Tuesday 19th June 2018

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Cardinal Mueller… In Recent Interview, Describes Toxic Atmosphere At The Vatican

October 11, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By CLAIRE CHRETIEN

(Editor’s Note: LifeSiteNews published this article on September 29. All rights reserved.)

+ + +

(LifeSiteNews) — The former head of the Vatican’s doctrine office is warning in a lengthy new interview that under Pope Francis fear now permeates the Church’s administrative body, the Roman Curia.
“I heard it from some houses here, that people working in the Curia are living in great fear: If they say one small or harmless critical word, some spies will pass the comments directly to the Holy Father, and the falsely accused people don’t have any chance to defend themselves,” Gerhard Cardinal Mueller told the National Catholic Register’s Ed Pentin in a wide-ranging interview.
The Pope removed Mueller, without explanation, when the cardinal’s term ended in July.
“These people, who are speaking bad words and lies against other persons, are disturbing and disrupting the good faith, the good name of others whom they are calling their brothers,” said Mueller.
Mueller’s account is consistent with what high-level Rome sources have told LifeSiteNews — that the “fear” throughout the Vatican is “tangible.”
Bishop Athanasius Schneider has compared the treatment of the four cardinals who sent the dubia to Pope Francis to life under the Soviet Union.
“We live in a climate of threats and of denial of dialogue towards a specific group,” Schneider said in December 2016.
In an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, Professor Claudio Pierantoni, one of the lay scholars behind the recent “filial correction” of Pope Francis, confirmed the uneasiness and fear in which many orthodox theologians live.
“I have heard from many people in Catholic institutions (here in Santiago and elsewhere) who have been directly threatened with [reprisal], and therefore they didn’t sign,” Pierantoni said.
“For example, I have heard from some people who signed the document of the 45 and they were told not to sign anything else or they would lose their position. . . . I have heard of people being threatened, not directly from Rome but by the local [Catholic] institution, [for] sometimes striving to be ‘more Roman than the Pope’.”
The “document of the 45” was a list of theological censures of Amoris Laetitia, signed by 45 theologians.
“I admit it, I am afraid to sign and I know other priests who share my fear,” UK priest Fr. Ray Blake wrote of the filial correction and the theological censures.
“Many of those who might have signed have in the last four years have a certain fear about their place in the Church. . . . Under Francis the Vatican has become a place of fear and arbitrary oppression.”
“Cardinals and bishops intimidate clergy and others who are faithful,” wrote Blake, explaining that “dioceses are not Rome but they do reflect Rome.”
Pope St. John Paul II famously said, “Be not afraid.” Saints throughout history have overcome their fear to defend the truth despite terrible earthly consequences.
“A friend who has signed [the correction] said the question is WWSJFSTMD, What Would St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More Do?” wrote Blake.
In his interview with Pentin, Mueller discussed the dubia, the filial correction, papal authority, his successor at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, how dissident theologians have been treated under Pope Francis, and how “progressives” in the Church lack any “theological arguments.”
He shared with Pentin that within the Church, there are “many prejudices against the congregation” tasked with defending Catholic doctrine. Pentin pressed him on the “diminishment” of the CDF’s role in the Church under Pope Francis, and how Mueller’s orthodox interpretation of Amoris Laetitia is at odds with at least two interpretations the Pope has praised.
Mueller also commented briefly on papal confidant and rumored ghostwriter Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, the author of Heal Me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing and the rector of the Catholic University in Buenos Aires.
He said he could not confirm rumors that the CDF used to have a file on Fernandez for espousing errant theology, saying that “it was before my time.”

The Pope’s Private Opinions

Pentin noted that a senior Church figure who wished to remain anonymous called the current situation in the Church a “reign of terror.”
“It’s the same in some theological faculties,” said Mueller. “If anybody has any remarks or questions about Amoris Laetitia, they will be expelled, and so on. That is not maturity.”
“A certain interpretation of the document’s footnote 351 cannot be criteria for becoming a bishop,” he said. “A future bishop must be a witness to the Gospel, a successor of the apostles, and not only someone who repeats some words of a single pastoral document of the Pope without a mature theological understanding.”
The cardinal reminded Pentin that “nobody is obliged to accept uncritically everything that [the Pope is] saying, for example, about political or scientific questions.”
The Pope’s private opinions are just those, he said — his private opinions.
“We must distinguish between what is official doctrine of the Church, the role of the Pope, and what he is saying in private conversations,” said Mueller.
“If the Pope is writing a personal and private letter, it’s not an official doctrinal document,” Mueller said of the Pope’s praise of the Maltese and Argentinean bishops heterodox guidelines based on Amoris Laetitia.
Pentin pointed out that these interpretations, which allow Communion for the divorced and remarried in some cases, are at odds with how Mueller interprets the document. Mueller maintains that it must be read through the lens of previous Church teaching.
Pentin also questioned Mueller about that the letter to the Argentinean bishops in which Pope Francis says there is “no other interpretation” of Amoris Laetitia than one allowing Communion for the divorced and remarried. The journalist noted that the Pope’s letter has been posted on the Vatican website.
“The website of the Vatican has some weight, but it’s not a magisterial authority, and if you look at what the Argentine bishops wrote in their directive, you can interpret this in an orthodox way,” Mueller responded.

Suffer With The Church

“No explanation was offered to me” about his removal as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Mueller said. “The Pope only saw me at a routine private audience, at the end of my term, to discuss the work of the congregation, and said, ‘That is all’.”
To say anything else about it is “speculation,” Mueller said. However, he acknowledged, “It is true that some time ago the Pope told me that some of his ‘friends’ had been saying that ‘Mueller is an enemy of the Pope’.”
“I suppose these were anonymous accusations, and the anonymity of the accusers suggests that they were not prepared to have their arguments exposed to the light of honest and open discussion,” he said.
“The use of such underhanded tactics is always detrimental to the life of the Church and to the functioning of the Curia….[Pope Francis] assured me that no credence should be given to such gossip.”
Mueller said his successor at the CDF, Archbishop Luis Ladaria, shares his understanding of Catholicism. They use “the same framework” of the Church fathers, “the foundation of the verses of Holy Scripture, the word of God, [and] the apostolic Tradition,” he said.
Mueller noted that he was accused of being “too close” to Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
“It is surely ironic that these same people should accuse me now of being an enemy of the Pope,” he said.
“This is obviously opportunistic behavior we’re seeing. The biggest danger to the Pope these days are these opportunists, careerists, and false friends who are concerned not for the good of the Church, but for their own financial interests and self-advancement.”
Mueller said he won’t criticize Pope Francis privately or publicly.
“It is not as if I am unaware of the importance of the papacy in the Church of Jesus Christ,” he said, explaining that “in this year of the commemoration of the Protestant revolution against the primacy of the Holy Roman Church, I published a historical and theological study on the mission of the Pope as Successor of St. Peter.”
“The important thing is that we have to love the Church because she is the Bride of Christ,” said Müller. “Loving her means that we sometimes have to suffer with her, because in her members she is not perfect, and so we remain loyal despite the disappointments. In the end, it is how we appear in the eyes of God that matters, rather than how we are regarded by men.”
Mueller said he doesn’t blame Pope Francis for all of the confusion that Amoris Laetitia has caused as bishop has been pitted against bishop in interpreting the controversial exhortation, but “he is authorized by Jesus Christ to overcome it.”

They Deserve An Answer

Mueller said he wishes Pope Francis had met with the cardinals who sent him a dubia, or formal request for moral clarity on Amoris Laetitia. The Pope has yet to respond to it.
“The best thing would have been for the Holy Father to have had an audience before their publication,” he said. “Now we have the spectacle of a trial of strength. It’s better to speak before and to deepen the questions and give good answers.”
Two of the cardinals who signed the dubia, Joachim Cardinal Meisner and Carlo Cardinal Caffarra, died in July and September, respectively.
The unanswered dubia and confusing messages coming out of Rome led more than 60 scholars to issue a “filial correction” of Pope Francis for “propagating heresies.”
Of this “correction,” Mueller said:
“What the Church needs in this serious situation is not more polarization and polemics, but more dialogue and reciprocal confidence. The Holy Father and all good shepherds are wishing the full integration of couples in irregular situations.
“But this must happen according to the general conditions of the worthy and valid reception of the holy sacraments. We must avoid new schisms and separations from the one Catholic Church, whose permanent principle and foundation of its unity and communion in Jesus Christ is the actual Pope Francis and all bishops in full communion with him. The Successor of St. Peter deserves full respect for his person and divine mandate, and, on the other hand, his honest critics deserve a convincing answer.
“A possibility of the solution could be a group of cardinals engaged by the Holy Father to begin a theological disputation with some prominent representatives of the dubia and the ‘corrections’ about the different and sometimes controversial interpretation of some statements in chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia.”

No Crackdown
On Dissidents?

Pentin asked Mueller about reports that dissident theologians aren’t being censured under Pope Francis.
It is “not correct” to say that no action has been taken against dissident theologians since 2013, Mueller said.
“In my time there were cases in which we had first to dialogue with some theologians to resolve problems in a brotherly way,” he explained. “But I think there has been no absolute change in the role of the congregation. It must continue to defend the faith against heresies, schisms, and other delicts against unity of the Church and the holiness of the sacraments. . . . My impression of the situation over the past five years is that there hasn’t been any change in the role of the congregation.”
Regarding the refusal of those who push for changing Church teaching to dialogue and their “tendency to make things personal,” the cardinal said:
“All my life, after the Second Vatican Council, I’ve noticed that those who support so-called progressivism never have theological arguments. The only method they have is to discredit other persons, calling them ‘conservative’ — and this changes the real point, which is the reality of the faith, and not in your personal subjective, psychological disposition.
“By ‘conservative,’ what do they mean? Someone loves the ways of the 1950s, or old Hollywood films of the 1930s? Was the bloody persecution of Catholics during the French Revolution by the Jacobins progressive or conservative? Or is the denial of the divinity of Christ by the Arians of the fourth century liberal or traditional? Theologically it’s not possible to be conservative or progressive.
“These are absurd categories: Neither conservatism nor progressivism is anything to do with the Catholic faith. They’re political, polemical, rhetorical forms. The only sense of these categories is discrediting other persons.”
Mueller also warned against a “Pentecostal misunderstanding of the role of the Holy Spirit.” At times, some prelates and even Pope Francis seemingly attribute impossible changes in doctrine or heterodox innovations to “surprises of the Holy Spirit.”
“In the Incarnate Word of God, in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, to us is given all the grace and truth,” concluded Mueller. “The Holy Spirit actualizes the full revelation in the doctrine, the sacraments of the Church. The Holy Father plays here a very important role in the apostolic Tradition, but not the only one. His teaching is regulated by the word of God in the Bible and the dogmatic Tradition of the Church.”

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Bishop: Deny Communion to Border Agents. It’s a ‘Life Issue.’

Is enforcing U.S. immigration law a moral evil that demands excommunication? Or would a new proposal politicize the Eucharist, strengthen organized crime, and hurt even more migrant children? Roman Catholics must face these questions after Bishop Edward Weisburger of Tucson suggested “canonical…Continue Reading

Argentina steps closer to legalising abortion

Catholic Argentina’s lower house has backed a bill legalising abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. After a divisive debate lasting more than 22 hours, 129 members of the Chamber of Deputies voted in favour and 125 against while…Continue Reading

Pope Francis rejects German proposal for inter-communion

Vatican City, Jun 4, 2018 / 06:37 am (CNA/EWTN News).- One month after Vatican and German delegates met in Rome to discuss a proposal put forward by German bishops to allow Protestant spouses in inter-denominational marriages to receive the Eucharist…Continue Reading

St. Paul archdiocese settlement is largest-ever in Catholic bankruptcy case

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has agreed to a $210 million settlement with 450 victims of clergy sexual abuse as part of its plan for bankruptcy reorganization, making it the second-largest U.S. payout…Continue Reading

Church’s teaching on male-only priesthood is ‘infallible’: Vatican doctrine chief

ROME, May 29, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The head of the Vatican office overseeing Church doctrine has insisted that the Church’s teaching on the male-only priesthood is “infallible,” and has offered a veiled rebuke of a prominent Cardinal who recently claimed the…Continue Reading

The revolt against Humanae Vitae continues to haunt us today

ROME, May 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — As in 2017, 2018 is also a year that is rich with important and significant anniversaries which we need to remember, because the roots of the present are found in the past. The best known…Continue Reading

Cardinal: Communion cannot be shared with non-Catholics like beer or cake

BUCKFASTLEIGH, England, May 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Protestants who want to receive Holy Communion should become Catholics, Cardinal Francis Arinze said this week, and added that “it is rather serious” to presume marriage can be dissolved for the purpose of…Continue Reading

Speaker Ryan Proposes a Return to Catholic Social Doctrine at Prayer Breakfast

Washington, D.C. – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast Thursday about how he believed the answer to many of the political problems society faces today, including “moral relativism” and “tribalism,” can be found in Catholic…Continue Reading

Judge rules ‘transgender’ high-schooler should have been allowed opposite-sex bathroom

NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia, May 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A judge has ruled that a Virginia high school should have allowed a gender-confused former student to use the restrooms designated for the opposite sex. Gavin Grimm is a female Gloucester High School…Continue Reading

One of the most ‘liberal abortion regimes’ if vote passes

Ireland will have one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe if Friday’s referendum is passed, the No campaign warned during its final press conference on Wednesday. With the broadcasting ban set to come into force on the eve of the…Continue Reading

Pope asks for prayers for Catholics in China

Pope Francis has appealed to all Christians to be spiritually close to Catholics who live in China, and to pray they may live their faith in full communion with the Holy See. Speaking during the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope recalled…Continue Reading

Life is the ‘true source of America’s greatness,’ President Trump tells pro-life gala

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — President Donald Trump affirmed the importance of the right to life and called on pro-life voters to help secure it Tuesday night, in his keynote address at the Susan B. Anthony List’s 11th…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Conway: ‘As a mother, as a Catholic,’ no one likes migrant family separation policy

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday “nobody likes” the Trump administration’s policy of separating families who cross the border illegally, but indicated President Trump will not act unilaterally to change it. “As a mother, as a Catholic, as somebody who’s got a conscience … I will tell you that nobody likes this policy,” Conway said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Congress passed the law that it is a

Catholic bishops rebuke Trump’s asylum changes, suggest ‘canonical penalties’

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (RNS) — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opened its spring meeting this week with a stern reproach of the Trump administration’s latest immigration policies, with the group’s president suggesting the new rules on asylum are a “right to life” issue. Some bishops followed by urging protests, including “canonical penalties” for those who carry out the administration’s new rules. Within minutes of opening the USCCB’s biannual meeting in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday…Continue Reading

New law requiring priests to break confession seal ‘premature and ill-judged’, Archbishop Coleridge says

CHURCH leaders are standing firm in support of priests upholding the seal of confession as a “religious freedom”, despite a new law that would require a priest to break the seal to report allegations of child abuse and misconduct. Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge described the new law – that will apply in the Australian Capital Territory from March 2019 – as “premature and ill-judged, seemingly driven by a desire to…Continue Reading

Papal advisor claims Francis would not give ‘strict no’ to women’s ordination

June 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The new preparatory document for the 2019 Pan-Amazon Synod of Bishops is calling for the Church to open an “official ministry” to women, and seeking “courageous” and inculturated proposals for an “inclusive ministerial action.” Bishop Erwin Kräutler, one of the organizers of this forthcoming October 2019 Synod, is promoting the idea of ordaining married men to the priesthood for that Amazon region, and even women. He carefully claims that Pope…Continue Reading

Pope Francis accepts the resignations of 3 Chilean Bishops

The Holy See’s Press Office announces that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of three Chilean Bishops–two for reasons of having reached the age limit.

Advertisement(2)

Lindsey Graham’s Unjustifiable Call for War

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate distributed this column.) + + + Question: Has North Korea reinvaded South Korea since it signed an armistice 65 years ago suspending the Korean War? Answer: No. Question: Why? Answer: It has been deterred. Question: Would it…Continue Reading

Love And Cruelty In Ireland

By DONALD DeMARCO On the night of August 21, 1879, Mary, the Mother of God, appeared to a group of ordinary people in the village of Knock, County Mayo. She was flanked by St. Joseph on her right and St. John the Evangelist on her left. She said nothing and was described as being deep…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Exploring The Goodness, Truth, And Beauty Of Narnia

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Donal Anthony Foley reviews Further Up & Further In: Understanding Narnia, by Joseph Pearce, TAN Books, hardcover, 216 pages; $24.95 at www.tanbooks.com; Kindle version available at amazon.com for $9.98. The Chronicles of Narnia, the seven books written originally for children by the celebrated Christian writer, C.S. Lewis, are among the most…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan Says… Let’s Not Capitulate To The Abortion Culture

NEW YORK (CNA/EWTN News) — Responding to Fr. Thomas J. Reese’s recent suggestion that the pro-life movement abandon efforts to make abortion illegal and focus instead on reducing the number of abortions, Timothy Cardinal Dolan voiced grave concern with the proposal. “As chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities, I…Continue Reading

Love And Cruelty In Ireland

By DONALD DeMARCO On the night of August 21, 1879, Mary, the Mother of God, appeared to a group of ordinary people in the village of Knock, County Mayo. She was flanked by St. Joseph on her right and St. John the Evangelist on her left. She said nothing and was described as being deep…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Will Marriages Outside A Church Keep Couples In The Church?

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The Church makes exceptions to its own rules; this is well known. There are God’s rules, such as the Commandments, exceptions to which cannot be granted by man. And then there are the regulations promulgated by the Church, using the authority given her by the Lord, in order to better facilitate the pastoral work of…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ . . . Understanding Confession More Deeply

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 33 When Jesus gave the apostles the power to bind and unbind things here on Earth (Matt. 18:18), He gave them authority over His flock. Hence, from the very first century, Popes and bishops passed laws to be observed by the people. Consequently, considering the seriousness of sin, and the risk many take for…Continue Reading

Man’s Desire For Happiness

By DON FIER Significant to note from last week’s consideration of the eighth Beatitude: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:10), is that the reward promised is identical to that of the first Beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3).…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Can you tell me the difference between a basilica and a cathedral? — M.N., California. A. A basilica is a title of honor given to certain churches which may be classified either as major basilicas or minor basilicas. The only four major basilicas are located in Rome. They are St. John Lateran, St. Peter, St. Paul Outside the Walls,…Continue Reading

Mourning Ireland’s Rejection Of The Eighth Amendment

(Editor’s Note: Below we reprint two statements on Ireland’s recent anti-life vote, the first from Fr. Shenan Boquet, the president of Human Life International, and the second from Bishop Kevin Doran of the Diocese of Elphin, Ireland. (Fr. Boquet’s June 5 commentary first appeared at hli.org, and was reprinted by LifeSiteNews. (Bishop Doran’s May 28 message was reprinted at zenit.org…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph The Hymnographer

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the late sixth and early seventh century, the glories of Gregorian chant began to develop in Rome. Then, in the thirteenth century, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote beautiful hymns to celebrate Corpus Christi and to honor the Real Presence. In the Eastern Church, around Constantinople, they also sang hymns, but it was not until the late ninth…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Medard

By CAROLE BRESLIN Detachment from worldly goods and temporal pleasures sometimes comes to a person after years of devotions, fasting, and prayer. By giving up one vice at a time or practicing one virtue and mastering that one, then moving on to the next, a person can grow in holiness. Occasionally, our Lord will bring a child into the world…Continue Reading