By Maike Hickson
Bishop Vitus Huonder, a Swiss Catholic bishop, gave a talk on July 31 at a conservative Catholic conference organized by a lay organization, Forum Deutscher Katholiken, that is opposed to the proposals to change and liberalize the Catholic Church's moral teaching on marriage and the family. The conference, “Rejoicing in the Faith” (Freude am Glauben), published a communiqué in which it asks Francis 1 and the Synod Fathers to “find answers taken from the sources of knowledge of the Holy Scripture and the Church's Tradition which fill today's life reality of the faithful with new Christian spirit.” He was sued earlier this month by homosexual activists for this defence of the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality. However, the president of the Swiss Bishops' Conference, Bishop Markus Büchel, distanced himself immediately from Bishop Huonder's statements, saying that it does not matter what sexual orientation one has, as long as one conducts himself in a “responsible manner.”
Dr. Arnd Bünker is adviser to the Swiss Catholic Bishops’ Conference. The Swiss Bishops' Conference, headed by Bishop Markus Büchel, is coming under pressure because of its alliance with Dr. Arnd Bünker, a man who has been himself promoting the homosexual and gender agenda for many years. Dr. Arnd Bünker is the head of the Swiss Institute for Pastoral Sociology, which wrote the Swiss Bishops' Conference much-criticized report in preparation for the upcoming 2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family in Rome. The report explicitly and insistently requests that the Church cease excluding remarried divorcees from the Sacraments and that she give a place to the partnerships of male and female homosexuals.
While the Swiss Bishop Vitus Huonder of the Diocese of Chur is still under public criticism for upholding the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality, the Swiss Bishops' Conference is coming under pressure because of its alliance with a man who has been himself promoting the homosexual and gender agenda for many years. Dr. Arnd Bünker is the head of the Swiss Institute for Pastoral Sociology, which wrote the Swiss Bishops' Conference much-criticized report in preparation for the upcoming 2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family in Rome. The report explicitly and insistently requests that the Church cease excluding remarried divorcees from the Sacraments and that she give a place to the partnerships of male and female homosexuals.
In 2014, the same man, Dr. Bünker, wrote the Swiss bishops’ report for the 2014 Synod of Bishops on Marriage and the Family, and he received, as a consequence, harsh criticism. For example, the Swiss newspaper Die Weltwoche said on March 6, 2014:
"Of all people, the Swiss Bishops' Conference asks a homo activist and declared follower of the Gender Mainstreaming (that is to say the attempt, to flatten out the natural differences between the sexes) to formulate its policy with regard to the family."
Die Weltwoche continues to point out that Bünker openly lobbies for “homosexual intentions” and was conspicuously helping out with the “Project of a Queer Mass Parish, together with the Working Group Male Homosexual Theology.” In this context, Bünker was trying to “develop a homosexual liturgy,” says the newspaper. Additional research has now shown one of his essays where he is specifically dealing with this topic of a Queer Parish in Münster, Germany.
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On March 7, 2014, the president of the Swiss Bishops' Conference, Bishop Markus Büchel, responded to this Weltwoche report and expressed full support for the work of Dr. Bünker: “The professional work and the personal loyality of Dr. Arnd Bünker have the full trust of the [Swiss] bishops.” In spite of this public criticism, the same man was nevertheless asked by Bishop Büchel to work on the report for the Vatican in 2015.
Moreover, as the Austrian Catholic news service Kath.net reported on May 20, 2014, the Swiss institute SPI, whose head is Dr. Bünker, is itself partly funded by the same Swiss Catholic institution that has been shown to promote the LGBT agenda in poor countries, namely the Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund. In 2012, according to Kath.net, Bünker's own institute received 235,000 Swiss Francs. The website concludes: “This donation to the SPI is thus the second largest individual project which is supported by the Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund.”
According to the same above-quoted Weltwoche article, it was Bishop Huonder's Diocese of Chur who had distanced itself from the episcopal report for the Synod which was written by Dr. Arnd Bünker, saying that it was somehow done “arbitrarily and autonomously, without the consent of the bishops.”