Featured Image

May 22, 2015 ( — In a highly controversial May 5 release, the Swiss Bishops’ Conference published a report on the results of the questionnaire they received from the Synod of Bishops on the Family concerning questions of marriage and the family.  The report to be sent to Rome in preparation for the upcoming Synod of Bishops in Rome, in October of 2015, suggests radical departure from the Catholic faith. It demands communion for remarried divorcees, calls for blessing on homosexual relationships, and even disparages the Holy Family of Nazareth as a model for families.

The press release notes that the majority of the participants of the discussion groups whose responses formed the basis of the report are involved in the pastoral care of the faithful and in catechetical instruction and also members of parish women’s and youth groups.  And while that demonstrates the poverty of the Church in Switzerland, faithful Catholics there have contested the report and its compilation as agenda-driven and manipulated.  For instance, of the 570 submissions for the report, a conservative group of Catholics representing more than 60,000 members was counted as only one report, whereas left-leaning parish groups of 11 were also given one report.

Here are some of the shocking proposals and statements given without negative comment by the bishops’ report:

  • Only a small minority of the submissions show the desire to adhere strictly to the present teaching of the Church and her strict discipline.
  • The exclusion of remarried divorcees from the Sacraments has to be terminated.
  • Partnerships of male and female homosexuals should have their place within the Church.
  • Even if the majority rejects putting the homosexual partnerships on the same level as sacramental marriages, there is  still a strong approval for the Church's extended blessing upon such partnerships.
  • The Holy Family does not appear at all as an ideal form of the family, but rather it is regarded more in its Biblically described brokenness.
  • The Holy Family does not at all correspond to the Church's ideal of a family.

Supporting the faithful Catholics outraged by the report is Bishop Marian Eleganti of Chur in eastern Switzerland. In a statement on the website of his diocese, Bishop Eleganti writes: “Do we have to give our blessing [as bishops] to everything people do nowadays?”

“I see the signs of the time, but I do not read them as signals for adaptation but for resistance, stemming from the strength of the Gospels,” he added.  “When men lie, cheat, or drive too fast, I do not say: ‘Let us change the rules! Lying is okay, because there is no truth anyway. Cheating and violating laws are okay because that is the reality now.’”

Bishop Eleganti says he wants to be “close to the people” and “open to modern life.” However, “not in order to adapt the teaching of the Church to it, but, rather, in order to help the people to find in it [the Catholic teaching] once again a help, so that they can look at the present times with a critical view, in the service of life.”

The Bishop of Chur concluded, “We are called to be truly loving. And truly loving people go into the depth of things. They tell each other the truth, even if it hurts sometimes.”