29 May 2017

Cardinal Mueller

I believe that Gerhard Cardinal Mueller deserves much more wholehearted sympathy and support from orthodox Catholics than he often does get.

At a time when his Eminence is having to struggle to maintain orthodoxy at the heart of an unsympathetic regime, he cannot afford to be attacked on the grounds that he has failed to defend the magisterial documents of Vatican II in his dealings with the SSPX. So his current praxis is to edge close to de facto reconciliation, step by step, rather than to make a big public splash. His Excellency Bishop Fellay was given faculties to deal canonically with an errant SSPX priest; Society priests can absolve with undoubted validity; the recent rules with regard to Marriage do provide, in a somewhat tortuous way, for Society priests to conduct Marriages which diocesan tribunals will not find it easy to annul; and (most recently) the Society's bishops are allowed to perform "illicit" ordinations (!). (Giving it the power to incardinate clergy from outside itself might be a valuable next step.) There is much to be said for such an approach.

Surely, "step by step" is also a policy which has the advantage of preserving the internal cohesion of the Society. Given the importance of this admirable Society in the work of evangelisation, that is no mean consideration. And, as long as there is no formal canonical reconciliation, there continue to be no restrictions to prevent the Society from setting up missions in dioceses where an obstructive Ordinary might not want them.

With regard to Amoris laetitia, Mueller has made clear that a change in the Church's teaching and practice with regard to "remarried" divorcees would be so monumental that it could not be done by an inference embedded in a footnote, but would have to be done explicitly. As I have several times explained, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Mueller has maintained Catholic orthodoxy, even if his way of doing so is not the way that some others deem best.

And his Eminence is a resolute defender of the important dogmatic fact that Episcopal Conferences, and their Chairmen, have no doctrinal, ecclesiological status: an insistence at the very heart of the  crucially important Ratzingerian teaching about the ontological priority of the Universal Church. This teaching is our great bulwark against Kasperism and its disciple Cardinal Marx. Without this insistence, which is one of the most important monuments of the Ratzinger years, the Catholic Church, in purely human terms, would face the same slide into fissiparous heterodoxy which has destroyed the once proud Anglican Communion.

And, not least, Cardinal Mueller has recently pointed out, publicly, that the current regime fails to live up even to the rhetoric of its own PR machine ...  as in the matter of the unfair treatment of Vatican employees, who ought not to be sacked without proper and decent process. To do so is the action of an Absolute Prince in a Renaissance Court!

5 comments:

DrAndroSF said...

"the same slide into fissiparous heterodoxy"

See, Father, this is why There Must Always Be An England.

Elisabeth F. said...

A remarkable interview, and well worth listening to - the cardinal's voice amplifies the words that one reads in the transcript. He's a helmsman steadily and surely guiding the barque while the captain....This interview contrasts marvelously with ones given in-flight and to aging agnostics.
Oh, to have been a fly on the wall during conversations between Mueller and Ratzinger !
We see emerging a select few bishops and cardinals who are so devoted to our Lord and the faith - gifts to sustain, guide, and invigorate us in the Church's reconstruction that Ratzinger envisioned nearly a half century ago.
(Now to watch - as pointed out on Ignatius His Conclave - what the commission to investigate deaconesses does.)

frater raphael said...

I had the great pleasure of being ordained to the diaconate by this great Cardinal Müller. He is a humble, friendly and a good bishop. He stood alone in Germany against the manipulative and mobbing actions of his "brother" bishops and lay burocrats running the German Church, and managed to put in place some well needed reforms in his own diocese. In fact, he is the ONLY Bishop I have heard of here in Europe that actually took any kind of concrete action in reforming and improving his diocese. The other bishops, even so-called "conservatives", might wear the right gear and talk the right talk, but never follow through. Cardinal Müller is not one of those! He is, in my opinion a stronger version of Cardinal Ratzinger as the head of the CDF. AND, he is under constant attack by the liberals, not just in Rome but in the German and Austrian Bishops conferences too. So, pray for him and support him please!!! Father Raphael OCist.

Mario Josipovic said...

"Mueller has maintained Catholic orthodoxy, even if his way of doing so is not the way that some others deem best." That is an excellent way of putting it, Fr.

I caught most of a recent interview of Cardinal Mueller by EWTN's Raymond Arroyo. Arroyo asked some very pointed questions about recent controversies, and the Cardinal deftly dealt with most of them. In response to the matter of the Five Cardinals' Dubia, he showed some irritation at what he calls "ideological" posturing. One can disagree with that particular characterization, but the Cardinal's attitude is very much rooted in his overwhelming confidence in the Church as embodiment of the living Word. To paraphrase one of his comments (and I am likely mangling it): "I cannot save others with my assertion of this or that theology, it is the living Word that saves."

He is crystal clear in his fidelity to the Faith. He was critical of the behaviour of certain conferences of bishops, and was very firm about the impossibility of women ordained to the diaconate (he talked of exploring non-sacerdotal roles for deaconesses based on ancient precedents, but gave a curt "no, it is impossible" about the notion of ordaining deaconesses).

Christopher Boegel said...

Mueller has my support- as do the Bishops who submit the questions to the Pope.