Wednesday, February 1, 2017


If the Holy Father wanted Cardinal Mueller to answer the pope's critics and answer the dubia, this isn't the way to do it but it is better than nothing as Cardinal Mueller is crystal clear, a clarity often lacking in Pope Francis remarks and writings. So it is good. But if the good Cardinal is acting independently of the pope in saying this, it is a dead-in OR THE BEGINNING OF A CARDINALS' REBUKE OF A POPE?

This is from Sandro Magister, that great Italian commentator who once wrote for his blog Chiesa but now has in on  L'Espresso. Read it here and book mark it.

Settimo Cielo di Sandro Magister, L'Espresso

The Pope Is Silent, But Cardinal Müller Speaks. Who Responds To the "Dubia" This Way

To him too, in addition to Pope Francis, cardinals Brandmüller, Burke, Caffarra, and Meisner had sent their five “dubia” on the interpretation of “Amoris Laetitia,” seeking “clarity.”

And neither he, Cardinal Gerhard L. Müller, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, nor much less the pope had responded until now to the questions of the four cardinals.

To make up for this, however, now Müller is bringing clarity in an extensive interview that is coming out today in the magazine “Il Timone,” conducted by editor Riccardo Cascioli and by Lorenzo Bertocchi:

 La verità non si negozia

In the interview, the cardinal does not use the word “dubia,” but he says “apertis verbis” precisely what the four cardinals were asking to have clarified.

And he does not fail to lash out against those bishops who with their interpretive “sophistries” - he says - instead of acting as leaders for their faithful are falling “into the risk of the blind leading the blind.”

Here are the key passages of the interview.


Q: Can there be a contradiction between doctrine and personal conscience?

A: No, that is impossible. For example, it cannot be said that there are circumstances according to which an act of adultery does not constitute a mortal sin. For Catholic doctrine, it is impossible for mortal sin to coexist with sanctifying grace. In order to overcome this absurd contradiction, Christ has instituted for the faithful the Sacrament of penance and reconciliation with God and with the Church.

Q: This is a question that is being extensively discussed with regard to the debate surrounding the post-synodal exhortation “Amoris Laetitia.”

A: “Amoris Laetitia” must clearly be interpreted in the light of the whole doctrine of the Church. [...] I don’t like it, it is not right that so many bishops are interpreting “Amoris Laetitia” according to their way of understanding the pope’s teaching. This does not keep to the line of Catholic doctrine. The magisterium of the pope is interpreted only by him or through the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. The pope interprets the bishops, it is not the bishops who interpret the pope, this would constitute an inversion of the structure of the Catholic Church. To all these who are talking too much, I urge them to study first the doctrine [of the councils] on the papacy and the episcopate. The bishop, as teacher of the Word, must himself be the first to be well-formed so as not to fall into the risk of the blind leading the blind. [...]

Q: The exhortation of Saint John Paul II, “Familiaris Consortio,” stipulates that divorced and remarried couples that cannot separate, in order to receive the sacraments must commit to live in continence. Is this requirement still valid?

A: Of course, it is not dispensable, because it is not only a positive law of John Paul II, but he expressed an essential element of Christian moral theology and the theology of the sacraments. The confusion on this point also concerns the failure to accept the encyclical “Veritatis Splendor,” with the clear doctrine of the “intrinsece malum.” [...] For us marriage is the expression of participation in the unity between Christ the bridegroom and the Church his bride. This is not, as some said during the Synod, a simple vague analogy. No! This is the substance of the sacrament, and no power in heaven or on earth, neither an angel, nor the pope, nor a council, nor a law of the bishops, has the faculty to change it.

Q: How can one resolve the chaos that is being generated on account of the different interpretations that are given of this passage of Amoris Laetitia?

A: I urge everyone to reflect, studying the doctrine of the Church first, starting from the Word of God in Sacred Scripture, which is very clear on marriage. I would also advise not entering into any casuistry that can easily generate misunderstandings, above all that according to which if love dies, then the marriage bond is dead. (I wrote about this in my post below! Do you think the good Cardinal read it??? YIKES!)These are sophistries: the Word of God is very clear and the Church does not accept the secularization of marriage. The task of priests and bishops is not that of creating confusion, but of bringing clarity. One cannot refer only to little passages present in “Amoris Laetitia,” but it has to be read as a whole, with the purpose of making the Gospel of marriage and the family more attractive for persons. It is not “Amoris Laetitia” that has provoked a confused interpretation, but some confused interpreters of it. All of us must understand and accept the doctrine of Christ and of his Church, and at the same time be ready to help others to understand it and put it into practice even in difficult situations.


So comments Cardinal Müller, who among the "confused interpreters" of "Amoris Laetitia" cannot help but have included the Argentine bishops of the region of Buenos Aires.

To whom, however, Pope Francis wrote expressing his complete approval: "El escrito es muy bueno y explícita cabalmente el sentido del capítulo VIII de 'Amoris laetitia'. No hay otras interpretaciones."…

(English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.)


TJM said...

I pray that this is the Pope's way to save face and uphold doctrine

Anonymous said...

Cardinal Muller is obviously trying his best to safe guard the institution of the papacy which Francis has damaged. The cardinal knows very well that AL is extremely problematic, to put it kindly. The question remains why does the pope or the CDF REFUSE to answer the dubia?! Answer the questions and put this deliberate confusion to rest. But of course Francis refuses to answer because if he answered as he truly believes he would be declared heretic and no longer pope.

Rood Screen said...

I think we all know that Pope Francis would not agree with the cardinal's answers. However, it would be a joyous day to learn that Pope Francis does not intend to change divine law, or to undo decades of his predecessors' pastoral labors. After all, every good Catholic longs to follow the lead of the pope, even in times like these.

Rood Screen said...

It's illogical to first produce an ambiguous document that you refuse to clarify when asked to do so, but then to protest--with great disdain--against requests for clarification, and against local attempts at clarification (local attempts which are praised by the pope and published in the Vatican newspaper).

I'm no fan of Donald Trump, but he needs to ban entry from the Vatican until someone figures out what the heck is going on over there.

Rood Screen said...

Father McDonald,

Why can't they all just get in a room together and talk this through? I can't tell anymore if this is a doctrinal problem, a pastoral care problem, or just exceptionally poor communication skills.

Victor said...

Argentina, Malta, and today Germany is contradicting Mueller's position. Will the pope axe Cardinal Mueller soon?

Anonymous said...

Are all of the bishops in the Church little girls? For god sake do your duty, teach the Faith in good times and bad without compromise. The teaching of the Church is that people who know they are in mortal sin cannot receive Holy Communion without first going to confession or if they are unable to go to confession to make a firm purpose of amendment to go go to confession as soon as possible. The pope's refusal to uphold Church teaching is a scandal. and even if Francis says opposite of what the Church teaches then no one is under any obligation to obey him. Use common sense people you don't do what is wrong or sinful. Trying to rationL sinful behaviour isn't mercy it's evil. The pope's refusal to say that is astounding. Every bishop and priest in the world should be in an uproar. Do any of you bishops have a pair. You are not exactly John Wayne....except The 4 cardinals and Bishop Schneider.

And it is very telling that all the bishops are quick to jump and condem Pres. Trump temporary immigration ban from 7 countries that harbor terrorists but where silent when it was proved Panned Parenthood was selling butchered baby parts. They were silent when gay "marriage" was allowed by the courts. UC Berkeley is on fire because people there refuse to listen to opposite points of view. Will the bishops condem that violence. Doubt it....they would join in.

To all and any bishops who read this blog it is long overdo for all of you to man up and teach the faith. Stop talking your que from the people like Cardinal Wuerl. A grown man speaking in a Marilyn Monroe like whisper is gross. Man up and defend the Faith and stop bowing down before the altar of modernism. And if you don't guess what, faithful Catholics are all that will be left and we will not listen to you because you have betrayed Christ.

TJM said...

Cardinal Wuerl has an "interesting background" which might explain his "positions."