15 September 2017

CDF: throw the archives open

In his illuminating Cuddesdon paper, Fr Aidan Nichols reminded us that, according to reports, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (then directed by the admirable Gerhard Mueller) submitted copious corrections to the draft of Amoris laetitia ... all, or most, of which were ignored.

Let me remind you why this matters. As Fr Aidan said, we would find it preferable to be able to believe that the errors and (at least prima facie) heresies in AL were a matter of negligent language on the part of Papa Bergoglio, rather than the result of a positive intention to teach what he knew to be error. We can only judge which of those two verdicts needs to be passed on our Holy Father (and, obviously, the latter is a graver matter than the former) if we can collate the corrections offered to him by the Congregation with the successive drafts of AL and its final text.

I know we can hardly expect, in this pontificate, so open and frank an action as the publication of the CDF's comments. That, in a sense, is the problem about this troubled period in the history of the Church Militant. The current occupant of the Roman See talks without ceasing when it would become him to be silent; and keeps his mouth zippered when it is his duty to open it and to defend the Fides tradita and to confirm his brethren. Where there should be secrecy there is openness; where we need openness, there is secrecy.

Incidentally, may I appeal for help? There are reports in a the German digital newspaper, Mannheimer Morgan, that Gerhard Cardinal Mueller has made some rather important points. I would be interested to see the text (or an English crib, if possible) of the Cardinal's actual words. Can anybody supply me with a link? This is how the report sums up the part I am mainly interest in: "To rely solely upon the inspiration of the Holy Ghost in theological questions? A frightening idea for [Mueller]. Mueller makes reference here to the example of S Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621); he pointed out to Clement VIII (1536-1605) in clear words his lack of theological competence".

(To be clear: I do not want another link to the newspaper report but to his Eminence's actual words which are here merely summarised.)

I suspect that Mueller may have made an important contribution to the problem of how we handle a doctrinally disfunctional pontificate.


AndrewWS said...

Mueller in Mannheim


The article starts with a reference to him quoting approvingly Bellarmine saying to a pope of his time, "Of that you understand nothing".

No time to translate the whole thing - I'm at work and should be translating for my employer.

Kind Regards

Your erstwhile churchwarden and alleged distinguished linguist

Ana Milan said...

There is as yet no English version of his book "Mission & Mandate". The only English notification of its publication so far is on 1P5.

Simplicius said...

"Er war mit den Päpsten seiner Zeit sehr kritisch. Er hat dem Papst, der nicht Theologie studiert hat, gesagt: ,Heiliger Vater, davon verstehen Sie nichts!"

Anonymous said...

try marie hickson at onepeterfive

John Vasc said...

Interestingly, it was also Bellarmine who (in 1605) suggested that a council might well be empowered to depose a Pope who was unjustly elected. And, as you know Father, since you discussed it in a post here in 2014, it was Bellarmine who quoted the tag "nam dubius Papa habetur pro non Papa" (citing Jean Gerson, the 14c commentator on the Avignon Schism, as its originator) though that quotation appears not to have been located anywhere in Gerson's work so far.

I wonder if Bellarmine was thinking directly of Clement VIII (d.1605) the Pope to whom he had said: 'You have no understanding at all about that!' on a matter of doctrine.

Bill Schuetter said...

"Er war mit den Päpsten seiner Zeit sehr kritisch. Er hat dem Papst, der nicht Theologie studiert hat, gesagt: ,Heiliger Vater, davon verstehen Sie nichts!"

"With the Popes of his time, he was very critical. He said to the Pope, who hadn't studied Theology, "Holy Father, you know nothing about it!"

Steve Perisho said...

This isn't Cardinal Müller's original German, but rather a collection of links to the sources in Bellarmine himself, in case you're interested:


Steve Perisho said...

I didn't like the formatting in that other one. Use this instead: