Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Mueller out of the Tent

Related imageThe Church never was a regiment of soldiers, or even of Jesuits marching in step, if it is faithful to Christ it is by nature diverse. To paraphrase St Paul: there are many gifts but only one giver.
The Church is a big tent as Benedict appreciated, he had a long difference with Cardinal Kasper but still kept him place, Benedict appointed non-Benedictines, recognising that this meant a healthy Church.

The dismissal and replacement of Cardinal Mueller represents a narrowing of the curial tent.
I rather admired Mueller's interpretation of Amoris Laetitia - whist Cardinal Burke, and others, were 'bigging-up' the document as a possible significant departure from Catholic  believe, Mueller was quietly signifying: this is not that important, it can only be interpreted in the light of the Tradition. In effect he was saying if we interpret it as Catholics it will, like many papal documents, disappear quickly from the Church's memory.

Now Mueller is no longer in the Papal tent, though it is not his temperament to criticise directly, he is is in Fr Z's phrase, "off the leash", with time and at his relatively young age with the energy to teach and write and do what all Cardinals do, lobby for the next Conclave.

Papal tents by their nature get smaller and smaller and with the Pope's statement to Mueller about Prefects of dicasteries being limited to five years this one is going to get wetter. I am sure one of the factors in Benedict's resignation was the thefts from his desk, and obvious lack of confidentiality that surrounded his office. His tent had shrunk considerably only to those who occupied the Apostolic Appartments with him, and even those couldn't be trusted fully. In effect his tent was reduced to him and Archbishop Ganswein. With JPII he had seen the damaging effect of a Pope literally unable to communicate to anyone and therefore unable to govern. JPII was totally dependant on Archbishop Stanisław Dziwisz who interpreted the Church to him and him to everyone else, when his speech had gone Dziwisz was the only one who understand him.

Pope Francis like most autocrats surrounds himself with men who will not oppose him, the more he does it means that more and more are outside the tent, which does bode well for his legacy or his succession.


Nicolas Bellord said...

Cardinal Mueller has come in for a lot of criticism from the traditionalist side for not speaking out strongly against AL. But I have a lot of time for him and he said all that was necessary when being in a very difficult position. I wonder how many read his full article in Il Timone (you had to pay €3 to get it). I thought it was brilliant particularly on the difference between Catholicism and Protestantism and also on what constitutes a proper confession and repentance.

Bill said...

Mr. Bellord: Can you provide the title of the article you mention and the date on which Il Timone published it. Thank you,

Bill Guentner

Anita Moore said...

Dear Father, on a note unrelated to the subject of this post, I am glad you are feeling well enough to resume preaching and teaching on this blog. I have just said three Hail Marys for you, and at the end of every Rosary I say a Memorare for all men in Holy Orders, from highest to lowest. A.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Anita, Everyone, I am so grateful for your prayers!

Anonymous said...

One of the problems with Cardinal Muller's position is that it dilutes the faith. It is possible for a Catholic to believe that AL, "Faith Alone", some formulations of Calvinism, etc since there are fully Catholic formulations for all these that even the most ardent doctrinaire would approve of. But the terms themselves are fuzzy, so if you start living these formulations you will eventually drift into Protestantism. Precise language is important for the integrity of the faith since each element of the faith is tied to all others and confusion in one are leads to confusion in all areas.

As a personal example, take the old ICEL translation of the Nicene Creed "one in being". As a child (partially due to bad formation), I took "one in being" to mean "in solidarity with". This Arian theology carried itself into other areas of my formation, including my understanding of the Eucharist and prayer life. Alternately, a Buddhist can take this term to mean "Jesus was one with God, just as you can be too if you become enlightened" and that would have similar implications into how other Catholic concepts are understood. Consubstantial has no such misinterpretation. The average listener might not know what it means, but at least he knows that he doesn't know so he can look it up, and in doing so would have their faith strengthened in multiple areas.

I do know that Cardinal Muller's position was difficult and he was largely ignored when he took a tougher stance, but the "simply find and interpretation that's Catholic" position isn't feasible when so many of the people in Pope Francis' tent are open heretics that "reinterpret Catholicism for the modern world".

Nicolas Bellord said...

Bill: You have to buy a copy of the magazine 'Il Timone' at:

Cost €5. It is in Italian.

I precised it with some commentary of my own and you will find it at:

Scroll down to the second article.

I hope that is helpful!

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