The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Preliminary investigation against members of the Bishops’ Conference concluded

The preliminary investigation into the allegations of abuse against members of the Swiss Bishops' Conference has been concluded. According to a statement, the Bishop of Chur, Joseph Bonnemain, who was commissioned by the Vatican for this purpose, handed over the results to those responsible in the Vatican.

The collected documentation comprises 1,800 pages, the diocese of Chur wrote in the press release on Friday. A 24-page final report contains a series of conclusions and recommendations for the attention of those responsible at the Vatican, who ordered the canonical preliminary investigation in June 2023.

The diocese of Chur did not provide any information on the specific findings of the report. It had not received any authorization from Rome to do so, explained Nicole Büchel, communications officer for the diocese of Chur, when asked by the Keystone-SDA news agency.

Decisions are made in Rome

With the handover of the investigation report, Bishop Bonnemain's mission has been completed, the press release continued. "The files will now be studied at the Vatican, which could take some time."

Those responsible in the Roman Curia would then draw their conclusions, make decisions and communicate these in an appropriate form.

Dealing with cases of abuse

Bishop Bonnemain was commissioned by Rome to investigate the conduct of four members of the Bishops' Conference for possible failure to report assaults. A fifth member of the Bishops' Conference was to be investigated for alleged sexual harassment.

Nicolas Betticher, former vicar general of the diocese of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg and current parish priest in Bern, has previously criticized the misconduct of some Swiss bishops, according to the press release.

Bonnemain received support in dealing with the abuse cases from Neuchâtel cantonal judge Pierre Cornu and Brigitte Tag, Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at the University of Zurich.

©Keystone/SDA

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