Civic Movement MPs Renounce Mass in Cathedral Skip to content

Civic Movement MPs Renounce Mass in Cathedral

Three out of four MPs of the Civic Movement have announced that they will not attend the traditional mass in the Cathedral in Reykjavík before a new parliamentary session begins today and will instead wait on Austurvöllur parliamentary square.

Inside the Althingi parliament. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

“We don’t think it’s appropriate to mix religion and parliamentary work and we don’t condone that the first thing that the MPs do when they reconvene is to go to mass together,” MP for the Civic Movement Birgitta Jónsdóttir told Fréttabladid.

The other two MPs from her party who are not going to attend the mass are Thór Saari and Margrét Tryggvadóttir, while the fourth, Thráinn Bertelsson, will join the rest of the parliament and go to mass.

However, according to Jónsdóttir, there are a few MPs from other parties who will also refrain from attending the Cathedral mass. “But usually people have just hidden inside parliament if they don’t go to the Cathedral. We are just being forthright about the matter. There are so many traditions that perhaps aren’t appropriate today.”

Sidmennt, the association of ethical humanists in Iceland, invites MPs to attend a think piece by philosopher Jóhann Björnsson at Hótel Borg today before parliament reconvenes. Björnsson will talk about the importance of good morality in the interest of the nation.

Today 27 new MPs will take a seat in parliament and 20 of those have never served as MPs before, which is a new record: Never before have has many new MPs taken a seat in parliament. Not even in 1845 when the first elections of the new Althingi were held, then there were only 25, as Helgi Bernódusson, office manager of Althingi, told Morgunbladid.

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