The Swiss Parish Initiative (Pfarrei-Initiative) and many grass-roots movement in the Swiss Catholic Church have called for a demonstration on the streets of St. Gallen to protest current Church practices that condemn many families and exclude them from important services and functions of the Church. The text below is a translation of the poster published on the website of the Parish Initiative. (http://pfarrei-initiative.ch/)
A brief background: (1) Swiss Bishop Huonder of the diocese of Chur (includes Zürich) is widely unpopular for his hard-hearted, exclusionary pastoral practices and his fundamentalist theology. More and more faithful are asking for is removal. (2) Switzerland has a unique legal framework that enforces certain representative structures in the Swiss Catholic Church. There is a church tax, for example, but instead of going directly to the bishop it goes to an independent regional board representing the tax payer which in turn forwards the money to the bishops or to other causes as it deems fit. [Translation by Bernie Aurin]
Demonstration For a Credible and Liberating Catholic Church in Switzerland
Sunday, March 9, 2014, 3 pm - 4.30 pm, St. Gallen
We meet in front of the railway station and march to Cloister Square.
It is enough!
We've had enough of exclusion, discrimination, feudalism and of systematically contesting the valuable legal structures that define the relations between church and state in Switzerland. We've had enough of bishops who discipline and of theology that is hard-hearted.
The time has come to stand together for a church that gives us joy, that is turned towards the people, that shows solidarity towards the poor, spreads hope and pays attention to that what is most essential. The time has come for the Swiss Bishops' Conference to take responsibility and - together with us - stand for a new leadership of the diocese Chur and for a Church with a future.
We invite all who share our concerns to join us and bring your banners on the first Sunday of Lent to St. Gallen, residence of the president of the Swiss Bishops' Conference.
Let us send a strong and encouraging message!
"Have courage! ... Open the doors ... I much prefer an active church that makes mistakes to a church that gets sick because she only revolves around herself." Pope Francis
Swiss Catholic Women's Association
Catholic Employee Movement
Tagsatzung - Association for a Credible Church at the Romerohaus, Lucerne
Jungwacht Blauring Youth Organization
Theological Movement for Solidarity and Liberation
Committee "Not with us, Bishop Huonder!"
Herbert Haag Foundation for Freedom in the Church
People From Bündner Land For a Credible Church
Association of Pastoral Cargivers For the Youth
Association of Catholic Boy and Girl Scouts
Women's Church of Central Switzerland
Swiss Parish Initiative (Pfarrei-Initiative)
Appeal "Blessings instead of Bread"