Featured Image
German Cardinal Gerhard Müller outside St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican CityPhoto by Franco Origlia/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ordained six men to the priesthood and one man to the diaconate on June 24 using the traditional Latin rite.

The ordinations took place in Bordeaux, France, for the Institute of the Good Shepherd, which announced the news on its French website:

This Saturday, June 24, six new priests and a new deacon of the Institute of the Good Shepherd were ordained for the Church by the hands of His Eminence Cardinal Müller, whom we warmly thank. […] Shawn Murphy (Australia), Vilhelm Torbiörn (France/Sweden), Leonardo Carvalho (Brazil), Alexandre Saphy (France), Jan Andrzejewski (Poland) and Joseph Cuchet (France) were ordained priests for eternity. […] Cristhian Nivia (Colombia) was ordained deacon.

The Institute of the Good Shepherd is, according to its English-language website, a “Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right established in 2006 under the pontificate and with the support of Pope Benedict XVI,” and has “for its specific mission, entrusted by the Holy See, the propagation within the Church of the liturgical and doctrinal treasures of the Catholic Tradition.”

It is significant that Cardinal Müller has once more chosen to ordain men in the rite that has been ever more suppressed worldwide since Pope Francis issued his motu proprio Traditionis Custodes. This July 16, 2021 document rescinded Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. Benedict’s document had freed the traditional Latin Mass (TLM) from its decades-long suppression.

Ever since the promulgation of Traditionis Custodis, there has been a persecution of this ancient rite of the Catholic Church. LifeSiteNews recently reported that the annual October Summorum Pontificum  pilgrimage (now known as the Ad Petri Sedem  [“To Peter’s Seat”] pilgrimage) has been denied the use of St. Peter’s Basilica for the celebration of its TLM. The pilgrimage, held in honor of Benedict XVI’s motu proprio, attracted 1,700 Catholics in 2022.

RELATED: Vatican denies Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage permission to say Latin Mass in St. Peter’s

Cardinal Müller celebrates the Novus Ordo missae, that is, the new ordering of the Mass. However, since the publication of Traditionis Custodes, he has been sympathetic to the plight of traditional Catholics and has publicly criticized Pope Francis’ decision to suppress the traditional rite and its sacraments.

For example, only three days after the publication of Traditionis Custodes, the prelate took issue with the document, arguing that “without the slightest empathy, one ignores the religious feelings of the (often young) participants in the Masses according to the Missal [of] John XXIII. (1962) Instead of appreciating the smell of the sheep, the shepherd here hits them hard with his crook.” In March 2023, Cardinal Müller renewed his criticism of Pope Francis by saying that “Pope Benedict overcame the tensions that had arisen in a theologically competent and pastorally sensitive manner by distinguishing between the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Latin rite” and calling Francis’ decision to restrict the Traditional Mass a “brutal intolerance” against those who prefer the ancient Mass.

On July 11, 2021, shortly before the publication of Traditionis Custodes, Cardinal Müller administered the Sacrament of Holy Orders in the traditional rite for the first time. He did this at Le Barroux Abbey in France, which is a traditional monastery. “Indeed, I celebrated at Le Barroux the Holy Mass for the first time in the extraordinary rite, after having participated in that manner at Mass in my youth (before my priestly ordination),” the German prelate told LifeSite at the time. He insisted that there are numerous rites of the Holy Mass, each one of which always confects the Holy Eucharist. “After all, in the one Catholic Church we have different rites (with internal sub-rites even within the Latin liturgy), [always] with the same Eucharist,” he told LifeSite.

In November of 2021, Cardinal Müller celebrated a Pontifical High Mass in the traditional rite at Clear Creek Abbey in Hubert, Oklahoma.

The ordination of seven men in the traditional rite now seems almost a counter-revolutionary act of defiance against a papal edict. That edict is unjust, for it suppresses a centuries-old rite of the Catholic Church. It also increases division and unrest within the Catholic flock. Happily, traditional Catholics can find in Cardinal Müller a sympathetic supporter, and his stance is especially honorable as he himself usually celebrates the Novus Ordo Mass.

Cardinal Müller is not alone, thankfully. Another defender of the traditional form of the Roman rite, Kazakhstan’s Bishop Athanasius Schneider, has once again issued strong words against Pope Francis’ suppression of the liturgy. After explaining its history, Bishop Schneider states that “the Pope and the bishops do not have, therefore, the authority to forbid or to limit such a venerable form of the Holy Mass, which was offered by the saints for over a thousand years, in the same way as the Pope or the bishops would not have the authority to forbid or significantly reform the venerable form of the Apostolic or Niceno-Constantinopolitan [Nicene] Creed, precisely because of their venerable, continuous, and millennium-old use.”

The bishop insists that “complying with the abusive prohibition of that venerable form of the Mass of the saints”  indeed “would constitute a false obedience.”

WATCH: Cardinal Müller reacts to Pope Francis’ new appointment to Vatican doctrine chief

Featured Image

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.