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Charge that Curia resists papal reforms is inaccurate ‘cliché,’ says Cardinal Müller

March 06, 2017

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), has rejected the charge that Pope Francis has been opposed in his campaign for Vatican reform by resistance from the Roman Curia.

Speaking to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the cardinal said:

I think that we must put an end to this cliché: the idea that on one side there is the Pope, who wants reform, and on the other, an organized resistance wanting to block it.

Cardinal Müller was responding to public criticism from Marie Collins, who had resigned her post on the special papal commission for sexual abuse, complaining that the group’s mission was being thwarted by the Roman Curia, and particularly the CDF.

The cardinal said that the CDF has cooperated with the abuse commission, while fulfilling its own task: the administration of canonical trials for priests accused of abuse. Responding to one of Collins’ specific complaints, he explained that the CDF does not answer every complaint about abuse because that task is the duty of local bishops. “Personal contact with the survivors is better done by the local shepherds,” he said, and the CDF always asks the diocesan bishop to respond to the victims.

Regarding another complaint that Collins had advanced, the failure of the Vatican to establish a tribunal for bishops who are negligent in protecting children, Cardinal Müller said that the Congregation for Bishops already has the authority to take disciplinary action in such cases. However, he said, ultimately the solution will not involve disciplinary action but “a total change of mentality.”

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Mar. 07, 2017 11:12 PM ET USA

    "Ultimately the solution will not involve disciplinary action but 'a total change of mentality.'" I hope that this change begins by returning Catholic psychiatry to its roots in recognition of sexual deviancy not as a "celebration of healthy diversity," but as a mental illness that can produce both innocent & guilty victims. The promulgation of so many falsehoods in Catholic education, "safe-environment" training, and official documents and guidelines of Particular Churches is frankly appalling.