
RÚV reports that the Bishop was reached last Thursday shortly after the council, and asked for her thoughts on the recent controversy over the Icelandic police buying a large cache of various semi- and fully automatic machine guns from the Norwegian army.
“Of course it is really tragic that our society is such that the police need access to guns, one finds it to be a bad development,” she said. “But this is naturally going on in other countries, and everything that is happening in other countries has a tendency to make its way north to this island.”
The Bishop was then asked if she believed a weapons cache that includes 250 MP5 submachine guns is something the Icelandic police need. To this, she defered to the better judgement of law enforcement.
“Yes, of course I wish it wasn’t this way, that we don’t need these [guns],” she said. “But if the police believe they need them, then I trust them to have the judgement to decide that for themselves. And one thing we also need to trust is that these weapons will only be used when then are needed.”
The Bishop then connected the need for submachine guns with the 2008 economic collapse.
“It is a part of what’s going on in this society – we are struggling so much with trust in our society since the economic collapse,” she said. “It is like everything has collapsed, not least of all trust. And when we see something like guns, then I think that what we are talking about first and foremost is trust. Do we trust that these weapons will not be misused, do we trust that they will only be used in defence and when necessary? I do trust it. I have a tendency to trust everything and everyone until proven otherwise.”