Monday, May 16, 2016


What the good Cardinal Mueller says about Pope Fracis' traditionalist streak, I a we written about over and over again! I wonder of Cardinal Mueller reads my blog?

This is from Crux:

By John L. Allen Jr.
Editor May 16, 2016
These days, when the classic Catholic parlor game of deciding who in the Vatican is for the pope and who’s against him gets underway, German Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller often figures near the top of most lists for the latter camp.

Prefect of the Vatican’s powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and thus an indirect heir to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI, Müller is perceived as a doctrinal conservative often struggling to hold the line against the more revolutionary tendencies unleashed under Pope Francis.

There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. Müller, for instance, is a close friend of Gustavo Gutierrez and a supporter of a moderate form of liberation theology. In general, however, he’s not seen as an especially “Francis” kind of guy, often perceived as representing the traditional yin to the pope’s maverick yang.

To hear Müller himself tell it, however, that’s just plain bunk.

On May 3, Müller was at the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria in Madrid, Spain, taking some questions from students and faculty. Inevitably, one was about whether the Vatican’s doctrinal czar feels uncomfortable with some of the more “ambiguous” things this pope says and does.

In fact, Müller claimed, there’s an explicit division of labor at work between his office and Francis, hatched from the very start three years ago. (Remember that Müller, 68, took office under Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.)


“At the beginning of his pontificate, we spoke with Pope Francis, observing that during the previous pontificates the press accused the Church of talking only about sexuality, of abortion and these problems,” Müller said.

“For this reason, we decided, with Francis, to always, always, always speak in a positive way. If you look at the complete texts of Pope Francis, there’s gender ideology, abortion … yes, these problems are still there, but we concentrate on the positive.”

That’s not a matter of “revolution,” Müller said, insisting that Francis “is in line with his predecessors.”

“His originality,” he said, “is his charisma, thanks to which he succeeds in overcoming people’s blocks and their hardened positions.”

To hear Müller tell it, the strategy is paying off.

“I think all of us can see, from the reaction of the press, that today there’s less aggression against the Church,” Müller said. “It’s not that everybody is becoming Catholic, clearly, but at least they’re talking about other things.”


More from CRUX

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Argentines can’t help but take Pope Francis personally
Pope Francis hugs Sister Carmen Sammut, a Missionary Sister of Our Lady of Africa at the end of a special audience with members of the International Union of Superiors General in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Thursday, May 12, 2016. Pope Francis said Thursday he is willing to create a commission to study whether women can be deacons in the Catholic Church, signaling an openness to letting women serve in ordained ministry currently reserved to men. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool photo via AP)
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The opening proceedings for the 'VatiLeaks' case are seen in 2015 in a Vatican courtroom. (CNS/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)
Order in the court: ‘VatiLeaks’ trial reflects unique legal process
He gave a concrete example of how the pope’s cachet actually allows him to push traditional Catholic messages in ways that other popes would have found difficult.

Pope Francis has the courage to speak of the devil,” Müller said.

“If Benedict would have said what Francis says today about the devil, he would have been called retrograde and medieval. But our pope has the charisma to say these things: the devil exists, he’s at work and is very evil, and whoever welcomes his suggestions is guilty.”

According to Müller, his ability to rupture such taboos is the fruit of Francis’s pastoral nature.

“Pope Francis has his own style,” he said. “He says he feels like a pastor, and that the doctrine is already very clear in the texts of Benedict XVI … He says, ‘go forward with the theology,’ but he maintains his charisma of knowing how to communicate with people, who need that charisma.”

One could, of course, look on these statements with a degree of skepticism.

It’s natural to ask if Müller is perhaps slightly exaggerating his own role in crafting Francis’ spontaneous, shoot-from-the-hip style. It’s also possible to wonder if Müller’s insistence that what we have is a “positive” pope, not an “ambiguous” one, is to some extent a PR exercise calculated to calm anxious conservatives.

Nonetheless, Müller’s robust defense of the pope in Madrid does confirm one key point about reaction to Francis, both within the Vatican and among many Catholic bishops around the world.

Speaking to many prelates these days, especially those of a more conservative bent, you can often find a degree of ambivalence on certain points – whether Francis’ eco-encyclical Laudato Si’, for example, was too uncritical in embracing the agenda of the secular environmental movement, or whether his cautious opening to Communion for the divorced and remarried in Amoris Laetitia may lend itself to abuse.

If you phrase the question, however, as whether those prelates would like to roll the clock back to March 12, 2013, before Francis was elected, and see things turn out differently, a solid majority will say “no,” and mean it.

In the main, that’s because many agree with Müller, that whatever its downside, this pope’s “charisma” has reduced hostility towards the Church in many sectors of the culture, including the press, and thereby created some breathing room for Catholicism to go about its business without the same constant fear of assault.

In effect, it allows Church leaders to catch their breath, to take a break from always putting out fires, and to ponder what comes next.

The next time, therefore, the “blues v. grays” exercise heats up about which bishops are with the pope and which are against him, this is a point worth recalling: At the end of the day, you don’t have to be with Francis on everything to regard him, net-net, as a blessing.


John Nolan said...

Isn't it rather odd for a pope, when faced with a question which is serious since it refers to women's ordination, to say in effect 'I dunno, I'll have to ask the CDF about it.' Before Vatican II the pope himself was the head of the Holy Office.

Was this Francis's way of hitting the ball into the long grass?

Mark Thomas said...

“I think all of us can see, from the reaction of the press, that today there’s less aggression against the Church,” Müller said.

Is that quote for real? Does Cardinal Müller believe that? Really?



Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Father you are too funny you still love to think this guy Bergoglio is Traditional, please put an end to your silliness.

Charles G said...

Why should the Church alter her practices or doctrines one iota to please the anti-Christian immorality promoting mainstream media? The only reason they like Francis is because they think he will change Church teachings, and now with the evidence of his spitting in the face of Christ, St Paul, St John Paul II and the Church's tradition with Amoris Laetitia and its sanction to admission of those in a state of mortal sin without purpose of amendment to Holy Communion, they have been proven right! This papacy is a complete disaster for the faith.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe after 3 years we are still beating this dead horse about Francis. It's a full time job correcting his many mislead and it not tiring for you?!? Now we have Francis saying that Muslim Jihad is the same as the Christian great commission. As someone else a while back on here said that they have been looking into Orthodoxy, I took note and have been too, I've been reading, attending liturgy, and met with a priest. My goodness, how can the RC consider them schismatic?? They put us to shame in every category

GenXBen said...

"In effect, it allows Church leaders to catch their breath, to take a break from always putting out fires, and to ponder what comes next." Yeah, The Vatican PR office hardly has anything to do anymore. Cardinal Muller himself is basically unemployed as every utterance of the Pope comes with CCC citations and clear explanations.

And Father McDonald can focus on blogging about the glories of Dixie, since the Pope never says anything that needs explanation.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing much more I can add except that Francis seems to have a bucket list and there's just a few more things left on it ... celibacy, petrine office, not much else left to unstitch ...

johnnyc said...

I will say this.....Pope Francis is a smart man. With this deaconess thing..... He knows there were previous studies of this and knows the final outcome but when you are facing down 900 women you hand the ball off and get the heck outa there. :)

Seriously he is intelligent. Look how he orchestrated everything that led up to Amoris Laetitia. He allowed open discussion.....let the liberals get it out of their system and at the same time being able to identify the really wacky. In the end we get a document that for the most part, upholds the teaching of Jesus Christ and His Church on marriage.

I expect this thing about 'deaconesses' will go the same way and in the end we will get a document explaining the teaching of Jesus and I would guess some wonderful words about our Blessed Mother.

But for all that the confusion and ambiguity that surrounds this pontificate has been damaging. And I don't know how anyone can say there is less aggression against the Catholic Church. Here in the U.S. we have an anti Catholic, pro contraception, pro abortion, redefining marriage, supporter of the Planned Parenthood that you've seen in the latest videos government and if Clinton gets elected you can times that by 10. The Little Sisters of the Poor think they have problems now?

Edison Frisbee said...

Well, this is one way to anesthetize your conscience and avoid confronting reality...

Anonymous said...

Cardinal Muller and the Holy Father playing good cop and bad cop? Unbelievable!

We read about doubters (Thomas) among the apostles, also about Judas the betrayer, and even Peter was wobbly when pressed by the High Priest's servant to admit to be a follower of Jesus. But not one of the apostles seem to have been a spinner of the gospel message.

The behavior John Allen describes may be clever politics for manipulating public sentiment. Ultimately, the spin first alienates believers and later disappoints the doctrinally weak who will be angered for having been misled.

In the long run only the true believers, in the best sense of that phrase, prevail. Remember, all the apostles save John were martyred. The first 32 Popes were martyred (30 killed) or exiled (2). The well known saying: the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church is not a misstatement, it is history. The cardinal mission of the Church is the salvation of souls not creation of false impressions to gain acceptance of the present secular culture.

Anonymous said...

A PAPAL document "that for the most part, upholds the teaching of Jesus Christ and His Church"! ! !

Deo gratias?

Anonymous said...

I see Fr Hunwicke has added a comment on AL:

"Nasty and Dirty
Many people very much more holy and learned than I am have spoken of the great riches and beauties which are to be found in Amoris laetitia. Since, we are told, portions of it were added at the request of the CDF, I see no reason why this should not be true. But I think footnote 329 is thoroughly Nasty and Dirty. It is dealing with the idea that "remarried" divorcees can live together as brother and sister. Then it quotes Gaudium et Spes. Since the Conciliar Document is referring ad locum to the spacing of families by married couples, this misrepresents the Council. It is always Nasty and Dirty to tell lies, particularly when it is a case of radically misrepresenting the teaching of an ecclesiastical organ ... an Ecumenical Council ... to which Christian people might feel they owed a duty of respect. And finally, this footnote appears to accept by implication the proposition that the Grace of God is not able to give Christian people the strength to live in accordance with His will. That is Nasty and Dirty. The Church has always taught that Chastity is within the reach of those who live in God's grace. Millions of Christians have found this to be true.

Indeed, this repulsive little footnote really does draw back the lace curtain on the Nastiness and the Dirt to be found inside the Holy Father's House of 'Mercy'. We are informed that some people point out that if "remarried" divorcees live together without sex, one or both of them will be in danger of cheating on their new quasi-spouse. Surprise, surprise! One, at least, and perhaps both, have almost certainly already cheated on another and lawful spouse; is there really any reason why they should not cheat on a new and unlawful "spouse"? Go on: be realistic!! And this footnote does not even say If we try to live as brother and sister we shall probably fall, and end up in bed together. That at least would be human and honest. And it could be given a gentle and understanding pastoral answer. But No! Footnote 329 says that the 'fidelity' of the new quasi-marriage will be endangered. In other words, Cardinal Marx's "remarried" divorcees are making the threat You've got to let us have sex together because if you don't we'll have sex anyway ... BUT WITH OTHER PEOPLE!!

However, since a new relationship has, by producing children, created new obligations, this situation should, we are often told, be accepted. If it is true that quasi-union II can do this, why should quasi-union III not do the same? The idea that Adultery can, as it were, be regularised by the emergence of a new economic unit, a second family, has endless ramifications!

Paradoxically, I think we should thank God for the very open Nastiness and Dirt of Footnote 329. At least we know where we are, and the sort of people we are dealing with."

Anonymous said...

Re the adage "If you're explaining, you're losing": I challenge you to find any pope in history who required or received anywhere near as much "explaining" as does Francis. I only wish that it meant that the modernists were, indeed, losing. Instead they're merely wrong.

Marc said...

So Pope Francis has the "courage to speak of the devil."

Would that be the same devil who has not chastise people forever since "the logic of the Gospel is that no one is condemned forever"? Or is that the devil who has no one to chastise since the souls of the damned are annihilated?

Gene said...

Marc, how inconvenient of you....

Gene said...

Yes, but what type of "logic?" There is paleo-logic, il-logic, anthropo-logic...all seem to obtain in the Pope's statements....all except "theologic."

Gene said...

Marc, ironically, it is exactly the logic of Calvinism that no one is condemned forever. Of course, it is not Biblical by any stretch.

rcg said...

The whole "living together as brother and sister" gives me trouble. It has a transgender sibling with the approach to homosexuals that allows for a relationship that has every aspect of a marriage except sex. This is simply burying our heads in the sand. There is nothing preventing us from providing every benefit of a marriage, except sex, to anyone we please and win lauds for charity. To legitimately open the door for sex, with the intent of procreation, we must have marriage. So in reality this discussion has nothing to do with sex, procreation, or marriage at all but is an exercise testing our fealty to the Church, natural Law, the teachings of the prophets, saints, and God Almighty (in at least two persons. I am not sure who shot Onan). When did we stop eschewing temptation? I have had several friends, men and women while enduring hard times, live with me. Sex was not a factor. Every benefit was present, including some house cleaning in return for food and a (separate) bed.

There are many women whose company I enjoy in every practical way except sex while remaining faithful in every way to my wife. I have had "issues" with my wife that these other women appear to not have. So what? I dont move out of my house because the basement floods or sell my car when it needs service. This entire line of "pastoral care" seems to be enabling our selfish societies rather than confronting them in a compassionate way. Not unlike, I will add, the way the Liturgy was decomposed to suit the desires rather than the needs of people.

Marc said...

rcg, you may be interested in listening to this interview with Fr. Chad Ripperger, wherein he discusses the questions you raised.

The toleration of the "living as brother and sister" idea as a norm is akin to the embrace of "Natural Family Planning" in the Novus Ordo Church. That is to say that neither are especially Catholic, but the Novus Ordites have very much embraced these ideas and normalized them.

Gene said...

The Pope actually compared Muslim Jihad with Christ's great commission. Do we really need anything else to convince us that this man is off the rails?

Marc said...

Well, Gene, there's this:

"States must be secular. Confessional states end badly. They go against the grain of history." - Pope Francis

... compared to...

"That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error." Pope St. Pius X

"Condemned: The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church." - The Syllabus of Errors of Pope Pius IX