Cardinal Müller: Amoris Laetitia hasn’t changed Church discipline

Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith "doesn't like" that cardinals' Dubia was made public

Cardinal Gerhard Müller (photo from One Peter Five blog)

The Vatican’s doctrinal head has challenged several cardinals’ public questioning of the doctrinal validity of Amoris laetitia, saying the document is “very clear” on doctrine, and that making the discussion public is harmful to the Church.

“Everyone, above all the cardinals of the Roman Church, have a right to write a letter to the Pope. However, I was amazed because this was made public, almost forcing the Pope to say yes or no,” Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said in a Jan. 8 interview with Italian TV channel Tgcom24.

“I don’t like this,” he said, adding that “it does damage to the Church to discuss these things publicly.”

The interview took place just two months after a letter signed by four prominent cardinals requesting that Pope Francis “resolve the uncertainties and bring clarity” was made public.

Cardinal Müller has consistently maintained that Pope Francis’ 2016 apostolic exhortation on love in the family has not changed the Church’s discipline on admission of the divorced-and-remarried to Communion, and that it must be read in continuity with the preceding Magisterium.

In a May 4 speech, he countered arguments that Amoris laetitia eliminated Church discipline on marriage and allowed in some cases the divorced-and-remarried to receive the Eucharist “without the need to change their way of life.” He stated: “This is a matter of a consolidated magisterial teaching, supported by scripture and founded on a doctrinal reason.”

If Pope Francis’ exhortation “had wanted to eliminate such a deeply rooted and significant discipline, it would have said so clearly and presented supporting reasons,” Cardinal Müller said during his address at a Spanish seminary.

Comments

comments

To add a comment, click on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ icons OR go further down to the bottom of comments to the Post your comment box.

Comments

  1. Your Fellow Catholic says:

    Dubia. Answered.

    • YFC — if what you say is true, then it was really so simple and obvious all along. A child could have given the same answer as Muller. Does Amoris Laetitia contradict Veritatis Splendor? Ans: ” No.” Why didn’t I think of this simple and profound response before? I must be getting old.

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        I think your question is better posed for Burke et al., but if these Cardinals were interested in anything other than “gotcha” moments with the Pope, they would have known the answer.

        • No YFC, the question is posed at you and your comment “Answered.”

        • Ann Malley says:

          There is no answer. +Mueller’s statement is that AL is very clear and so are the teachings of Christ and the perennial teachings of the Church. Nowhere does +Mueller state that the teachings of AL are clearly the SAME as those of Christ and the Church.

          So, yes, Dubia answered. The deafening silence is confirmation that to answer yes or no would make formal the deviations from what is clearly from Christ and the perennial teachings of the Church.

          • “Cardinal Müller has consistently maintained that Pope Francis’ 2016 apostolic exhortation on love in the family has not changed the Church’s discipline on admission of the divorced-and-remarried to Communion, and that it must be read in continuity with the preceding Magisterium.”
            Oh how slippery of Muller. He seems to be speaking out of both sides of his mouth, both supporting Familiaris Consortio and Veritatis Spendor and Amoris Laetitia at the same time. FWIW, Francis won’t do the same.

          • Catherine says:

            New York Times – His Holiness Declines to Answer by Ross Douthat
            NOV. 26, 2016

            But the strange spectacle around the dubia is a reminder that this cannot be a permanent settlement. The logic of “Rome has spoken, the case is closed” is too deeply embedded in the structures of Catholicism to allow for anything but a temporary doctrinal decentralization. So long as the pope remains the pope, any major controversy will inevitably rise back up to the Vatican.
            Francis must know this. continued below

            https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/26/opinion/sunday/his-holiness-declines-to-answer.html

            continued,

          • Catherine says:

            continued,

            For now, he seems to be choosing the lesser crisis of feuding bishops and confused teaching over the greater crisis that might come (although who can say for certain?) if he presented the church’s conservatives with his personal answers to the dubia and simply required them to submit. Either submission or schism will come eventually, he may think — but not till time and the operation of the Holy Spirit have weakened his critics’ position in the church. – continued below

            https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/26/opinion/sunday/his-holiness-declines-to-answer.html

            continued,

          • Catherine says:

            continued,

            But in the meantime, his silence has the effect of confirming conservatives in their resistance, because to them it looks like his refusal to give definitive answers might itself be the work of providence. That is, he thinks he’s being Machiavellian and strategic, but really it’s the Holy Spirit constraining him from teaching error.

            https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/26/opinion/sunday/his-holiness-declines-to-answer.html

    • If AL has not changed moral or sacramental doctrine, nor the pastoral practices that flow from it, then there are several dioceses in Europe and the US that seem to have become schismatic. When will that problem be addressed? Or did Cardinal Mueller mean that AL has not changed moral or sacramental doctrine, nor the pastoral practices that have been de facto and illicit for 50 years?

  2. John Patrick says:

    The Cardinal should learn what is being said in Diocese of San Diego quoting the document he said didn’t matter.

    • Catherine says:

      The New York Times -The End of Catholic Marriage by Ross Douthat
      December 1, 2016 12:46 pm

      ” But if Pope Francis does not mean his apostolic exhortation to be implemented along the sweeping, come-all-eventually-back-to-communion lines proposed by Bishop McElroy, he should say so, and soon. Because in the diocese of San Diego, there may be something called the sacrament of matrimony, but the church itself plainly does not believe in Catholic marriage anymore.”

      http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/12/01/the-end-of-catholic-marriage/

      • Where is “Our Lady of Akita” when we need her? Oops, she never WAS! That’s the opinion of the Holy See.

        • Ann Malley says:

          …the “opinion” of the Holy See is not exactly the clearest. Or was there a definitive negative on Akita? If so, please post your source. Something definitive from the top spot would be refreshing for a change.

          • The written reply by the Papal Nuncio to Japan [sent by instruction from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] to a written request, was in the negative. I believe that the request was from a British newspaper, but cannot remember with one hundred percent confidence. As I understand it, the Pope does not address such matters specifically, but leaves it to the Congregation—which renders its findings to him.
            Likewise, the then-Archbishop of Tokyo [in an interview in the Roman magazine “Trenta Giorni”] said that nothing supernatural had occurred at Akita and people should pay no attention to it. You can google “Our Lady of Akita” and you will find these references.
            Hope this has been helpful.

          • Ann Malley says:

            I cannot find any affirmation of your claims, Roberto. In fact, what I have found in researching Akita is that it is still “officially” considered approved.

    • St. Christopher says:

      Sadly, Cardinal Mueller acts as if he is bought and paid for.

      The Pope — pray for him — was wrong in Amoris Laetitia, and C. Mueller knows it. Of course, C. Mueller is German and would, by his nature, not like anything that suggests that the Leader cannot do as he wishes. Come on, Cardinal, the Pope is a clear and present danger to salvation; ask the Holy Ghost to directly intervene. We need the Pope, but we need a faithful one, not a hashed-over, clerical Che Guevara.

      • Steve Seitz says:

        St. Christopher, I don’t mind ethnic slurs when made in jest. But your stereotyping of Germans didn’t strike me as humor. Please note that Germans are no more likely to want a dictator than the average person.

        • Catherine says:

          “I don’t mind ethnic slurs when made in jest.” = O-u-c–h!

          Well, it just goes to prove, the accuracy of the proverb…. “One man’s meat is another man’s poison!”

          Our family is part German and we’d sure welcome a hierarchy that charitably “dictates,” ( lay down authoritatively) the Fullness of Truth!

          • Catherine, it depends upon the nature of one’s humor. If one tries to be humorous without guile (even if the humor is feeble), I personally feel that it’s rude to reject the person’s intent. There have only been a small number of times in my life when I’ve heard humorous racial quips that did, in fact, underscore racist intent.

        • St. Christopher says:

          “Steve Seitz” what you often say is insightful and good. However, the German Catholic hierarchy is, in all reality, separated from Catholicism by their heretical statements, their willingness to gut Catholic doctrine to serve their financial interests (i.e., to become popular again and attract more parishioners so that they can be taxed and thereby provide more income from the State to the German Church). Let them go.

          Cardinal Mueller seemed like a good man, until his Stockholm Syndrome statements. But, you are likely correct in one thing, the Germans want a weak and compliant Pope, not one that stands up for the Faith.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            St. Christopher,
            Thank you for the kind words. Like you, I also have issues with the Church in Germany. My issue, though, is that you said that “C. Mueller is German and would, by his nature, not like anything that suggests that the Leader cannot do as he wishes.” It was the reference to his German nature predisposing him to appease the Leader that I had an issue with.

        • “No more likely to want a dictator”? Ever see films of the Nuremberg rallies? The Germans don’t get off that easy; and the historian Santyana correctly observed that those who forget the past are likely to repeat it. You are a tad too thin-skinned, sir. Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen, Treblinka, and on and on suggest that the Germans still have much to atone for. Not to mention the TWENTY MILLION Russians dead because the German armies violated a peace treaty in a stab-in-the-back invasion. You might be tempted to retort: but those were decisions made by a small group of Nazis and contrary to the peoples’ intentions. Small group? I’ll cite the Nuremberg rallies again. Contrary to the Germanic peoples’ will? Remember the…

          • almost unanimous “yes” vote of the Austrians (including Cardinal Innitzer!] to the Anschluss [annexation to the Third Reich]?
            If you cannot accept a peoples’ collective guilt and collective duty to atone, you best follow the the advice of the philosopher Wittgenstein: “of things about which one dare not speak [in defense or denial], one must remain silent”.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Mr. Vicente, the flaw with your logic of holding modern Germans accountable is that there are practically no Germans left in Germany who had any culpability for bringing about the Third Reich. I reject the notion that innocent people should be held accountable for their guilty ancestors.

  3. Catherine says:

    Taken from Rorate Caeli Website – Official response of Bishop Athanasius Schneider to Amoris Laetitia
    The following was written by His Excellency Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan. This is the official response to Amoris Laetitia from the good bishop. He wishes this to be read by all so please repost and forward far and wide.

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/04/official-response-of-bishop-athanasius.html

    continued….

    • Catherine says:

      “It was the Second Vatican Council that encouraged all the faithful and especially the bishops to express their concerns and observations without fear, for the good of the Church as a whole. Servility and political correctness have introduced a pernicious evil into the life of the Church. The famous bishop and theologian of the Council of Trent, Melchior Cano O.P., said these memorable words: “Peter does not need our lies or flattery. Those who close their eyes to the facts and indiscriminately defend every decision of the Supreme Pontiff are those who contribute most to undermining the authority of the Holy See. They destroy its foundations instead of strengthening them.” – His Excellency Athanasius Schneider

      http://rorate-caeli

  4. B O L O G N A !!! Luther is applauding in his grave.

  5. The Holy Father’s words and actions have been, at times, confusing and contradictory. AL especially so.

    Jesus said, “let your yes be yes and your no be no. anything else is from the devil”.
    Jesus never let a question go unanswered. Equally, He never let his listeners stay confused or unsure about his teachings. He always repeated his answer in multiple parables so that we could understand. His listeners might leave Him. But, his listeners had no doubts about his point. As in the bread of life discourse.

    The Holy Father must answer them directly. I thank God for the courage of the 4 cardinals. Same for B. Schneider. Good, brave shepherd that we need.

  6. Linda Maria says:

    Maybe Cardinal Mueller is trying to keep the peace, right now, in the Vatican— maybe later, things will work out rightly, as they should. I hope so! I have read and heard that “Amoris Laetitia” is destroying many Catholic parishes, and many Catholics are leaving, or considering leaving, the Church. I also have read and heard many priests and bishops who state that they cannot contradict Christ’s teachings, and cannot go along with the wishes of the Pope. Hopefully, this situation will get set right, before God.

  7. Meanwhile, the many parishes and priests that have always allowed (even encouraged!) civilly divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion via the “internal forum” will continue to allow it. What has changed exactly?

COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.

Speak Your Mind

COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.