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Archbishop’s retirement signals end of era for Liechtenstein’s Catholics

September 21, 2023

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CWN Editor's Note: On September 20, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Archbishop Wolfgang Haas, 75, of Vaduz (Liechtenstein) and named Bishop Benno Elbs of nearby Feldkirch (Austria) as apostolic administrator.

In 1988, Pope St. John Paul II appointed Haas, then 39, as coadjutor bishop of Chur, Switzerland; he acceded to the see in 1990. Bishop Haas faced opposition in Chur and had to enter the cathedral by the back door for his installation Mass because of the number of protestors.

The tiny nation of Liechtenstein was then part of the Diocese of Chur. In 1997, Pope John Paul separated Liechtenstein from the rest of the Chur diocese, created the Archdiocese of Vaduz, and named Bishop Haas the first archbishop.

On several occasions, Archbishop Haas celebrated the Holy Thursday Chrism Mass in the extraordinary form. More recently, he declined to participate in the Synod on synodality. The archdiocese successfully attracted priestly vocations: the number of diocesan priests in Vaduz rose from 15 to 23 between 1999 and 2020.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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