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Cardinal Kasper and Pope Francis talkingRorate Caeli

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February 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― The usual suspects have come out against a Catholic cardinal’s orthodox profession of faith.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, Dr. Massimo Faggioli, and author Austen Ivereigh have all responded negatively to Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s “Manifesto of Faith.”

Cardinal Kasper, whose dimming career was rekindled by Pope Francis upon the latter’s election, wrote that although there were professions of faith in the document that all Catholics could affirm, there were some “unacceptable blanket statements,” including Müller’s belief that the consciences of some Catholics have not been “sufficiently formed.”

Kasper was also disturbed that Müller had not emphasized the commonalities between the monotheistic world religions, particularly among Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Kasper disagreed with Müller’s defense of marriage and the celibate priesthood. He finished his critique by saying he was “totally horrified” by Müller’s assertion that failing to teach the truths of faith was “the fraud of the Antichrist.”

Citing Martin Luther, whom he stated “rightly criticized much in the Church,” Kasper suggested that Müller accused Pope Francis of being the Antichrist. He indicated that he believed Müller wanted to pursue “reforms behind the Pope’s back and enforce them in opposition to him.”

Müller stated that this “could only lead to confusion and division” and could “upset the Catholic Church.”

In response to Kasper’s statement, Deacon Nick Donnelly opined over Twitter that Kasper represented a conspiracy to corrupt Catholic doctrine.

“Cardinal Kasper's condemnation of Cardinal Muller's 'manifesto of faith' shows that he is no longer Catholic,” the English deacon tweeted.  

“He represents a conspiracy that is seeking to take over the Catholic Church and corrupt her beliefs and disciplines,” Donnelly continued. “(Kasper) is an enemy of Christ's Church.”

Faggioli, a professor of theology at Villanova University, indirectly attacked Cardinal Müller over Twitter, suggesting that he and other cardinals were spreading “dissent.”

“What cardinals and bishops says is not on the same level of what theologians says: it carries more responsibility towards the unity of the Church,” he tweeted yesterday.

“However, those who for decades tried to shut up dissenting theologians are now defending and spreading the public dissent of cardinals.”

Faggioli did not disclose which Church doctrines from which he believed theologians were dissenting and spreading cardinals' dissent.

The oft-tweeting professor also opined that “petty teachers” can make orthodox Catholic doctrine or theologians “look petty.”

“Petty teachers can make any text look petty, even the Catechism of the Catholic Church or  Augustine or Thomas Aquinas.”

To this, Catholic World Report editor Carl Olson acidly responded, “Just think what they can do with Twitter … ”   

Despite the remarks, Faggioli wrote that he would not write about Cardinal Müller’s manifesto or sign a petition against him. He indicated that he thought the document was an attack on both Pope Francis and the Congregation of which Müller was the head from 2012 until 2017.

“I fully support pope Francis but I am not writing or signing petition about cardinal Mueller's latest statement,” he tweeted.

“On the other hand, I am curious to see if the CDF is going to do or say anything, given that Mueller's move is an attack against pope Francis but also against the CDF.”

Ivereigh, an Englishman who wrote a biography of Pope Francis, called the cardinal’s manifesto “a naked power play.”

“A naked power play,” he wrote on Twitter.  “Declare a state of confusion, then promote yourself as the one to ‘resolve’ it.

“In implying that a former Vatican bureaucrat needs to step in to fill a supposed vacuum, you delegitimise the papal magisterium,” he continued. “And confuse the faithful.”

“Or maybe the pope is in error and needs fraternal correction,” Catholic screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi tweeted in response.

In The Catholic Thing blog post, Robert Royal of EWTN’s “Papal Posse” commended Cardinal Müller for his “sturdy clarity.”

Royal addressed Müller’s warning that bad teaching has led to “a growing danger of missing the path to eternal life” and reflected that Christ Himself taught that hell is a possibility.

“I raise this point in full knowledge that the infernal propaganda machine long ago succeeded in making anyone who brings up Hell appear like the longhair kook on the street corner with the sign: The End Is Near. For many people, even Christians, God is just too Nice a Guy for such things,” Royal wrote.

“But the words are Jesus’,” he continued. As Mueller remarks, ‘We are to resist the relapse into ancient heresies with clear resolve, which saw in Jesus Christ only a good person, brother and friend, prophet and moralist.’”

Royal concluded his article with Müller’s recognition that “It is the shepherds’ very own task to guide those entrusted to them on the path of salvation. This can only succeed if they know this way and follow it themselves.”