Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic World News

Cardinal Müller, in lecture on papacy, warns against corruption, cronyism, overreach

May 11, 2023

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CWN Editor's Note: In a lecture delivered in Turin, Cardinal Gerhard Müller offered an overview of Catholic teaching on the papacy but offered cautionary warnings as well.

“Every Pope must distinguish precisely between his divine mandate and himself as an individual, with all his limitations,” said the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (2012-2017). “He must not impose his on other Christians his private opinions on politics or economics and non-theological sciences.”

“Neither a Pope nor a bishop nor other ecclesiastical superior can abuse the trust that [is] placed in him ... to provide ecclesiastical sinecures to incompetent or corrupt ‘friends,’ or, contrary to divine law, arbitrarily depose bishops personally disliked by him, or interfere without just cause in the ordinary pastoral office of the diocesan bishop,” he continued.

Cardinal Müller also said that a Pope should work closely the entire College of Cardinals, in a collegial and synodal spirit. In a possible reference to the Pope’s advisory Council of Cardinals, Cardinal Müller said that “a consultative body, constituted by the supreme decision-maker according to criteria of complacency and cronyism, is of little use and does more harm than good.”

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