Interview with Fr. Michael Oswalt, for the Four Marks

Some months back Kathleen Plumb, editor of The Four Marks, asked me to interview Fr. Michael Oswalt. I had heard about his story in March when I was in Florida to interview Bishop Sanborn. In brief, he is formerly of the Diocese of Rockford, via Mundelein Seminary in Chicago. He has doubts about the new rite of ordination that have caused him to stop celebrating Mass concurrent with the day he left Rockford, which was earlier this year. He is getting ready to leave for Mt. St. Michael, where he plans to pray, study, and work until a time he deems fit for conditional ordination, which will be granted to him by Bishop Pivarunas.

Father and I coordinated our schedules and we met in Des Moines, Iowa, one weekend in September. Father is straightforward and kind and in listening to his experiences I relived so much of what I disliked about the Novus Ordo while I was still "in it." As dysfunctional as the internal workings of the robber church he describes are, the path of his discovery is fresh and insightful in the familiar ruts it runs.

One issue that I did not broach in depth during the interview and which needs explaining now is the question of the validity of Fr. Oswalt’s ordination. He does not consider himself a valid priest and no longer says Mass. Now, while not every Traditionalist knows about the various positions regarding the validity of the new forms of Episcopal consecration and priestly ordination, it is blatantly clear to anyone even attending Indult/Motu parishes that there is an inherent suspicion and distrust of the new sacraments among the faithful. Some give the standard lame boilerplate: “Well, I’m just a layman, so I can’t speak to sacramental validity and efficacy.” Well, this is patently false as any Catholic worth his salt can tell you what makes Baptism, Communion, Confession, etc. valid, and what makes them invalid. Part of being a Catholic is knowing your faith, and knowing your faith is, in part, knowing what makes valid sacraments. On the other hand, given that such cases of doubt regarding sacraments were normally referred to Rome, and that Traditionalists range from thinking that the Pope is “sick” (SSPX) to MIA (sedevacantists), there can be no authoritative pronouncement regarding an opinion on the invalidity of orders. No Traditionalist priest or bishop possesses a mandate from Rome to rule on these issues, and further epikeia, as in the case of annulments, cannot be invoked here. We are in an unfortunate, strange position.

Given the grave concern for valid sacraments, I agree that Novus Ordo priests who come to Tradition owe it to everyone to be conditionally ordained. Bishop Tissier de Mallerais implied as much in a recent interview: "It is necessary to begin by the liturgy; that would be the simplest [issue], because it will be possible to point out the deficiency of the new rite of priestly ordinations, for example. A deficiency which, on the other hand, when we speak of the new mass, includes much contradiction, pure and simple; because it is a new theology which is expressed, hence a new religion." The Vatican II religion is non-Catholic and should, especially regarding sacraments, be treated as such.


I also want to mention that Father Oswalt mentions reading a website which we have taken care never to mention by name on TR, but which I want to make clear that I consider to be a hubristic rag, penned by a dubious priest, which features writing of the lowest, trashiest, most salacious order. I believe Father Oswalt is new to some of these sites, and as such, is not yet familiar with their respective histories. Suffice to say, we do not endorse that website at all.


Please enjoy this interview with Fr. Michael Oswalt. He is a good and brave priest who has left the security of the usurpers of our churches for the uncertainty of the Traditionalist wilderness. One more priest forever, according to the order of Melchisdech, to serve faithful who want true sacraments. Deo gratias.

This interview was originally printed, in part, in the October 2009 The Four Marks. For more information, please visit

Note: If you would like to help support Fr. Oswalt, 50% of the sales of the DVD of this interview will go directly to him. You can purchase the DVD at (Edit: Now found here:

Stephen Heiner

Stephen lives in Moret-sur-Loing, France. He founded True Restoration in 2006.

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15 Responses

  1. Bernadette says:

    Thank you for this interview, Mr. Heiner. All prayers for this priest who is being guided by the grace of God and the motherly hand of Our Blessed Mother Mary, ever a Virgin.

    May I say that Fr. Oswalt is in reality a very courageous priest. To remove oneself from the conciliar church is an enormous soul impacting event. It was scary and daunting for myself as a simple laywoman, who knew only the post Vatican II Church, to move out of it and into tradition. It was a draining, and
    at times fearful time in which I received little or no support from many members of my family.

    Please consider one other remark…while I understand your opinion in the written introduction before the interview, concerning a certain website, I personally must give credit to this very same site for catapulting me out of the Novus Ordo. The harsh, satirical and often unpleasant words drove me right to the SSPX…one small triumph for this despised and maligned site.

  2. Bernadette

    Thanks for the compliments.

    As for the "despised site" – keep in mind that the man steals news stories. He gives credit to Reuters or other news sources, but he has, on multiple occasions, taken quotes from my website with no attribution at all, and then talks about how he knows everything. He also talks about the most disedifying things, and consistently puffs himself up, when he has no reason to do so. AQ has ten times the traffic he does, and has a much more discerning audience, to boot.

  3. r says:

    Thanks for the interview. It was good receive an update on him and his situation. As you know, Dr Droleskey did quite the story this past April. I am glad to see that he will be able to be guided by the CMRI. Fr Casimir is a very humble priest.

    I have enjoyed all of your interviews. If ever in the New England/NY area, let me know.


  4. Bernadette says:

    Yes, of course I do not doubt what you say, but I do think that this terrible situation in the church and in these very difficult times has caused many to find tradition and the true Church through most surprising means…

  5. Anaclet says:

    Good morning,

    From France I just read this very interesting interview but I would like you to confirm one thing:
    In the body of the text you gave access to a link leading to an article regarding "the doubtfulness of the modern ordination rite" claiming it was from Bp.Tissier de Mallerais. Could you please confirm he really was the author of this text?
    If so, when was it written?

    Thank you in advance for your response

    In Christo Rege


  6. Philippe

    Sorry for the confusion. I have corrected the piece to read that I agree with Bishop Tissier's position in this interview:

    in which he speaks of a "defective" rite of ordination. I cited the text (written by someone anonymous) as a sort of longer explanation of some of the possible reasons Bp. Tissier shares the conclusion.

    Thank you for your Gallic exactitude. We Angles do appreciate it 🙂

  7. Zorayda says:

    Thank you Mr. Heiner for posting this video interview and for all the work you do for the true restoration of the Catholic Faith.
    My husband and I would like to send a monthly donation to Fr. Oswalt to help him. I wonder if we can gather enough Catholics to pledge a monthly amount to help Father pay off his loans sooner. I know there are Novus Ordo Catholics who started a foundation to help converts who left their Protestant congregations as former ministers to become Catholic, and lost their steady means of support. Traditional Catholics should do something similar to help those like Fr. Oswalt who end up losing their income when they leave their diocese to become traditional priests. Can you please post his new address where we can send him a monetary donation. Thank you again and God bless all your efforts!

  8. Zorayda

    I'm not entirely comfortable posting Fr. Oswalt's mailing address, but here is his email, try him there and I'm sure he will respond.

    moswalt1972 at gmail dot com

  9. Art says:

    Great interview! Two quick questions: Is the CMRI sedevacantist?
    Has anyone in the SSPX offered Father help? Thanks.

  10. Art

    The CMRI is sedevacantist, and given that Father is a sedevacantist, the SSPX will not be offering help anytime soon 🙂


  11. Wessex says:

    Had Fr. Oswalt approached a SSPX seminary he would have had to accept the validity of the new Mass and modern ordinations. He would also be subject to the creeping conciliarism which is now entering SSPX thinking. There is no point in informing new priests with such contradictory messages to suit the ambitions of politically compromised old hands.

  12. Hello Mr Heiner, and readers.
    Mr Heiner, THank you very much for all of your hard work and writings. I found Michael Oswalt's story fascinating, especially since he recently moved to Spokane, Washington (where I live also). I decided to comment (as late as it may be) because of the need for his debts to be paid.

    We all know that he incurred a large amount of (student loan) debt while studying in Seminary for the Novus Ordo. Given the novus ordo salaries (since they have national funding) he would have likely been able to pay this debt off in the beginning of his "career" as a Novus Ordo priest. His decision to leave took a lot of courage, for in doing so, he has given up any chance of a financially secure future and the ability to pay these debts off. Instead, he is staying with an order who vows POVERTY, chastity and obedience.

    I feel like there IS something we can do. Here in Spokane, our traditional Catholic Academy is hosting a Raffle Fundraiser. Only 500 tickets are sold with prizes of $6000, $3000, and $1000 amounts. Each ticket costs $50, but your chances are 3 in 500! SO if each of us came together and put in whatever amounts we could afford, I believe we could purchase a ticket in Michael Oswalt's name, and if by the grace of God he wins, he could put that towards his debts.
    And considering the propability of this raffle, you might want to buy a ticket for yourself too!

    ANyway, if anyone is at all interested in making this happen, please contact me and I would be happy to coordinate this. Mr Heiner, if you feel this comment is inappropriate, please do contact me if you have any suggestions as to how we can help this man. I appreciate your time and consideration, regardless of your desire to follow through with this or not.

    Thank you,

  13. garaceg says:

    This is an excellent interview that confirms me more about what most of us already knew about the true intentions of the Modernists in regards the Catholic Religion, specially in relation to the Sacred Mass.

    Our prayers for Father Oswalt, and like many, I will also make a donation to help with his debts.

    I see a sign of encouragement to know that although the modernists have done all they could to destroy the Church, there's still vocations that want to discover the true faith and perpetuate the Sacred Mass.

    Viva Cristo Rey!!!

  14. "AQ has ten times the traffic he does, and has a much more discerning audience, to boot. "

    Actually, Angelqueen is ranked 90,978 in the United States and 434,686. The other website is ranked 38,638 and 119,772 worldwide. These rankings via alexa.

  15. Totus

    Thanks for the correction regarding traffic.