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Cardinal Müller’s ‘Manifesto’ draws criticism from Cardinal Kasper

February 11, 2019

Citing “growing confusion about the doctrine of the Faith,” Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has released a document entitled “Manifesto of Faith,” setting forth fundamental Church teachings that are now under attack.

In his manifesto, the German prelate focuses on the Trinity, the sacraments, the moral law, and the prospect of eternal life. He takes pains to emphasize the distinctive Christian belief in a triune God, the necessary role of Christ’s Church in salvation, and the importance of the sacramental life. In particular he explains that confession is necessary for the remission of grave sin, and that those who remain in a state of serious sin—including those who are divorced and remarried civilly—should not receive Communion.

Cardinal Müller evidently intended to release this document on February 11, a date that has special significance for him because it is the anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. It is also the anniversary of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

The manifesto presented by the German cardinal—who was unceremoniously ousted by Pope Francis from his role as the head of the Vatican’s top doctrinal office—called attention to questions that have arisen during the current pontificate. Although the Manifesto does not mention Pope Francis, the cardinal’s affirmation of traditional Catholic teachings was widely received as implicitly criticism of the Pontiff.

Cardinal Walter Kasper reacted strongly against the manifesto, saying that Cardinal Müller had given an incomplete and one-sided presentation of Catholic teachings. “Half the truth is not the Catholic truth,” Cardinal Kasper insisted. He went on to charge that Cardinal Müller intended to promote his own personal views “behind the Pope’s back and enforce them in opposition to him.”


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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: [email protected] - Feb. 12, 2019 5:07 AM ET USA

    Kasper is a wolf in sheep's clothing and beware anything he says. He misleads the many to satisfy the few. He will have a detrimental impact on the Church in Germany which already needs help.

  • Posted by: mhains8491 - Feb. 11, 2019 9:48 PM ET USA

    It is a great honour to be criticised by Cardinal Kasper, it is almost an iron clad guarantee you stated the faith correctly.

  • Posted by: Pete - Feb. 11, 2019 6:33 PM ET USA

    Of course Cardinal Kasper would criticize anything Orthodox. How do the German bishops presume the authority to change the teachings of the Catholic Church? Isn't it about time we had a leader CLEARLY explaining the Faith? What happened to Jesus' numerous admonitions to those who would lead the "little ones" astray? Pope Francis is pretty close to Heresy in his dictate that the Will of God is for many religions. Cardinal Muller is giving us what we NEED for our time!

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Feb. 11, 2019 5:11 PM ET USA

    "Kasper...accused Müller of making 'unacceptable blanket statements,' such as the assertion that 'the conscience of the faithful is not sufficiently formed.'" Recent statistics demonstrate the accuracy of C. Mueller's statement. C. Kasper asked: "are there not similarities, especially with the Jews and the Muslims, in the belief in the one God?" The differences far outweigh the similarities. Just ask any religious Jew or Muslim. Failure to counsel the doubtful is another "fraud of Antichrist."