|The Most Reverend
|Bishop Emeritus of Lincoln|
|Appointed||March 24, 1992|
|Installed||May 13, 1992|
|Term ended||September 14, 2012|
|Successor||James D. Conley|
|Ordination||July 17, 1960|
|Consecration||May 13, 1992|
September 6, 1935 |
|Alma mater||Pontifical North American College
Pontifical Gregorian University
|Motto||Sub tuum praesidium
(Under thy protection)
|Coat of arms|
|Reference style||The Most Reverend|
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
|Ordination history of Fabian Bruskewitz|
|Ordained by||Martin O'Connor|
|Date of ordination||May 8, 1960|
|Ordained by||Luigi Traglia|
|Date of ordination||July 17, 1960|
|Place of ordination||Basilica dei Santi Apostoli, Rome, Italy|
|Principal consecrator||Daniel Eugene Sheehan|
|Date of consecration||May 13, 1992|
|Place of consecration||Cathedral of the Risen Christ, Lincoln, Nebraska|
Early life and ministry
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. Father Robert Matya and Monsignor Timothy Thorburn attribute this fact to Bruskewitz' emphasis on orthodoxy, though the Catholic News Agency credits part of the success to the presence of a seminary within the diocese and points out 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 is considered one of the most conservative bishops in the Church, having described homosexual acts as "intrinsically disordered" and as not coming "from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity". Furthermore, his diocese is currently the only one in the United States where female altar servers are not allowed diocese-wide.
Bishop Bruskewitz published a book entitled Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz: A Shepherd Speaks.
On September 6, 2010, Bishop 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.
Bishop Bruskewitz was one of the earliest proponents of the Tridentine Mass. Before Summorum Pontificum, Bishop Bruskewitz was singled out in an article 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.
National guidelines on sex-abuse programs
Bruskewitz is willing to express himself forcefully and is 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 excommunication
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 St. 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 abortion
- Bishop Fabian Wendelin Bruskewitz, catholic-hierarchy.org
- Priestly shortage? Not in Lincoln Catholic News Agency
- Lincoln, Nebraska - how to fill seminaries with vocations - 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 Description of the book Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz: A Shepherd Speaks
- [www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=15593& Successor for Bishop Bruskewitz named]
- 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" February 1, 2006
- "Bishop Bruskewitz shoots back at National Review Board",Catholic World News, April 2, 2006.
- The Televised Today Show Interview Segment
- "Statement of Bishop Bruskewitz Excommunicating Certain Groups". CatholicCulture.org. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
- Catholic News Service: "Vatican affirms excommunication of Call to Action members in Lincoln" December 8, 2006
- "Some Catholics in Nebraska Face Excommunication Order". New York Times. May 17, 1996. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
- Call To Action press release
- DIOCESAN DIALOGUES with the SSPX May 1996
- DIOCESAN DIALOGUES with the SSPX June 1996
- DIOCESAN DIALOGUES with the SSPX 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.
- Arms of Fabian Bruskewitz
- Article by Bruskewitz: "Homosexuality & Catholic Doctrine"
|Catholic Church titles|
Glennon Patrick Flavin
|Bishop of Lincoln (Nebraska)
1992 - 2012
James D. Conley