Fr. Elbs was the desired candidate of the media. As the anti-Catholic newspaper "Der Standard” saw it in the autumn of 2012, he should have become the Bishop of Graz-Seckau. But now it’s the bishop of Feldkirch.
Fear of “Conservative Bishop" Ends
This means that the "fear" for another conservative bishop is over, who had expressed in a letter to the nuncio from 2,300 holders of a Catholic baptismal certificates. They had made statements against Fr. Thomas Fields, a priest of the "Spiritual Family The Work", and against Fr. Anton Lasser, founder of the conservative radio station "Radio Horeb" and head of the seminary Leopoldinum in the monastery of Heiligenkreuz.
The left and anti-church camp hopes for the "golden boy" Bishop Elbs would cause the "Orthodox cells, conjured by (Bishop) Fisher, [will] go again."
“At last, the Allgäu boasts an ultra-Catholic broadcasting station in the country, Lefebvre supporters celebrate their Latin Masses, SSPX brothers have their followers, and the discrete network of Opus Dei has not fled Lower Austria with Klaus Küng," thunders a pro-Semitic newspaper.
As we learn from the Episcopate
Fr. Elbs addresses in a press conference on 8 May 2013 in Vorarlberg his appointment as bishop of Feldkirch, a small diocese established in 1968 with almost 250,000 Catholics.
With an "Buona sera I can’t well say, so instead I say Grüss Gott", said Fr.Elbs at the press conference. Within, he was going "haywire".
It was "a little downer" for a Bregenzerwälder as one put it, that he was just in Montafon. After a church service with the Linz (Auxiliary) Bishop Ludwig, he learned "in a parking lot with beautiful flowering trees” that in a call from the Nunciature, he was appointed bishop.
Whether or not all traffic regulations were met on the way back to Feldkirch, he did not know.
Gratitude of the new bishop
He feels great gratitude for the many people who are involved in the Diocese of Feldkirch. He thanks his parents and all the “close companion and companions", also "Bishop Elmar (Fischer) as his predecessor Bishop".
Important to him personally were:
- "That the Church has essentially the order to make the kindness of God visible to the people and what moves people - the fears, the hopes, the joy - that are also places, situations where the Church has a place and I am pleased that the new Pope Francis here in a very spontaneous and good job reaching out to people is with them, accompanying them and strengthening them. That is the one, which is very important to me at this moment, to say so.
- And the second is the friendship with God or the friendship of Christ. I must make the experience personal in life and also know from many conversations with people in different life situations, that this friendship with God, this relationship with God carries them, gives them support, is hope, is a perspective, opened a horizon of hope, and that is something that I very much wish for our diocese that we can continue to go well on the way in this sense. "
“For me it’s become completely personally important to me, Blessed Carl Lampert (note: he was the highest-ranking cleric who was executed by the National Socialists; beatification on 13 November 2011) since the beatification - then I promised that I would pilgrimage every day to Göfis until the issue of the bishop is settled in Feldkirch that I had to drive so often to Mont Fort, I had not considered."
Hw. Elbs was born in 1960 in Bregenz, he attended Bregenz Bundesgymnasium, then he studied theology in Innsbruck with a thesis (1986) about: “Penance instruction and religious education: a critical analysis of current teaching materials and catechetical / religious education aspects for a responsible practice."
In 1982 Fr. Elbs concluded the study of psychology. He received a diploma in Logotherapy and Existential Analysis by Viktor Frankl.
He was ordained a priest by Bishop Bruno Wechner 16 May 1986, then a chaplain in Bregenz Mariahilf and religion teacher.
By Bishop Küng first as a chaplain in (1989), held the Diocesan Boarding School the Marianum (rector from 1990), and the Pastoral Office.
From 1993, he also worked as a psychotherapist.
In April 2003 Fr. Elbs was chaplain to His Holiness. Two years later, on July 4th 2005, Bishop Elmar Fischer appointed him Vicar General. Since 2008, Fr. Elbs carries the dignity of prelate.
Since 16 November 2011, he led the diocese after election by the College of Consultors of the Diocese of Feldkirch as diocesan administrator.
The consecration as bishop of Feldkirch is on 30 June 2013 was performed by Archbishop Alois Kothgasser, Cardinal Schönborn and the Nuncio Archbishop Zurbriggen. The left ORF is so pleased, that it has transmuted his consecration as bishop on Austrian television.
The new bishop
When the (from now on, old) Bishop Fischer described homosexuality as in reality as curable, Fr. Elbs soothed the media's aberrosexual lobby by relativizing the episcopal statement.
The new Bishop sees himself as a "team player", a renewal of the Church "must come from below," says the left's quote from him. He hopes for a stronger "dialogic interaction".
"Small communities to read the Bible together and become socially engaged" to help conceal the priest shortage. There are "base communities" of the Church to breathe additional life. Let us recall here a warning of St. Curé of Ars: "Leave a church 20 years without a priest, and they will pray to animals ..."
Bishop Elbs expressly presented the leftist Bishop Erwin Kräutler as a model.
Cardinal Schönborn said to the newly appointed "It is an encouraging signal that the first episcopal appointment in the German speaking world by Pope Francis is a man who will truly act in his country very credibly and well beyond the borders of the church also." - Apparently the previously appointed Bishops do not seem "really very credible."
In 2011, Fr. Elbs spoke against sanctions against Schüller’s break-from-Rome pastor, he pled for "talks".
The non-occupation of the papal apartments by Pope Francis has found in Hw. Elbs a copycat: In the Bishopric, a villa on the Hirschgraben, the newly appointed bishop would not occupy it since he had already decided he wanted to "live as simply as the average in Vorarlberg".
In an interview with the “Vorarlberg news" Fr. Elbs himself the questions that have been resolved recently and validly in Rome, such as being evasive about the impossibility of women priests. On the question whether the “moratorium on discussion" decreed by Pope John Paul II still applies, he answers evasively, probably with a different position than the teaching of the Church, it states: "The most important thing is - I maintain - the culture of free speech. The bottom line is that you have to discuss all the issues. "
Similarly, the expressions of celibacy with references to former Anglican or Orthodox, who had converted to Catholicism, married priests.
A bishop who expressed here as ambiguously as this, just does not show his conformity with Rome.
Appointments in Graz and Salzburg
In the Diocese of Graz-Seckau, more precisely, the press secretary of the Diocese, Plank, has also clarified the issue of succession in the Archdiocese of Salzburg and below expected in the foreseeable future in Graz-Seckau.
Link to kreuz.net….
Link to kreuz.net….