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Cardinal Müller, in new interview, sees deep divisions in Church

November 27, 2017

Cardinal Gerhard Müller said that some Catholics, representing the extremes of both the traditionalist and progressive camps, would like to see him as the leader of a movement against Pope Francis. “But I will never do it,” the German cardinal told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

In a lengthy interview, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that he would always remain loyal to the Pope. However, he said that the Pope should answer his critics—in particular—the cardinals who have asked for clarification of Amoris Laetitia—in order to avoid deepening divisions within the Church.

Cardinal Müller said that he did not think the Church is more seriously divided today than during the pontificate of Benedict XVI. “But I see her weaker,” he said. He explained that the weakness stems from confusion about the faith. For that reason, he said, Church leaders “must listen to those who have serious questions or fair claims.”

The German cardinal said that it is an “absolute exaggeration” to say that the Pope faces organized opposition within the Vatican. He charged that some of the Pope’s advisers are harming the papacy by classifying Church leaders as “friends” or “enemies” of the Pontiff. Cardinal Müller disclosed that Pope Francis himself had told him that some aides viewed him (Müller) as a foe.

The cardinal also complained that he was still troubled by the abrupt dismissal of three priests who had worked under his guidance at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The three priests, he said, were “good and competent priests who worked for the Church with exemplary dedication.” They were fired on orders from Pope Francis, who refused to explain his reasons for the move.


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  • Posted by: shrink - Nov. 28, 2017 12:55 PM ET USA

    Our current pontiff seems to act out the curious belief that making the Church weaker will strengthen the Faith.

  • Posted by: feedback - Nov. 27, 2017 10:44 PM ET USA

    Quote: "some of the Pope's advisers are harming the papacy..." I think this is the key to understanding the surprising perplexities of Francis' papacy: bad and influential advisors with an agenda. We need to pray for the Pope. And, it's so good to hear Card. Muller being still troubled by the abrupt firing of good and competent priests from his Congregation.

  • Posted by: Retired01 - Nov. 27, 2017 6:50 PM ET USA

    Pope Francis may or may not see him as an enemy. It is clear, however, that he does not see him as a friend, as someone he can trust. The proof of the pudding is in his dismissal as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Why is the Church weaker today? It looks to me that Pope Francis has a lot to do with it.