Switzerland: Which Catholics will welcome the pope at Bern?

Source: FSSPX News


“The fact that the Holy Father responded to the invitation was a surprise, and now Swiss Catholics are starting to get excited,” declared Fr. Roland Trauffer, vicar general of the diocese of Basel, interviewed by the American Catholic press agency CNS. He continued with the description of the meeting on June 5 and 6, where “10,000 young people will be able to sing, dance, and stuff themselves with hip-hop and film clips.”

The encounter will be broadcast on all three public television channels, states CNS, and the organizers hope that many of the young people’s parents will also be in front of their screens for this festival. “The Swiss are notoriously independent-minded and democratically oriented, and if it were up to them,” confides Roland Trauffer, “they would have long ago decided to abolish priestly celibacy, ordain women, have intercelebration among Christians and elect bishops.”

In support of this declaration, surprising to say the least coming from a vicar general, we find a recent opinion poll carried out by the Institute gsf-Zurich on behalf of the Herbert Haag Foundation in Lucerne, which is presided over by the ultra-progressivist theologian Hans Küng. This survey was conducted on 1,002 people in both French and German speaking Switzerland, of which 404 were Catholics. The results show practically no difference between Catholics and non-Catholics. It is revealed that 89% of the Catholics interviewed are in favor of freedom of choice in the matter of priestly celibacy (against 6%), and that three quarters are for the opening of the priesthood to women (76% for, 17% against). Nearly 70% (against 22%) wish that the divorced may be allowed to remarry in the Church, 65% against 22% that the bishops be chosen by the local Church, and that dialogue with the other major religions be intensified (65% against 31%).

Moreover, forty prominent Catholic personalities in Switzerland, including several professors of theology, have addressed an open letter to the pope, demanding his resignation. According to them, his state of health is leading to an erosion of papal authority. The signatories indicate that canon law requires bishops to offer their resignation at the age of 75, and desire that this provision also be applied to the bishop of Rome. They recall that the pope himself proposed in his encyclical Ut unum sint, that the exercise of the papacy be reviewed in depth.

On 18 May, Mgr. Kurt Koch, bishop of Basel, the diocese from which the open letter originated, declared himself “disappointed and sad”, totally disapproving of this initiative.