Father J.-F. C., a Geneva parish-priest, Switzerland, died on April 25 of a lymphoma, shortly before his 63rd birthday.
Almost two weeks later, a 52-year painter and former nun told 24heures.ch, that C. had entered a civil marriage with her shortly before being put into an induced coma in view of his death throes.
The two met when C. was a deacon and she a religious sister. They entertained a friendship for 30-years which was marked by a "platonic passion" and "a desire for chastity" as 24heures.ch puts it.
The priest was in charge of a large pastoral unit in Geneva which comprises four parishes. In a communication to the "Pastoral Agents," Geneva/Fribourg/Lausanne Bishop Charles Morerod who knew about the circumstances, mentioned in his homily the priest's "faithful and heartfelt friend for thirty years."
According to the Swiss Bishops' Cath.ch the decision to "marry" responded to a need for "consistency" and "recognition." If this were true, they should have done this thirty years earlier. It's more likely that the priest appointed the former sister as his heir, in which case the civil marriage exempted her from inheritance tax, which can be as high as 26% in the canton of Geneva.
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