Last weekend, Gebenstorf-Turgi parish, Basel Diocese, Switzerland, elected Polish-born Father Adam Serafin as their parish-priest.
In Switzerland, the priests are hired and payed by the parishes according to civil law, and only later formally appointed by the bishop.
Serafin’s election is explosive because Basel Bishop Felix Gmür withdrew Serafin’s permission to work in the diocese earlier in January. With the election, the parish has put Gmür in front of a fait accompli. It is unclear how this will be resolved.
A similar case happened in 2005 when then Basel Bishop and now Curia Cardinal Kurt Koch removed Father Franz Sabo from Röschenz parish and later suspended him after he savagely attacked Koch.
Yet, Röschenz parish refused to lay off Sabo who continued for two years as a "suspended" parish-priest until the diocese capitulated and was forced to “reconcile” with him.