26 March 2022


I keep on writing about the terminology elaborated by S John Henry Newman: which he termed 'the Suspense in the function of the Ecclesia Docens': a way of looking at things which arose from Newman's own detailed sudy of the period of the Arian Controversy. I last did this, I think, on March 16. Nobody ever seems to take much interest in my one-man campaign, although I think that it is an essential hermeneutic for living in the Church at this present moment. Go on ... sneer ... raise one of your many expressive eyebrows and then move on ... see if I care ...

But now somebody else has just said something which you cannot as easily ignore.

Gerhard Cardinal Mueller.  

"Whoever wants to prescribe to the faithful other sources of revelation besides the Holy Scriptures and the Apostolic Tradition, has fallen away from the Catholic faith (cf. Vatican II, Dei Verbum 9f). Heretical bishops must not be obeyed, and every Catholic is called upon to bear witness to the truth against them, even if they enforce their power with brute force, just as the Arian and Donatist bishops once persecuted true Catholics".


Hooray! At last!

Read it again! 


Paul in Melbourne, Australia said...

Awesome. I had read his remarks when first published and thought how they so closely reflected your ideas.

Richard said...

Very good. That just leaves the question of who decides whether the bishop is a heretic.

Ross Poldark said...

Dear Father Hunwicke,
You should trust a little more that there are those who, as is my personal case, follow your interesting (although not always completely well oriented, in my opinion) everyday articles.
Regarding Cardinal Müller's quote, note that the cardinal is referring to erroneous doctrines not to be obeyed or followed. I underline: the doctrines.
The problem is that you want to apply that non-obedience, to discipline. And, in his case, since he interprets that the novus ordo missae suffers from doctrinal errors, it should not be obeyed, as Traditionis custodes should not be obeyed.
We are Catholics, and we are because we are in Peter's Barque, and today Peter is Francis.

Albertus said...

Excellent quote, Father, which i shall spread around.

consideratelilia said...

I was at a dinner with Dr Kwasniewski last year, and he brought up the topic including Newman. He did not cite you though.

Evangeline said...

It's an important point to make, Fr. Hunwicke. The laity cannot hear that point enough, because we're all a little gaslighted, and told obedience, above all else. The new virtues have replaced the old virtues, and they must be signaled. People need to be reminded of the truth of things. There have been so many lies and distortions. I guess that is why the world is the mess that it is.
By the way, Fr. Hunwicke, Google made me go through about 18 puzzles before I could comment.

Marc in Eugene said...

I think that I'm not the only one of your readers who embraces your 'way of looking at things, an essential hermeneutic for living in the Church at the present moment'. But of course who am I, one amongst the millions and millions; if 'they' pay no attention to you they are most certainly not going to pay any attention to me.

I continue to hope that F. will realize what he has done and failed to do and, by the intercession of Our Lady, Saint Michael and all the Angels guardians of Rome, begin to preach the Catholic Faith whole and entire.

Anita Moore said...

For what it's worth, I think your Hermeneutic of Suspense hits the bulls-eye.

John the Mad said...

Just so. Bravo Gerhard Cardinal Mueller.... and you Father.

Christopher Boegel said...

Thank God for gutsy Bishops like Cardinal Mueller, who put obedience to God over fear of disobedient authorities.

Michael said...

I like your comments about suspension of the magisterium very much indeed and circulate them to like-minded friends. I relate the suspension to a puzzling suspension of reason in Francis.

Mary Kay said...

I thought your 'Hermeneutic of Suspense" a totally fitting description of the current situation in the Church. But when I read the quote by Cardinal Mueller, I thought you were joking! I am happy to find that you are not.

Fr PJM said...

I do not raise an eyebrow, I raise a glass to Your Reverence !

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father, Amen. This Catholic principle is body stated in my favorite Creed:

Creed of Pope Pius IV

The "Professio fidei Tridentina", also known as the "Creed of Pope Pius IV", is one of the four authoritative Creeds of the Catholic Church. It was issued on November 13, 1565 by Pope Pius IV in his bull "Iniunctum nobis" under the auspices of the Council of Trent (1545 - 1563). It was subsequently modified slightly after the First Vatican Council (1869 - 1870) to bring it inline with the dogmatic definitions of the Council. The major intent of the Creed was to clearly define the Catholic faith against Protestantism. At one time it was used by Theologians as an oath of loyalty to the Church and to reconcile converts to the Church, but it is rarely used these days.

I, N, with a firm faith believe and profess each and everything which is contained in the Creed which the Holy Roman Church maketh use of. To wit:

I believe in one God, The Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God. Born of the Father before all ages. God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God. Begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father. By whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And became incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary: and was made man. He was also crucified for us, suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was buried. And on the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son. Who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, and who spoke through the prophets. And one holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I await the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Apostolic and Ecclesiastical traditions and all other observances and constitutions of that same Church I firmly admit to and embrace.

I also accept the Holy Scripture according to that sense which holy mother the Church hath held, and doth hold, and to whom it belongeth to judge the true sense and interpretations of the Scriptures. Neither will I ever take and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.

I also profess that there are truly and properly Seven Sacraments of the New Law, instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and necessary for the salvation of mankind, though not all are necessary for everyone; to wit, Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony; and that they confer grace; and that of these, Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders cannot be repeated without sacrilege. I also receive and admit the accepted and approved ceremonies of the Catholic Church in the solemn administration of the aforesaid sacraments.

I embrace and accept each and everything which has been defined and declared in the holy Council of Trent concerning original sin and justification.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

I profess, likewise, that in the Mass there is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; and that in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist there is truly, really, and substantially, the Body and Blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that a conversion takes place of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood, which conversion the Catholic Church calls Transubstantiation. I also confess that under either species alone Christ is received whole and entire, and a true sacrament.

I steadfastly hold that there is a Purgatory, and that the souls therein detained are helped by the suffrages of the faithful. Likewise, that the saints, reigning together with Christ, are to be honored and invoked, and that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be venerated. I most firmly assert that the images of Christ, of the Mother of God, ever virgin, and also of other Saints, ought to be kept and retained, and that due honor and veneration is to be given them.

I also affirm that the power of indulgences was left by Christ in the Church, and that the use of them is most wholesome to Christian people.

I acknowledge the Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church as the mother and teacher of all churches; and I promise true obedience to the Bishop of Rome, successor to St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Jesus Christ.

I likewise undoubtedly receive and profess all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred Canons, and general Councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent, and by the ecumenical Council of the Vatican, particularly concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his infallible teaching. I condemn, reject, and anathematize all things contrary thereto, and all heresies which the Church hath condemned, rejected, and anathematized.

This true Catholic faith, outside of which no one can be saved, which I now freely profess and to which I truly adhere, I do so profess and swear to maintain inviolate and with firm constancy with the help of God until the last breath of life. And I shall strive, as far as possible, that this same faith shall be held, taught, and professed by all those over whom I have charge. I N. do so pledge, promise, and swear, so help me God and these Holy Gospels of God.

There is a reason obedience is qualified for false obedience means, to me at least, obeying a heretical prelate which is neither kosher or Catholic

coradcorloquitur said...

Yes, we are Catholics and are in Peter's Barque---but is Peter? Cardinal Mueller has spoken as a true bishop and as a true Catholic, a species in high demand among the Faithful today due to their scarcity.

JOSEPH said...

Bless me father for I have sinned,
concerning the definition of heretic,I read an article by Edward Peters a canon lawyer who wrote the 1917 code defines a heretic, where as the new code it,s impossible to render a verdict because one would have to read ones heart.LOT OF PEOPLE ARE OFF THE HOOK!!

Howard said...

Is Fatima in the Holy Scriptures?
Is Fatima in Apostolic Tradition?

Have the visions at Fatima been prescribed as another source of revelation? To judge by the hand-wringing over whether all the i's were dotted and t's crossed in the 1984 consecration of Russia or the consecration on Friday, yes.

I don't think that's where you wanted to go with this, but it is hard to avoid this conclusion.

Of course, the idea of continuing visions and prophecy is present in the New Testament and in Sacred Tradition, so Cardinal Mueller's statement is not actually self-consistent, unless by "another source of revelation" he means "another source of revelation necessary for salvation, equally binding in faith to Holy Scriptures and Apostolic Tradition". But then, the complaint that Roman Pontiffs don't do as they are told by a source not binding in faith has very little punch to it.

Albertus said...

I am sure that the good Cardinal Mueller was referring only to "Sources that are binding in faith": videlicet, Divine and Apostolic Tradition, and its subset Holy Scripture. He does not at all seem to mean Fatima and like, to which no Catholic is bound by divine and catholic faith.