When is a hint a hint? If I say "Don't do X", I think a future historian might draw the inference that X was really happening, or might at least be a real possibility. In other words, the Slave of Clio might detect a pretty potent hint as he/she interprets such words. When I was in teaching, we did not put up notices saying "Students must not frequent the pubs in Manhattan during term time", because of the unlikelihood that students might do such a thing, or even, given the distances involved, think about it. We did put up notices regarding rather closer watering holes, particularly the Sussex Pad: a nearby hostelry at which some prankster always seemed to have removed the first three letters of the first word of its name.
The interview with Cardinal Mueller last October, published in the National Catholic Register by the admirable Ed Pentin, contained a number of things which I am surprised have not made more of an impact among people with an eye for hints. Here is one such passage.
"A certain interpretation of the document's [Amoris laetitia] footnote 351 cannot be a criterion for becoming a bishop. A future bishop must be a witness to the Gospel, a successor of the Apostles, and not someone who repeats some words of a single pastoral document of the pope without a mature theological understanding."
If this isn't a hint as to what's now going on in the Congregation for Bishops, I don't know what such a hint would look like.
Recently a kind reader sent me a copy of the oath that new bishops are made to swear (Fr Zed subsequently published it). It included these words: "I will guard the unity of the Universal Church, and therefore I will work hard to see that the Deposit of the Faith handed down from the Apostles is kept pure and whole ..."
Indeed; and how splendidly edifying. You will remind me that it is positively Irenaean. But it is preceded by three paragraphs, some of them rather slavishly expressed, about how obedient the newly consecrated bishop will be to the pope, to his legates, and [then in the final paragraph] to Uncle Tom Cobbly and all.
In my opinion, this reprents an inversion of the proper order of things. The faithfulness of a bishop to the Tradition is conceptually prior; his faithfulness to the current occupant of the Roman See is something which, by Divine Institution, ministers to that faithfulness. Reread your S Irenaeus!
The bishop is not faithful to Tradition because the pope orders or requires him to be; he is respectful towards the pope because the pope is supposed to embody the Tradition, venerable and normative, of the Roman Church.
If my discernment of the hint in Cardinal Mueller's words is accurate, then the question might arise (see my post of December 13) of ones attitude towards the 'magisterium' of those appointed to the episcopate since Amoris laetitia.
Were they selected on the grounds of their reliable heterodoxy?
It seems to me humili presbytero that the very wells of Apostolic Teaching are being deliberately poisoned, if not by PF, then by his agents (cronies, for example, in the Congregation for bishops ... I must remember to look through their names some time). Blessed John Henry Newman our Patron, writing at a time when ultrahyperueberpapalists were on the rampage, felicitously referred to them as "an arrogant and insolent faction". Surely, the same phrase applies a fortiori to the equally fanatical Ultras of our own age.