[The Wanderer officially (i.e., in an editorial) “comes out”; hat-tip to Canon212: “Wanderer to Francis: Answer the Dubia. You’re enflaming the de facto schism!”]
January 12, 2017
By JOSEPH MATT
It seems another prelate has abandoned his post. In an interview on January 8, Gerhard Cardinal Mueller, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, rejected making any correction of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia, effectively joining some of his fellow German cardinals in a slight to Cardinal Burke and his three colleagues.
The very title of the congregation which this cardinal heads implies the importance of the office and its crucial role — especially as it relates to the current situation with the four cardinals and the dubia. Cardinal Mueller’s words in this interview are a critical blow to the current dubia situation. What is the relevance of such a congregation if it cannot offer an answer in a matter that requires a clarification regarding the Catholic faith?
Mueller’s snub adds to the relentless and uncharitable campaign from within to marginalize these four courageous cardinals. Their treatment by their peers is nothing short of scandalous and constitutes a grave injustice to them and our Church. These good men who are simply looking for clarity and answers to basic questions concerning the Catholic faith do not deserve the kind of disrespect they are getting from their fellow clergymen.
The time for silence on this issue among fellow cardinals, bishops, and priests has passed.
Make no mistake about this; it is an event that has drawn a line in the sand which will have consequences in the immediate future of the Catholic Church. Those who remain silent about this matter will be complicit in its consequences. Sadly, the Vatican, through intimidation and in an almost dictatorial fashion, has tried to portray the four cardinals, and those supporting them, as undermining the Pope, or dismissed them out of hand because of alleged ulterior motives.
The conflict with the four cardinals is not just a remote issue related to them: It affects each and every Catholic who is suffering the detrimental effects already. Fr. Mark Pilon in last week’s Wanderer analyzed the ill consequences of this controversy.
To highlight the gravity of this situation, take for instance the Church’s teaching on receiving the Eucharist: Anybody instilled with basic Catholic teaching knows that someone in a state of objective mortal sin cannot receive the sacrament. Any teaching contrary to this demands immediate clarity from the highest office of the Church. This is one of the glaring issues at hand. If this exception is allowed, logically our Catholic faith quickly unravels. It would lose its basis and its substance, plain and simple. Every catechized Catholic knows that.
With all due respect, the Pope’s silence on this matter and the relentless attack on the four cardinals widen the growing division in the Church. Serious Catholics are becoming concerned and even angry that the faith passed on to them– with a historical basis of 2,000 years of magisterial teaching and tradition — is being undermined and threatened.
Some issues only the Pope can resolve, and this is one of them. Not his spokesman, not his representatives, but the Shepherd of Shepherds, the Pope, the representative of Christ on Earth, must answer and guide the flock when questions of this magnitude arise. And, after all, the Pope’s own words created this controversy.
Your Holiness, your leadership is required and commissioned by God Himself. Your silence on this matter has only inflamed and provoked the de facto schism which is taking place.
The longer these issues continue, unresolved, the worse the harm to the Church.
Your Holiness, the cardinals deserve an answer; the Catholic faithful deserve an answer.
The Catholic faithful are growing wary and angry. The significance of this passing Year of Mercy rings hollow when one looks at the unjust treatment of four sincere cardinals in good standing, berated and undermined for doing what God called them to do. The heavens cry out for simple justice on this matter.
Intimidation and threats did not stop the martyrs, disciples, and Catholic faithful throughout the ages from proclaiming the teachings of Christ. Let’s not let it stop us. Stand up for these cardinals, stand up for the faith. Let your voices be heard.