Tuesday 28th May 2024

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

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…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

Catechism

Today . . .

Pedophile advocacy group praises Germany’s new law softening punishment for child pornography

(LifeSiteNews) — In 2010, Jan Flesichhauer and Wiebke Hollersen penned a chilling essay for Der Spiegel titled “How the Left Took Things Too Far.” “One of the goals of the German 1968 movement was the sexual liberation of children,” they wrote. “For some, this meant overcoming all sexual inhibitions, creating a climate in which even pedophilia was considered progressive.”   That climate involved discussions about whether sex with children might be healthy for the children and musings that this could…Continue Reading

Here’s Harrison Butker’s Full Speech Celebrating Pro-Life Christian Values

Some sports stars make headlines for drug abuse or acts of violence, but one football player is taking heat for publicly promoting Christian values. On Saturday, Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker delivered the commencement at the Catholic Benedictine College, encouraging young graduates to stand firm in their faith and live out authentic Christian virtues. Now, the National Football League (NFL) is playing defense and condemning Butker’s speech as offensive. The NFL’s senior vice president and top diversity, equity,…Continue Reading

DeSantis declares Florida ‘will not comply’ with Biden rule forcing ‘gender identity’ on schools

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (LifeSiteNews) — Florida “will not comply” with the Biden administration’s recently finalized rule forcing widespread recognition and accommodation of LGBT “identities” on the American education system, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis declared. In February, President Joe Biden’s U.S. Department of Education submitted to the U.S. Office of Management & Budget its finalized Title IX rule. Late last month, the administration published the rule, which expands the federal

U.S. birth and fertility rates drop to record lows, according to CDC report

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Apr 26, 2024 / 16:45 pm Provisional data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week showed that the fertility rate in the United States hit a record low and the total number of births in the country was the lowest it’s been in decades.  According to the report, slightly fewer than 3.6 million babies were born in 2023, or 54.4 births per 1,000 women aged 15 through…Continue Reading

Kamala Harris Heads to Arizona to Promote Abortions Up to Birth

Kamala Harris is visiting Arizona today to showcase the Biden-Harris Administration’s radical support of unlimited abortion. “Kamala Harris has become the abortion czar of the Biden Administration,” said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee. “Instead of joining with the pro-life movement to build programs and safety nets to help promote real solutions for women and their preborn children, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have engaged in fearmongering and propaganda,” Tobias continue

The King of Kings

Cindy Paslawski We are at the end of the Church year. We began with Advent a year ago, commemorating the time awaiting the coming of the Christ and we are ending these weeks later with a vision of the future, a vision of Christ the King of the Universe on His throne before us all.…Continue Reading

7,000 Pro-Lifers March In London

By STEVEN ERTELT LONDON (LifeNews) — Over the weekend, some seven thousand pro-life people in the UK participated in the March for Life in London to protest abortion.They marched to Parliament Square on Saturday, September 2 under the banner of “Freedom to Live” and had to deal with a handful of radical abortion activists.During the…Continue Reading

An Appeal For Prayer For The Armenian People

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke on August 29, 2023, issued this prayer for the Armenian people, noting their unceasing love for Christ, even in the face of persecution.) + + On the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, having a few days ago celebrated the…Continue Reading

Robert Hickson, Founding Member Of Christendom College, Dies At 80

By MAIKE HICKSON FRONT ROYAL, Va. (LifeSiteNews) — Robert David Hickson, Jr., of Front Royal, Va., died at his home on September 2, 2023, at 21:29 p.m. after several months of suffering and after having received the Last Rites of the Catholic Church. He was surrounded by friends and family.Robert is survived by me —…Continue Reading

The Real Hero Of “Sound of Freedom”… Says The Film Has Strengthened The Fight Against Child Trafficking

By ANA PAULA MORALES (CNA) —Tim Ballard, a former U.S. Homeland Security agent who risked his life to fight child trafficking, discussed the impact of the movie Sound of Freedom, which is based on his work, in an August 29 interview with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. “I’ve spent more than 20 years helping…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This lesson on medical-moral issues is taken from the book Catholicism & Ethics. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. The email and postal addresses are given at the end of this column. Special Course On Catholicism And Ethics (Pages 53-59)…Continue Reading

Color Politics An Impediment To Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The USCCB is rightly concerned about racism, as they should be about any sin. In the 2018 statement Open Wide Our Hearts, they affirm the dignity of every human person: “But racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. This evil causes great harm to its victims, and…Continue Reading

Trademarks Of The True Messiah

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this essay on September 2, and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + In Sunday’s Gospel the Lord firmly sets before us the need for the cross, not as an end in itself, but as the way to glory. Let’s consider the Gospel in three stages.First: The Pattern That…Continue Reading

A Beacon Of Light… The Holy Cross And Jesus’ Unconditional Love

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON Each year on September 14 the Church celebrates the Feast Day of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. The Feast Day of the Triumph of the Holy Cross commemorates the day St. Helen found the True Cross. It is fitting then, that today we should focus on the final moments of Jesus’ life on the…Continue Reading

Our Ways Must Become More Like God’s Ways

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9Phil. 1:20c-24, 27aMatt. 20:1-16a In the first reading today, God tells us through the Prophet Isaiah that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, especially when we look at what the Lord…Continue Reading

The Devil And The Democrats

By FR. DENIS WILDE, OSA States such as Minnesota, California, Maryland, and others, in all cases with Democrat-controlled legislatures, are on a fast track to not only allow unborn babies to be murdered on demand as a woman’s “constitutional right” but also to allow infanticide.Our nation has gotten so used to the moral evil of killing in the womb that…Continue Reading

Crushed But Unbroken . . . The Martyrdom Of St. Margaret Clitherow

By RAY CAVANAUGH The late-1500s were a tough time for Catholics in England, where the Reformation was in full gear. A 1581 law prohibited Catholic religious ceremonies. And a 1584 Act of Parliament mandated that all Catholic priests leave the country or else face execution. Some chose to remain, however, so they could continue serving the faithful.Also taking huge risks…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)