Bishop of Basel to be consecrated in Olten

After an arson attack damaged Solothurn cathedral on Tuesday, the new bishop of Basel will be installed in Olten, the bishop’s office said on Thursday.

This content was published on January 6, 2011 - 14:48 and agencies

The service had been scheduled to take place in Solothurn, the seat of the bishopric, on January 16.

Although the fire was extinguished almost immediately, it badly damaged the altar and covered the two organs in soot. The main organ needs to be completely dismantled and cleaned.

The bishop's office said the service will be held on the date planned. The church of St Martin in Olten had been chosen for its size, location, infrastructure and musical facilities.

The 61-year-old arsonist, who doused the carpet in front of the altar with petrol which he set alight with a candle, was apprehended immediately. He is described as mentally unstable. The cost of the damage is estimated at SFr400,000 ($413,000).

The appointment of the new bishop, Felix Gmür, was announced on November 23. He replaces Kurt Koch, who has been made a cardinal.

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