Rorate Caeli

What is going on in Linz? (And in Rome?)

Austrian Catholic website (see also Catholic Church Conservation) reports that Father Gerhard Wagner, appointed by the Pope Auxiliary Bishop of the second largest diocese in Austria, "has not yet signed the letter asking for the nomination to be withdrawn". also publishes an article today in which Bishop Andreas Laun, Auxiliary of Salzburg, concludes that Father Wagner cannot be considered "unsuitable" to be a Bishop - and certainly not because of his declarations.

The silence from the Vatican is deafening. Compare this with the most famous recent resignation from an appointment, that of Archbishop Stanisław Wielgus before his installment as Metropolitan of Warsaw, a resignation reported by the Apostolic Nunciature in Poland and confirmed by the Holy See Press Office on the same day


  1. Hmmm. Perhaps - just perhaps - the Austrians thought they had something on Wagner (ex. Wielgus) that they didn't really have; or thought that what they had was good enough, and it turns out it isn't. Hmmm.

    God Save Pope Benedict XVI; Our Lady of Victories intercede for him.

  2. Most interesting! I hope and pray that he hangs in there.

  3. I pray that the Pope and Father Wagner weather this storm and stand fast. This conflict demonstrates more than ever that the Austrian Church needs bishops like Father Wagner.

  4. Let's hope that this is one of those times when advice, counsel and direction are being given from Rome under the media radar, so to say.

  5. Pray for Msgr. Wagner, that he has the courage to carry on and accept this huge responsibility.

    Also, the Auxilary of the other Austrian city who "stuck up" for Msgr. Wagner did a great service. It was an act of courage in the face of people like Schonborn, the Bishop of Linz, and all the "senior priests"

  6. The same article also says that Bishop Schwarz has been asked (presumably by Rome) to return to his original attitude of welcoming Fr. Wagner and take back the request for Wagner's resignation.

  7. Benedictus: your comment is not quit right. The article by says: "Inzwischen kursieren im Internet etliche E-Mail-Aktionen, in denen Pfarrer Wagner ersucht wird, den Rücktritt zu widerrufen. In einer Petition wird der designierte Titularbischof von Zuri und Weihbischof im Bistum Linz aufgerufen, seine Bitte um Ernennungsrücknahme zurückzuziehen (...) Außerdem wird der Linzer Diözesanbischof Ludwig Schwarz ersucht, "seine ursprüngliche Haltung wieder anzunehmen und es mit dem von ihm willkommen geheißenen Weihbischof Dr. Gerhard Maria Wagner zu versuchen". In other words: it's petitioners on the internet - not Rome - who ask Mgr. Schwarz to to return to his original attitude of welcoming Fr. Wagner.

  8. Msgr Andreas Laun the great and selfless auxiliary in Salzburg and Rev. Gerhard Maria Wagner, exemplary pastor of the flourishing parish of Windischgarsten, are indispensable for the restoration of the heavily crumbling austrian church. I hope that both of them climb up the hierarchy.

  9. Anon,

    You're right, thanks for the correction.



  11. In a way, the declaration of Austrian bishops is putting the pope and Rome in a more perilous situation.
    When Fr. Wagner is "simply" presenting a letter to resign his appointment, things could have been "mended" - very badly no doubt - but there was still a way out.

    But with the declaration of war of Austrian "gallican" bishops, bishops who are practically tearing off both Vatican I and Vatican II, Austrian bishops who are requesting the pope to kneel and submit to them, being reduced to a puppet pope, the challenge has become hard.

    A surrender now would leave the Curia and the pope knocked out, and quickly all "gallican" bishops around the world, especially in the rest of Western Europe would follow on after the Austrians.

    The major point is NOT now Fr. Wagner himself but the doctrinal challenge of the Austrian "gallican" Church.
    There is little surprise in this outrageous rebellion, due to the deep corruption presiding in Austria, especially among their Faculties, many bishops coming from them.
    The biggest surprise is that the ex-John Paul II supporter is now siding with his anti-Roman brethren.
    The Vienna cardinal was rumored as a successor of cardinal Levada at the CDF !!! Better then put Bp Gaillot as prefect for the Congregation for bishops, and Hans Küng as secretary for CDF and convene Vatican III under the auspices of cardinals Martini and Mahoney. Cardinal Murphy O'Connor is already playing the part of a Thomas Cranmer rebuking Roman prelates in the most humiliating way.

    Indeed we can pray for the Holy Father :
    " Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.(1)" (Benedict April 25, 2005)


  12. I wonder how many of the reports that Fr. Wagner had withdrawn his nomination were nothing more than media posturing hoping to build a momentum of public support for such a move, trying to force his hand on it. I pray that the Holy Father will not only NOT allow him to withdraw, but will give him an even more important position!

  13. Over on the Remnant site Brian Mershon has an interview with Bishop Fellay who expects the regularisation very soon.

  14. The real question is Where came the news that Fr. Wagner had signed a request not to accept the appointment. Which lying journalist invented that one. A fortiori, what is the source of the story that the Pope had accepted the request. Somehow, I don't think that popes are in the habit of accepting imaginary requests.


  15. Dear Alsaticus:

    Worry not about the petulance of Murph. His days are numbered. The circle is about to be broken.


  16. Dear Mr Perkins (PKTP),

    It is impossible to know who first reported it, but it must have been some source in the Diocese of Linz itself, since the Diocese and its ordinary made it public and the Austrian Bishops themselves mention the event in their "pastoral letter" of last Monday, as if it were something that had already happened. Perhaps Father Wagner merely informed the ordinary that he was considering withdrawing his name, not that he had already done so.


  17. He shouldn't be removed hes suitable as any priest. Don't give in Pope Benedict!!!

  18. It hasn't been on the VATICAN website listing appointments and resignations so he's still in "officially"

  19. [disgusting]

    Der Fall des designierten Linzer Weihbischofs Gerhard Maria Wagner sei Ausdruck eines „Demokratisierungsprozesses“ in der katholischen Kirche. So wertet der Wiener Hochschulseelsorger Helmut Schüller die jüngsten Vorgänge um den zurückgetretenen Bischof. Die Laien in der Kirche seien zu „Bürgern der Moderne“ geworden, die Transparenz wollten, was auch an dem Einfluss der Mediengesellschaft liege. Das erklärte Schüller in der jüngsten Ausgabe der Wiener Stadtzeitung „Falter“. Der designierte Linzer Weihbischof Gerhard Wagner war wegen scharfer Kritik von Seiten der Kirchenvertreter seiner Diözese aus freien Stücken zurückgetreten. (kap)

  20. Huh?
    I thought that the Vatican had already accepted his resignation?!
    Could it be that this chapter is not yet over.... Dare I let myself get excited over this?!!!
    Praise God!, if this is true.
    May God bless Fr. Wagner!
    Ad multos annos, Pope Benedict!

  21. Can Rorate help explain this complicated situation better?

    It has been reported that the good Msgr. has resigned, and his letter accepted by the Holy See.

    How is this possible if the letter has not yet been signed nor submitted? I'm really, REALLY, confused.

  22. If the reportedly orthodox priest Fr Wagner did say that Hurricane Katrina was God's retribution it was a very unwise comment, even more so for someone who would be elevated to bishop. A bishop has to be a diplomat.

    Having said that we have bishops. e.g. in Australia. of the left making heterodox statements and no one turns a hair; there is no orchestrated media outcry.

  23. Quod inopportum dicunt, necessarium faciunt. Long live Bishop Wagner!

  24. It's over:

  25. The reason why we have problems in the Church today is because Bishops (and even the Pope....though fortunatly not this one), have been too diplomatic, or worse, POLITICALLY CORRECT.

    A Bishop, Cardinal, Pope, or even a priest should not be "politically correct", but rather to speak the TRUTH of the Faith, and call sin a sin. Or what is wrong thinking, or heretical thinking (such as the idea of women priests)..a sin.

    All this diplomatic, politically correct wishy-washy, warm and friendly nonsense (to use a nice word), has caused tremendous harm in the Catholic Church, and should be done away with.

    Hooray for the Pope, Bishop Wagner, and others who state the truth without fearing to have to be "politically correct" or "diplomatic".

  26. On New Catholic's answer to me:

    Yes, but who reported that the Holy Father had accepted the resignation? How can one accept what has not been proffered? There is no way this could have been a misinterpretation; someone lied in reporting the Pope's acceptance.


  27. If someone wiser than I concerning this protocol could step in, it would be most charitable.

    In conversation today, I was told it is customary that the Auxiliary Bishop is chosen from a list of three names selected by the Diocese. For the Pope to skip this process is rare.

    A couple of questions come to mind:

    1.) Can someone cite the canon law procedure which this "pastoral letter" references?

    2.) Is it possible this was coordinated without the fullest knowledge of the Holy Father--i.e. was this an appointment crafted from below, and only glossed and signed by Pope Benedict? An alternative example of this might be the large number of Bishops "appointed" by Pope John Paul II a week before he passed away? Is that a fair analogy?

    3.) I have heard Fr. Wagner was well-respected among his own flock and was doing good pastoral work there. If Fr. Wagner does indeed decline the appointment, will he be able to return and lead effectively? If not, will his parishoners be subject to liturgical and doctrinal entropy, as the rest of Linz?

  28. Well, the Catholic Hierarchy shows this :

    Very sad is true.

    Why do not mwe write to Rome and to (former) Bishop-elect Gerhard and show our support? In this site above they show the diocese of linz phone number.

    Domini, salvum fac Papam!


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