Cardinal Müller: The Catholic Church does not belong to Pope Francis

Commentary by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Traduction française

It is surprising that this interview published 6 days ago, was not shared on any other platforms. But then again, I am not surprised, since the author, Cole DeSantis, opens by admitting that Pope Francis has approved “material heresy”.  Kudos to him and Crisis Magazine for breaking from the dome of silence of the controlled opposition English language Catholic press.

For this reason I will comment on the entirety of this interview by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, which is authoritative, seeing that Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the summer before his momentous Declaration in February of 2013.

That the Cardinal allowed this interview to proceed under the rubric that Pope Francis had endorsed “material heresy” already is big news, which every Catholic news outlet should have reported.

For those unfamiliar with theological notes, “material heresy” refers to the signification of heretical profession in a verbal statement. It prescinds from whether the speaker or those agreeing to it intend to break from the Church with a heretical profession. Thus, it is a category which refers to documents and statements, in regard to what they objectively signify, but not to persons in regard to what they subjectively intend to signify. Saying, thus, that ‘Fiducia supplicans’ is heretical is the same as saying that those who approve of it have professed ‘material heresy’, as regards the document.

First, I cannot omit to point out that the Cardinal’s responses are good, but that he professes profound theological errors, the first of which is to hold that a “Dogmatic Constitution” of Vatican II is the highest expression of the Ecclesiastical Magisterium. That is totally wrong. Since Vatican II expressly intended to teach nothing and to impose no discipline, the signatures of the Council Fathers were solicited without any reference to exercising their charism of truth, which they received in episcopal consecration.

Cardinal Müller favors the distinction necessary for the Sutri Initiative

And speaking of Episcopal and Papal Authority, Cardinal Muller drops this important bomb:

Those who fall short of the faith and the discipline of the Church must be put back on the right path with spiritual means and ecclesiastical punishments.

Which, I believe, is a veiled reference to a Provincial Council of the kind which was held at Sutri in 1046.

Again, the Cardinal professes that all Catholics must accept the fundamental distinction regarding the Pope, which is at the basis of the Sutri Initiative:

The fundamental problem arises from the distinction between the pope as the holder of the Petrine office with its specific powers on the one hand and the pope as an individual Christian in the pilgrim state, who can also lose sanctifying grace through mortal sin or who can inwardly and outwardly manifestly fall away from the faith, heretically contradict the doctrine of faith, or even schismatically separate himself from the Church.

Cardinal Muller contradicts Pope St. Leo II and the Third Council of Constantinople

However, after admitting the distinction, the Cardinal denies that this distinction has a canonical application. I will quote his entire section. But I will first remark that the Cardinal is a theologian and not a canonist, and indeed is also a poor Church historian.

Cardinal Müller: There can be no definition of these borderline cases because the definitions refer to the revealed faith. This can be seen in the attempts of the Councils of Constance and Basel, which had to find a practical way out of the Western schism despite the false doctrine of the superiority of the council over the popes and antipopes of their time. Beyond the aforementioned distinction (between the pope in his office as successor of Christ and the current holder of this office during his pontificate), there can be no canonical procedure (i.e., purely positive ecclesiastical law above divine law) that could officially declare a reigning pope a formal heretic and legally depose him. The personal charism of infallibility ex cathedra is not to be confused with the special grace of being saved from sin and apostasy in the pilgrim state. This gap cannot be closed within the Church because the supreme authority cannot be judged endlessly by an even higher one and therefore the only judge of the reigning pope is God alone. He will ensure that the Church does not destroy itself at the root of its unity in the truth of Christ. This is why our humble prayer and a Christian style of dealing with one another is all the more necessary in this situation.

Someone needs to ask the Cardinal to explain the Council of Sutri in 1046, which deposed 3 popes. Indeed, it is absurd to admit theologically that there is a distinction between the man who is the pope and the man as the Pope, but then say the man who is the Pope cannot be judged, for that would deny the universal authority of Jesus Christ to judge all things, which He in matters of religion imparted to the Church. It would thus create a schism between the Church and Christ and it would partake of the modern protestant error of presuming that the Church Visible never partakes fully in the authority of Christ over Christians.

Indeed, the rationale employed by the Cardinal of appealing to an endlessly higher and higher authority is faulty, and reflects the Cardinal’s ignorance of Sutri. Because at Sutri no one judged the Pope as pope, or appealed to a higher authority than the pope. The man who is the pope who claims to be the pope can have his claim adjudicated by the Bishops of the Roman Province.

The Catholic Position has always been the opposite, namely that the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy has jurisdiction over all Christians, a fact recognized when on September 16, 681 A. D., the Third Council of Constantinople condemned Pope Honorius I for his letter on the Monothelite Controversy wherein he failed to teach clearly against the heresy of Monothelitism. This case refutes Cardinal Müller’s claim at both a theological and canonical level. And Pope Leo II confirmed the Council’s condemnation as a “perfect expression” of the Faith. Thus, the Cardinal’s opinion has been already implicitly denied if not condemned by the highest expression of the Papal and Ecclesiastic Magisterium.

Indeed, what is Cardinal Müller trying to say: does he mean to say that all the Catholic Bishops who faulted Pope Francis personally for ‘Fiducia supplicans’ are in the wrong? Have sinned? or that Any bishop who publicly calls the document heretical has erred? Did he not do the same? — The Cardinal is clearly wrong. He has admitted the truth of the catholic principles whereby all Catholics must recognize God alone as the supreme authority, the Papacy only as custodian of what God has given us through the Apostles. Therefore, it follows immediately that a Pope or Bishop who teaches contrary to this Deposit of the Faith must be publicly rebuked and punished if he fail to repent. The Cardinal is playing games with his audience when he says there is no canonical procedure for such a case. He is also implying that the Church as Mother should not care for the salvation of an erring pope, and not seek to correct him with the most severe and ultimate remedies. His position is absurd.

Finally, in the closing statements of Cardinal Muller, he makes no space for any duty of Catholics to see that corruption be rooted out in the Church, especially corruption by their superiors. His profession of Faith, therefore, is not authentic, because it ignores the duty of every disciple of Christ to guard His Immaculate Bride until the end of time.

In closing, I remind all Catholics that the opinion of the Cardinal binds no one, not even himself. All are obliged to conform their consciences to truth and reality. The Council of Sutri in 1046 is part of that truth and that reality. The Sutri Initiative is thus 100% Catholic expression of such a conscience. The Cardinal for his part will have this interview of his numbered among his great historical mistakes, among those in which he wrote that the Blessed Virgin was not physically a virgin all her life, a heresy condemned in the Roman Council of 632, if I remember correctly, and that in which he implied the Sacred Heart, Hands or Feet of Christ is not present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Both of which are horrible errors and blasphemies resulting from the Cardinal’s failure to recognize the philosophical and metaphysical distinction between proper and improper accidents. In the above interview, it appears, thus to me, that his error of denying a canonical application of a theological truth derives from his imperfect conception of Christ’s Mandate to the Apostles and the perfection of Holy Mother Church. Let us pray he reflects more profoundly on these things and conforms his judgement to the facts of history. In the present crisis urging the faithful not to do anything is detrimental and dishonest.

With Globalist Censorship growing daily, No one will ever know about the above article, if you do not share it.

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