Friday 17th August 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.

Priests: Why we’re urging Cardinals to challenge Pope Francis on death penalty

ROME, August 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Over 75 clergy, lay scholars and prominent intellectuals today took the unprecedented step of issuing an open appeal to the Cardinals of the Catholic Church, to urge Pope Francis to “withdraw” his new teaching on…Continue Reading

Rector Placed On Leave Amid Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct Against Boston Catholic Seminary

Following allegations of a culture of sexual misconduct and alcohol abuse at a Boston-based Catholic seminary owned by the Archdiocese of Boston, the head priest is being placed on sabbatical. Rector James P. Moroney has been placed on immediate leave pending…Continue Reading

Pennsylvania clergy sex abuse report still not released

A last-minute round of legal manoeuvring to keep some names from appearing in a grand jury report detailing a months-long investigation of clergy sex abuse claims in Pennsylvania may have kept the document from being made public on Wednesday –…Continue Reading

Vatican archbishop: Critics of Pope Francis are not faithful to Tradition

VATICAN CITY, August 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Those who criticize the teaching of Pope Francis on the basis of former magisterial documents are not faithful to the tradition of the Catholic Church, a high-ranking Vatican official has said. In an interview with Vatican…Continue Reading

PRO-LIFE ACTRESS SLAMS BISHOPS’ INACTION ON PRIEST SEX ABUSE CRISIS

DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) – A pro-life Hollywood actress is slamming the U.S. bishops for their failure to prevent priest sex abuse. Actress Patricia Heaton is openly pro-life and a Catholic revert. On Twitter on Aug. 2, she responded to Cdl. Daniel DiNardo’s…Continue Reading

Conservatives skeptical of Twitter’s latest shadow-banning denial

July 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Twitter has released an official response to the latest round of shadow-banning allegations, but the statement has failed to impress conservative, Christian, and pro-life voices affected by the practice. On Thursday, LifeSiteNews covered a Vice News report accusing the social…Continue Reading

Pope Francis’ top ‘reform’ cardinal slams seminarians for exposing homosexuality inside seminary

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, July 26, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – One of the Vatican’s most influential cardinals, already suspected of looking the other way while gay relationships were conducted in his personal residence, has now admonished fifty seminarians for speaking out against their seminary’s…Continue Reading

Veteran Catholic Journalist: All Bishops Involved in Sex Abuse Scandal Must Resign

Christopher Manion, a veteran journalist and political analyst, makes the striking call that all U.S. bishops should resign who knew about the ongoing abuse crisis within the U.S. hierarchy for years and yet did not intervene. He also now reveals…Continue Reading

Catholic Relief Services is a major funder of contraception lobbyists

NOTE: The following information was provided to Catholic Relief Services in person in April, 2018.  After three months of discussion on the matter, the Lepanto Institute was told that while Lepanto is convinced that CRS should withdraw from InterAction, CRS…Continue Reading

Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter Elects New Superior General

LINCOLN, Neb. — The general chapter of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a society of apostolic life that celebrates the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, Monday elected Father Andrzej Komorowski as its next superior general. The July 9…Continue Reading

Catholic-heavy Supreme Court moves right as the church moves left

(RNS) — With his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, President Trump has succeeded in doing for the judicial branch what he has often failed or neglected to do in his administration: acting efficiently…Continue Reading

Election of the Superior General . . . Society of Saint Pius X

Election of the Superior General On July 11, 2018, Father Davide Pagliarani was elected Superior General, for a mandate of 12 years, by the 4th General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X. The new Superior General is 47…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 . . .

Cardinal Burke Addresses the Clergy Scandal

Cburke13

Thomas McKenna: Your Eminence, a new wave of clergy sexual abuse has surfaced and is indicating a widespread practice of homosexuality among clergy in dioceses and seminaries across the country. What would you say is the root cause of this corruption?   Cardinal Raymond Burke: It was clear after the studies following the 2002 sexual abuse crisis that most of the acts of abuse were in fact homosexual acts committed with adolescent young men. There…Continue Reading

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley will not attend the World Meeting of Families

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap, Archbishop of Boston and Chair of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Children, unfortunately will not be able to participate in the World Meeting of Families to be held in Dublin, Ireland from August 21-26. Though previously scheduled to moderate a panel presentation and discussion at the World Meeting of Families, important matters pertaining to the pastoral care of St. John’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of Boston and…Continue Reading

Cardinal Wuerl named in Pennsylvania grand jury report, responds to criticism

Washington D.C., Aug 14, 2018 / 02:30 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., and the former Bishop of Pittsburgh, has been named more than 200 times in a Pennsylvania grand jury report, released Aug. 14, after an 18-month investigation into historic allegations of sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses. The cardinal released a statement in response to the report, underscoring the gravity of the sexual abuse for the Church and the…Continue Reading

Vatican advisor: Pope ‘breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants’

Fr Thomas Rosica said the Church is now ‘ruled by an individual rather than by… its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture’ Under Pope Francis, the Church is now “openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture,” a Vatican advisor has said. Fr Thomas Rosica wrote that Pope Francis “breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants” because he is

A Priest Responds to the Catholic Church’s ‘Summer of Shame’

The ongoing scandals are the bitter fruit of a corrupt clerical culture, marked by a widespread failure to accept traditional teaching on sexual morality. A few weeks before I was ordained a Catholic priest in the late autumn of 1994, my superior in the seminary told me that, in his opinion, it was probably the most difficult time in a century to become a priest. Yet, he went on, it was also the most exciting time.…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

KCs Pledge Support For Persecuted Christians

By COURTNEY GROGAN BALTIMORE (CNA) — Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson pledged the fraternal organization’s continued efforts to aid and rebuild persecuted Christian communities in the Middle East, during his August 7 address at the 2018 Knights of Columbus convention in Baltimore. Anderson also unveiled a new pilgrim icon, Our Lady Help of…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Finding A Map For Matters Of Life And Death

By DONALD DEMARCO Matters of Life & Death: A Catholic Guide to the Moral Questions of Our Time, by Gerard M. Verschuuren (Angelico Press, Brooklyn, NY, 2018, 201 pp.). Available in paperback at amazon.com for $16.95. The state of perplexity and the need for guidance has long been characteristic of human beings. Rabbi Moses Maimonides…Continue Reading

Book Review… A Classic Critique Of Postconciliar Modernism

By JAMES MONTI Dietrich von Hildebrand, The Charitable Anathema, new 2017 foreword by Raymond Cardinal Burke. $22.95; Roman Catholic Books, P.O. Box 1209, Ridgefield, CT 06877; BooksForCatholics.com. In his address at the July 21, 2018 “Humanae Vitae at 50” conference brilliantly organized by Fr. Sean Connolly at Immaculate Conception Church in Tuckahoe, N.Y., which I…Continue Reading

Are Globalists Plotting A Counter-Revolution?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN On meeting with the EU’s Jean-Claude Juncker last month, Donald Trump tweeted: “Both the U.S. and the EU drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies! That would finally be Free Market and Fair Trade.” Did Larry Kudlow somehow get access to Trump’s phone? We know not. But, on hearing this, Steve Forbes,…Continue Reading

How Not To Resolve A Discrepancy

By DONALD DeMARCO Procrustes, according to the Greek legend, was a robber who carried with him an iron bed on which he compelled his victims to lie. If the victim was shorter than the bed, he stretched him until he fit the bed. If the victim was longer than the bed, he cut of a…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Amid Church Scandals… Fix Your Hearts On Christ

By FR. JOHN DE CELLES (Editor’s Note: LifeSiteNews on August 6 featured the following homily by Fr. John De Celles of St. Raymond of Penafort Church, Springfield, Va., the Diocese of Arlington. (Father reminded his flock: “We follow Jesus Christ, ‘the God of Jacob,’ and we follow the Holy Catholic Church which He founded.” (In May 2005, Fr. De Celles…Continue Reading

The Eucharist Is Jesus Himself

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twentieth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Prov. 9:1-6 Eph. 5:15-20 John 6:51-58 In the Gospel reading today our Lord makes several statements that we either have to believe are true or we have to run as far and as quickly from Him as we can. People who want to call themselves Christian while ignoring…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Teaching Failures At Root Of Sexual Immorality

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. “But you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by your instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of…Continue Reading

Martin Luther… The Man And The Myth

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 6 (Editor’s Note: As this October marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Raymond de Souza is taking a break from his usual apologetics to correct the popular image of Luther.) + + + Gerhard Cardinal Muller, the former prefect of…Continue Reading

The Judgment Of Conscience

By DON FIER When the average person hears the word “passion” spoken in the hyper-sensualized culture in which we live, the first thought likely to come to mind is sexual desire, and perhaps with a disordered association. However, as we saw last week, in the parlance of moral theology the term has a more basic, neutral meaning. As defined in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Clare Of Montefalco

By CAROLE BRESLIN In central Italy about one hundred miles north of Rome, lies the peaceful town looking down on the Clitunno River named Montefalco. It attracts tourists with its wildlife, wineries, and vineyards, and stunning churches. One of the most beautiful churches with its vaulted, painted ceilings, marble pillars, and inspiring altars is the Basilica of St. Clare of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Lawrence

By CAROLE BRESLIN Valencia, claim its inhabitants, is the premier city in all of Spain. Located along Spain’s eastern Mediterranean coastline, it boasts stunning beaches, ancient history, and magnificent churches. Perhaps the most famous is the Valencian Cathedral, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption, which holds a chalice which has been defended as the relic of the true…Continue Reading