Oslo, Norway, Nov 30, 2016 / 00:09 am America/Denver (CNA).
In an unusual turn of events, the Catholic Church in Norway is under fire for reportedly lying about its number of parishioners in order to receive more state monetary aid.
Scandinavian prosecutors fined the Diocese of Oslo more than $140,000 – or one million kroner – on Monday for the apparent fraud offense, according to AFP. In addition, the state of Norway is asking for a $4.4 million – or 40.6 million kroner – reimbursement from the Catholic Church.
“We’ve never done anything illegal or received too much money,” the Catholic Church said in response to the allegations, according to the Local.
“We have always recognized that we have made mistakes and an unfortunate practice in parts of our registration. This was cleaned up a long [time] ago.”
The accusations against the Church stem from 2011-2014, during which the state believes the diocese pulled names from telephone directories of individuals who were not actually members of the diocese.