8 October 2018

MUELLER: PF IS ULTRA VIRES

A most important observation by Cardinal Gerhard Mueller has been reported but not, I think, adequately contextualised.

"A synod of the bishops is not an ecumenical Council. It has no authority. Even if the pope is speaking about authority, it is not magisterrial authority. THE POPE CANNOT CHANGE THE BASIC CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH. He cannot give a new definition of the primacy of the bishop of Rome or what bishops are to do."

The immediate context here is that PF had issued a purported "Apostolic Constitution" claiming to confer, in some circumstances, the cover of papal magisterial authority upon the pronouncements of his own poor doctored and loaded Synods.


The remote context is that Mueller is clearly here alluding to Denzinger 3114 (et vide 3117). Bismarck had launched a violent attack uon the teaching of Vatican 1; the German bishops responded by formally stating that the pope non potest mutare constitutionem Ecclesiae a fundatore datam ... Constitutio Ecclesiae in omnibus essentialibus fundatur in ordinatione divina ideoque immunis est ab omni arbitraria dispositione humana.

Subsequently, Pio Nono confirmed, in extraordinarily categorical language, what the German bishops had taught. It is thus the teaching not simply of the German bishops, but of Blessed Pius IX himself.

Frankly, the "Apostolic Constitution" had worried me. The firm explanation of Cardinal Mueller that PF (or any other pope) simply cannot do this sort of thing lifts a weight from my conscience.

The CBCEW has recently seriously dented its own reputation and authority by issuing an embarrassingly sycophantic ultrapalist communique. It would be very reassuring if this body could just teach the Catholic Faith with the same simplicity and clarity as Gerhard Cardinal Mueller does.

In my mind, Mueller would be a very good choice to sort out the mess which will have been left by this sad and sorry pontificate.

 

11 comments:

Ben of the Bayou said...

Dear Father Hunwicke,

Yes, I too was heartened by those words of the good Cardinal Mueller, though I admit I wanted even more. The reason is that, despite the 'newness' of this decree by PF, the idea is not, in fact, new.

A quick check of the CIC turns up canon 343 that (forgive my quoting in the vernacular) "in certain cases" the Roman Pontiff can "endow (the Synod) with deliberative power, in which case he ratifies the decisions of the Synod." Moreover, this Canon is based on the dispositions found in the m.p. of Paul VI, Apostolica sollicitudo (of 15 September 1965), 2, in which the same provision is found.

So, we have now Paul VI, John Paul II, and (it can well be argued based on the Ordo Synodi celebrandae he approved in 2006) Benedict XVI all approving the arrangement. Again, may I emphasise that I find it troubling that a small group of Bishops could be given Magisterial authority separated from the whole, *simply* because the Pope has made it so? (Indeed, the same Ratzinger argued against just such a scenario, theologically, but that was before he sat in the Chair of Peter.) Nevertheless, it is essential to also deal with these facts and instances of popes putting into place certain disciplinary institutions.

vetusta ecclesia said...



Uberpaplism also from Ouillet who appears to have said that Viganò mentioning PF in the Canon of his Masses is blasphemy, as if he were praying to rather than for the Pope.

Karl J said...

We are in very dark days, indeed.


Karl

Donna Bethell (formerly known as Rose Marie) said...

I have heard that after the definition of papal infallibility, Pope Pius IX was asked what should be done if a pope did proclaim a heresy. He answered, "Why, you would just ignore him."

It seems there is an awful lot of ignoring being called for these days.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father, For obvious reasons, it was during the war against the Church under Bismarck that Catholics first began to hear about the putative Marcan priority that modern Catholic "scholars" try to convince Trads is correct.

That claim and the impetus behind it is handled well here

http://www.churchinhistory.org/pages/booklets/farmer(n).htm

and here

Dear Father, It was during the war against the Church under Bismarck that Catholics first began to hear about the putative Marcan priority that modern Catholic "scholars" try to convince Trads is correct.

That claim and the impetus behind it is handled well here

http://www.churchinhistory.org/pages/booklets/farmer(n).htm

and here

https://www.ewtn.com/library/SCRIPTUR/KULTGOS.TXT

E sapelion said...

150 years ago this exagerated view of the Papal Magisterium was espoused by H E Manning and W G Ward, and opposed by a significant proportion of the English (and the American) hierarchy. A flavour of this view, later called Neo-Ultramontanism, is found in the Italian Jesuit journal 'Civilità Cattolica' "Quando egli medità, è Deo che pensa in lui - when he [the Pope] thinks, it is God who thinks in him”. I am just reading a recent book (by Serenhedd James) on George Errington, Archbishop of Trebizond in partibus, sometime Coadjutor of Westminster, who strongly opposed this view at the first Vatican Council.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George Mancz said...

"How about we just get back to the original, ancient idea that for doctrine to be declared, both the approval of Pope of Rome AND the ancient Eastern Patriarchates are needed, in Council, after free and open debate"


For starters, would you be so kind as to provide at least some Patristic or conciliar evidence for the originality and antiquity of such a view?

Cristóbal Orrego said...

You say that Pio IX "confirmed, in extraordinarily categorical language, what the German bishops had taught. It is thus the teaching not simply of the German bishops, but of Blessed Pius IX himself".

Therefore, if any Pope confirms the teaching of a Synod of Bishops (who are even more than the German bishops by themselves), thus this teaching if not simply of the Synod's bishops, but of the Pope himself.

In other words, your post is self-defeating.

Unknown said...

You are absolutely right. What Francis wants to do now has been done by Popes, like Pius IX, before.

Lucho Gatica said...

V. Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Franciscum.
R. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius. [Ps 40:3]

V. Let us pray for Francis, our Pope.
R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. [Ps 40:3]

lucho