Our bishop has decided to replace the episcopal vicars with representatives of the bishop for the conduct of the cantons. This change was initiated in 2020 with the appointment of Ms. Marianne Pohl for the German-speaking part of the canton of Fribourg. It continued last summer with the appointments of Ms. Céline Ruffieux for the French-speaking part of Fribourg, of Mr. Michel Racloz for the canton of Vaud and of the permanent deacon Romuald Babey for Neuchâtel. For Geneva, the transfer will take place in 2022. I have indeed proposed to our bishop to go through with the end of the five-year mandate that he entrusted to me full-time in 2017, because I am convinced that this will allow a better transition for our cantonal church, gradually integrating the new organization.
Why such a change ? The first strong idea of our bishop is to "return" his episcopal vicars to the parish, so that they can animate attractive parish centers "where people want to come back". He also wants more diocesan "transversality". Like the Covid cell which is doing a remarkable job, there should be, for example, a diocesan commission for appointments.
Structures change. But we know that the most important thing is the mission, entrusted to each and every one, at the service of the women and men of this canton, for the proclamation of the gospel, the help to the poorest and sanctification through the liturgy and the sacraments. We can continue to let ourselves be inspired by our cantonal orientations 2019-2023, so that the Good News can unfold, by nurturing hospitality in the following of Christ, by making visible and creative pastoral gestures that reflect the depth of gospel, and by taking steps to stay happy in our commitment to the church. This is how the mission will continue in the future “Diocesan Region of the Canton of Geneva”!
Abbé Pascal Desthieux, Episcopal Vicar for the canton of Geneva Administrator of the parish of Sainte-Clotilde