Upon the entry into office of the new bishop of the diocese of Chur, Msgr. Martin Grichting, 53, submitted his resignation as vicar general of the diocese of Chur and all his other diocesan and supra-diocesan functions, which was reported on March 23, 2021 by the diocese of Chur.
As is customary during the installation of a new bishop, the vicars general and diocesan priests hand over their duties.
On March 19, during the episcopal ordination of Msgr. Joseph Bonnemain, new bishop of Chur, the absence of the newly resigned Vicar General was noted. Is it because he was not unaware of the quality of certain guests at the episcopal consecration ceremony?
Indeed, among the hundred people present, three Protestants took part in the ceremony. Rita Famos, president of the Protestant Reformed Church of Switzerland; Michel Müller, president of the board of the Church of Zurich; and Mario Fehr, member of the government of Zurich. All three received Communion from the hands of Bishop Bonnemain.
The Swiss agency Kath.ch reports the interview granted by Bishop Bonnemain on April 3 to the Zurich daily Blick. When asked whether or not to grant communion to the remarried faithful, the new bishop of Chur replies that he does not “want to make summary judgments, and even less general condemnations. I always look at concrete people and their circumstances. I do not reject anyone who wants to receive communion.”
Regarding the blessing of a same-sex couple, “we have the Roman guidelines on one side and the actual man or couple on the other. As a chaplain, I have to make a decision that is up to these people,” said Bishop Bonnemain.
“There will always be people who consciously renounce the family in order to dedicate their lives to God and serve men,” he points out about priestly celibacy. This form of life exists in many religions and not just in Christianity. But the question is whether every priest should live celibate. Here too, the Church is in a process of development.”
Eucharistic hospitality - in other words, communion given to Protestants -, communion to remarried divorcees, blessings for homosexual couples, priestly celibacy ... The new bishop of Chur did not wait long to express his frankly progressive positions on very sensitive subjects.
He also chose as his motto: “Man is the way of the Church.”