Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Bethlehem, Hubert Bucher, passes away

On Friday evening in Schönhofen near Regensburg, the bishop emeritus of Bethlehem (South Africa), Hubert Bucher, was well prepared at the age of 90 and passed away strengthened by the holy sacraments.

Bucher was born in Regensburg in 1931 and grew up in the parish of St. Wolfgang. After his ordination in 1957, Bucher worked as a chaplain in Teublitz for a year until Archbishop Michael Buchberger gave him leave to serve as a missionary in South Africa.

After studying missionary studies in Rome and Oxford, he first worked in the South African diocese of Aliwal North before he was the national chaplain of the Chiro youth movement from 1972–1975.  In 1972 he also received his doctorate in missiology with a thesis on “Youth Work in South Africa: A Challenge for the Church”.

In 1976 Pope Paul VI appointed him as bishop of the South African diocese of Bethlehem.  As a bishop he repeatedly campaigned against apartheid and worked together with the mission bishops Oswald Hirmer and Fritz Lobinger, who also came from the Diocese of Regensburg in the development of Bible sharing, which is now practiced worldwide, at the pastoral institute of the South African Bishops’ Conference (“Lumko-Institute”).

In 2008 Pope Benedict XVI.  accepted his resignation.

After a few years in the retirement home for clergy in Mariannhill near Durban, the seat of the Mariannhill missionaries, Bucher finally moved to his home diocese in Schönhofen near Regensburg in 2017 and spent his last years at the side of his sister, who accompanied him to the end.

The diocese of Regensburg mourns the loss of the bishop. Hubert Bucher and recommends him to the prayers of the faithful.

The requiem with subsequent burial in Regensburg Cathedral is on Friday, July 30th, 2021 at 10 a.m.

Original report from Regensburg Diocese Website.

The SACBC conveys prayerful wishes of condolences to Bishop Hubert Bucher’s sister and the whole family, the Diocese of Regensburg and the Diocese of Bethlehem. And may the soul of his Lordship Bishop Bucher, and all faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.

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