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Swiss diocese rebukes neighboring bishop for linking clergy abuse crisis to homosexuality

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Bishop Markus Büchel Bistum St. Gallen / Switzerland via Facebook

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SWITZERLAND, August 28, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Swiss Diocese of St. Gallen posted on its official Facebook page a comment distancing itself from Bishop Marian Eleganti, who recently noted that homosexuality is the root cause of the sex abuse crisis.

Bishop Eleganti had referred the Pennsylvania grand jury report when he made these comments in an August 22 interview with EWTN Germany while in Ireland for the World Meeting of Families.

“The scandal of abuse shows clearly, it is related to homosexuality,” he said. “90% [of the abuse cases] are in direct connection with a homosexual inclination.”

The bishop also pointed out that most of the recently-revealed victims “were not children, they were 16 to 17 years old,” “they were seminarians,” and that “it would be blind to deny that we do have here a problem in the Church with homosexuality and that homosexuality plays here a role.”

Bishop Eleganti is auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Chur, Switzerland, and the diocese which now publicly criticizes him lies to the north of his diocese, on Lake Constance.

This Diocese of St. Gallen has now issued an unsigned statement on its facebook page.

“We contradict and distance ourselves clearly from the statement of Auxiliary Bishop Marian Eleganti,” are the first words used in the short declaration. Moreover: “It is unbearable that the topic of abuse is being connected with the topic [of] homosexuality.”

“Such a statement,” the text continues, “is the opposite of serious attempts to avoid future sexual assaults and to a coming to terms with the terrible things that have happened to the victims in the past.”

“And it especially wounds homosexual people in their dignity, that is not acceptable,” the diocesan statement concludes. This statement has now already been widely spread in Switzerland by Der Blick, the country's largest tabloid newspaper. Up until this outbreak, the reports in Switzerland on Eleganti's interview in Dublin had been fair and neutral.

Bishop Eleganti, in a response to this current criticism, today gave an interview to kath.ch, the Swiss bishops’ news website. In it, he makes it clear that it is itself a form of “cover-up” when people unjustly “exclude the question of sexuality” and now say that the abuse crisis is caused merely “by the abuse of power and clericalism.” In a post on his own Facebook page, Bishop Eleganti called such an approach “unrealistic, ideological, and driven by interest.”

With regard to his claim that the majority of abuse crimes have been committed by homosexual priests, Eleganti states the following in the new interview: “With all respect toward individual persons with homosexual inclinations: I speak here only about the facts of statistics, without polemical generalizations.”

St. Gallen bishop has history of promoting homosexuality

Markus Büchel is the Bishop of St. Gallen, and it is he who, a few years ago, posted on the diocesan website a letter by his predecessor Ivo Führer who had confirmed the existence of the “St. Gallen Mafia,” as Cardinal Godfried Danneels himself once called the “St. Gallen Group.” St. Gallen was the meeting place of a group of cardinals under the leadership of Cardinal Carlo Martini who were aiming at liberalizing and “updating” the Catholic Church. Already at the 2005 conclave they had supported Jorge Bergoglio in becoming the new pope, but they only succeeded with their plans in 2013, when some of them were not even electors at the conclave anymore.

When Bishop Vitus Huonder, the bishop of Chur, was sued in 2015 by an LGBT group for some of his critical comments about homosexuality, Büchel also distanced himself from him. The lawsuit did not have any success, however.

Already in 2013, Büchel called upon homosexual priests to come out and not to hide their homosexuality. He was then the President of the Swiss Bishops’ Conference.

“It hurts me,” he explained with regard to the conflicted situations of such homosexual priests who do not dare to declare their homosexuality openly. Büchel explained his belief that “homosexuality is not a sickness which one could heal.” The St. Gallen bishop also referred to Pope Francis and his “change of course” with regard to homosexuals.

It was also under Büchel's leadership that the Swiss Bishops’ Conference asked Dr. Arnd Bünker, an LGBT activist and promoter of “homosexual liturgies,” to write up a report for the Synod of Bishops on the Family in Rome. That report asked for the admittance of “remarried” divorcees to Holy Communion and for the acceptance of homosexual couples in the Church.

It seems that here now a circle is closing itself. The “St. Gallen Group” first helped promote the papal election of Jorge Bergoglio who, as Pope Francis, promotes the agenda of the “St. Gallen Group,” part of which is the liberalization of the Church’s teachings on homosexuality. And the Bishop of St. Gallen makes sure that the putative new teaching is being consistently implemented.

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