Cardinal Müller Condemns Middle Management for What the CEO Has Approved
Fatima Perspectives #1259
In a statement given to LifeSiteNews, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, addressing the movement to administer Holy Communion to the Protestant spouses of Catholics in Germany, declares: “Bishops would undermine their authority, were they to demand obedience to violations against the natural moral law and false teachings in doctrinal and moral questions.” In such cases, said Müller:
“[E]ach Catholic, and especially each pastor, is duty-bound – as St. Paul was toward St. Peter – to openly ‘withstand him to the face, because he was to be blamed’ (Gal 2:11). Unfortunately, we do not only have ‘pastors’ of the likes of St. Paul. Some bishops are liberal, that is to say, lenient and indifferent in the doctrine, yes, nearly relativistic, while they at the same time act in a hyper-authoritarian manner toward orthodox Catholics and can only implement threats and punishments.
“The source of this is the secularization of the Church. Here, the political-ideological categories of ‘modern’ and ‘conservative’ are distorting the view upon the differentiation of orthodox and heretical alternatives when presenting and defending the Catholic Faith.
“Holy Communion may only be worthily received by a baptized Christian who stands in full communion with the Catholic Church in her Creed (= doctrine), her Sacraments, and the Pope and bishops. Then added is also the reconciliation with God and the Church in case of a serious guilt, with the help of the Sacrament of Penance, or with the help of a perfect repentance with the resolution to confess one’s sin to a priest on the nearest possible occasion.”
All perfectly true, but all carefully worded to avoid the elephant in the ecclesiam. For the issue is much deeper than a few liberal bishops positively ordering priests to act in a manner contrary to the Gospel. The issue is this: What are the clergy and the faithful to do when the Bishop of Rome does not actually order but plainly authorizes liberal bishops to do precisely what Müller rightly says must be refused: i.e. the administration of Holy Communion to those who are forbidden to receive it?
I mean, of course, Pope Francis’ declaration that the guidelines of the bishops of Buenos Aires, permitting adulterers in “second marriages” to receive Holy Communion in “complex cases” where living in continence is not “feasible,” is the correct interpretation of his Amoris Laetitia and that their interpretation is his interpretation, which he dares to label “authentic Magisterium.”
I mean as well Francis’ wink and nod in favor of precisely what Müller condemns: the administration of Holy Communion to Protestants married to Catholics, presumably now to include Protestants “married” to Catholics in “complex cases” involving divorce and “remarriage.”
Here Müller misleads the reader by claiming that “The German bishops, with their handout concerning Communion for Protestant spouses – which has been worked up in a theologically defective manner – clearly overstepped their magisterial competence, as the Congregation for the Faith with the approval of Pope Francis has stated.”
This, in all candor, is deception by omission. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) under Francis — from which Müller had already been sacked because he represented a relatively conservative obstacle — did not actually interdict the German handout, but merely declared that it is not “ripe for publication” at this time. Meanwhile, however, there is absolutely no directive of the CDF forbidding the German bishops to authorize Holy Communion for Protestants, which some are doing at this very moment. Worse, the handout, while not being published as an official document of the German Bishops’ Conference, is being used by individual bishops as a “guideline” for pastoral practice, with no objection from the CDF or Francis.
Quite the contrary, Francis stated during a return flight from Geneva to Rome, following his “ecumenical pilgrimage,” that while the German text does not appear as a document of the German Bishops’ Conference, nevertheless: “The code [of Canon Law] says that the bishop of the particular church, and that’s an important word, ‘particular,’ meaning of a diocese, is responsible for this… it’s in his hands.” That is, according to Francis, each bishop is free to authorize precisely what Müller condemns.
And so the game continues: blame middle management for what the CEO has clearly authorized. Resist bishops who are only doing what the Pope authorizes them to do. Pretend not to see that the ultimate source of the “secularization of the Church” that Müller decries is “at the top” — precisely where the apostasy predicted in the Third Secret of Fatima begins, as Cardinal Ciappi, the personal theologian to five popes, warned.