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The Catholic bishops of Switzerland are planning comprehensive measures for the renewal of the Church. "Various open letters and appeals" that had reached them were "an expression of a crisis in our church," the bishops' conference said.
"The concerns of the faithful are also the concerns of bishops!", it said Thursday after the conclusion of their plenary meeting in St. Gerold, Austria. At the diocesan level there are already various rounds of talks. A similar dialogue should now take place at the national level, he said.
Approach talks with as many faithful as possible
In doing so, they said, they want to address the very complex and diverse ies and demands together with as many believers as possible. Among the ies addressed were the role of women, how to deal with priests' celibacy, sexual assault and abuse of power, and faith and the transmission of faith. He says a working group should examine methodology and possible participants.
In this regard, "the synodal approach" plays an important role, the bishops added. At its plenary assembly in Lingen in March, the German Bishops' Conference had decided on a "binding synodal path" for renewal and change in the church.
Organ donation ie
The bishops also declared their rejection of the popular initiative "Promote organ donation – save lives", which was launched in April and advocates an "objection solution" to increase the number of organ transplants. Accordingly, the donation of organs, ties and cells would be automatic for any deceased person unless he or she explicitly expressed his or her refusal during his or her lifetime.
This would be contrary to the principle of explicit voluntariness, the bishops said. Although organ donation is an act of love, no moral obligation can be derived from it. "Those who do not decide in favor of organ donation can thus in no way be morally condemned," the bishops' conference explained.
Experience in pastoral care has shown that it is often the relatives who have to make such momentous decisions about a possible organ donation. Therefore, the bishops encouraged all the faithful to discuss their will on this ie with their relatives.
The 324. Plenary session of the Swiss bishops' conference was held Monday through Wednesday at the Provostry of Sankt Gerold, a branch of the Swiss pilgrimage site of Einsiedeln.