SCANDINAVIA is no longer considered a mission territory by the Vatican, despite the small number of Catholics in the population of the five Scandinavian countries.
The Vatican Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples has made public a brief signed by Pope Paul in May which transfers the Scandinavian countries from the jurisdiction of the evangelisation congregation to that of the Vatican Congregation fur Bishops, like other Western European countries. The change had been requested by the Scandinavian bishops.
Last year Australia was transferred from the evangelisation congregation's jurisdiction to ordinary Church jurisdiction. The last such transfer before that was in 1908, •when the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg ceased to come under the evangelisation congregation,
The transfer, in practice, means that the bishops of the countries in question no longer report to the evangelisation con The five Scandinavian countries have a total population of 22.1 million, of whom 117,091 are Catholics — many of them immigrants. According to the latest (1976) statistics compiled by the evangelisation congregation: Sweden has 74,117 Catholics in a population of 8.2 million. Fewer than 10,000 of those are Swedes. Since the death of American-born Bishop John Taylor last September, the See of Stockholm has been vacant.
Denmark has 26,725 Catholics in its population of more than 5 million. Bishop Hans Manensen of Copenhagen is a 49-year-old Danish-born Jesuit. The 36 diocesan priests are Danish, but all 79 Religious priests are from a broad.
Norway has 11,713 Catholics in its population of 3.9 million. They are in three jurisdictions: the diocese of Oslo, headed by Bishop John Gran, 57, a Norwegian Trappist, and the apostolic vicariates of Central Norway and Northern Norway. The country has 17 diocesan and 42 religious priests.
Finland has 3,196 Catholics in its population of 4.7 million. They are served by 18 priests.
Iceland has 1,340 Catholics in a population of 220,000. There are 18 priests in the country.
The Danish government gives aid amounting to 85 per cent of expenses to the 24 Catholic schools which have a total of 7,211 students. The Norwegian government gives aid amounting to 80 per cent of expenses, but no other Scandinavian government aids Catholic schools.