New Auxillary Bishop of Linz offers resignation

Designated Linz Bishop Wagner retreats

The controversial cleric has asked the Vatican to withdraw his nomination, this corresponded to the request - no comment from the Diocesan Bishop Schwarz.

Maria Gerhard Wagner, Bishop-designate in Linz, retreat and has asked for the withdrawal of his nomination

Linz –This Sunday evening, in connection with the controversial appointment of the vicar of Windischgarsten in Upper Austria, Maria Gerhard Wagner, as the Auxilliary Bishop of Linz, there has been an unexpected twist. Wagner has made a step backwards and requested the Holy See that his nomination should be withdrawn

Wagner has asked the Diocesan Bishop Ludwig Schwarz to send to the media a short statement. It reads: "Given the fierce criticism, I have been in prayer, and after consultation with the diocesan bishop came to the conclusion to ask the Holy Father in Rome to withdraw my nomination as Bishop of Linz."

No comment
The statement was made available to the Communications Office of the Diocese of Linz on Sunday evening. When asked, its director Ferdinand Kaineder said that there would be no further comment from Bishop Schwarz. Similarly, for the time being no further comments are planned. He pointed to the special meeting of the Austrian Bishops' Conference set for Monday in Vienna.

Bully boy tactics in Linz

A day of infamy in the ecclesiastical history of Austria, second only to the Episcopal acceptance of the Anschluss (when Hitler marched in) The Vatican has accepted according to Kathpress that the Vatican has accepted, which will mean, if true, the Pope's decisions will be held ransom across the whole Catholic world. However, no word as yet from the Nuntiature.

What a great priest say parishioners

Crisis meeting of Austrian Bishops already had been scheduled for 10.00 am tomorrow.

The Bishops and laity of Austria cannot demand that the SSPX submit immediately to Vatican II which is a Council, while themselves remaining in open revolt against decisions of the Pope, who is the Vicar of Christ.

According to the late evening news in Austria, Bishop Schwarz is "relieved".

I don't normally publish emails for protest but given the gravity of the implications for the whole Catholic Church, I am sure that Cathcon readers will want to email the Bishop. They understand English in Linz but not the obligation of all Catholics to the office, person, work and decisions of the Pope.

Bischof Ludwig Schwarz
Herrenstraße 19
A-4020 Linz


Joy over Wagner's resignation- from all the people you would expect

Also one could write

Seiner Exzellenz 
Dr. Edmond FARHAT 
Titularerzbischof von Byblos 
Apostolischer Nuntius in Österreich 
Theresianumgasse 31 
1040 Wien 

Tel.: +43 1 505 13 27 
Fax: +43 1 505 61 40 

There is  a new Nuntius announced but not yet in post I think.


This is also being reported by the AP:

VIENNA (AP) — A radio station says an Austrian pastor who suggested that God punished New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina because of the city's sins is giving up the auxiliary bishop post the pope promoted him to.

The national broadcaster ORF said Sunday the Rev. Gerhard Maria Wagner made the decision because of the controversy surrounding Pope Benedict XVI's promotion of him in Linz, Austria's second largest city.

The promotion of the conservative pastor sparked an outcry among Catholics who warned it could prompt people to leave the church.

ORF quotes the 54-year-old Wagner as saying: "Regarding the fierce criticism, I am praying and after consulting the diocesan bishop I have decided to ask the Holy Father in Rome to take back my promotion as auxiliary bishop."

What a tragedy!
mcm said…
This is not the sort of thing that bodes well for the SSPX negotiations ... there will be much internal pressure from that quarter to see in Fr. Wagner's capitulation a newfound resolve for their own intransigence.