Switzerland: the Bishop of St. Gallen Wishes to Forbid the Burqa as “Unconventional"

Source: FSSPX News

Bishop Markus Büchel.

Bishop Markus Büchel declared on the Swiss German radio SRF on September 23, 2017, that he is for a law against covering one’s face in public.

According to the bishop of St. Gallen, “conventionally, people’s faces should be recognizable”. Consequently, “this obligation is also desirable for integration purposes”. But, the prelate assures, this would not affect religious freedom.

As for Bishop Charles Morerod of Lausanne, Geneva, and Fribourg, he spoke out in the beginning of August, in an interview with the German newspaper NZZ, against absolutely forbidding the burka, in the name of the very same religious freedom. He did however, add that the question of “security” should be taken into account, and admitted that “the Swiss culture sees being disposed to show one’s face as a positive value”.

The Swiss Bishops’ Conference was even more prudent in September 2016, and avoided saying anything at all.

On September 13, 2017, the Egerkingen Committee, in the north of the country, led by the UDC national councilor Walter Wobmann, obtained the 100,000 signatures required for a popular vote on a ban on covering one’s face in public. This vote should take place in 2019.