Pope Francis’ unwillingness to meet with dubia Cardinals baffles former Vatican doctrine chief
ROME, July 25, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican doctrinal chief removed from his post last month by Pope Francis is questioning the Pope’s refusal to meet with the four dubia Cardinals.
In a new interview July 21 with the Italian newspaper Il Foglio, Cardinal Gerhard Müller also warns that it is impossible for the Magisterium to “correct” the teachings of Jesus Christ, as Church leaders seem to be doing after the Pope’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
“It is He, if anyone, who corrects us. And we are obliged to obey Him; we must be faithful to the doctrine of the apostles, clearly developed in the spirit of the Church,” he said in the interview translated by Rorate Caeli.
“The words of Jesus Christ must always be the foundation of the Church’s doctrine,” Müller said. “Nobody — until yesterday — could say that this was not true. It is clear: we have the irreversible revelation of Christ. And the Church has been entrusted with the depositum fidei [deposit of the fatih], i.e. the entire content of revealed truth. The Magisterium does not have the authority to correct Jesus Christ.”
Jesus taught, in Luke 16:18, that “everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”
Last month, Pope Francis, in a rare move, dismissed Müller after a five-year tenure as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The 69-year-old Cardinal was still six years away from retirement age. In his post, he was responsible for promoting the correct interpretation of Catholic doctrine and theology.
Pope Francis replaced Müller with the secretary of the Congregation, Spanish Archbishop and Jesuit theologian Luis Ladaria Ferrer.
Müller was known for his defense of authentic Catholic teaching. Even after the publication of Pope Francis’ controversial Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, the Cardinal strongly maintained that Holy Communion could never be given to civilly divorced and remarried Catholics living in adultery.
In the Il Foglio interview, Müller criticized Cardinals Christoph Schonborn and Walter Kasper for championing positions on marriage contrary to the New Testament.
“I don’t understand how they can harmonize different theological and dogmatic positions with the clear words of Jesus and St. Paul. Both made clear that you cannot marry a second time if your legitimate spouse is still alive,” he said.
The Cardinal also said he did not understand why Pope Francis has not yet entered into dialogue with the four Cardinals, one of whom is now deceased, who raised questions about whether or not Amoris Laetitia conforms to perennial Catholic teaching.
“I don’t understand why a calm and serene discussion hasn’t [yet] begun. I don’t understand where the obstacles are. Why allow only tensions to emerge, even publicly? Why not organize a meeting to talk openly about these themes, which are fundamental?” he said.
“Until now, I’ve only heard invectives and insults against these cardinals,” he added.
Last year, Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Burke, and Joachim Meisner (now deceased) went public with their questions (dubia) after the Pope failed to give them a response. They had hoped that the Pope answering their five yes or no questions would dispel what they called the “uncertainty, confusion, and disorientation among many of the faithful” stemming from the controversial exhortation.
Cardinal Müller has not been reassigned to any other post since his dismissal.