Vatican Orders Investigation into Swiss Bishops’ Mishandling of Sex Abuse Cases

Vatican Orders Investigation into Swiss Bishops’ Mishandling of Sex Abuse Cases: The Vatican has launched an investigation into the Swiss Bishops’ Conference (SBC) alleged mishandling of sexual abuse cases.

On Sunday, the Swiss Bishops’ Conference revealed an ongoing Vatican-ordered investigation into the handling of sexual abuse allegations by Church officials, with the investigation expected to run until at least the end of the year.
In May, Father Nicolas Betticher, a priest at the Bruder Klaus church in the Swiss capital Bern sent a letter to Martin Krebs, the Apostolic Nuncio of Switzerland stating that six bishops allegedly covered up abuse cases.

On  Monday, Catholic bishops in Switzerland confirmed in  statement  that the allegations was made “against several emeriti and acting members of the Swiss Bishops’ Conference” as well as against “other clerics in their handling of sexual abuse cases.”

Following the receipt of the letter by Swiss Church authorities, it was forwarded to the he Dicastery for Bishops in Rome who in turn “ordered a preliminary canonical investigation into the matter.”

Swiss Diocese of Chur Bishop Joseph Bonnemain was appointed to lead the investigation “expected to be completed by the end of the year.” Bonnemain, according to SBC’s statement has a history of investigating sexual assaults connected with the Church.

“The main purpose of this preliminary church investigation is the allegations of covering up cases of abuse. The police and the public prosecutor’s office are primarily responsible for investigating suspected sexual crimes,” the SBC statement reads.

The conference further explained that  its guidelines “oblige church leaders to report suspected sexual offenses against minors – in consultation with the person concerned – to the public prosecutor’s office.” They added also that “Since this is an ongoing case, we cannot provide any further information.”

Bonnemain told that he would “have liked to have rejected the order from Rome” due to his being “not well.”

“I have promised for the sake of the victims and justice,” the bishop said. “Now I have to do it and check the accusations.”



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