Cardinal Müller on his “Manifesto”, its critics, Church leadership, current crisis

“The motive for sexual abuse of minors and ecclesiastical inferiors,” says the former prefect of the CDF, “is not the thirst for power over others, but unmastered sexual desire, which leads to the sin of lust and dehumanizes the victims.”

German Cardinal Gerhard Muller at the Vatican in a February 2014 file photo. (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters)

Cardinal Gerhard Müller is the former prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and the former bishop of Regensburg, Germany. A noted professor of theology, he is also the author of many books, including The Hope of the FamilyPriesthood and Diaconate, and The Cardinal Müller Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church.

Cardinal Müller recently responded to some questions from Catholic World Report about his recent “Manifesto of Faith” and reaction to it, as well as leadership in the Church, loss of faith in the Church, clericalism, and the Vatican Summit on sexual abuse.

CWR: You begin your “Manifesto of Faith” by noting the “growing confusion” within the Church. What are the main sources of this confusion? Why is this confusion apparently growing?

Cardinal Gerhard Müller: Even Jesus spoke about possible confusion in the faith, saying that all indeed will stray from him when the hour of the Passion comes. After all, nobody understands by nature [alone] that God’s power and wisdom appear in human powerlessness and folly.

This is the theology of the Cross, without which we can neither truly understand God’s ways nor walk in them. Then, too, through the possibilities of digital communication, many Christians are increasingly exposed every minute to antichristian propaganda. The mainstream media lie firmly in the hands of enemies to Christianity. Nothing is said of the millionfold cases of sexual abuse in the [secular] world, nor do they waste a single word in compassion for the victims. The grave failure of priests serves as an assault on the Church in general. The media only praise the Pope when they can make use of him for their agenda.

However, reform means spiritual and moral renewal in Christ, and not the dechristianization of the Church or her transformation into an NGO, where global warming is more important than the awareness that God is the source and goal of man and of the whole creation.

CWR: In writing of Christ, you state that Catholics must “resist the relapse into ancient heresies with clear resolve, which saw in Jesus Christ only a good person, brother and friend, prophet and moralist.” What are some specific examples of Christological heresies being renewed or recycled today?

Cardinal Müller: A commentator in the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung [a German newspaper] writes that this manifesto is a premodern thing, whereas Frankfurt Jesuits’ declarations on homosexuality, the abolition of [priestly] celibacy, and the ordination of women as priests all represent the modern. According to this writer, whoever speaks of Jesus as Son of God over-exalts him; the modern man can understand him only as a moral preacher on environmental protection—not on sexual morality, of course.

Already in the third century, [the Church rejected] Paul of Somosata’s theory of Jesus as mere man. Those theories of liberal theology since the eighteenth century that acknowledge Jesus only as a special man of fervor or of fuzzy kitsch, coupled with a duty-based morality à la Immanuel Kant—they might preserve a leftover of bourgeois Christianity for [our] secularized contemporaries, but they have nothing to do with the original testimony of the apostolic Church regarding Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Faith is not a question of the circumstances of the times or the intellectual-historical epoch, but of the truth.

Jesus is either the Son of the Father or he is not. We either believe in him or, being no longer Christians, stop declaring ourselves Christians. What good is a bottle of wine with a label promising “excellent quality” if this bottle is empty?

CWR: Some critics of the “Manifesto” point to the absence of specific mention of the papacy. Why do you not refer to the papacy directly? And what do you make of accusations that you are acting as some sort of “anti-pope”?

Cardinal Müller: These people are political strategists and theological ignoramuses. They obviously aren’t familiar with my remarks on the papal primacy in Catholic Dogmatics (released in several languages) and in my two books on the papacy (of over 700 pages).

The Church’s classic confession of faith speaks of the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Church, the Sacraments (Baptism), and eternal life, without mentioning the pope and bishops, who of course are a constitutive element in the sacramental Church. In their blind prejudice, these critics also haven’t noticed that the Catechism, from which the Manifesto of Faith draws, was declared by Pope John Paul II to be a good transmission of the depositum fidei [deposit of faith]. The same people who were critical, even hostile, towards Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, whom they denounced as traitors of the spirit of the [Second Vatican] Council, now invoke Pope Francis.

Yet they do this not because they acknowledge him as pope in terms of Catholic dogma, but rather because they want to use him as a vehicle for their leftist-liberal agenda to desacramentalize the Church. When it comes to the sexual crimes of some priests, they hold priestly celibacy or the sacramentality of the episcopal and priestly offices to be responsible, instead of looking to the collapse of the priestly ethos and sexual morality during the 1980s, for which these critics’ intellectual predecessors were to blame.

CWR: Writing of the sacraments, you note that “the views of a majority or the spirit of the times” must not replace Christ as the reference point for truth. To what degree and in what ways has a democratic spirit or “spirit of the times” replaced the deposit of faith as a sure guide to Church doctrine?

Cardinal Müller: Democracy in political life is our common premise for living together in a social commonwealth. However, the Church is the community of believers called by God’s grace. The Church lives from God’s truth; she does not make use of the truth at her pleasure or according to interests and claims of power over others. Together we listen to the Word of God and carry all responsibility for the complete, unadulterated transmission of the faith to every generation until the Coming of Christ.

Yet the task of [exercising the Church’s] unshakable teaching office is conferred upon the successors of Peter and the Apostles so that they will present the whole Church with the revealed truth, in order that she might believe it. The first two chapters of Dei Verbum clearly express these relationships.

CWR: There has been quite a bit of discussion about your references to apostasy and “the fraud of the Antichrist” (§ 5). Were you suggesting that we may be living through the “last trial of the Church”? And what sort of apostasy, specifically, did you have in mind?

Cardinal Müller: The Antichrist is a figure embodying opposition to Christ. He does not simply appear at the end of history, but emerges in every age as the one who tempts us into the pit and the one who destroys God’s house. Jesus has asked whether he will still find faith when he returns. And sometimes in Church history, it seems as though faith does run out in the Church. In the struggle against ultra-powerful Arianism, which was sustained by public opinion and political power, Saint Athanasius often seems outmaneuvered. Back then, Arianism was modern and Catholicism premodern in the eyes of those whose faith lay in forward progress. As Saint Jerome puts it with a groan, the world awoke and found that it had become Arian. This is the hour of Saint Peter. Jesus told him that Satan has longed to sift the disciples and the whole Church like wheat. Then followed Jesus’ word of tremendous force and relevance, even in this present time of suffering in the Church: “But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22:32).

CWR: You repeat a criticism that you’ve leveled before: that some bishops act more as politicians than as shepherds. Is this a form of the clericalism condemned by Pope Francis? What are some features of this political orientation by Church leaders?

Cardinal Müller: There is a new, incorrect use of language: the antiecclesiastical catchword of “clericalism” is now applied within the Church as a battle cry against the office instituted by God. Kleros means participation in the service of the apostles instituted by Christ (Acts 1:20). What the term “clericalism” is about is the abuse of authority in order to gain personal advantages by abetting friends, who get moved into positions in the Church despite their incompetence and unworthiness. [However,] the motive for sexual abuse of minors and ecclesiastical inferiors is not the thirst for power over others, but unmastered sexual desire, which leads to the sin of lust and dehumanizes the victims.

CWR: Turning to the Vatican summit, what did you think about the gathering? What do you think of the decision by Cardinal Cupich and other summit leaders to not focus at all on homosexuality and the abuse of adults?

Cardinal Müller: There is no sense in talking about structures that make abuse possible. This is political talk beyond the ken of the Church as God’s institution. The sacramental constitution of the Church, obedience to the Ten Commandments, and fidelity to one’s call as a baptized, ordained, or married/unmarried Christian—these, when heeded, are the best protection against all forms of disobedience to our Creator and Redeemer and against injury to the love of God and neighbor, that love which encapsulates all the commandments.

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  1. May God bless Cardinal Müller for his love of Christ and the Church. He’s absolutely correct that some are using the clerical sex abuse crisis for their own agenda without any real concern for the victims. He’s also correct that the response to the crisis must be spiritual and moral renewal and Christ.

    Some Catholics who love St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, however, have wondered whether the Cardinal’s Manifesto is an implicit criticism of Pope Francis. This is why they have taken note of the absence of any mention of Pope Francis and the papacy in the Manifesto. As is well known, Cardinal Müller has consistently defended the orthodoxy of Francis’s Amoris Laetitia, most prominently in his introductory essay to Rocco Buttiglione’s 2017 book, Risposte amichevoli ai critici di Amoris Laetitia [Friendly Responses to the Critics of Amoris Laetitia]. Some are wondering, though, whether Cardinal Müller’s Manifesto now signals a change in his attitude toward Pope Francis. The present interview seems to indicate that this is not the case because of his Eminence’s clear affirmation of papal primacy. Neverthless, it might be helpful for the good Cardinal to clarify his attitude toward the present Holy Father and not simply papal primacy in general.

    • Fastiggi overstates Cardinal Müller’s support of Pope Francis’s Al because of that essay in Buttiglione’s book. Müller’s refusal to comment on the Maltese and Buenos Aires bishops speaks volumes on a tortured prelate’s struggle to find the orthodoxy in a Papacy that won’t clarify its own exhortation. And the German bishops who are now acting on Al, especially regarding the Eucharist as they interpret it, with a silent pope’s blessing and a Cardinal Müller who has not supported them or their Maltese and South American counterparts.

      Fastiggi implies that Cardinal Müller has been always such an ardent supporter of this papacy…and now the ‘good’ Cardinal appears to be drifting and really needs to be vocal in support of the current pope.

      • For the sake of honesty, we must point out Fastiggi is one of the papal positivists, whose goal is to defend anything Francis says, not necessarily the truth. His comments here even show this- as though Muller is somehow not allowed to criticize this obviously (very troubled) pontificate and must profess some sort of personal allegiance to Francis aside from acknowledgement of papal primacy, i.e., he must have the correct “attitude.” And notice these folks always turn any criticism into personal attacks on Francis. Fastiggi also betrays his suspicion that something is wrong when he wants assure us that the pope’s claim with respect to communion for adulterers is not infallible. This means, of course, Francis could be wrong and thus someone is free to question the claims made in this regard, especially when Fastiggi himself, in contradictory fashion, wants to say AL & the guidelines can be interpreted in light of prior magisterium. They clearly contradict the entire previous magisterium, however, and if the magisterium was all wrong up until now, it could easily be wrong now. Here’s where the papal positivism folds on itself.

    • Dr Fastiggi there certainly is disagreement between Cardinal Müller and Pope Francis on the central issue of conscience and its relation to doctrine. And the limits of papal authority. Edward Pentin’s Dec 13 2017 interview in virtual tandem with the introduction to Buttiglione’s 2017 book highlights the Cardinal’s struggle “signaled” in his Manifesto. Edward Pentin: “Bishop Arrieta, the second-ranking official at the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, said the Buenos Aires guidelines take into account ‘norms but also the concrete situations’ affecting the conscience of remarried divorcees ‘in order to deal with a complex pastoral matter’. Cardinal Müller stressed that Footnote 351 of Amoris Laetitia, which some respected theologians say contradicts past doctrine and which opens the door to the reception of the Eucharist for some remarried divorcees who are not living in continence, ‘does not claim to present an infallible pastoral decision in individual cases.’ He said it is therefore ‘all the more disturbing that an individual letter from a pastoral region anywhere in the world is credited with an authentic and almost infallible teaching authority, and which in addition is confirmed as almost infallible.’ He further underscored that ‘bishops of any pastoral region do not exercise any infallible magisterium, and certainly their pastoral guidelines do not oblige all the faithful of the world to accept this interpretation of Footnote 351 as divinely necessary for salvation and accepted Catholic belief.’ The German cardinal said the Pope can make such binding statements with ex cathedra pronouncements but he cannot ‘submit his personal view of things for others to believe, or force their acceptance with canonical punishments, which they must unconditionally accept for the eternal salvation of their souls.’ He said the magisterium ‘teaches nothing other than what is contained in Revelation,’ and the ‘word of Jesus on marriage and adultery and the impossibility of a second marriage during the lifetime of the legitimate spouse is the norm of all pastoral and pastoral action of the Church.’ Cardinal Müller noted that neither the bishops nor the Pope ‘can authentically or infallibly submit to the Church and to all the faithful a doctrine, which they would have to accept for salvation, that contradicts the teachings of Christ and the apostles and the dogmatic decisions of the previous magisterium’. Quoting from Dei Verbum, the Second Vatican Council dogmatic constitution on Divine Revelation, he said the magisterium ‘is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit’”(Pentin NCR). Perhaps most of us are acquainted with this defining interview. Nonetheless there seems need for reminder.

      • Dear Fr. Morello,

        I think Cardinal Müller did not like having the Buenos Aires Guidelines on AL placed in the AAS and qualified as authentic magisterium. He’s certainly free to express this opinion, but something that is ordinary authentic magisterium does not mean it is represents the infallible magisterium. If people are making the Buenos Aires Guidelines infallible, then they are mistaken, and Cardinal Müller is justified in correcting this impression.

        With regard to Cardinal Müller’s affirmation of the orthodoxy of Amoris Laetitia, I will let his remarks from a Oct. 9, 2017 National Catholic Register interview with Edward Pentin speak for themselves:

        Cardinal Müller: “In Amoris Laetitia there’s no new doctrine or explication of some juridical points of the doctrine, but an acceptance of the doctrine of the Church and the sacraments. The only question is their pastoral application in extraordinary situations. The Pope will not and cannot change either the doctrine or the sacraments. What he wants is to help couples in very difficult circumstances as a good shepherd, but in accord with the word of God.”

        Edward Pentin: Is it problematic that the Pope is giving his own interpretations that appear to be at odds with the orthodox interpretation you espouse, for example his letter to the Argentine bishops and his praise for the Maltese bishops?

        Cardinal Müller: “In the case of the letter to the Argentine bishops, if the Pope is writing a personal and private letter, it’s not an official doctrinal document.”

        Pentin: It has been posted on the Vatican website.

        Cardinal Müller: “The website of the Vatican has some weight, but it’s not a magisterial authority, and if you look at what the Argentine bishops wrote in their directive, you can interpret this in an orthodox way.”

        After this Oct. 9, 2017 interview, Pope Francis decided to include his letter to the Argentine bishops and their guidelines in the AAS as authentic magisterium. I don’t think, however, that this signals a change in the Cardinal’s attitude toward the orthodoxy of AL.

        With regard to what Pope Francis might have in mind with footnote 351, I think we should read what Cardinal Müller says in his introductory essay (Saggio introduttivo) to Rocco Buttiglione’s book, Risposte amichevoli ai critici di Amoris Laetitia (Milano: Edizioni Ares, 2017).

        With respect to cases in which the nullity of the prior bond is impossible to prove, Cardinal Müller writes:

        “If the second bond were valid before God, the marital relations of the two partners would not constitute a grave sin but instead a transgression against the public ecclesiastical order for having irresponsibly violated the canonical rules and therefore a light sin. This does not obscure the truth that relations ‘more uxorio’ with a person of the other sex, who is not the legitimate spouse before God, constitute a grave fault against chastity and against the justice owed to the proper spouse” (pp. 25-26).

        Later in this essay (p. 26), Cardinal Müller explains the process of sacramental reconciliation needed for someone in the state of mortal sin. He then says that “Footnote 351 [in AL] does not contain anything that contradicts all this” (La nota 351 non contiene nulla che contradicca tutto questo).

        • I’m sorry but my one sentence above was unclear. The sentence should read:

          “He[Cardinal Müller] is certainly free to express this opinion, but just because something is the ordinary authentic magisterium does not mean it represents the infallible magisterium.”

        • Dr Fastiggi thank you for your well researched articulate response. “If the second bond were valid before God, the marital relations of the two partners would not constitute a grave sin but instead a transgression against the public ecclesiastical order for having irresponsibly violated the canonical rules and therefore a light sin” (Cardinal Müller). This seems the narrowest and legitimate object of discernment if the nullity of a prev marriage were impossible to prove [apparently in reference to evidence]. Fr Thomas Weinandy OFM Cap declared as much in an interview although the discernment of that would seem quite exceptional. The larger issue is an extended reliance on conscience in the Argentine document implying wider discretion. Although we both agree insertion of that document including the Pontiff’s response in AAS doesn’t constitute infallibility you added prev that we are to interpret the same in light of the Deposit of Faith. Again I appreciate your clarity on this important matter.

    • With all due respect, I do not see why might it be good for Card. Muller to clarify his attitude toward Pope Francis. What good would it do? In this time of mass confusion, we already know who is in charge of that department. It is not the Holy Spirit.

  2. Cardinal Muller remarks that “the term ‘clericalism’ is about is the abuse of authority in order to gain personal advantages by abetting friends… [However,] the motive for sexual abuse of minors and ecclesiastical inferiors is not the thirst for power over others, but unmastered sexual desire, which leads to the sin of lust and dehumanizes the victims.”

    St. Augustine would agree:

    “But to return to the word ‘LUST’. As lust for revenge is called ANGER, so lust for money is AVARICE, lust to win at any price is OBSTINACY, lust for bragging is VANITY. And there are still many other kinds of lust, some with names and some without. For example, it would be difficult to find a specific name for that lust for DOMINATION” (City of God, Book XIV, Ch. 15).

    “Difficult to find a specific name”? To compartmentalize and disguise sexual lust as mere “clericalism” IS the epitome of clericalism!

    The evasion of “clericalism” is a lie about “sexual desire” that “leads into,” first, lust itself (6th Commandment)—but then into the slandering of victims (the 8th), PTSD destruction of lives (5th), redefinition of the “family” (4th) and of “celibacy” (sacrilege: 1st), lost (stolen) innocence of victims (7th), and denial, obfuscation, and mind-bending (again, 5th).

      • A truly great and faithful servant of the Church. All those heretic bishops and cardinals who are dreaming of introducing homosexuality women priests etc make the faithful feel they would like to vomit.

        • And JP2 and B16 put a lot of those bishops and cardinals in their positions:
          McCarrick was created a cardinal in 2001, by JP2.
          Pell was created cardinal in 2003 by JP2.
          Groer was created cardinal in 1988, by JP2.
          Keith Patrick O’Brien was created cardinal in 2003 by JP2

          Every single paedo cardinal was created by the same Pope. Not by Bad Pope Francis, but by JP2. Yet the responsibilty of JP2 for the present atrocious mess is never mentioned – all the blame is transferred to Pope Francis alone. There is something deeply Soviet about the attitude that protects the dead by loading all the blame onto the living, If Abp Vigano and the dubia cardinals are in good faith, why do they criticise just the last Pope out of three ?

          • James C. is absolutely right. Yet. It was Pope Francis who rescued Cardinal McCarrick from his restrictions and allowed him to lead the Church into that disastrous deal with China. No sooner had the ink dried on the deal than the Chinese government prohibited young people from attending Church services then tore down two Catholic Churches. It was Pope Francis who promoted disgraced Bishop Zanchetta to a post in the Vatican. JPII and Benedict XVI may have appointed them but it was Francis who rescued at least the two mentioned AFTER their behavior had become known.

      • No! 85 to 90 percent of ALL the victims of abuse are MALE. When a priest bishop or cardinal engages in sex with teenage boys and seminarians what do you call this? We are not do deny reality, are we?

        • Well, were they abused because thry were male – or, because they were available to would-be predators ? Or possibly, becsuse humiliating them was an exercise of power and domination over those who had no defence and would not be believed ?

          There are at least three possibilties, not just one. For the record, same-sex attraction is not paedophilic, and should not be treated as essentially connected with paedophilia. They are entirely different things.

  3. CWR: Turning to the Vatican summit, what did you think about the gathering? What do you think of the decision by Cardinal Cupich and other summit leaders to not focus at all on homosexuality and the abuse of adults?

    Cardinal Müller: There is no sense in talking about structures that make abuse possible. …

    Somebody please explain to me how actually Cardinal Müller doesn’t mean what it sounds like he means. Please. He has long been a hero of mine. I can’t believe he said that.

    • Surely he means what you hope he means, that the all political “structures” are irrelevant when moral corruption, especially lust, is afoot and when the deeper-than-political sacramental nature of the Church has been thrown under the bus.

      As in: “there is no sense talking about structures[as if these are what] make(s) abuse possible.” Translation: those who are fixated on and reverence mere structures in this way–the named microphone/managerial clerics and pointy-heads of the world–are hollow suits.

      • My issue with Cardinal Müller’s answer is that addressing the real problem, which is the decades-old, entrenched entanglement of a significant number of clerics in homosexual fornication, is absolutely necessary if one of the mere symptoms of this fundamental problem – the abuse of minors by clerics – is to be dealt with realistically. Pope Saint John Paul II’s discussion of “structures of sin” is very helpful in understanding that this the case.

        JP II uses that expression in terms of Catholic Social Teaching when addressing the plight of underdeveloped nations of the world in Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, but it applies as well to the world of the Church. Here are a few telling excerpts:

        If the present situation can be attributed to difficulties of various kinds, it is not out of place to speak of “structures of sin,” which, as I stated in my Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, are rooted in personal sin, and thus always linked to the concrete acts of individuals who introduce these structures, consolidate them and make them difficult to remove. And thus they grow stronger, spread, and become the source of other sins, and so influence people’s behavior.

        “Sin” and “structures of sin” are categories which are seldom applied to the situation of the contemporary world. However, one cannot easily gain a profound understanding of the reality that confronts us unless we give a name to the root of the evils which afflict us. …

        I have wished to introduce this type of analysis above all in order to point out the true nature of the evil which faces us with respect to the development of peoples: it is a question of a moral evil, the fruit of many sins which lead to “structures of sin.” To diagnose the evil in this way is to identify precisely, on the level of human conduct, the path to be followed in order to overcome it.

        ”The true nature of the evil which faces us” – rampant homosexual fornication among clerics – with respect to the abuse of minors is first “a question of moral evil, the fruit of many sins which lead to ‘structures of sin.’,” which “consolidate them and make them difficult to remove. And thus they grow stronger, spread, and become the source of other sins.” Rampant homosexual fornication among clerics has indeed done just that.

        • Harry,
          Ah, I hear your question. In 1991 Pope St. John Paul II added some words about “structures of sin”. He wrote:

          “The decisions which create a human environment can give rise to specific structures of sin which impede the full realization of those who are in any way oppressed by them. To destroy such structures and replace them with more authentic forms of living in community is a task which demands courage and patience” (Centesimus Annus, n. 38).

          He’s not writing about the sexual abuse crisis, although (a) the term “courage” has a special double-meaning, and (b)the term “destroy” certainly suggests more of a needed big-game-hunt mentality than simply proposing guidelines and handbooks while ignoring the pink elephant in the room, and (c) “replace” has meaning in terms of summarily removing those benefiting from structured “personal advantages by abetting friends, who get moved into positions in the Church despite their incompetence and unworthiness” (Muller’s words). For starters, think Cupich and Farrell. As for “patience”, the time-tested biological solution has not worked.

          As I witnessed the scrambling lineup at the front of the class, at the summit news conference, a riddle popped into my head: Question: What’s the difference between the the microphone favorites and the Keystone Cops? Answer: Nothing. The first show is silent and the second isn’t a talkie.

  4. From my perspective, as a Catholic priest and theologian of nearly 22 years, there are many lacunae in Cardinal Müller’s “Manifesto of Faith.” For starters, he makes no mention of how the revolutionary changes of Vatican II, implemented by the Vatican II and Post-Vatican II Popes, including John Paul II and Benedict XVI, have played a decisive role in watering down Church doctrine, devotion and discipline in this convoluted era of “weak thought” (“pensiero debole”) and “double talk”(e.g., “nuanced hypocrisy,” which is very characteristic of Holy See Diplomacy and the Holy See Press Office). Furthermore, His Eminence never alluded to how widespread liturgical abuses and the innovations of the protestantized “Mass of Paul VI” (a Lutheran spin on the Traditional Latin Mass) have been detrimental to the “lex orandi, lex credendi,” of billions of Catholics all over the world since the debut of the “Novus Ordo Missae” in 1969/1970. And what about the negative impact on the orthodox, Catholic Faith resulting from the manipulation of ecclesial/ecclesiastical power on the part of Liberals, including many suspected Modernists and Masons, who hijacked Vatican II from the outset (e.g., “The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story” by Roberto de Mattei & “Iota Unum” by Romano Almerio) and who admittedly (e.g., Biography of Cardinal Daneels — “Sankt Gallen Mafia”) lobbied long and hard to get Francis elected in 2013, having just fallen short of their nefarious goal in the 2005 Conclave? Along these lines, one can logically call into question the validity of Bergoglio’s election if one were to take seriously the clear norms of John Paul II’s “Universi Dominici Gregis” (1996). To treat of Francis in a vacuum is a pathetic denial of the sad reality of a Church in steep decline in all major categories (e.g., vocations; parish/school closures etc) since the close of the Second Vatican Council in 1965. Francis is the perfect embodiment of “The Spirit of Vatican II.” He is a “material heretic” who has refused to answer the “Dubia” and the “Filial Correction” because he knows that he cannot do so without self-contradiction and therefore the possibility of being declared a “formal heretic” by the College of Cardinals. Bergoglio’s arbitrary change to John Paul II’s “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” on the Death Penalty defies the coherent logic of the Sacred Scriptures and the Natural Moral Law. This change should therefore be rejected as a false doctrine. Francis’ Jesuitical casuistry, according to which he dares to twist Thomistic principles into an ungodly pretzel, as he is also wont to do with God’s Word in his daily Mass homilies at Domus Sanctae Marthae,is on full display in Chapter 8 of “Amoris Laetitia,” wherein he blatantly contradicts the Ordinary Magisterium of John Paul II in “Familiaris Consortio” and “Veritatis Splendor.” Notice that the Argentine Pontiff has hitherto offered no clarification, let alone correction, of these egregious errors. Indeed, we should expect a “Manifesto of Faith,” not from a scorned, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, however good and noble his intentions, but a new “Credo of the People of God” or other similar “Profession of Faith” from the Pope himself who has, in too many ways to explicate here, failed in his petrine ministry to confirm his brethren in the Faith. On the contrary, time and again, without any shame or remorse, Francis has not only taught heresy (albeit not “ex cathedra”), but likewise fomented schism (he once remarked to the effect that he might become the first pope to cause a deliberate schism), and signed a declaration in the United Arab Emirates confirming inter-faith apostasy (God has willed all religions; in the active not passive sense as is abundantly clear from both the original Spanish and Italian texts). He has also uttered blasphemies against Our Lord and Our Lady. For example, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (December 8, 2018), he made remarks implying that Mary was tainted by actual (personal) sin and therefore someone whom we, sinners, could model more readily. On yet another occasion, Francis remarked that Mary must have thought herself duped by God as she stood at the foot of the Cross. Furthermore, Francis. once commented that Jesus at times in dealing with His disciples acted the part of “the fool” (“lo scemo” in Italian) in order to teach them. The list goes on and on: ad nauseam! Let all true Catholics, not just Princes of the Church, who have ears to hear and eyes to see likewise loosen their tongues and speak out not remaining content to play the role of Chinese monkey while the Church continues to fall apart at the seams in the early half of the Third Christian Millennium.

    • Excellent comment. God bless you fro seeing the truth. Indeed our Church travels through a difficult time in its hostory, but it is not the frist time. Many people are confused by the papacy of P. Francis. Have a good Lent.

    • Pope Francis recently clarified it was the permissive will of God in regard to the existence of other religions. I often read about accepting God’s will in classic writings of the saints and rarely see an explanation of what is meant every time the term”the will of God” is used. To be fair, you should at least include his clarification.

    • Thank you for that excellent outline Father Gregoris… You put into a few words what most of us are living through, suffering through and begging God’s intervention..

      How long can this go on we ask? How much more do the good clergy and good catholic laity have to suffer. But more importantly our Holy Church for which Christ, the Son of God, gave His Body and Blood … How long will those who should talk to defend the sheep ‘keep quiet’ thereby letting ‘error spread’…

      May Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother give us the strength and wisdom to know what to do.

      One thing is for sure ‘those who lead the faithful into error will answer to God Himself;..

  5. Cardinal Mueller thoughts are particularly piquant and poignant in an age in which the liberal media is attempting to reframe questions of faith and turn them into powerful statements of a social justice that is empty of God’s grace. Praise the Cardinal for his erudition and capacity to expose not just the the truth present in our faith but also the lies inherent in the modernism that so cripples our world$

  6. I held in high regard Cardinal Ratzinger’s thoughts in the Ratzinger Report but I really appreciate Cardinal Muller’s frankness and honesty as a high official of the Catholic hierarchy. What a tragedy and terrible loss to the Church that he was removed as Prefect of the CDF. But perhaps outside that office as official interpreter of the faith and Church discipline, he has much more freedom to speak his mind. He is a great gift to the Church in these tumultuous, confusing times and a great consolation to all faithful Catholics worldwide.

  7. The cause of sexual abuse in the Church is precisely what Cardinal Muller has said: lack of control of one’s sexual passions. Celibacy has nothing to do with sex abuse. The majority of sex abuse with both minors and adults for that matter are committed by married people, especially in one’s own family.

    That’s why God gave us the Sixth and the Ninth Commandments. Before the Sixth Commandment, a transgressor will start breaching the Ninth one. From the heart comes out all the evil in the world, including sexual abuses. If we keep our mind clean of any evil, we never resort to any sexual abuse, be it with minors or adults.

  8. Lettera di supplica a Ratzinger

    Sua Santità Papa
    ​Benedetto XVI
    ​(Joseph Ratzinger)
    ​c/o Monastero Mater Ecclesiae
    ​00120 Roma – Città del Vaticano

    ​Gordemo, 14 febbraio 2019
    ​(giorno di San Valentino)


    Sua Santità Benedetto XVI,

    mi rivolgo a lei in quanto Vicario di Cristo affinché, a seguito della mia presente e umile supplica di intervento, lei abbia a confermare nella vera e unica Fede in Gesù Cristo tutti i fedeli della Chiesa cattolica romana, così come le è stato ordinato e imposto dallo stesso Gesù Cristo, Nostro Signore, il Figlio di Dio e Fondatore della Chiesa.

    Diversamente dagli adulatori di comodo, io non ho mai approvato il suo gesto di dimettersi dal trono petrino, poiché con questo gesto lei ha anteposto alcuni suoi desideri umani di persona anziana al volere immutabile di Dio.
    Non solo: lei ha rassegnato le dimissioni in maniera incompleta e quindi sostanzialmente invalida poiché non ha rinunciato alla veste bianca, al titolo di “Sua Santità” e all’appellativo di “papa emerito” (concetto, quest’ultimo, neppure esistente nel Magistero). Se lei avesse voluto dare delle dimissioni effettive e valide, avrebbe dovuto rinunciare anche alla veste bianca, al titolo di “Sua Santità” e all’appellativo di papa, e tornare perlomeno “cardinale”.

    Quale conseguenza di questo suo agire, lei non ha impedito che la confusione entrasse nella Chiesa cattolica. Del resto, viste le sue dimissioni invalide dal profilo teologico e spirituale, è indubbio che il cardinale Jorge Bergoglio non può essere ritenuto un papa legittimo, ancorché si sia attribuito l’appellativo di Papa Francesco. Di fatto, egli è un antipapa e, come tale, non ispirato dallo Spirito Santo nella guida della Chiesa.
    Inoltre, a seguito di ciò, la Chiesa si trova in uno stato anarchico ove qualsiasi scelta pastorale adottata o imposta da Jorge Bergoglio è da ritenersi spiritualmente invalida: invalide sono le ordinazioni episcopali, le canonizzazioni ufficiali, gli atti da lui compiuti in quanto vescovo (illegittimo) di Roma.

    E` da anni che il Vaticano non obbedisce più a Dio e disprezza le profezie. Ad esempio, la gerarchia ecclesiastica non è stata capace né di divulgare in modo completo e tempestivo il Terzo Segreto di Fatima, né di consacrare nella maniera dovuta la Russia, adducendo ragioni di ingiustificato opportunismo (con il pretesto della gravità del contenuto del Segreto) e contravvenendo così alla ferma e insindacabile volontà manifestata da Maria Santissima nel Suo messaggio: il Segreto avrebbe dovuto essere rivelato per intero entro il 1960.
    Anche i papi renderanno conto a Dio di questa loro disobbedienza e, visto il loro ruolo, la loro colpa avrà un peso enorme.

    Leggo e conosco quanto sta avvenendo nella gerarchia ecclesiastica di oggi, dove le potenze occulte hanno ormai il sopravvento. Eppure, malgrado ciò e nella convinzione spirituale che anche lei dovrà subire un dolore come di spada, la invito ancora a testimoniare, affinché il suo dolore possa ancora essere quello proficuo del martirio santificante.

    La rendo attento che, qualora abbandonasse questo mondo senza un chiarimento sincero e completo a conferma della Fede dei veri credenti e del Piccolo Resto, che ancora prega incessantemente, non solo lei dovrà darne spiegazione a Gesù Corretto Giudice, ma la stessa Chiesa militante si troverà ancor più fragile nel combattere l’esercito dell’Anticristo, ormai in procinto di manifestarsi.
    In sostanza, si convinca, Sua Santità Benedetto XVI, che se lei interverrà subito a confermare la Fede della Chiesa, anche in antitesi al Falso Profeta che la sta distruggendo, lei permetterà a un numero maggiore di credenti di accedere alla salvezza eterna.
    Il suo intervento dovrà essere chiaro e leale: non solo nella riconferma dei valori immutabili della Chiesa, ma anche nella condanna doverosa e precisa di chi sta attualmente usurpandone il potere e il trono all’interno della stessa pur di ridicolizzarla, deriderla e – per quanto possibile – trasformarla in disprezzo della Sua purezza divina.

    Non ho altro da aggiungere. Ho compiuto il mio umile dovere di informarla e di ammonirla, secondo il Volere di Dio. Do copia di questa testimonianza, non confidenziale e divulgabile, anche al cardinale Robert Sarah e al vescovo di Astana, Mons. Athanasius Schneider.

    Sua Santità, voglia riversarmi la sua potente benedizione di Vicario di Cristo!
    Dio la benedica e la Vergine Maria la protegga sempre!


    ​Dante Davide Scolari


    – Sua Em. Cardinale Robert Sarah, Largo del Colonnato 3, 00193 Roma, Italia:

    – Mons. Athanasius Schneider, c/o Cathedral Sanctae Mariae, P.O. Box 622, 010010 Astana, Kazakistan:

    • Gentile signor Scolari,

      Mi dispiace ma lei non ha ragione. Il papa Benedetto XVI si è dimesso dal papato liberamente e con piena consapevolezza. Papa Francesco è ora il legittimo Papa non Benedetto XVI.

      Ecco il testo della dichiarazione di dimissioni di Benedetto XVI:


      Carissimi Fratelli,

      vi ho convocati a questo Concistoro non solo per le tre canonizzazioni, ma anche per comunicarvi una decisione di grande importanza per la vita della Chiesa. Dopo aver ripetutamente esaminato la mia coscienza davanti a Dio, sono pervenuto alla certezza che le mie forze, per l’età avanzata, non sono più adatte per esercitare in modo adeguato il ministero petrino. Sono ben consapevole che questo ministero, per la sua essenza spirituale, deve essere compiuto non solo con le opere e con le parole, ma non meno soffrendo e pregando. Tuttavia, nel mondo di oggi, soggetto a rapidi mutamenti e agitato da questioni di grande rilevanza per la vita della fede, per governare la barca di san Pietro e annunciare il Vangelo, è necessario anche il vigore sia del corpo, sia dell’animo, vigore che, negli ultimi mesi, in me è diminuito in modo tale da dover riconoscere la mia incapacità di amministrare bene il ministero a me affidato. Per questo, ben consapevole della gravità di questo atto, con piena libertà, dichiaro di rinunciare al ministero di Vescovo di Roma, Successore di San Pietro, a me affidato per mano dei Cardinali il 19 aprile 2005, in modo che, dal 28 febbraio 2013, alle ore 20,00, la sede di Roma, la sede di San Pietro, sarà vacante e dovrà essere convocato, da coloro a cui compete, il Conclave per l’elezione del nuovo Sommo Pontefice.

      Carissimi Fratelli, vi ringrazio di vero cuore per tutto l’amore e il lavoro con cui avete portato con me il peso del mio ministero, e chiedo perdono per tutti i miei difetti. Ora, affidiamo la Santa Chiesa alla cura del suo Sommo Pastore, Nostro Signore Gesù Cristo, e imploriamo la sua santa Madre Maria, affinché assista con la sua bontà materna i Padri Cardinali nell’eleggere il nuovo Sommo Pontefice. Per quanto mi riguarda, anche in futuro, vorrò servire di tutto cuore, con una vita dedicata alla preghiera, la Santa Chiesa di Dio.

      Dal Vaticano, 10 febbraio 2013

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