Friday, March 16, 2012

Front-runner CDF prefect a Liberation Theologian?

A background of the "front-runner" to become prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Hope he does not become the prefect of ANY dicastery!

From the Vatican Insider more detailed background investigation about his theological leanings.

I once blogged about this controversial bishop


After Easter, and after his trip to Cuba, Benedict XVI will address one of the problems that are dearest to him: namely, the choice of a successor to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, William Levada. [Probably, starting April 9?] It is one of the most important positions in the the Curia and the Church and Benedict XVI knows this, having been at the helm of the congregation for a quarter of a century. Some sources close to the Vatican say the Pope’s choice seems almost certain: Levada's successor should be Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, the Archbishop of Regensburg. If this Is true, we will be witnessing a revival, high up in the Church, of a form of theology which for decades has been more a cause of problems for the Church, than it has been a resource: Liberation Theology. [Hmmm...  Cardinal Ratzinger advised Pope John Paul II against LT.]  After years of battles, victories and defeats, the LT movement - which already has an open and passionate supporter at the top of curial Congregations in João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life - would reach the top of the Congregation. The same Congregation (backed by Ratzinger) that "tried" Boff and issued documents that severely criticized some forms of LT.

Gerhard Mueller is a man with a remarkable personality, who exerts a certain influence over Benedict XVI. Although not counted as one of the Pope’s close friends, he is certainly a significant figure, from an academic point of view and this establishes a tie between them. He also played, and still plays an important role in the creation and work of the German born foundation which in charge of preparing and publishing Joseph Ratzinger/ Benedict XVI’s literary works.

Mueller is a great admirer and friend of one of the most debated and problematic characters of LT, Gustavo Gutiérrez.  He had very warm words of praise for him and for LT back in 2008 during a public event in Lima, South America, which celebrated the honorary degree awarded to Gutierrez by the Pontifical University of Peru. Gutierrez has been in the Holy See's sights in recent weeks. The Archbishop of Regensburg has never hidden his admiration for his Peruvian friend and teacher, who turned 83 today.

Mueller also has important contacts in the Holy See. His friends include "pro-German" diplomats that led Ratzinger to confronted himself with the former Secretary of State Angelo Sodano on the question of a Catholic presence in women's counselling centres in Germany. He is valued by Cardinals close to the former Secretary of State, as well as Cardinal Paolo Sardi, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

For many years, Sardi, a diplomat, has been the man responsible for writing the Pope's speeches in Italian, and "inherited" the woman who has been at Joseph Ratzinger’s right arm for many years: the papal housekeeper, Ingrid Stampa. The lady who works in the State Department, has an undisputed personal relationship with the Pope, and free access to the papal Apartment. Last but not least, Mueller's candidacy is also supported by Joseph Clemens. Mgr. Clemens was for many years secretary to Joseph Ratzinger when he was prefect of the Congregation for the Faith. In 2003, Ratzinger, who was already thinking about retirement, thought about making him secretary in one of the curial congregations; In November 2003, John Paul II appointed him Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Clemens has maintained an excellent relationship with Benedict XVI (he is one of the few people who can claim to regularly host the Pope at dinner) and his words certainly carry weight.

One wonders, given the magnitude of the forces in the field, why a decision has not already been made. And why Benedict XVI, in a personal interview with Mueller, in which he touched on the subject, told him that a decision on the Doctrine of the Faith will not come before Easter. The explanation given by the Vatican is that the Pope is not yet completely convinced. It has been noted that perhaps this could be due to some opinions expressed by Gerhard Mueller during his vast production (about 400 academic papers!). For example, in his book on Catholic dogma he offers an image of Mary’s virginity which is not connected to “the physiological characteristics of the natural process of the birth of Jesus, but with the saving and redeeming influence of the grace of Christ for human nature.”  [If someone offers you a parallel consciousness of a historical fact, they are offering an alternate interpretation of a historical event.  This kind of theologian tells you that we are not certain that these things happened, and that the Gospel writers injected their own interpretation and biases of the event.  Holy Mother Church already has a term for this:  MODERNIST.]

In another work, on the subject of transubstantiation, he discourages the use of the terms "body and blood" because it could cause "misunderstandings". "Body and Blood of Christ does not mean the physical parts of the man Jesus during his life, nor his glorified body. “Instead, here, body and blood are a sign of Christ's presence through bread and wine." [See that?  An alternate interpretation of an actual event.  He knows better than the Gospel author.  He is explicitly defying Catholic dogma about the Body and Blood of Christ, his Real and Persisting presence in the Eucharist.  Here he tells you that the Eucharist are signs of His presence.  Ever heard those words mentioned before Mass by the commentator?  Ever heard your priest talk about this in his homily?  Or inside your religion or Christian Living class?  Yup, you think they are harmless but they are not.  They teach you that the Eucharist is nothing more than a relic of Christ, a sign, not Christ Himself.  So, no wonder why Richard McBrien hates Eucharistic adoration!]   And referring to "Dominus Jesus" - a document written by Ratzinger, in which alleged that the ecclesial communities which have not preserved a valid episcopate (many reformed confessions) are not churches – Mueller argued that to defend this view "is a misunderstanding".

[There are signs of hope in this part here.]  But if not Mueller - who at the moment is in pole position to be selected for the position - who else? Americans, who in recent weeks have been making their ad limina visits to Rome, believe that the successor to William Levada should be an English speaking figure, since the "front" of the Church's doctrinal battle is taking place mainly in the U.S. and in the Anglo-Saxon world in general. In Rome, among those people who enjoy the Pope’s esteem and whom he listens to, is the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, Raymond Leo Burke. Overseas, Allen Henry Vigneron’s name has cropped up as a possible ideal candidate. He is Archbishop of Detroit and a leading expert on philosophy and theology.


Pray that the last two names mentioned in the article be actually named into the post!

Enough of the liberals!


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