• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Priest suspended for stealing from parishes

Malcolm Curtis · 18 Dec 2012, 10:52

Published: 18 Dec 2012 10:52 GMT+01:00

Over the weekend, Charles Morerod, the Bishop of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg suspended the 52-year-old curé from all duties while an investigation continues.

The church has filed a criminal complaint for embezzlement of funds.

Over a period of about a year the priest allegedly took thousands of francs normally destined for use by the parishes of Saint Etienne and Saint Nicolas de Flue, over which he had charge.

“He recognizes the facts and apologizes,” Marc Donzé, episcopal vicar for the canton of Vaud, is quoted as saying by Le Matin.

“He is suspended from his duties at least until the judgment,” Donzé said.

“The parishioners are more sad than angry.”

Donzé declined to comment further because of the investigation under way.

“It’s sad because all this is happening in the Christmas season,” a parishioner of the Saint Nicolas church in her 70s told Le Matin.

It is also occurring “when there are not many priests and this gives one more time a bad image of the church, which already suffers a lot from the excessive media exposure of pedophile scandals.”

“All this disgusts me,” Daniel Kasprzyk, a Catholic from one of the parishes told the paper.

“We sometimes give money to the church,” he said.

“Here, that’s really over.”
 
The priest in question is not commenting on the situation.

A former plumber and bank employee from Geneva, he was ordained as a priest at the age of 39, according to a CV posted on the website of the Saint Etienne parish.

As a priest he has served in the Lausanne parishes for the past two years after stints elsewhere in the canton of Vaud in Morges, Renens and the Vallée de Joux.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French Open tennis
Wawrinka eases into third round in Paris

Swiss defending French Open champion Stan Wawrinka beat Japan's Taro Daniel.

Swiss solar plane continues historic trip
File photo: Eugene Tanner/AFP

Solar Impulse 2, piloted by a Swiss, successfully flew out of Ohio on Wednesday en route to Pennsylvania.

Basel: Muslim schoolboys must shake hands or face fine
File photo: Broad Bean Media

Decision by Basel education authorities comes after two Muslim boys refused to shake their female teacher's hand on religious grounds.

Paternity leave backers push for public vote
File photo: AFP

Fathers in Switzerland should get four weeks statutory paternity leave, say supporters of a new popular initiative.

French strikes hit Swiss services once again
File photo: Nicolas Tucat/AFP

Expect more disruptions on train journeys to France every week into June.

10 unspoken rules for fitting in with the Swiss
Photo: Stephan Schacher/Swiss Tourism

New to Switzerland? The Local shows you how to navigate your way through the Swiss social minefield.

Swisscom fined millions for dominating sports TV
Photo: Swisscom

Switzerland's main telecomms group has been fined 71.8 million Swiss francs by the Swiss competition authorities.

Swiss injured by neo- Nazi gunman in Austria
The shooting happened in the Vorarlberg region of Austria. Photo: Roland Vlach/AFP

A 49-year-old Swiss woman was among those injured by a neo-Nazi gunman at a rock concert in Austria.

Huge blaze burns down Swiss candle factory
Photo: Schwyz cantonal police

A candle factory in Einsiedeln became a victim of its own creations on Monday afternoon when a major fire broke out.

Farms in Swiss Jura to pilot refugee integration project
Volunteers will undertake manual labour on farms in the Jura. Photo: Mark Goebel

The pilot programme will offer refugees unpaid farming work to help them integrate.

Photo: Emmanual Dunand/AFP
Sport
Brother of Belgian bomber wins gold in Switzerland
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Photo: Gstaad Tourism
National
Snow puts end to hottest weekend of year so far
File photo: Abhishek Jacob
Lifestyle
Swiss court vetoes wedding of couple with 50-year age gap
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
Culture
Dog day afternoon: Swiss saint meets Pope in Rome
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Business & Money
Pink diamond sold for record-breaking $31m in Geneva
File photo: Candida Performa
Lifestyle
Revealed: living in Switzerland could prolong your life
Photo: Cervo
Travel
In pictures: Switzerland’s most welcoming hotels
Photo: Aargau cantonal government
‘Beast of Rupperswil’ was local football coach
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Features
Geneva exhibition marks 200 years of Frankenstein
Photo AFP
National
Swiss basic income campaign sets Guinness world record
Photo: St Gallen police
Society
Police hunt killer of man shot dead in St Gallen street
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Society
Presumed jihadist could have Swiss nationality quashed
Photo: Zurich Zoo
Culture
Gallery: giant tortoise at Zurich Zoo is mother at 80
Photo: Caroline Bishop
Society
Swiss farmer loses appeal in row over noisy cow bells
Photo: Esparta Palmer
Health
44-year-old woman refused fertility treatment on insurance
File photo: Thomas Coex/AFP
Society
Jilted admirer shocks woman with tattoo... of her face
File photo: Flickr
Health
Swiss school eyes longer holidays for non-smoking staff
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
National
Swiss basic income vote: what you need to know
 Photo: Heinrich Plum
National
Lidl uses German mountain to promote its Swiss products
Photo: Illiz Architektur
This old Swiss army bunker is now an incredible new pool
Photo: Stephan Engler
National
Survey reveals some Swiss ‘never’ cross linguistic divide
Society
Swiss parliament snubs plan for two weeks paternity leave
File photo: Giovanni Blank
Lifestyle
Fathers should share parental leave, says commission
4,594
jobs available