There appears to be an anti-Bergoglio movement in the official Church that would like to put Cardinal Müller at it's head:
There is a risk of separation that could lead to schism. I stay with Bergoglio but whoever asks questions must also listen.
This is what the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, is leading us to believe in an interview with the Italian daily Le Corriere della Sera :
There is a front of traditional groups, as well as progressives, who would like to see me as the leader of a movement against the pope.
he told journalist Massimo Franco.
But I will never do that. I served the Church for 40 years as a priest, 16 years as a professor of dogmatic theology and 10 years as a diocesan bishop. I believe in the unity of the Church and I do not allow anyone to exploit my negative experiences of these last months. Church authorities, however, must listen to whoever voices some serious demands or just complaints; they should not ignore him or, what's worse, humiliate him. Otherwise, without wanting to, we run the risk of a slow separation that could lead to a schism of a part of the Catholic world, disoriented and disappointed. The story of Martin Luther's 500-year-old schism should teach us mostly what mistakes are to be avoided.
The German theologian seems to be referring to Pope Francis' lack of a response to the Dubia raised by four cardinals on Amoris Laetitia last year. Even though two of them have since died, Cardinals Burke and Brandmuller are still waiting [for an answer].
In the rest of the interview, he revealed his criticisms of the methods introduced in the Vatican since the election of Jorge Maria Bergoglio and he expressed his concern about the deplorable atmosphere this has created:
Just be warned: if the perception of an injustice on the part of the Roman Curia arises, almost by force of inertia one could set in motion a schismatic dynamic, which is difficult to stop. I believe that the cardinals who have expressed doubts about Amoris laetitia, or the 62 signatories of the letter of criticism addressed to the pope, even if it was excessive, they must be listened to, and not liquidated as "Pharisees" or grumpy people. The only way out of this situation is a clear and frank dialogue. Instead, I have the impression that in the "magic circle" of the pope there are rather people who are mainly concerned with spying on alleged opponents, thus preventing an open and balanced discussion. To classify all Catholics as either "friend" or "enemy" of the pope is the most serious damage they cause to the Church. One remains puzzled when a famous atheist journalist boasts of being a friend of the pope while at the same time a Catholic bishop and cardinal like me is defamed as an opponent of the Holy Father. I do not think these people are able to give me theology lessons on the primacy of the Roman Pontiff.
Although Cardinal Müller does not consider the present Church more divided than in the time of Benedict XVI, he sees it as more weakened because of the Pope's collaborators:
I see her weaker. We have a difficulty analyzing the problems. Priests are rare and they give more organizational, political and diplomatic answers than theological and spiritual ones. The Church is not a political party with its struggles for power. We must discuss the essential questions, about life and death, about the family and religious vocations, and not permanently about ecclesiastical politics.
As for the popularity of Francis, he describes it, subtly, as rather sterile:
Pope Francis is very popular, and that's good. But people no longer participate in the sacraments. And his popularity among non-Catholics who quote him with enthusiasm does unfortunately not change their false beliefs. Emma Bonino, for example, praises the pope but remains firm on his positions on abortion which the pope condemns. We must be careful not to confuse the huge popularity of Francis, which is also a huge heritage for the Catholic world, with a real recovery of faith.
Neither the popular theology of some Monsignori nor the too journalistic theology of others are sufficient.
We also have a need for theology at the academic level.
Okay for the communication. Francis tends to emphasize the superb intellectuals. However, sometimes, the beautiful ones are not just them. The vice of pride is a mark of character and not of the intellect. I think of the humility of Saint Thomas, the greatest Catholic intellectual. Faith and reason are friends.
I have the feeling that Francis wants to listen and integrate everyone. But the arguments of the decisions must be discussed first. [...] The relationship between the Pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was and will always be the key to a fruitful pontificate.
he said. The cardinal seems to have still not got over the "injury", as he calls it, of his three dismissed colleagues a little before his own dismissal due to anonymous denunciations:
The Pope told me: "Some people told me anonymously that you are my enemy" without specifying in what way.
he said in the interview.
Even though Cardinal Müller is not prepared to take the lead of a movement against Francis and declared himself faithful to the Pope, these words published yesterday November 26, prove the existence of a division within the official Church that some would like to deny: while Francis and some collaborators want to continue in practice, and this in all logic, the modernist and doctrinally, morally, liturgically and sacramentally progressive revolution initiated at the Second Vatican Council, and, to use the words of Mgr. Lefebvre, which transforms "the Church into something other than the Catholic Church", some other conciliar ecclesiastics, who are regarded as conservatives, aspire to set limits to this revolution which they cherish themselves too. Here lies the real problem that Cardinal Müller is confronted with without knowing it.
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