The allegations against six bishops — four active and two retired — were disclosed Sept. 10 by the Swiss Sunday newspaper SonntagsBlick.
The bishops’ conference of Switzerland, which has around 3 million Catholics out of a total population of 8.7 million, announced the same day that the Vatican had asked a Swiss bishop to undertake a preliminary canonical investigation into the claims.
Bishop Joseph Bonnemain of Chur is expected to send a report by the end of 2023 to the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Bishops, which will then decide whether to launch proceedings under Church law.
The bishops’ conference said that public prosecutor’s offices had also been informed of the cases, which include allegations against priests.
The news broke just days before the publication of an independent pilot study on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Switzerland since the mid-20th century, commissioned by the bishops’ conference and compiled by the University of Zurich.
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