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Minister’s Office Dissolved Two Weeks After Court’s Ruling

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Minister’s Office Dissolved Two Weeks After Court’s Ruling

Bishop Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir

Photo: Golli/Kjartan Þorbjörnsson.

Rev. Páll Ágúst Ólafsson, regional minister in West Iceland, received a letter from the Bishop of Iceland, Agnes M Sigurðardóttir, two weeks after the Reykjavík District Court ruled that his appointment by the Bishop had not been according to law, according to RÚV. In the letter, the Bishop notified Páll that his office had been dissolved but he was owed six months’ salary. Páll has subpoenaed both the Bishop and the Church of Iceland because of this decision and is insisting that it be annulled by the courts.

Páll was appointed parish minister at Staðarstaður five years ago. During his time there, he quarrelled with the Bishop, among other reasons because he considered the vicarage at Staðarstaður uninhabitable due to mould. He and his family moved away from the vicarage and the Bishop relieved him from his duty of residence, which proved unpopular with local parishioners.

In September last year, the Bishop tried to solve matters by appointing Páll regional minister in West Iceland. Páll wasn’t happy with the duration of his appointment and thought he should hold the position until 2022, not 2018 as had been decided. The case went before the court where Páll won. The Bishop had not followed the law when appointing Páll regional minister and should issue a new letter of appointment, valid until June 30, 2022. The Bishop decided to appeal the case to a higher court.

According to RÚV’s sources, Páll was notified two weeks after the court’s ruling that the office of regional minister in West Iceland had been dissolved but he was owed six months’ salary. Páll is currently insisting before the court that the Bishop’s decision is annulled and if it is not, that he be paid damages.

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