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CDF prefect: contemplating Christ is answer to Reformation, post-Vatican II crises in the priesthood

October 31, 2013

Contemplating Jesus Christ the High Priest, crucified and risen, is the answer to various crises in the priesthood, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller said in a short essay published in L’Osservatore Romano.

“Christ by his Resurrection has overcome the biggest crisis of faith that ever existed: the pre-Easter crisis of the disciples,” said the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as he commented on the publication of the twelfth volume of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s complete works.

“Fixing our eyes on the eyes of the High Priest, crucified and risen, we can overcome all difficulties and obstacles,” he added.

Archbishop Müller said that he was referring particularly to the crisis in the doctrine of the priesthood that occurred during the Protestant Reformation, which sought to reduce the priest to a “mere representative of the community” and eliminate the “essential difference between the ordained priesthood and the common priesthood of all the faithful.”

The prelate’s remarks were published on October 31, commemorated by some Protestant communities as Reformation Day because it marks the anniversary of the posting of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses in 1517.

Archbishop Müller also said he was also referring to “the existential and spiritual crisis that took place in the second half of the twentieth century and exploded after the Second Vatican Council, the consequences of which we still suffer today.”

He concluded that “many associate” the Second Vatican Council with “the beginning of a transformation conforming to the spirit of the age” or “the beginning of a profound crisis in the Church and in particular the priesthood.”


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