Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Former Vatican doctrinal chief: ‘Clericalism’ is not the root of the abuse crisis

September 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has opposed the idea that “clericalism” is the root problem of the current abuse crisis. 
On 17 September, Cardinal Gerhard Müller said the “roots of evil” regarding the abuse crisis are both the “turning away from the truth and moral license.”
A doctrinal corruption will lead to a moral corruption, he said. At the center must stand the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, he added.
In a homily during of priestly ordination of Michael Sulzenbacher, SJM in Rome, the Cardinal touched upon the current situation in the Church, pointing to the Church's “deep crisis of credibility caused by men.” He sees, as a potential danger, a possible split within Christianity, similar to the “split of Christianity in the 16th century or the secularization of the spiritual life in the wake of the Enlightenment and of the French Revolution.”
“It is not clericalism,” says Müller, “whatever this might mean, but, rather, the turning away from the truth and moral license are the roots of the evil.” “The corruption of doctrine always brings about the corruption of morality and manifests itself in it,” adds the cardinal. 
“The severe sin against the holiness of the Church, without any remorse, is the consequence of a relativization of the dogmatic foundation of the Church. This is the real reason for the shake-up and the disappointment of millions of faithful Catholics.” In this context, Cardinal Müller points to the Protestant “reform” of the 16th century and adds a quote from a scholar who states that “the word reform covered up the heresy and the growing split of the Church.” These words mean that, at the root of the Protestant reformation, Müller sees heresy.
“Just as then, today there is also talk about reform,” the German prelate explains. Discussing this “propaganda formula” as it is now being widely used in the media – “reform of the curia and reform of the whole Church” –  Müller hopes that this reform would lead to a “renewal in the truth of Revelation and of the imitation of Christ.” 
“The true reform is not the secularization of the Church, but the sanctification of man for God,” he said.  
With an indirect reference to pastoral changes as they have been especially encouraged by Pope Francis,  Müller says that “it is a heresy to think one could preserve the teaching of the Church, but invent a new pastoral approach for the sake of the weakness of man which would soften the truth of the Word of God and Christian morality.” But, he adds, “the redemption from sin is founded in the truth that Jesus is the Son of God. Without the Incarnation, the Church would shrink down to a worldy organization for the improvement of the world.” Such a Church, states the Cardinal, “would have no meaning” with regard to our “yearning for God and our desire for eternal life.” The priest then would merely be a “functionary of a social-religious movement.”
Showing those in the Church the right way, the prelate says that she should not “carry the train of the Zeitgeist,” but, rather, “walk ahead with the torch of Christ's truth in the hand.” 
“We should not busy ourselves with secondary topics, and work with the agenda of others who do not wish to believe that God alone is the source and is the only goal of man and of all creation,” Cardinal  Müller continues. 
The true dangers of today, he adds, “are the greenhouse gas of sin” and the “global warming of disbelief and of the disintegration of morality.” “The best environmentalist and true friend of nature is he who proclaims the Gospels.”
For Cardinal Müller, the new approach of today —  according to which Christian dogma does not anymore need to be the foundation and the criterion of morality and pastoral care — reveals “a new Christological heresy” which consists of “putting Jesus the ‘Teacher of Divine Truth’ and Jesus the ‘Good Shepherd’ in opposition to one another.” 
But it is one and the same Jesus Christ who also said “I am the way and the truth and the life,” explains the cardinal. 


TJM said...

Is Clericalism a synonym for Sodomy?

ByzRC said...

I have to agree with Cardinal Mueller as well. For 5+ years now, the special interests, who apparently have the support of the current occupant of the chair, have tried to advance their cause while those who lack such interests have been trying to work around them. Well, the wheels are now coming off the cart. Absent having some other remedy, we will likely nod in agreement with H.E.'s opinion, and move along as nothing will change. I continue to hope that the Holy Spirit will guide the Church away from these troubled times with changed hearts. My feeling, however, is that the hearts of those who need to change are permanently hardened.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Father Chad Ripperger, one of the nation’s foremost exorcists, is saying that all the Church had to do to avoid the sex abuse scandals was to "follow its own laws. Bottom line: No matter how qualified a candidate was otherwise, unchastity immediately disqualified such a person. The priesthood is sacred and has different — far higher — standards."

"From Religiosorum Institutio Instruction on the Careful Selection And Training Of Candidates For The States Of Perfection And Sacred Orders

Sacred Congregation For Religious
February 2, 1961

18. The Role Of The Confessor And The Spiritual Director

Confessors have the grave duty of warning, urging, and ordering unfit subjects, privately and in conscience, with no regard for human respect, to withdraw from the religious and clerical life. Although they may appear to have all the dispositions required for sacramental absolution, they are, nevertheless, not for that reason to be regarded as worthy of profession or ordination. The principles governing the sacramental forum, especially those pertinent to the absolution of sins, are different from the criteria whereby, according to the mind of the Church, judgment is formed on fitness for the priesthood and the religious life. Consequently, penitents who are certainly unworthy of profession and ordination can be absolved if they show proof of true sorrow for their sins and seriously promise to drop the idea of going on to the religious or clerical state, but they must be effectively barred from profession and ordination.

Likewise spiritual directors are under obligation in the non-sacramental internal forum, to judge of the divine vocation of those entrusted to them and are also under the obligation to warn and privately urge those who are unfit, to withdraw voluntarily from the life they have embraced."

Well, we know how that went....

God bless.

Joseph Johnson said...

I just read this on Lifesite and checked out the original German article on the homily (incidentally, Mueller is depicted wearing a gold fiddleback while delivering this homily).

What a superb homily! I especially love the "greenhouse gas of sin" line! I've always thought of Mueller as kind of "center-right" but he really told it like it is!

Way to go, Cardinal Mueller!

George said...

There is no contradiction or conflict between God's Mercy and His Justice, between His Law and His Love.
Each is applied through His Holy Will in accordance with His inscrutable Wisdom and Divine Nature. The ultimate communio is that which describes the inseparable unity between God's Justice and His Love and Mercy. There is no conflict and contradiction within God and these Divine attributes work in harmony to the good of all. We see the synthesis of this in St Paul. No one spoke more eloquently of the love of God and neighbor, yet no one was more emphatic in condemnation of sin. We must avoid the extremes of rigorism and laxity and recognize that we are all called to repentance and conversion.
The teachings of God, His laws and precepts, correspond to His Essence, His Divine Nature and His Holiness. It is the desire of God that we have a good relationship to Him and this can only come about by us in our will conforming ourselves to His Holy Will. We have a right relationship to fire by respecting its nature. The mercy of fire is that it provides heat and light, the justice of it is its power to burn and consume. Our relationship to fire is in accordance with how we respect its nature and obey the laws related to it. The laws that govern electricity are good because in properly respecting their nature and employing their power according to verified principles, we derive great benefit. If, however, we do not respect the laws governing electricity, it can result in serious injury and even death.
So, likewise, God by His Nature is both just and merciful. Our relationship to Him accords with co-operating with His grace by obeying His Holy laws, conforming to the Beatitudes, and responding to, and corresponding as fully as we can, in all our actions, with His love for us.
There are immediate consequences that are experienced when God's physical laws are not respected. This is often not the case when God's spiritual laws are disobeyed. If the consequences of disobeying God's spiritual laws were immediate, then man would obey - not out of respect for God- but rather for the law itself. It is because of God's Divine Mercy and His love for us that we do not suffer immediate judgment and repercussion, since the consequences of transgressing his Holy precepts can be very severe, and if serious enough, result in eternal punishment. God, because He is merciful and desires that man be saved, and to be with Him forever in the Eternal Heaven, gives man the opportunity to realize and acknowledge his offenses in the here and now, and to repent, confess, and do penance to atone for them before facing His Judgement

Anonymous said...

They, the good clerics, are drawing the line. The cowards hide behind "clericalism rhetoric; the evil ones complain and pretend to be hurt. The heresy is obvious. The schism has been accomplished. How can Cardinals such as Muller a few others sit down with the likes of Cupich, Wuerl, Farrell etc, again? So we have de-facto schism, don't we?

Muller, Vigano and other likeminded churchmen should call a Synod citing necessity as authority and condemn the heresy and the schismatics. Come to think of it Cardinal Muller has done pretty much that already. But he and other orthodox prelates must join force and act together to save the Church from the wreckers.