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(LifeSiteNews) — In recent weeks, LifeSiteNews has published a number of commentaries about the crisis in the Church and Pope Francis’ reform agenda by Father Joachim Heimerl, a priest incardinated in the Archdiocese of Vienna, Austria.

Being unable to exercise his priestly ministry due to health problems, Father Heimerl has been writing essays for a few years now on Church matters. Recently, he has become increasingly critical of Pope Francis, the Synod on Synodality, and he also signed the recent February 2 Filial Appeal against Francis’ document Fiducia Supplicans  which permitted the blessing of homosexual “couples.”

As a contributor to the Austrian monthly newspaper Der Dreizehnte, I was able to interview Father Heimerl for its March issue in order to help readers get to know him a little bit more. He shows himself as a man of strong conviction and courage and faith, and he reminds us that we Catholics have to remain steadfast and “hold on to the traditional faith.”

To give further context for an English-speaking audience, it is worth noting that Fr. Heimerl, who holds a doctorate degree, belongs to a family of ancient nobility in Austria, which comes along with it a deep understanding of tradition.

I am pleased herewith to present my interview with Fr. Heimerl in English, to share another voice of faithful resistance.

The full interview is as follows:

Hickson: You have been writing articles on church issues for a few years now, but in recent months your criticism of the Pope’s reform policy seems to have increased. Can you describe how this came about?

Heimerl: In my texts, I follow current developments in the Church. I am interested in analyzing problems. Criticism is not the main focus.

Hickson: Tell us a little about yourself: where are you a priest, how long have you been a priest and how did it come about?

Heimerl: I always wanted to become a priest, but I first studied German and history and worked in this field after completing my doctorate. When I fell seriously ill, the opportunity arose to become a priest after all. I was ordained in Vienna in 2019. The Heimerl von Heimthal family is an old Viennese family. So that was a double joy. For health reasons, however, I no longer have a permanent priestly role.

Hickson: Can you tell us your main criticisms of the current pontificate?

Heimerl: This pontificate marks a break with previous teaching. It has not only caused confusion, but has also sparked a “civil war in the Church” (Marco Politi). Added to this is the Pope’s harsh treatment of traditional Catholics and his penchant for snubbing priests in speeches. His treatment of solid critics (Cardinal Burke, Bishop Strickland, etc.) and his autocratic understanding of his office are also problematic. Peter Kwasniewski has rightly called this ‘hyperpapalism.’

Hickson: What do you think about Traditionis Custodes and the attack on the “old” Mass?

Heimerl: This is about an ideological battle and a break with the understanding of the Mass. However, this also damages the credibility of the Church: ‘What was sacred and great in earlier generations (…) cannot suddenly be harmful or completely forbidden.’ This is precisely what Benedict XVI warned against. In addition, the assertion made in Traditionis Custodes that the ‘new’ Mass is the only expression of the Roman rite is historically and theologically false and lacks any logic.

Hickson: What is your position on the Synod on Synodality?

Heimerl: Since lay people are participating in this Synod of Bishops with voting rights, it can no longer be a ‘Synod of Bishops’ in the true sense of the word. It is therefore about more: this synod wants to push through reforms and is claiming the work of the Holy Spirit to do so. That is the trick. We should forget that a synod is only a consultative body without authority. At the same time, however, it is supposed to give additional legitimacy to the Pope’s reform program. The whole thing is a bluff and everyone knows it.

Hickson: You have also spoken about celibacy and the idea of abolishing it. Would you summarize your position here?

Heimerl: Celibacy is the only way of life that is appropriate for priests because it is the way of life of Jesus and goes back to the apostles. Only the Latin Church has preserved it and it speaks volumes that its increasing apostasy is linked to the desire to restrict celibacy, i.e. to eliminate it.

Hickson: Last but not least: What do you think of the idea of introducing women deacons or even women priests?

Heimerl: Both are not possible and contradict the infallible teaching of the Church. Anyone who claims otherwise has abandoned the Catholic faith. Not even the Pope can change that.

Hickson: You signed the Filial Appeal against Fiducia Supplicans, which was signed on February 2, first by 90 and then by 500 clergy and scholars and authors. Can you tell us why you signed it?

Heimerl: This document, as Cardinal Müller has shown, leads straight into heresy, has deeply divided the Church and ended ecumenism with Orthodoxy. The Pope must withdraw it; there is no other way. It is a matter of honor for every priest and for every Catholic to clearly defend the teaching of Sacred Scripture and the Church here.

Hickson: Are you not afraid of any consequences for your statements?

Heimerl: ‘What should we be afraid of except the thought of displeasing Christ?’ – This sentence from Le Fort’s ‘The Song at the Scaffold’ has always impressed me and I live by it as best I can. I don’t want to be one of the many opportunists in the clergy who today proclaim the opposite of what they thought was irrevocable yesterday, just because the wind has changed in Rome. Apart from that: a church that disregards freedom of expression and persecutes those who profess the previous faith would – quite rightly – have no chance of survival.

Hickson: How do you see the way out of this crisis, what can simple believers do in the face of the revolution in the Church?

My spiritual guide once advised me: ‘Look to God and not to the right and left.’ I would recommend this to everyone. Let’s remain Catholic and hold on to the traditional faith. That is the right way. We don’t need to pay attention to anything else; it doesn’t come from God.

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Dr. Maike Hickson was born and raised in Germany. She holds a PhD from the University of Hannover, Germany, after having written in Switzerland her doctoral dissertation on the history of Swiss intellectuals before and during World War II. She now lives in the U.S. and is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.

Dr. Hickson published in 2014 a Festschrift, a collection of some thirty essays written by thoughtful authors in honor of her husband upon his 70th birthday, which is entitled A Catholic Witness in Our Time.

Hickson has closely followed the papacy of Pope Francis and the developments in the Catholic Church in Germany, and she has been writing articles on religion and politics for U.S. and European publications and websites such as LifeSiteNews, OnePeterFive, The Wanderer, Rorate Caeli,, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Notizie Pro-Vita, Corrispondenza Romana,, Der Dreizehnte,  Zeit-Fragen, and Westfalen-Blatt.