Help from readers?

Can anyone identify this bishop?

I am wondering if this isn’t he.

UPDATE: 1 July

All the photos are here.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Yet Another Matt says:

    One of the primary identifiers in the intelligence community are the ears, and those look like they match. (my anti-spam word was identity, so you’re officially freaking me out Fr. Z) My guess is you’ve guessed your man correctly.

  2. Papabile says:

    Bishop Kurt Koch??? Bishop of Basel, ordained by JP II?????

  3. Orville says:

    Ok, so does he have a name?

  4. Dominic says:

    Just for anyone who might not know, this photo looks like it was taken in Zaitzkofen, the SSPX seminary in Bavaria. Bishop Fellay and Father Schmidberger are clearly identifiable behind the mystery bishop.

    Personally, I cannot believe that Bishop Koch would be there, based on what he has written in the past.

  5. me says:

    I do not think this is Bishop Koch. The mystery Bishop (if he is a Bishop) is bald as seen in another picture on the SSPX German website. Bishop Koch is younger, and not so bald or grey.

  6. Mark says:

    I was pretty sure it was just SSPX bishop Tissier de Mallerais. It would have to be a really flattering shot, but such shots are not unknown, ala:

  7. me says:

    It is not Bishop TdM… by about 75 lbs!
    That’s a beautiful picture of him offering Mass, though.

  8. Mark says:

    Maybe he’s gained weight finally. He always looked sort of frail.

    I think a lot of people WANT it to be a non-SSPX bishop for our own ideological reasons, but let’s not be spotting “mystery bishops” left and right when there is a bespectacled bishop with long ears and that haircut already within the Society.

  9. me says:

    I saw and spoke with Bsp TdM at Winona just a week ago… he is still skin and bones. The Bishop in this picture is absolutely NOT one of the 4 SSPX bishops.

  10. Dominic says:

    The Biretta is a key element. Bishop Tissier would never wear one. There are not many such violet birettas in the possession of SSPX houses or individuals.

    Anyway, the face is certainly not BTM.

  11. don Jeffry says:

    Absolutely not Bishop Kurt Koch. Also, he simply would not do that. don Jeffry

  12. Steven says:

    Here’s a link to a picture that shows a profile pic of Bishop Koch. It’s small, but clear.

  13. rljfp says:

    Could it possibly be His Excellency Reinhard Pappenberger? He is the auxiliary bishop of Regensburg?
    The bishop certainly would not attend but just maybe an auxiliary (with a little boost from His Holiness) might.

  14. B. says:

    According to a poster on German forums with good connections to the SSPX he is a Cathedral Canon of the (Byzantine) Diocese of Križevci.

  15. Vincenzo says:


    “Could it possibly be His Excellency Reinhard Pappenberger?”

    I inserted some comparison photos of Bishop Pappenberger in this pic.

  16. Sixupman says:

    It certainly appears to be an SSPX affair, but the bishop in question is not an SSPX prelate.

  17. Dominic says:

    The stole is another clue. Notice how Bishop Fellay does not wear a white stole over his mozetta, while the mystery prelate does.

  18. BJR says:

    Could someone kindly explain why the SSPX bishops wear the mozzeta over a black cassock rather than violet choir cassock?

  19. George says:

    It’s definitely not Pappenberger who attended the (licit) ordination liturgy in Regensburg at the same hour. Also, the skullcap is missing (if you look very closely).

  20. Jon K says:


    One may indeed wonder why Bishop Fellay is not in his choir cassock. Wearing one’s street cassock with the rochet and the mozzetta seems to me really sloppy. And not one bit traditional. It’s a pity the SSPX insists on clinging to its liturgical inconsequence and French pauperism from the 50s.

  21. benj says:

    Bishop Athanasius Schneider who was in attendance perhaps:

  22. Sacerdos ignotus says:

    Of course it’s Kurt Koch. Have a look at this:

    Note the same stoop, and shape of ears and nose.

    This is really very important. Koch wasn’t there without a mandate from the Holy Father. Why isn’t this being widely reported??? This needs to be KNOWN! Wow!

  23. Penitent says:

    Sweet Jesus let it be so!

  24. aws says:

    Why would Bishop Tissier not wear a biretta?

  25. benj says:

    No way is that Kurt Koch, no way.

  26. Bro. AJK says:

    Dear Fr. Z,

    Call me ignorant, but who is the bishop in the background? I guess you recognize him.

  27. dcs says:

    The bishop in the background is Bernard Fellay, one of the four SSPX bishops.

  28. Peggy says:

    His Excellency Bud Selig? Bishop of Baseball? ;^D

    Honestly the face is not familiar.

  29. Daniel Hill says:

    They ‘mystery bishop’ is also wearing a black cassock.

  30. Daniel Hill says:

    Oh, and it seems he only has one chaplain, as opposed to Fellay’s two

  31. Dominic says:

    I don’t know if the “mystery bishop” is Kurt Koch, but it is definitely NOT Bernard Tissier de Mallerais – with all due respect to His Excellency, he is very thin and gangly.

    Whatever the identity of the “mystery bishop,” the fact that a mainstream bishop would attend an SSPX ordination ceremony is groundbreaking. Hopefully this is a sign that the pastors of the Church are returning to Tradition!

  32. Giusebio says:

    Is he really a bishop?

  33. Robert Hall says:

    Looks a little like Marvin Hamlisch to me.

  34. George says:

    For Heaven\’s sake, dear people, it\’s not a \”mainstream bishop\”, as you (more or less aptly) put it. Even the pectoral cord doesn\’t look like a Bishop\’s. And again, I believe there is no skullcap.

  35. Perhaps the FSSPX can’t afford proper choir cassocks? Or perhaps they are just genuinely modest?

  36. I am not interested in the bishop in the background. It is clear who he is. We want to know who the bishop in the foreground is.

  37. Patrick says:

    So, we know he is bald. He is not wearing a zucchetto. He is wearing a stole even though the other bishop in choro is not wearing a stole. His pectoral cross is eastern. Perhaps he is not at all a bishop but an eastern priest who can wear the attire of a monsignor? But what of the violet mozzetta?

    Did the SSPX secretly ordain a new bishop recently?

  38. B. P. says:

    Dear Fr. Z., why not to ask one of (at least two) known persons directly by e-mail?

  39. magister 63 says:

    He is most likely a canon. I spent some time in the SSPX seminary, and there were often supportive “mainstream” priests at the ordinations. Some we knew, some not. If you look at the pictures from the other ordinations, such as Econe, you will surely see some non-SSPX priests- though not prelates this year. When I was at Winona, Msgr. Donahue from California would visit and attend the ordinations.

  40. Irish says:

    Is it my imagination, or does the bishop in the background look like Bishop Fellay? I would assume that means the bishop in the foreground in SSPX. What beautiful lace, though.

  41. me says:

    Thanks, Irish. Now we are getting somewhere! ;)

  42. Sacerdos ignotus says:

    I remain astonished that this has not been commented on elsewhere. Note Bishop Fellay’s remark in an interview of one week ago: Wir hätten überhaupt nichts dagegen, wenn Rom einen Beobachter zu uns schicken würde. Is Bishop Koch the said Beobachter.

  43. JAS says:

    This was posted over on ‘Angelqueen’ –


    I just got word from a District Superior that he is not a bishop, but a monsignor who “has visited on other occasions.”

    The DS who responded was on the road answering my email inquiry from a cellphone, so the details (who, why he looks like a bishop etc.) are sketchy at this point.

    I’ll try to get more info.”

    So, we can confirm he is not a bishop and he is not SSPX. He is a monsignor who appears to have sympathies for the SSPX.

  44. Jon K says:

    Please… The bishop in question IS NOT one of the four SSPX bishops. Also, his pectoral cross would seem (but we would need a better picture) to be a bishop’s cross, not a canon’s, which would exclude all but very few canons. Besides: very few chapters possess the privilege of wearing a bishop’ biretta.

    I have e-mailed one of the three priests ordained in Zaitzkofen, but knowing the chap’s internet habits, it may take a while before I get an answer.

  45. James says:

    And it matters because?

  46. A friar says:

    He seems to have an episcopal ring as well. Could he be a chor bishop, which might roughly be equivalent to a monsignor and entitle him to wear some but not all of the episcopal attire?

  47. me says:

    That’s not a bishop’s ring, but the bottom of the cross he is wearing around his neck.

  48. Carlos Palad says:

    “Did the SSPX secretly ordain a new bishop recently?”

    There were rumors in Byzantine Catholic circles of Basil Kovpak being secretly
    consecrated a bishop, but I myself don’t believe that.

  49. me says:

    Fr. Basil Kovpak bears NO resemblance to the above picture.

  50. Brendan says:

    Are there still honorary prelates? I think that would entitle him to wear some of the liturgical dress proper to the office of Bishops.

    I suspect he is either some sort of canon or some sort of Monsignor, perhaps an Apostolic protonotary de numero.

    Can anyone identify his position in the Church? This would help limit our search.

  51. Andreas says:

    Has anyone lost a bishop?

  52. magister 63 says:

    Good golly! This has become somewhat trite! Canons in Germany and much of Europe are part of the Cathedral Chapter and are responsible for the church. There are different ranks of canons,and most wear some bishops regalia, but not the ring. The all wear a cross around their neck- what it hangs from differs by diocese, as well as some particulars of what they wear. Some canons are monsignors, some bishops, some priests. In some places they elect(ed) the bishop of the diocese. Unless they are bishops, they would wear the biretta in procession, etc, not the miter. There is a photo on one diocesan website with a canon confirming children with a deacon on either side of him and he is wearing a magenta biretta while administering the sacrament. Here is a link that shows the Linz Canons in violet mozetta and black cassock. Good night, folks!

  53. Colin says:

    Jon K – The occasional mix-and-match attire of the SSPX bishops attire is largely a result of them travelling great distances for extended periods away from their respective residences. I guess there’s a limit to the amount of clerical attire that can be packed pre-flight.

    Dominic – I can vouch for Bishop Tissier de Mallerais wearing a biretta. The spare bishop’s biretta we had on one of his visits to England was rather to large for him and we had to pad the inside so that it didn’t twizzle about on his head when he moved.

  54. I think it’s time to employ Fr. Z’s “if it looks like a duck, quacks a duck, and walks like a duck, then it is a duck.”

    Why would anyone assume that the cleric in question who is dressed exactly like Bishop Fellay, and is in a place of honor in the procession, accompanied by Fr. Schmidberger, would not be a bishop?

    He looks like a bishop, is dressed like a bishop, and is in the episcopal section of the procession, therefore, any reasonable person would conclude that he is a bishop of the Latin rite.

  55. Legisperitus says:

    I’m coming to this late, but just wanted to remark that I don’t see anything like Bp. Koch’s earlobes on the cleric in question.

  56. Joe says:

    a side question. As Dominic noticed above, Bishop Fellay is not carrying a stole nor is he wearing one in the “laying on of hands blssing” picture found elsewhere. Was this typical in the traditional Ordination Liturgy? I.e. for a Bishop who was present not to concelebrate in the act of ordination itself?

  57. Vincent says:

    Robert Collorafi,

    The entire point of many of these posts is that the priest in question does not, in fact, look like a bishop.

    I too would like to know why Mons. Tissier de Mallerais would not be wearing a biretta.

  58. Trad Tom says:

    With all due respect to the basic question, I am LOVING all the maniples!

  59. Joe says:

    Trad Tom, in the picture shown here are those maniples over the left arm? Or stoles?

  60. Maynardus says:

    Colin remarked to Jon K – “The occasional mix-and-match attire of the SSPX bishops attire is largely a result of them travelling great distances for extended periods away from their respective residences. I guess there’s a limit to the amount of clerical attire that can be packed pre-flight.”

    FWIW a certain traddie bishop who is not with the S.S.P.X. often follows the same style of dress when traveling… for exactly the reason stated. My understanding is that it is acceptable even if not the norm…

  61. Jon K says:


    I once studied at a FSSPX seminary, where I was MC. What you say is, alas, wishful thinking. Besides, Zaitzkofen is not very far from Menzingen, where bishop Fellay lives.

  62. JAS says:

    Jon K said:

    “Besides, Zaitzkofen is not very far from Menzingen, where bishop Fellay lives.”

    Jon K-

    What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Bishop Fellaymay live in Menzingen, but do you really believe he does nothing but sit around Menzingen all day. Within the past week Bishop Fellay has been to Rome, Canada, and the USA and still made it to Germany for the ordinations. I do not even know where else he may have gone in between those places.

  63. R says:

    The prelate is Father Jurkovic, from Croatia, according to the DICI website.

  64. Sacerdos ignotus says:


    Could you please give a link? As far as I can see, the DICI website makes no mention of a Fr Jurkovic.

    Can Fr Z. decide this question yet?

  65. B. P. says:

    This is written in a title of the image:

  66. Jon K says:

    I just got an answer from Father Lindström, one of the three men ordained at Zaitzkofen on June 27th: the picture indeed shows a Croation priest, a certain msgr Jurkovic (or Jorkovic), who is a Franciscan (and guardian, at that). He also happens to be bi-ritual (Roman rite-Eastern rite).

  67. Jeff says:

    “I’m coming to this late, but just wanted to remark that I don’t see anything like Bp. Koch’s earlobes on the cleric in question.”

    O, Lordy, the earlobes test! :p

    That was the test used to discover the False Montini, if I remember rightly….

  68. porys says:

    Maybe he is bp. Ivan Jurkovi? – apostolic nuncio to Ukraine?

  69. Joe says:

    Archbishop Jurkovic is Slovenian. I suggest Fra Zeljko Jurkovic OFM, who is Croatian, and biritual as required.

  70. steve says:

    Maybe these two dressed in the mozettas are Canons?

  71. Legisperitus says:

    Joe, those do look like folded stoles. You can see the little white strip that goes against the back of the neck.

  72. Daniel Hill says:

    AHA, Joe, you point out the answer. Perhaps.

    Only ONE bishop lays his hands at a presbyteral ordination. No more, no less.

    This has something to do with canon law and the fact that an episcopal ordination has 3 bishops (minimum) and there is a need to make a distinction between the two.

    I was at an OF ordination recently where a bishop was also concelebrating. He unwittingly went to lay his hands on the ordinand as the priests were but was told to sit down bythe MC for this very reason.

    So the most likely the reason Fellay has no stole with him is for this reason. It thus follows that the reason the birett\’ed\’ cleric has one is because he is a priest, not a bishop.

    However, it could be the case that the biretted is a bishop and is carrying his stole for reception of holy communion, and that Fellay\’s one for that purpose is being carried by someone else, or he will ue one from another priest.

  73. Noel says:

    This seems somewhat illogical.

    In the OF,
    at ordination of priests, priests lay on hands individually after the ordaining bishop; why should another bishop, having the fulness of the priesthood, be excluded, whether concelebrating or in choir?

    At the ordination of bishops, after the principal and 2 co-consecrating bishops, all bishops lay on hands individually.

  74. Aelric says:


    I believe that your question answers itself: “why should another bishop, having the fulness (sic) of the priesthood, be excluded?”

    One bishop ordains: then the ordinand’s peers in the presbyterate receive and bless their new brother in that order. Another bishop, who holds the fullness of the Sacrament of Orders, is not a peer of the newly ordained priest. Similarly then, for ordination of a bishop, his peers (other bishops present) then do the same. Perhaps one can think of it (the subsequent laying on of hands) as a visible act of collegiality within the Order received.

    Daniel, I speak under correction, but I do not believe that co-consecrators are required, strictly, for valid reception of episcopal ordination.

  75. A. says:

    This photo was taken at Winona. Bsp. Tissier de Mallerais was the celebrant, but Bsp Fellay also laid on hands along with the other priests.

  76. Joe says:

    and he’s not wearing a stole there either.

  77. Daniel Hill says:


    2 co-consecrators are required by liturgical and canon law, at least from memory. At least it is common practice and has been since the 5th century as far as I know.

    Nevertheless, I don\’t think it is necessity sacramentally. I think it has something to do with ensuring that there is true apostolic succession.

Comments are closed.