Vatican appoints replacement at Swiss abbey tainted by abuse allegations
November 29, 2023
CWN Editor's Note: Pope Francis has appointed Father Jean-Michel Girard, CRB, as the apostolic administrator of the territorial Abbey of Saint Maurice, Switzerland.
Abbot Jean César Scarcella, CRA, had governed the historic abbey from 2015 until September 2023, when he resigned after being accused of sexually harassing a teenager. His interim successor, Father Roland Jacquenoud, was then accused of having sexually abused an adult novice.
Established in 515, the abbey is associated with the Canons Regular of St. Augustine. As a territorial abbey, it is akin in some ways to a small diocese, with five parishes entrusted to its care, as well as a secondary school.
In appointing Father Girard as the abbey’s apostolic administrator, Pope Francis took the extraordinary step of appointing a member of a different religious institute to govern the abbey. The 75-year-old retired abbot was, from 2014 until April 2023, the Superior General of the Canons Regular of the Hospitaller Congregation of Great Saint Bernard.
Father Girard, however, is not entirely unfamiliar with the Abbey of Saint Maurice: he was also Abbot Primate of Confederation of Canons Regular of St. Augustine from 2016 to 2022. Established in 1959, the confederation comprises various institutes of canons regular, including the institute that governs the Abbey of Saint Maurice, as well as his own institute.The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.
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