Church "Cannot Take Any More Cuts" - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Church “Cannot Take Any More Cuts”

Published August 13, 2015

Photo by
Tómas Bickel/Wikimedia Commons

The Bishop of Iceland says the national church does not have the funds to pay its clergy, but the salaries of the upper echelons remain fairly high.

RÚV reports that Bishop of Iceland Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir is unhappy with budget cuts made to the national church, despite them being in harmony with cuts made to other government institutions. She believes the church has reached the breaking point.

“If cuts continue to be made, the church will not be able to shoulder responsibility and fulfill its duties,” she told reporters, adding that the church scarcely has the money to pay clergy. For this reason, the church is considering filing a case against the government with an arbitration committee.

The current budget that the Icelandic government pays out of tax coffers to the National Church totals over 4.1 billion ISK. The bishop herself makes 1,036,000 ISK per month, while the average base salary for a parish priest is about 585,000 ISK per month (although many make significantly more). In addition, priests receive extra payments for baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals.

Church officials will meet tomorrow to decide what their next step will be.

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