Friday, April 20, 2018


In new article ++Müller says it is “of utmost importance to remember that neither the bishops nor the Pope have any competence to intervene in the substance of the sacraments” or initiate processes that sow “errors and confusion in sacramental practice”

My comment: Doesn't this seem like a no-brainer? That a cardinal of the Catholic Church seems to be reminding the pope and the bishops of this is truly stunning, no?

You can read Cardinal Mueller's Article:

Who May Receive Communion?
by Gerhard Ludwig Müller

But here is an interesting paragraph:

Today theology is often subordinated to ideology and ecclesiastical politics. Instead of exchanging arguments in open debate, one discredits people. Every problem is made to center on persons, and thus it is neutralized. Even if someone knows Holy Scripture by heart, has studied the Fathers of the Church and proves to be an expert in modern philosophy and science, to discredit him it is enough for some backwater journalist or amateur theologian to call him “conservative,” and all his knowledge will be neutralized, just as the best wine becomes undrinkable when a drop of poison is mixed into it. 

Each newly appointed bishop is tested at the first press conference and labeled conservative or liberal—whatever this is supposed to mean—depending on whether he expresses himself “for or against” the ordination of women, “for or against” the blessing of homosexual couples, “for or against” priestly celibacy, and “for or against” Holy Communion for the “divorced and remarried.” Other topics are of no interest and differentiated arguments do not count. Thus, allegations of personal ideological bias take the place of objective discussion. Those who would like to see a looser connection between ecclesial communion and the communion of the sacraments—allegedly in order to make it easier for the people of today to come to the faith—immediately accuse their critics of closed-mindedness and rigid pharisaic adherence to dogmas that the secularized Christian can no longer understand. 


Marc said...

It is also technically true that Congress has to approve a war. And yet, the president can order missile strikes against Syria at will.

A law that is unenforced is no law at all.

Henry said...

Who May Receive Communion?
by Gerhard Ludwig Müller

Surely the most comprehensive definitive analysis yet of (inter)communion issues. Seemingly, nothing left to be said. So further commentary and discussion is unnecessary. (But the yakkers will no doubt continue to yak ad nauseum.)

"It is of utmost importance to remember that neither the bishops nor the pope have any competence to intervene in the substance of the sacraments (Council of Trent, Decree on Communion under Both Species, DH 1728) or tacitly to initiate processes that establish errors and confusion in sacramental practice, thus endangering the salvation of souls."

Henry said...

Among other things, Card. Müller brings out the fact that the present confusion is the result of a generation of bishops with little knowledge of Catholic doctrine and theology (as graduates of post-Vatican II seminaries). So, being unable to discuss issues rationally, instead they attack the personalities and character of those who disagree with them. (Isn't the commonality between church liberals and secular or political liberals striking?)

Anonymous said...

EXCEPT... there are times when Christians who are not Catholic may be allowed to receive communion.

Those with little knowledge of Catholic doctrine and theology (whether they graduated from seminaries before or after Vatican II) know this.

"Prime Minister Tony Blair of Great Britain, an Anglican, received communion from Pope John Paul II during a recent visit to the Vatican and attended mass with his wife and three eldest children, all of whom are Roman Catholics. In Britain it is permissible for a non-Roman Catholic in a mixed marriage to receive communion under guidelines outlined in 'One Bread One Body,' a 1998 Roman Catholic teaching document, but the document makes it clear that 'eucharistic sharing can only be exceptional.'

John Nolan said...

I read the whole article. Müller writes with exceptional clarity and the translator has done a good job. Since PF tends to deal in generalizations, ambiguities and gnomic utterances (which may or may not have any substance - he likes being vague, which is why he is criticized by so many) he needs someone with Müller's intellectual rigour to advise him.

Pius X was well advised by Merry del Val.

Yet PF fired Müller and relies on lightweights like the absurd Fernandez to advise him. It's sad. Müller has never been an arch-conservative, but I have a feeling that the next pope will embody such clarity. The Francis experiment has not worked.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

"...and all his knowledge will be neutralized, just as the best wine becomes undrinkable when a drop of poison is mixed into it."

Love this metaphor. It describes the tactic of discrediting your enemies in in a nutshell, and the power of this tactic. The modern media have become very proficient at this, swaying millions of people with the stroke of a headline.

Isn't it ironic that the Left claims truth emerges from dialectic, and then proceeds to skew the debate with ad hominem attacks?

God bless.

John Nolan said...

Tony Blair was told by Cardinal Hume that he must desist from receiving Communion in a Catholic church which he attended with his (Catholic) wife and children. Blair (who was PM at the time) accepted this, but could not resist remarking petulantly: 'I wonder what Jesus would have thought of this?' It might have occurred to him that perhaps the cardinal's insight on this matter was more authoritative than his.

'One Bread, One Body' (1998) was fully in accordance with Canon Law, discipline and Tradition and should be seen as a corrective to previous loose and erroneous opinions and practices.

Anonymous said...

"The Christian life begins again at each Mass, ' where God satiates us with love. Without him, the Bread of Life, every effort of the Church is vain,' he said, and, quoting deceased local Bishop Tonino Bello, he said that “works of charity are not enough, unless those works are done with charity.”

“If love is lacking in those who do the works, if the source is lacking, if the point of departure is lacking, which is the Eucharist, then every pastoral commitment is merely a whirlwind of things,” rather than an act of service."

The above quotes by Pope Francis are quite interesting given that those outside the Church, both Christian and non-Christian (other than the Orthodox), do not have the Eucharist. Had such statements come from a traditionally minded Catholic it would not be something unexpected; that they were publicly stated by the present Pope with his more progressive, liberal inclinations, is rather surprising. One could certainly draw the conclusion from these quotes that works from those who are outside the Church, and are therefore bereft of the Eucharist, are pelagian. Not that the Pope is saying or intending to say that. Something lost in the translation perhaps?

Anonymous said...

"Did John Paul II break his own rules by administering communion to an Anglican? Not quite: there was, at the time, a provision that non-Catholics could ask to receive communion "on a unique occasion for joy or for sorrow in the life of a family".

Tony Blair presumably made such a request, and would also have been expected to assent to the Catholic doctrine that the body of Christ is really present in the consecrated bread and wine.

No previous British prime minister has ever held this belief (though Harold Macmillan, who was High Church, probably came close to it.)

Ironically, only two weeks after Tony Blair took communion from the Pope, the Roman Curia issued fierce guidelines imposing a virtual ban on distributing communion to non-Catholics.

John Paul must have known in advance that this was coming. Yet he still granted Blair's request.

"That was typical of the man," says O'Connor. "His instinct in these situations was always to say yes, and he often had to be restrained by officials who wanted him to say no."

So the Blair family knew from their own experience that John Paul was not the fundamentalist bigot of Islingtonian demonology."

James J. said...

Anonymous@3:37 PM:

if you are going to quote Damian Thompson, you could at least cite the
source article you are quoting from. Please and thank you.