Synodalists instrumentalise abuse crisis to grab money and power away from the Swiss Bishops

Financial pressure on dioceses? Not the right signal responds Mgr Gmür

The Bishop of Basel, Mgr Felix Gmür, believes that the threat of financial pressure from the Lucerne cantonal Church on the diocese to force it to act more quickly against abuses is not the right signal. For him, less money means fewer resources to act.

The Synod of the ecclesiastical corporation of the Canton of Lucerne decided, on November 8, to brandish the threat of the financial baton. The cantonal church parliament has set a series of demands in relation to the handling of abuse in the diocese of Basel and wants to have their implementation regularly monitored by a special commission.

If the Bishopric does not meet the requirements or deadlines set, “the Synod reserves the right to decide to withhold part of the contribution to the bishopric,” indicates the text of a motion accepted by 76 votes to 12.

Around half a million francs

The Synod is already pushing for next year: the special commission must report to the Synod during the autumn session of 2024, which will decide whether the second half of the annual contribution of the cantonal Church will be paid to the Bishopric . This is an amount of 442,000 francs which is thus put into the balance.

Not the right signal

Questioned by German-speaking TV, the Bishop of Basel noted that “the question is whether it is the right signal. If contributions were reduced, it would not be good. We need to update together. Less money means fewer resources for prevention and control,” he warned.

The demands of the Lucerne synod

Mgr Gmür also mentioned the latest measure taken by the diocese and announced two days earlier. The bishopric has just commissioned an independent law firm to carry out preliminary canon law investigations and examine requests for moral reparation. These procedures will now be carried out externally, which should guarantee greater independence. The contract was signed on November 6, said Felix Gmür, for whom “it is a step in the right direction and an important step”.

The demands of the Lucerne synod also largely echo those of the Roman Catholic Central Conference of Switzerland (RKZ) expressed at the end of September. For its part, the Conference of Bishops indicated at the end of its last assembly the measures it is considering and preparing.


Cathcon: "Synod" is an institutionalised intermediary between Church and state in Switzerland.   This is the way it will go in other countries if Synodalism is allowed to progress.


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