A Swiss priest has been sacked from his parish for blessing a lesbian couple.
Swiss priest, Wendelin Bucheli, has to leave his church of Bürglen in Uri, Switzerland, after blessing a lesbian couple last October.
Bucheli said of the event, “In its form, the blessing did not differ very much from a wedding.”
His decision caused a stir in his parish leading Vitus Huonder, the Bishop of Chur, to dismiss Bucheli from his post. Bucheli will be forced to leave his post by the summer and be reassigned.
Huonder’s spokesperson told Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag, “His actions caused a stir across national borders and angered many believers,” and added Bucheli’s actions “removed clarity from the Church’s teaching on marriage and family.”
The priest said: “Today, animals, cars and even weapons are blessed – why shouldn’t you also bless a couple that wants to walk together with God?”
Bishop Huonder’s spokesperson commented on the dismissal saying, “Pastor Bucheli has deliberately acted against the teaching of the Church.”
However, Bucheli said on Tuesday that he would not accept his dismissal and refused to hand in his resignation which his congregation and local church authorities are said to stand behind. They have started a petition and also requested a meeting with Bishop Huonder.
“I feel comfortable in Bürglen,” he said. “My work is not finished and I see no reason to leave the community at this time.
Bucheli has said that he doesn’t agree with the form of old Catholicism practised in the town, he feels priest blessings are viewed as a kind of “white magic”.
Bishop Huonder’s spokesperson also said that “the bishop has to take his responsibility seriously and cannot simply accept such an offence, also because of all the clergyman and believers who stand for the Catholic faith.
“Pastor Bucheli has deliberately acted against the teaching of the Church.”
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