Cardinal Mueller’s Day Off

From Your Catholic Week in Review (Cardinal Mueller’s Day Off Edition!)

Michael Hichborn
Lepanto Institute

Most adults will remember the 1980s irreverent yet classic comedy “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” — and though one seriously doubts Cardinal Gerhard Mueller would participate in similar conduct, one almost suspects that Muller might appreciate his time away from the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as participating in something of similar scale — namely, addressing the division between “Amoris Laetitia” Catholics and “enemies of the Pope” (sic).

Our friends at Rorate Caeli have this translation of an interview with Mueller over the current tenor of the debate over Amoris Laetitia and the Four Cardinals Dubia. Here’s a snippet of a long but worthwhile exchange:

Do you understand the reasons that brought Cardinals Burke, Brandmuller, Caffarra and the now deceased Meinser to present to the Pope five Dubia about the Exhortation?

“I don’t understand why a calm and serene discussion hasn’t [yet] begun. I don’t understand where the obstacles are. Why allow only tensions to emerge, even publically? Why not organize a meeting to talk openly about these themes, which are fundamental? Until now I’ve only heard invectives and insults against these cardinals. But this is not the manner nor tone to move forward. We are all brothers in the Faith and I cannot accept talk about categories like “a friend of the Pope” or “ an enemy of the Pope. For a cardinal it is absolutely impossible to be against the Pope. Nonetheless – the former Prefect of the Holy office continues – we bishops have the right, I would say the divine right, to discuss freely. I would like to bring to mind, that at the first Council, all of the disciples spoke frankly, even favoring controversies. In the end, Peter gave his dogmatic explanation, which was for the entire Church. But only afterwards, at the end of a long lively discussion. Councils have never been harmonious gatherings.”

There are two things to be recognized here. First, Mueller is making it explicitly clear to those who are not cardinals and bishops that it is the bishops who have the right and the privilege to discuss freely the consequences of “reforms of the reform” — not priests huddled around communications outfits struggling to adapt narratives.

Second — and perhaps more directly to those driving a wedge between the bishops through spin about Amoris Laetitia rather than discussing the merits of the dubia — is that talk of enemies or friends of Pope Francis (as we have seen strewn across the more progressive and politically secularist channels pushing the “agenda of reform”) is designed for the purpose of denying the calm and serene discussion Mueller and others are asking for.

Mueller’s exile is clearly opening the way for the cardinal to speak more freely about where he believes the problems within the Church to be. If, as Cardinal Muller asserts,the bishops and cardinals themselves are not creating the problem, then it begs the question: who is?

Of course, as we have found in the United States, the problem is more and more found within the bureaucracies — not the shepherds. As layers of fundraisers and communications experts (and priests and lay CEOs of “charities”) obscure the evidence on the ground and obfuscate their true agenda from the faithful, this is the sclerosis of the Catholic Faith against which we must be on constant guard. That said, we certainly do not remain blind to the fact that there are indeed bad actors among the shepherds of the Church. Prelates like Cardinal Cupich, Bishop McElroy, Bishop Tobin in Newark (not Rhode Island), Cardinal Wuerl and others have made clear their intention to undermine the Church’s universal teachings, in favor of a new or “future” church.

If “habit is not fidelity” (to borrow from a recent screed in L’Osservatore Romano) then surely wedding ourselves to the habits of bureaucrats without a divine office is a mischievous means placing a veil between the bishops and the faithful.

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One comment on “Cardinal Mueller’s Day Off

  1. All said, it was and is the Pope who put these bad Cardinals and Bishops in place. And it is the Pope who selectively listens to those who support the ideology of the leftist propaganda machines. The Popes up to Vatican 2 were not dealing with crisis in the Church based on ideologies. The Church got surprised at Vatican 2 because it did not expect (the Enlightenment) ideologies in the equation.

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