“I cannot accept this way of doing things”

Cardinal Gerhard Müller criticizes the way Pope Francis dismissed him from CDF, but insists he remains loyal to the pontiff

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)

Cardinal Gerhard Müller has criticized the way in which Pope Francis dismissed him as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, while continuing to insist that he is loyal to the Pontiff.

The German cardinal told the daily Passauer Neue Presse that the Pope did not inform him that he would be dismissed until the last day of his 5-year term. The notification came in a brief phone call, Cardinal Müller revealed, and the Pope did not offer any explanation for replacing him. “I cannot accept this way of doing things,” the cardinal said.

The cardinal said that he was similarly unhappy with the way Pope Francis had ordered him to dismiss three staff members of the CDF, again without any explanation. He said that the Church should adhere to its own standards in the treatment of employees.

Cardinal Müller said that he has been “always loyal to the Pope and always will be.” He said that he could not join with the cardinals who have issued a public call for clarification of Amoris Laetitia, and would not be “harnessed to a movement which is critical of the Pope.” Nevertheless he indicated that he sympathized with the cardinals who have express concern about the papal document. On the question of allowing Communion for Catholics who are divorced and remarried, he said that public statements by the Pope’s supporters “are simply not convincing.”

Cardinal Müller said that the Church is now troubled by severe divisions, and reconciliation between different factions is needed to avert the threat of schism. He said that in his retirement he hopes to continue working for the defense of Catholic doctrine and for unity within the Church.

Full story at Catholic Culture.



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  1. out on lake galilee one day a few apostles noticed that judas had pulled the boat drain plug and water was coming in. a handful called out warning that this could sink everything. judas angrily reprimanded them for being critical. one apostle explained he was only making an observation and it wasn’t meant with critical spirit, but only to save the boat and the mission to catch fish judas retorted that this was a chance to wade out into the deep and leave behind the rigid , predictable spaces that always led to the same safe harbor.

  2. William Robert says:

    Well, Cardinal Muller, the Pope is Jesus’ main man on earth(AKA: the Vicar of Christ)…and you are not! As our President would say: “You’re fired!” The Pope is the boss and he gets to choose his employees! Enjoy an early retirement Cardinal! It could be worse!

  3. Vince Ryan says:

    It is strange that many who defend the Pope’s most controversial utterances and decisions use the following reasoning: the Cardinals who elect the Pope are guided by the Holy Spirit, therefore the Pope who is elected is therefore God’s choice. They apparently forget that the Church does not teach that Cardinals are infallible. It is well known that the Church has in the past suffered bad Popes who were duly elected.

  4. Your Fellow Catholic says:

    Cardinal Muller should be praised for sticking with a pontiff who he obviously thought was not approaching things appropriately. It is interestingly to me that he speaks out once his own job was on the line. There is something self-serving about Muller’s complaints. Perhaps he feels the Pope was ungrateful for his loyalty? Perhaps he thinks the Pope should tell the world (and him) why his term at CDF was not renewed? Is he owed an explanation at all?

    • Steve Seitz says:

      The sense I had from the article was that Cardinal Muller was upset that the Pope dealt with him rudely and without standard courtesy.

      In my own view, either the Pope lacks social tact or he’s profoundly upset with the cardinal.

      • Linda Maria says:

        It is well known that the Pope lacks true fidelity to Catholic teaching, and in particular– he disagrees with Catholic teaching on the Sacrament of Marriage! And he is not happy with faithful, orthodox prelates— he wants to get rid of them! Major disagreements, leading possibly to a schism– is what is happening, here. It looks like Cardina Muller will try to work for good in the Church, and promote true Catholic teaching, in his retirement years.

  5. Follower/ True Believer of The Teachings of Christ says:

    May The Holy Spirit replace this Pope ASAP. Even though I continuously pray for him, he has and is still doing more harm then good for the entire Catholic Church. We need another like Pope John Paul 11.

    • St. Christopher says:

      “Follower,” yes and no. Yes, time for Francis to leave. No to needing another St. JPII. How about a new Pope like, say, Ven. Abp. Fulton J. Sheen, or St. Pius V, instead?

      Time for Catholic Tradition to fully emerge and become the center of Church life.

  6. Romulus Augustus says:

    We need the Holy Ghost to intervene now! The Church has been sinking since the Second Vatican Council and with this man called BERGOGLIO IT IS IN A DEATH SPIRAL, Cardinal Raymond Burke is the man to save the Roman Church he is HATED by many that in itself is the sign that he is the MAN who will seat in the Chair of Peter and restore the TLM and all the sacraments prior to the Council of Destruction.

  7. Consistent Teaching, Please says:

    People who refer to the Holy Father as “Bergoglio” are not what I would consider faithful Catholics, nor people with the courtesy due to the office of Peter’s Successor. Pope Francis says and does some things that puzzle us, but this has always been true of Popes over the years: to dismiss the Vicar of Christ with impolite phrases is to imitate the worst of the people in the media who attack the Holy Catholic Church with offensive statements meant to ridicule. To ridicule us, to ridicule the Church, and to ridicule Christ!

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