Switzerland: Bishop Vitus Huonder still has the right to quote the Bible
The prosecutor for the canton of Grisons has closed the complaints filed against Bishop Vitus Huonder after his "declarations on homosexuals".
He esteemed that in quoting two passages from the Bible, the bishop of Chur could not be accused of incitement to violence or hatred.
On July 31, 2015, during a conference on Christian marriage in Fulda, Germany, the Swiss prelate quoted two passages from the book of Leviticus: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, because it is an abomination." (Lev. 18:22) and the verse: "If any one lie with a man as with a woman, both have committed an abomination, let them be put to death: their blood be upon them." (Lev. 20:13)
The Swiss LGTB association Pink Cross reacted immediately, calling Bishop Huonder, according to La Croix on August 10, an "agitator" and a "delinquent" and demanding "a public apology".
In answer to the dispute raging in the Swiss media, the concerned party published a declaration on his diocese's website. He regretted the "deplorable misunderstanding" and claimed that he had "in no way wished to belittle homosexual people," while at the same time recalling his fidelity to the catechism of the Catholic Church on the subject.
The president of the Swiss Bishops' Conference (SBC) Bishop Marcus Bücher, bishop of Saint-Gall, published a letter on his diocese's website and some extracts were quoted by La Croix; he claimed that "in a relationship, having a responsible sexuality is more important that the homo- or heterosexual inclination." As for the passage from Leviticus quoted by Bishop Huonder, it can be explained, in his opinion, by the fact that "at that time in the Bible, no one knew that homosexuality could be an orientation that isn't chosen."
According to the Swiss Catholic website cath.ch on October 10, 2015, the bishop of Chur expressed his satisfaction after the announcement that the complaint was closed. "These complaints were an attempt to penalize freedom of belief and opinion for those who think differently," declared cum grano salis the spokesman for the diocese Giuseppe Gracia.
And he concluded ad hominem (so to speak): "This is good news for all those who take mutual tolerance seriously."
sources: apic/lacroix/cath.ch – DICI no.323 November 6, 2015