Former bishop of Chur was known for his conservative positions

Bonnemain on Huonder: There is room for everyone in the church

Chur - Vitus Huonder was often harshly criticised for his decidedly conservative positions. On the occasion of his death, his successor as Bishop of Chur has spoken out in favour of fraternal interaction within the Church – even in the face of opposing views.

Published  on 05.04.2024 at 10:54  – 

On the occasion of the death of his predecessor Vitus Huonder, the Bishop of Chur, Joseph Bonnemain, has called for more dialogue between opposing viewpoints in the Church. "There is room for everyone in the Catholic Church," said Bonnemain in an interview with the Swiss portal "" (Thursday). Believers should treat each other as brothers and sisters, even if different positions, views and convictions clash. Only God knows a person's true motives. "It is not up to us to judge, but to promote dialogue, harmony and understanding. Everyone can contribute something, because everything begins with a first step," said the bishop.

Huonder, who died on Wednesday after a short, serious illness, was known for his conservative views and repeatedly caused a stir and polarisation in the diocese of Chur with his verbal attacks on sexual doctrine, the church constitution and the protection of life. After his retirement in 2019, he moved into an institution of the traditionalist Priestly Fraternity of St Pius X and showed increasing sympathy for their positions. In accordance with his last wishes, he will be buried at their headquarters in Écône, Switzerland, as he wanted to be buried near the founder of the Society of St Pius X, Marcel Lefebvre (1905-1991).

Regarding their last meeting two days before Huonder's death, Bonnemain said that his predecessor had been very composed and "devoted to the will of God". "He said: 'It's time and I'm ready'." The Bishop of Chur emphasised that he would try to attend Huonder's funeral. According to a statement from the Society of Saint Pius X, this will take place on 17 April. (mal)