Fabian Wendelin Bruskewitz (born September 6, 1935) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the eighth Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska, and retired in 2012. He is known for often taking conservative stands on social issues.
Fabian Wendelin Bruskewitz
|Bishop Emeritus of Lincoln|
Bruskewitz in 2011
|Appointed||March 24, 1992|
|Installed||May 13, 1992|
|Term ended||September 14, 2012|
|Successor||James D. Conley|
|Ordination||July 17, 1960|
by Luigi Traglia
|Consecration||May 13, 1992|
by Daniel E. Sheehan, Leo Joseph Brust, and Glennon Patrick Flavin
|Born||September 6, 1935|
|Alma mater||Pontifical North American College|
Pontifical Gregorian University
|Motto||Sub tuum praesidium|
(Under thy protection)
Fabian Wendelin Bruskewitz
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
Ordination history of
- 1 Early life and ministry
- 2 Episcopal career
- 3 Views
- 4 Arms
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
- 8 Episcopal succession
Early life and ministryEdit
Fabian Bruskewitz was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 6, 1935. He attended a local parochial school before studying at St. Lawrence Seminary High School in Mount Calvary, Wisconsin and at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee. He then furthered his studies at the Pontifical North American College and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he was ordained to the priesthood by Luigi Cardinal Traglia on July 17, 1960, at the Basilica dei Santi Apostoli.
Upon his return to the United States, Bruskewitz served as an assistant pastor in parishes near Milwaukee. He later returned to the Gregorian for graduate study, earning a doctorate in dogmatic theology in 1969. He briefly taught at St. Francis Seminary before being assigned to the Congregation for Catholic Education in the Roman Curia, where he worked for eleven years. He was raised to the rank of Monsignor in 1976, becoming an Honorary Prelate of His Holiness in 1980. That same year, he became pastor of St. Bernard Parish in Wauwatosa.
On March 24, 1992, Bruskewitz was appointed the eighth Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska. He received his episcopal consecration on May 13, 1992, from Archbishop Daniel E. Sheehan, with Bishops Glennon Flavin and Leo Brust serving as co-consecrators, at the Cathedral of the Risen Christ.
The diocese has the highest priest-to-Catholic ratio in the United States. It has been suggested that this is due to Bruskewitz' emphasis on orthodoxy, though it has also been ascribed, at least in part, to the presence of a seminary within the diocese; it has also been noted that the adjacent diocese of Omaha has the second-highest ratio. With regard to Lincoln and other dioceses with many priests, it has been noted: "Fidelity to the magisterium and traditional spirituality are strikingly manifest." Bruskewitz himself notes that "the orthodoxy, conservatism, and enthusiasm of the clergy, both young and old, bear witness to the splendor of the Catholic priesthood in southern Nebraska."
Bruskewitz was considered one of the most conservative bishops in the Church. Under Bruskewitz, the Lincoln diocese was the only one in the United States where female altar servers were not allowed diocese-wide.
Bruskewitz published a book entitled Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz: A Shepherd Speaks.
On September 6, 2010, Bruskewitz formally submitted his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75 for bishops. Pope Benedict accepted his resignation on September 14, 2012, and appointed Bishop James D. Conley, auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Denver, as his successor.
Opposition to LGBT movementEdit
In 1997 Bruskewitz publicly attacked an attempt by the US Bishops Conference to reach out to parents trying to cope with the discovery of homosexuality in their adolescent or adult child through the pastoral document, "All our children". He called the document “Calamity and frightening disaster” and advised other Catholics to ignore or oppose it. He has suggested that the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic church is linked to clerical dissent from Catholic sexual ethics more broadly dating to dissent from the Papal Encyclical, "Humanae Vitae", which reaffirmed Catholic teaching on artificial birth control.
He unsuccessfully attempted to get the US Bishops Conference to commission a study to examine potential links between sexual abuse by priests and allowing homosexual men into Catholic seminaries. This is because he believes that most sexual abuse by priests is against adolescent boys and rooted in "society's acceptance of homosexuality". He has emphasised therefore that gay men should never be permitted into the priesthood because this encouraged temptation "since priests are regularly in close proximity with children and young men".
In 2016, Bruskewitz stated that efforts to legalize same-sex unions or marriage and to secure other equal rights for LGBT people would lead to persecution of Christians who oppose such measures. Alongside this he described gay relationships as a "degeneration" and "a perversion" that is "repulsive to normal human beings".
National guidelines on sex-abuse programsEdit
Bruskewitz has been occasionally at odds with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. For example, he rejected an audit by the Conference's National Review Board of his plans to implement national guidelines on sex-abuse programs, making reference to both the Review Board and the former president of Pace University:
Some woman named Patricia O'Donnell Ewers, who is the chair of something called 'A National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People,' has said that her board 'calls for strong fraternal correction of the Diocese of Lincoln.' The Diocese of Lincoln has nothing to be corrected for, since the Diocese of Lincoln is and has always been in full compliance with all laws of the Catholic Church and with all civil laws...The Diocese of Lincoln does not see any reason for the existence of Ewers and her organization.
The issue brought his diocese to national attention. Bruskewitz was the only one of 195 bishops attending a June 2002 meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who refused to sign the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
1996 decree of automatic excommunicationEdit
Bruskewitz gained national attention in 1996 for decreeing automatic excommunication on Catholics in his diocese for membership in the following groups. In his statement, he asserted "Membership in these organizations or groups is always perilous to the Catholic Faith and most often is totally incompatible with the Catholic Faith."
- Call to Action, with its Nebraska affiliate Call to Action Nebraska, which aims to get the Church to change its teachings in areas such as mandatory celibacy for priests, male-only priesthood, the selection process for bishops and popes, and opposition to artificial contraception
- Planned Parenthood and Catholics for a Free Choice, for activities giving support for the legalization of abortion.
- The Hemlock Society (now renamed Compassion & Choices), for its advocacy of euthanasia.
- The Society of Saint Pius X and its St. Michael the Archangel Chapel for "fraudulently advertising themselves in Lincoln as 'in full union with Rome,' causing confusion, ambiguity, and uncertainty on the part of many of the faithful in Lincoln..."
- Freemasonry and its affiliate organizations (Job's Daughters, DeMolay, Eastern Star and Rainbow Girls), for beliefs and practices that the Vatican considers incompatible with Catholicism.
Regis Scanlon considered that the controversy created by Bruskewitz's decree may have been one of the factors that led Cardinal Joseph Bernardin to initiate without success his "Catholic Common Ground Project" to bring American Catholic factions together, based on the belief, which Scanlon decried, that "limited and occasional dissent" from the Magisterium of the Church was "legitimate".
Denial of Communion to politicians who support abortionEdit
Supporter of the Tridentine MassEdit
Bruskewitz was one of the earliest proponents of the Tridentine Mass. Before Summorum Pontificum, Bruskewitz was identified in The Wanderer as one of the few U.S. bishops "...who have been generous in the Ecclesia Dei indult application, as requested and emphasized repeatedly by the late Pope John Paul II." The others were Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis, Bishop Álvaro Corrada del Rio of Tyler, Texas; and Bishop Thomas Doran of Rockford, Illinois.
Opposition to yogaEdit
- Bishop Fabian Wendelin Bruskewitz, catholic-hierarchy.org[self-published source]
- Priestly shortage? Not in Lincoln Catholic News Agency
- Lincoln, Nebraska - how to fill seminaries with vocations Archived 2006-12-06 at the Wayback Machine - Fr T.I. Thorburn, AD2000, Vol 6 No 8 (September 1993), p. 4
- Ziegler, Jeff Priestly Vocations in America: A Look At the Numbers, Ignatius Insight, originally appeared in the July 2005 issue of Catholic World Report
- Ignatius Press Archived 2006-03-16 at the Wayback Machine Description of the book Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz: A Shepherd Speaks
- Successor for Bishop Bruskewitz named
- Andersen, Erin. "Bruskewitz: Gay rights seek 'to destroy everything Christian'". Lincoln Journal Star, March 18, 2016. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
- "Bishop Bruskewitz shoots back at National Review Board",Catholic World News, April 2, 2006.
- The Televised Today Show Interview Segment Archived 2006-06-18 at the Wayback Machine
- Bruskewitz, Fabian W. (March 22, 1996) [March 19, 1996]. "Statement of Bishop Bruskewitz excommunicating certain groups". Southern Nebraska Register. Denver, CO: Catholic Press Society. Roman Catholic Diocese of Lincoln. ISSN 0744-6950. Archived from the original on September 12, 2012. Retrieved May 29, 2011 – via catholicculture.org.
- Hansen, S. L. (December 8, 2006). "Vatican affirms excommunication of Call to Action members in Lincoln". catholicnews.com. Washington DC: Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on 2016-07-10.
- "Some Catholics in Nebraska Face Excommunication Order". New York Times. May 17, 1996. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
- Call To Action press release Archived 2006-06-18 at the Wayback Machine
- DIOCESAN DIALOGUES with the SSPX Archived 2010-12-24 at the Wayback Machine May 1996
- DIOCESAN DIALOGUES with the SSPX Archived 2010-12-24 at the Wayback Machine June 1996
- DIOCESAN DIALOGUES with the SSPX Archived 2010-12-24 at the Wayback Machine July 1996
- EWTN: "An Interview With Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz" 1996
- The Call Stands: Runner is Out, Catholic World News
- "Vatican confirms excommunication for US dissident group', Catholic World News
- Lincoln Journal Star: "Vatican upholds excommunication ruling" December 7, 2006
- Regis Scanlon, "American Catholics at the Crossroads", Homiletic and Pastoral Review July 1997
- Faith in the Spotlight, National Catholic Register
- Michael Paulson, "A debate simmers over Kerry and the Eucharist", The Boston Globe, April 11, 2004.
- The Wanderer: "Providence brings Bishop Rifan to Una Voce conference" December 1, 2005
- "Bishops Bruskewitz and Corrada expect 1962 missal to play important future role"[permanent dead link] February 1, 2006
- Arms of Fabian Bruskewitz Archived 2012-12-30 at the Wayback Machine