Details from the U.K.’s The Tablet:
Swiss Bishop Charles Morerod of Lausanne, Geneva and Friburg has appointed a woman theologian to succeed the present episcopal vicar.
On 1 August, Marianne Pohl-Henzen will succeed the present episcopal vicar for the German part of the diocese.
Pohl-Henzen studied theology and philology at university and has three children and four grandchildren. For the past eight years, she been the right hand of the present episcopal-vicar of the German-speaking vicariate (region in the diocese) of Fribourg, Fr Pascal Marquard, who is moving to Zurich.
The diocese has announced that in her new post, she will be “the person responsible in the vicariate/diocesan region in the bishop’s name”. In other words, as from 1 August, she will represent the bishop in the vicariate and will be a member of the episcopal council.
Vatican News first called her an “episcopal vicar” but later withdrew the term. According to church law, only priests can become episcopal vicars. Church papers are now calling her an “episcopal delegate” or “episcopal adjutant.”
She herself recalled in a KNA interview, that, unlike her predecessor, she would not be able will to administer confirmation, install parish priests or hold funerals for priests, “that is anything to do with Sacraments and liturgy.”
She understood her appointment as a sign that Bishop Morerod “was doing what he could to promote women in the Church,” she said…
…Asked if she planned to become a Catholic woman bishop, she replied: “No, certainly not. It was never my plan. Neither did I plan to become an episcopal delegate, that is to act as a delegate for the bishop, which I have now become. It just happened with the experience and the years and above all with the confidence the bishop had in me.”
Another report highlights her views on women and the diaconate:
The women’s diaconate should be priority for the Church, a new female ‘episcopal vicar’ in Switzerland has said.
Asked where she would situate herself on the spectrum of Church politics, episcopal delegate-elect Pohl-Henzen said: “Pretty much in the middle.”
“I no longer climb the barricades and call for the female priesthood, even if I think that is fundamentally good”, Pohl-Henzen explained.
She acknowledged that on the issue of women’s equality, “for the good of the Church we have to take small steps, otherwise there will be a split.”