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Former Vatican doctrine chief criticizes how Pope dismissed him: ‘I cannot accept’ his style

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

ROME, July 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the Vatican’s recently dismissed doctrine chief, has issued a stinging criticism of Pope Francis.

In an interview with the German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse, the Cardinal revealed details of the meeting in which he learned of the Pope’s refusal to renew his 5-year mandate as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

The custom in the last 50 years has been to renew the prefect’s mandate at least until he reaches retirement age.

Pope Francis, Cardinal Müller said, "communicated his decision" not to renew his term "within one minute" on the last work day of his five-year-term, and did not give any reasons for it.

"This style [sic] I cannot accept," said Müller. In dealing with employees, "the Church’s social teaching should be applied,” he added.

For Cardinal Müller his own dismissal is reminiscent of the recent dismissal of three valued priests from his office at the CDF at the order of the Pope. Before Christmas last year, Cardinal Müller met with the Pope to discuss the dismissals since when he heard of them he was perplexed that valued priests would be dismissed without explanation. 

Famed Vaticanist Marco Tosatti, related the exchange about the three priests this way:

[Müller] said: “Your Holiness, I have received these letters (demanding their dismissal), but I did not do anything because these persons are among the best of my dicastery… what did they do?” The answer was, as follows: “And I am the pope, I do not need to give reasons for any of my decisions. I have decided that they have to leave and they have to leave.” He got up and stretched out his hand in order to indicate that the audience was at an end.

Despite his criticism of the Pope’s style, Cardinal Müller said he is nonetheless loyal to the Pope and hopes to stay in Rome and perhaps act as a liaison between the Pope and the three remaining dubia Cardinals.

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