Swiss abbot says he is target in sexual abuse investigation

Swissinfo [Bern, Switzerland]

September 13, 2023

A high-ranking Catholic cleric indicated on Wednesday that he was being investigated by the Conference of Swiss Bishops in connection with allegations of sexual abuse and their cover-up. 

Jean Scarcella has withdrawn from his role as father-abbot of Saint-Maurice until the end of the investigation.

“The investigation also concerns an accusation that was made against me,” Scarcella wrote in a press release. He indicated that he took the decision to suspend his office in agreement with the Abbey Council and the President of the Conference of Swiss Bishops (CES) to guarantee the independence of the investigation. 

He assures the Bishop of Chur Joseph Bonnemain, who is in charge of the investigation, his full cooperation.

The CES announced on Sunday that it had ordered the opening of a preliminary investigation on June 23 following accusations of covering up sexual abuse. Accusations were made in a letter “against several emeritus and serving members of the Conference of Swiss Bishops as well as other members of the clergy in the management of cases of sexual abuse”, it said