Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Episcopi Vagantes

Anyone who can do a little research on episcopi vagantes or wandering bishops will eventually run into an entire variety of bishops who have somehow managed to be consecrated by a Roman Catholic bishop. There is usually great debate about such consecrations and whether they are valid, licit or even whether it matters apart from union with the Catholic Church. They range from the SSPX bishops who have refrained from further consecrations to date and maintained some control to groups and lineages which are totally out of control. It is not uncommon for bishops in the extreme end of this to have cathedrals in a spare room of their house and congregations consisting of a variety of clerics which outnumber laypeople. Infighting and mutual excommunications are common amongst these fringe groups.

A short list of Roman Catholic bishops which have performed episcopal consecrations without papal approval would include the following:

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer
Bishop Alfredo José Isaac Cecilio Francesco Mendez-Gonzalez, C.S.C.
Bishop Mario Cornejo-Radavero
Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa
Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc Pierre Martin
Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo

This list does not include episcopal consecrations which derive from the Old Catholic See of Utrecht,  which have produced their own flock of vagi. You begin to see the difficulty. Episcopal consecrations outside of the unity of the Catholic Church are far more common than you might think. Fortunately there are only two bishops that need concern me... one is my local bishop and the other is the Bishop of Rome.

No post on episcopi vagantes would be complete without a picture of Pope Michael of Kansas. I have no idea about the details of his ordination and consecration but a picture is worth a thousand words.

Outline of Episcopi Vagantes
A very interesting website containing details of many episcopi vagantes and their lineages.


Barona said...

The sad spectacle of Pope Michael is the logical conclusion of vagi bishops. Richard Williamson, in his most recent ramblings in a London "conference". demonstrates the tragedy of a man who has taken upon himself the "authority" to judge the Magisterium (his rendition of "tiptoe through the tulips" notwithstanding...).

Barona said...

This is a timely post. The opinions of a bishop stop at the diocese. No bishop has the authority to decide on the rule of Faith. And certainly no bishop who has received no mandate from the Pope. In fact, these vagi, have no authority over the faithful whatsoever...

Vox Cantoris said...

He is no bishop or priest, he has never received any ordination. He is a sad and sick man.

But there was a documentary short done by some films students from NDU.

But you missed this nutbar:

You can thank Thuc for him.

Barona said...

As Richard Williamson and Tissier de Mallarias continue in their interpretations of the magisterium, it may be the time to quote Msgr Joseph Fenton: " ...any bishop not in union with the Holy Father has no authority over the faithful". This summarizes the position of Bellarmine, Suarez, Sylvius, Macedo... naturally, it is direct opposition to the Gallican virus...which, sadly lives on in the theology of various vagi bishops.

Freyr said...

I would take it one step further. Any Catholic who receives ordination outside of the unity of the Church is taking something that properly belongs to the Church and appropriating it for another end. He is a thief and any discussion of validity or invalidity needs to be subordinated to the question of unity. Bishops are consecrated to the service of the Church, not so that those who wish to exist outside her may be assured of valid sacraments.

Vox Cantoris said...


Your point above is interesting and true in a the esample of a Catholic man, leaving the Church for the Orthodox or Old Catholic, receiving Ordination and then coming back to the Church asking to be a priest. He can come back as a Layman, but not a priest, that he stole.

What is interesting though, is that heretofore, the Holy See has not used this interdict on any SSPX priests, and there are a few, who have asked to come "home." And I include some not including those in the obvous, FSSP and Good Shepherd Institute.

Therefore, if the Holy See does not interdict them in this way and they in fact have established orders such as the two mentioned, how do you put yourself above Rome?

Freyr said...

I remember some years ago hearing from an Oratorian that one of the abuses the Oratory experienced in Italy was that it was a convenient way for a dissatisfied priest to get out from under his bishop. That is precisely the function that the SSPX serves for a great number of Catholics. It is this quasi independent status, neither in nor out of union with the Catholic Church that cannot be allowed to continue. The Extraordinary Form is available to Catholics in Toronto in addition to special feastday masses sponsered by Una Voce. Moreover, the Oratory has functioned for some time without undue interference from the bishop. What then is the purpose of the SSPX chapel out in Etobicoke?