Bishop Valerio Lazzeri speaking in a video message for Easter, April 2022 / Diocesi di Lugano via YouTube / Screenshot
CNA Newsroom, Oct 10, 2022 / 04:41 am (CNA).
Pope Francis accepted the resignation of a 59-year-old Swiss bishop on Monday who said “inner fatigue” had made his office “unbearable” to him.
Bishop Valerio Lazzeri was in charge of the diocese of Lugano in Switzerland since 2013.
During a press conference Monday afternoon, he said: “Sincerity and complete transparency compel me to tell you that, especially in the last two years, an inner fatigue has grown in me that has gradually deprived me of the momentum and serenity needed to lead the Church of Lugano.”
Lazzeri added: “The public aspects, the representation, the financial and administrative management, have become unbearable for me, despite the valuable presence of collaborators to whom my gratitude is due.”
Lazzeri was born July 22, 1963, and ordained a priest in 1989. Pope Francis appointed him bishop of Lugano, in the Swiss Canton of Ticino, in late 2013.
In a brief statement Monday, the Holy See press office did not elaborate on possible reasons for the resignation, which is not mandatory for bishops until their 75th birthday.
At the press conference on Oct. 10, the Swiss prelate declared, according to a report by Corriere del Ticino: “I tell you this with an open heart: I can no longer imagine being in the position I have tried to hold until now.”
“For this reason, after much reflection, I have found it necessary, for the good of the diocese and of all the people, to place back in the hands of the Holy Father the mandate that he entrusted to me at that time.”
Saddened by the inconvenience, the suffering, the disappointment, but also reassured that in good conscience I cannot do otherwise, I dare to count on your understanding, your affection, and your closeness. I ask you to continue to pray for me, I will do it for you.”
CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news agency, reported local Swiss media had published rumors that Lazzeri would resign, and that the prelate had attracted little national attention in recent years, whilst also being absent from the ad limina visit of the Swiss bishops to Rome last year for health reasons.
Bishop Alain De Raemy has been designated as apostolic administrator, pending the appointment of Lazzeri’s successor.