I find it hard to express adequately the great debt I feel I owe to Cardinal Mueller for his unfailing and continuing defence of the Catholic Faith during these dark days of papal apostasy. It fills the need that many of us feel for the sort of sound, and intelligent, teaching we received in the last two pontificates.
May I, today, remind you of the Magisterial "Manifesto of Faith" which his Eminence issued on 8 February 2019.
Remarkable was the fact that in Section 2 of this Credo ... "The Church." ... it did not mention the Petrine, Papal, ministry.
I venture to suggest that a reason for this may be as follows.
" ... the [Vatican I] definition of infallibility has a logical status quite different from that of any other definition; it is a second-order definition, a definition about definitions, whereas they are first-order definitions, definitions about the faith. Thus to be told that, under certain conditions, the Pope is infallible, is not to be told anything about the Christian faith at all; it is only to be told something about the conditions under which you may be told something about it."
I think that this is a valuable insight with regard to the exercise of the papal ministry as a whole, and not only those exercises of it which directly involve the question of formal Infallibility.
It comes from The Recovery of Unity, 1958, by the Reverend Professor Doctor Eric Mascall, of this University. He was a logician, a mathematician, a theologian, whom Fr Aidan Nichols, O.P. praised in 1993 as a 'separated doctor' of the Catholic Church.
Dr Nichols, by the way, before his most interesting relocation to Jamaica, very importantly drew to our attention the need, during the post-Bergoglian pontificate, for serious theological work on the exercise of the Petrine Ministry.
Rather than centring embarrassingly upon the particular disasters of this unfortunate pontificate, it might be more useful (as well as more tactful) to concentrate on the identification of different types of papal intervention. Helped by a few miracles of taxonomical wizardry, we might identify ways of wriggling out of "the mess" in which PF will have left us, while still retaining a Petrine Ministry.