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New CDF prefect discusses Church unity, clerical abuse

Catholic World News - September 19, 2012

“To reduce the tensions within the Church” is “my underlying aim,” the new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has told Vatican Radio.

“In many countries, there is a strong polarization: traditionalists against progressives or whatever you would call them,” said Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller. “This must be overcome: we need to find a new and fundamental unity in the Church and individual countries.”

He continued:

Unity in Christ, not a unity produced according to a program and later invoked by a partisan speaker. We are not a community of people aligned to a party program, or a community of scientific research, our unity is gifted to us.

We believe in the one Church united in Christ. And if you believe in Christ, really believe --not manipulating the teachings of the Church, or singling out individual points to support your own personal ideology, but rather unconditionally entrusting yourself to Christ--then the unity of the Church is also important. Then the Church will not be, as it is sometimes described in Scripture, torn apart by jealousy and ambition.

Archbishop Müller, whose congregation has been entrusted with the responsibility of disciplining priests who have committed sexual abuse against minors, also discussed the abuse crisis.

“Always and in every case, our first priority must be the people who suffered these terrible attacks,” he said. “However, it is also important to deal with the perpetrators in order to be proactive in prevention; at the same time the dignity of the offender must be respected … In this area, both the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the individual dioceses are proceeding to act on this issue in a very coherent manner.”

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