Reform groups accuse Switzerland's nuncio of publicly criticizing Pope Francis
Twelve Catholic reform groups (heterodox groups, lets be clear) have accused the papal nuncio in Switzerland, U.S. Archbishop Thomas Gullickson, of publicly criticizing Pope Francis and have called on the Swiss bishops' conference to proclaim that the Swiss church is fully committed to the Second Vatican Council. (No where in this article does it state what the Pope Francis appointed nuncio criticized about Pope Francis other than to say the good nuncio, like me, is ultramontane.)
The reform groups have formed an alliance entitled "Enough is Enough," and have warned the Swiss bishops that religious peace in Switzerland is endangered. "We are seriously concerned that the nuncio is splitting the Swiss church," the alliance says in its letter to the bishops.
Alliance member Markus Arnold, the head of the Religious Education Department at Lucerne University, has also written to Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann asking the president "not to allow Gullickson to have a long-term, poisonous effect on the climate in Switzerland. We have enough problems with religious fanaticism as it is. We do not need a nuncio who wants to revive this fanaticism in the Catholic church." (now the heterodox use the F word, fanaticism and also I guess fundamentalism, to describe the orthodox Catholic archbishop).
Arnold asked the president to ask the Swiss government to intervene with the Holy See. (This is how ugly the heterodox get, they will get the government to intervene to have their way and change Church teaching.)
Alliance member Erwin Koller, the president of the Herbert-Haag-Foundation for Freedom in the Church which awards the Herbert Hague Prize, told schweizamsonntag.ch that "the way Gullickson is opposing Pope Francis is offensive. If a Swiss diplomat had said such things about the Swiss government, he would long since have been dismissed." (What did the Archbishop say, not a word on this in this article! What kind of reporting is this?)
The Swiss Catholic Women's Association, which is also a member of the alliance, has appealed to member of Parliament Doris Leuthard in a letter pointing out that as it is highly unlikely that Gullickson will change, he should be moved.
Gullickson, 65, is a keen blogger and Twitter-user and is not shy about openly expressing his opinions in the social media. He calls himself an "ultramontanist -- and proud to be one" and makes no secret of the fact that he sympathizes with the schismatic Society of St. Pius X. In several tweets, he has praised the elitism of St. Pius X priests. (I would like to know what this Pope Francis appointee in 2015 no less said that is any different that Pope Francis giving worldwide faculties to the SSPX to hear valid confessions of any Catholic during the year of Mercy.)
Ordained in Sioux Falls, S.D., Gullickson previously served as nuncio to the Caribbean states as well as Ukraine, before he was appointed to Switzerland by Pope Francis in September 2015.
He clashed with the well-known former Abbot of Einsiedeln, Martin Werlen, on Twitter last October. Werlen had expressed his astonishment that "a nuncio disseminates blogs which accuse the German bishops' conference of being heretical and has a predilection for linking ultra-conservative texts in his blogspot." (This says it all. Progressives don't like the word heretical when of course they are. They are in denial and resent being told they are in denial much like a family member who becomes incompetent insists on saying she is competent when everyone else is pointing out the obvious!)
Gullickson also operates a press review website on which he points to texts which demand the reintroduction of the Old Rite or in which Society of St. Pius X seminary dean, Franz Schmidberger, attacks the church hierarchy.
"The Second Vatican Council clearly condemned the anti-liberalism of the Pius popes and unambiguously committed itself to human rights," Koller told schweizamsonntag.ch. "If Gullickson is against the council, then he should join the SSPX, but he has no right to present such positions in the name of the church or the pope respectively."
[Christa Pongratz-Lippitt is the Austrian correspondent for the London-based weekly Catholic magazine The Tablet.]