Cardinal Müller: Church hasn’t changed doctrine under Pope Francis

Head of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says immorality of cohabitation, adultery, divorce, homosexuality, and prohibition on Communion for divorced-and-remarried Catholics remain part of Church teaching

With Pope Francis at left, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, right, is seen at the consistory in which he was made a cardinal in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 22. (AFP/Getty Images/Vincenzo Pinto)

The Catholic Church under Pope Francis has not changed her teaching on the immorality of cohabitation, adultery, divorce, or homosexuality, and she has certainly not opened the door for civilly-divorced-and-remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion, said Cardinal Gerhard Muller in a new book-length interview published April 1. 

Muller, the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said in the 240-page book, titled The Cardinal Muller Report, that Catholics must not fear “confessing our faith.” The book was dedicated to Pope Francis. 

In the interview, conducted about a year ago but only made available in English this month, the Cardinal said that it would be a “false concept of God” as well as a “false interpretation of mercy” to allow civilly-divorced-and-remarried Catholics living in adultery to receive Communion. 

Any pastoral accompaniment for those in irregular situations, he said, must “always be rendered according to conscience and the teaching of the Church.” 

“Saint John Paul II warned that being pastoral does not mean a compromise between the doctrine of the Church and the complex reality of daily life but, rather, leading individuals to Christ,” he added. 

Muller said that Pope Francis’ famous statement “Who am I to judge,” often repeated by those who are hoping to see a “change of direction” in the Church on homosexuality, does not mean the Church has suddenly become “less dogmatic” on the issue. 

Other topics Cardinal Muller addressed in his interview (paragraphs not necessarily linked in original): 

Priestly celibacy

Priestly celibacy, which is being challenged so much today in certain ecclesiastical quarters, is rooted in the Gospels as an evangelical counsel, but it also is intrinsically related to the ministry of the priest.

We cannot break unilaterally from the series of declarations by a long line of popes and councils and from the steady and continuous adherence of the Catholic Church to the image of the celibate priest.

Married priesthood (viri probati)

A vocational crisis cannot be dealt with by addressing only its symptoms and not its real cause. What has given rise to the vocational crisis? I believe I can say that it is a matter of a crisis of faith, which in turn is a result of a long secularization that has dried up what was once fertile soil and has scorched the earth.

Are we aware that a massive inclusion of viri probati, which is especially foreseeable in countries where Catholicism is expanding and there are not many priests, would unquestionably mean the end of celibacy? 

We cannot solve such big problems through compromise solutions or half-measures.

Population control

Anti-birth policies are nothing but another ideological proposal that hides the unmentionable: the attempt to maintain, unfairly, the privileged status of a few, at the expense of blocking access to wealth by broad layers of the population. Actually, as we have just explained, we know that hunger in the world is not at all the consequence of overpopulation and that abortion does nothing to contain population growth, serving only to satisfy our hedonism.

Based on catastrophic predictions that have never been borne out, rooted in neo-Malthusianism (for example, Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb), some international organizations have recently exacerbated the problem, proposing a “responsible parenthood” that implies reducing the birthrate, by whatever means, for a better distribution and optimal use of resources.

In that regard, we must clearly denounce as having no scientific basis the claim that the alleged current population explosion has caused global economic impoverishment: if two thousand years ago the world had an estimated two hundred million inhabitants, and it took fifteen centuries to double that population, in the last two centuries the world population has multiplied by six, surpassing six billion inhabitants, while real GDP worldwide has multiplied by fifty. It is no surprise, then, that the anti-birth theories based on the myth of population’s geometric progression while the means of subsistence have grown only in arithmetic progression (Thomas Robert Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population), should be more and more discredited among the scientific community, which now leans more and more to the conclusion that people, when they are seen clearly, unclouded by erroneous ideological distortions (Friedrich Hayek, The Fatal Conceit), end up resolving the problems themselves thanks to human creativity.

Anti-birth policies are nothing but another ideological proposal that hides the unmentionable: the attempt to maintain, unfairly, the privileged status of a few, at the expense of blocking access to wealth by broad layers of the population. Actually, as we have just explained, we know that hunger in the world is not at all the consequence of overpopulation and that abortion does nothing to contain population growth, serving only to satisfy our hedonism.

Large families

Large families are an expression of the superabundance of love. They are a great yes to life. Several children are a great gift not only for their parents but also for the Church and all of society. Lumen gentium (no. 11) speaks of Christian parents as those who in a certain way bestow their children on the Church.

Full story at LifeSiteNews.

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Comments

  1. But if people believe doctrine has changed (some do) and if people now act on the basis of believing that doctrine has changed (some are) then, whether doctrine has changed or not, the damage has been done.

    • If people (the laity) act on the basis of a false belief that doctrine has changed, then they have inflicted “damage” upon themselves: a sad occurrence, but one in which “damage” is limited. HOWEVER, an official change in doctrine affects the universal Church: not only a sad occurrence but also a more serious one. This article disputes the fact that such a very sad and serious occurrence has transpired. The Holy Spirit continues to preserve the Church from error. Thanks be to God.

      • Ann Malley says:

        Yes, the Holy Spirit continues to preserve the Church from error despite churchmen who foist ambiguity upon the flock in the hopes of deceiving those who wish to be deceived. So increasingly the onus is for the individual to educate themselves as to what precisely the Church teaches and not follow the shepherds who appear as priests but are working against the sanctification of the flock.

        • Ascribing an intent into the action of an individual is the proper sphere of God Almighty alone, He Who is the only One who judge justly for only He can know the intent and the heart of any individual. Therefore for a Catholic such as yourself to ascribe mal-intent into a sacred minister’s exercise of his own ministry (“in the hopes of deceiving those who wish to be deceived”) cannot be thinking with the spirit of God, but that of dissent and disobedience.

          Furthermore, it has not been proven that the Magisterium has taught error in matters of faith and morals. Therefore for a Catholic to despise the ministry of the present Holy Father and the bishops in actuality despises the Voice of the Shepherd Himself, and of the One Who…

          • sent Him: “He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me” (Luke 10:16). Let no one ignore and despise the teachings of the Magisterium to their own peril! Listen to the living Magisterium!

          • Ann Malley says:

            Indeed, let no one despise the teachings of the Magisterium. That is why it is increasingly incumbent on the individual Catholic to judge with right judgment, not assume that all clerics are acting in accordance with the Magisterium. Beware of blind guides.

            I am glad that you have finally come to the knowledge that you have no capacity to ascribe intent to others, jon. When you do so, as you just have (I never stated I despised the ministry), you are not operating under the influence of the Holy Ghost.

            See to the beam in your own eye. Dissent and disobedience are all around and those who pretend otherwise put themselves and their children at peril!

          • Just to put a finer point: If Person A says that Person B “despises” someone or something, Person A is not ascribing an intent. Rather, Person A is describing the behavior, the attitude of Person B. And judging the outward behavior of another person is totally allowed as God has created us with human intellect and reason able to judge outward things. Therefore, your claim that I have judged your intent by saying you “despise” (when what I have done is merely re-used Our Lord’s word) is false.

  2. Linda Maria says:

    Our Church is Godless, faithless, hypocritical, and shockingly immoral, in a great many ways! And top prelate say they are worried about priestly vocations?? Can’t they figure out why?? “Married priests” are not the answer— good, faithful, orthodox ones would be rare, anyway– and may not want to serve, in a bad Church! Married Eastern Rite priests, in churches in communion with Rome, of particular cultures, are deeply devout in religious practice, with their wives and children, and with their parishioners!! They are not as worldly and secularized, as our own (Roman Catholic) Latin Rite priests and parishioners, and seek the True Faith of their forefathers!!

  3. Tom Byrne says:

    Of course the doctrine has not changed, as anyone reading the Pope’s comments on marriage and family, and his very harsh remarks on gender theory and related perversions can see. The Pope (who appointed Muller) would hardly let him say what he’s saying here otherwise. But the enemies of the Church are trading on the fact that Pope Francis himself has not answered the dubia and seems uninterested in officially correcting what seems a flaw in Amoris Laetitia. One short address would do it, and we must pray His Holiness will change his mind.

  4. Faithful and True says:

    Then will someone PLEASE explain to the faithful Catholics who put their trust in the hierarchy with each donation they give if the Church hasn’t changed her doctrine WHY do the hierarchy (especially in California) dance around the doctrine as if it has no bearing on their “pastoral approach of mercy” as they quote Bergolio as if he personally condones their apostasy? Oh wait… that’s right – various bishops from around the world have been waving their “personal letter of approval” from Francis which condones their disregard of CLEAR CHURCH TEACHING. Well then, that just makes EVERYTHING all ok now, doesn’t it?!

  5. Catherine says:

    Strategically confusing footnotes/policies have now tragically jeopardized the spiritual well being or safety of many souls. Enabling licentious Larry or amorous Leticia is not charity, Love means clarity. It took three days for the head of United Airlines to apologize/clarify their confusing policy that tragically enabled the mistreatment of passengers. Public outcry brought clarity regarding how a person should be treated on an airplane. Church doctrine is being knowingly hijacked from within. Ignoring, the important outcry request, for clarification from the head of Christ’s Church on earth, makes United Airlines now look more pastoral than our hierarchy.

  6. Catherine says:
  7. Anonymous says:

    Linda Marie:
    I don’t think married priests are the answer to the question the world is asking: “Is chastity possible or desirable?” We Catholics understand chastity as the proper use of sex that can be lived under two forms (married or celibate). The world identifies it with abstinence only, so if the Church says “priests can marry” the world will hear “priests can have sex like the rest of us in relationships”, which means with contraception, divorce, different partners, etc. If the world understood marriage like the Church that would be one thing, but it doesn’t.

    • Linda Maria says:

      Anonymous, why are you addressing this post to me? Our Church for centuries, has had a celibate priesthood, and I believe in it! I think you meant your post for someone else. My only point is that from observation– it seems that a Church that openly allows (and encourages??) so much evil, sin and hypocrisy, may discourage good, faithful Catholic young men, from pursuing a priestly vocation! Some young Catholics have mentioned that they are very discouraged, with the state of the Church, today– they are afraid to marry in it and raise children, and afraid of possibly pursuing vocations, too! How about you– what do you think??

  8. No writing by Pope Francis has ever even suggested a change in Church teachings, including the famous “footnote.” He has, however, suggested that we ought to consider anew how our Priests minister to the flock given the rapid change in secular life in the modern world. Most of our Priest were educated in a system based on the middle ages when they were the only really educated people. Not the case today.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why does this so-called “Christian” website print the FILTH of “Vicente??” Especially on Easter??

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