New Prefect at CDF: Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Bishop of Regensburg

As most of us expected, the resignation (because of the age limit) of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, William Card. Levada, has been accepted and the Holy Father has appointed Gerhard Ludwig Müller, 64, previously the Bishop of Regensburg, as the new Prefect raising him to the dignity of Archbishop.

Müller is now also, ex officio, President of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and the International Theological Commission.

“But Father! But Father!”, some of you may be saying, “What does this mean?”

It is too early to tell.  Pope Benedict knows the brief and work of the CDF as well as anyone can, since he ran that shop for nearly a quarter of a century.  It is unlikely that he would choose someone out of harmony with his own vision.  However, keep in mind that Ratzinger revolutionized the office CDF Prefect, in a sense.  As a working theologian, he did more than just make the trains run on time, which is the main task of a Prefect.  Prefects don’t to all the work themselves.  They have a lot of help.  In some ways watching the upper and middle management of a congregation is more helpful.

However, let us not forget that the German-speaking Church (including Austria) is in theological and disciplinary melt-down.  Having a German-speaking Prefect will be an advantage.   If English-speaking bishops couldn’t pull one over on Card. Levada when it came to abuse cases, German-speaking bishops won’t fool Müller for one second.

But one of the projects the CDF now has on the table is to aid the reform the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the USA.  Müller will have a role to play in that, since he is now the Prefect.

That said, Müller, being now a Roman curial head, will soon exert influence in other dicasteries.  He will be appointed as a member of other congregations and will attend their regular meetings.  He will be made a Cardinal at the next consistory.

Again, Pope Benedict has turned to someone whom he knows.  Not only is the new Prefect German, but Müller also has been involved with the preparation of the editions of the complete works of Joseph Ratzinger.

Some people have expressed misgivings over Müller’s open thoughts on a range of theological questions, including Liberation Theology.  Let us not forget that Joseph Ratzinger used a point from Liberation Theology as a starting point for a book on liturgical worship: Christ is the Liberator who frees us from sin and death and liturgical worship is as an act of the Liberator, liberating for those who participate.  Frankly, I think that focusing on the fact that Müller has read Liberation Theology is not very productive.  Liberation Theology has been pretty much junked, and picked over for the good points it had.

Note also that Müller begins his tenure as Prefect on the eve of the Year of Faith, which is clearly an important project for Benedict.  The Holy Father must see in Müller, as Prefect of “Faith”, someone who can advance that project.

Also, if Card. Levada was able to deal swiftly and effectively with many of the bad cases involving priests in the English-speaking world, it may be that now a European focus is coming into view and Müller could be more effective.

Regarding the SSPX, the Holy Father made Archbp. DiNoia the Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“.  I imagine he will exert greater immediate influence.  Nevertheless, Müller will have a different view of the stand off than did the previous Prefect.

Müller has made some statements about clerical celibacy and Mariology that have a few people scratching their heads.  That said, his job is to make this run smoothly at the Congregation, not to shape the Church’s doctrine.

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152 Responses to New Prefect at CDF: Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Bishop of Regensburg

  1. wolfeken says:

    First, Chief Justice John Roberts, and now Pope Benedict XVI? What the heck is going on the world???

  2. Ezra says:

    Brick by… er… brick?

  3. Texas trad says:

    Muller’s non-Catholic beliefs are legendary. This is shocking!

  4. Dr. K says:

    Ditto wolfeken re: Roberts.

  5. chantgirl says:

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-levada-out-new-head-of-vaticans-cdf-is-bishop-who-corrected-dissid

    Life is a long time, and perhaps he has refined his thinking over time in some of these areas that people are concerned about.

  6. Ezra says:

    His remarks on the Perpetual Virginity of Our Lady were made in a book published in 2003. His remarks on the Eucharist were made in a book published in 2002. His remarks on the nature of the Church and other sects were made in a speech given in 2011.

  7. chantgirl says:

    Ezra- I’m trying to give the Holy Father the benefit of the doubt, but yes, those remarks are pretty recent.

  8. Incaelo says:

    I think Father is spot on in his last line. Abp. Müller is not appointed to change the Church’s doctrine, but to make the Congregation run smoothly. Besides, I think he should be given the benefit of the doubt. We all know how statements can be taken out of context, and it is also public knowledge that Abp. Müller is not a liberal. This overview on the diocesan website of Regensburg gives some idea of his work as ordinary and academic: http://www.bischof-gerhard-ludwig-mueller.de/borPage004750.asp This is not a man out of touch with the Magisterium.

  9. wolfeken says:

    This position is not a clerical typist. There is a lot of power, and a lot of discretion, involved.

    Cardinal Ratzinger was to the right of Pope John Paul II; Cardinal Ottaviani was to the right of Pope Paul VI. Neither of them merely rubber-stamped documents — each left a lasting legacy in modern times.

    Now, imagine flipping the ideologies. This is serious stuff. I hope it’s all some sort of a July Fool’s Day in the Vatican.

  10. Timothy Mulligan says:

    Brick by mud patty.

  11. Pingback: The benefit of the doubt « In Caelo et in Terra

  12. Cosmos says:

    I’ll trust that the Pope had an excellent reason to do make this depressing appointment, but I am not going to pretend its not a depressing appointment.

    The idea that the position is administrative is a stretch. It seems to me the better explanantion is that he wanted someone who could fully implement the necessary disciplinarian reactions to the scandals without a full revolt, and trusts the man not to undermine him on theological matters, especially since he will keep his hand in all of that.

  13. AndyKl says:

    You mean to make us believe that appointing someone with such a …. questionable… history such as Bp. Mueller is OK because the Prefect doesn’t really do much hands-on work?

    That’s like saying it doesn’t matter who the Attorney General is because they have delegates and underlings to take care of things.

    This is also, I think, highly problematic for the SSPX deal, considering that this is the same bishop who got in a tizzy over the 2009 ordinations.

    Absurd.

    But… but… brick by brick! haha!

    [This, I am sure, comes from your long experience of working for the Holy See and your insights into how things get done there.]

  14. Ray says:

    Read today he doesn’t believe in the Virgin Birth. Can someone shed some light?

  15. Anchorite says:

    Holy Father has acted consistently with the way he approached most important appointments: he chose the men he worked with closely during his long CDF tenure. Whether any of them were up to the task or shared his view completely seems to have mattered little to Pope Benedict. I would suggest that people like Bertone, Levada, Müller, Schönborn were promoted based solely on their perceived loyalty to the Pope as a person. In the bitter Vatican politics Pope can only hope to rely on his tested and trusted co-workers from CDF days. Did this approach fail him? Yes, numerous times. However, I do not think he has much of a choice considering his age and current situation in the Church. Holy Father wants to accomplish a monumental task and the only immediate crew he trusts are the guys we see rising.
    Obviously, my choice would have been assigning CDF to Fr. Zuhlsdorf, Secretariat to Card. Burke, and the rest to Bp. Schneider and Bp. Fellay… but I am a dreamer.

  16. How can you put such a happy face on what is clearly nothing short of a disaster? To say that he has just read some Liberation Theology is like saying that Lenin just read some Marx! Müller regularly visited Gutiérrez whom Müller considered his mentor, and not just a friend. Müller traveled regularly to Peru to hear and participate in conferences about and promoting Liberation Theology.

    Here is Müller in his own words: “The theology of Gustavo Gutiérrez, independently of how you look at it, is orthodox because it is orthopractic and it teaches us the correct way of acting in a Christian fashion since it comes from true faith…”

    No, this guy hasn’t just read some Liberation Theology, he’s part and parcel with it! Accoring to Rodari (http://www.paolorodari.com/2012/07/02/chi-e-muller-prefetto-dellex-santuffizio-capace-di-annientare-le-resistenze-interne/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PalazzoApostolico+%28Palazzo+Apostolico+-+Diario+Vaticano+di+Paolo+Rodari%29), Müller’s appointment is in part a sign of a positive re-evaluation of Liberation Theology, so obviously, there are those in the Vatican who don’t think the Liberation Theology is for the most part junk to be picked over for spare parts. Perhaps, even the Holy Father thinks there is now more to Liberation Theology than junk to be picked over.

    Shall I make mention of Müller’s “theological thoughts” that amount to a denial of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, transubstantiation, the universal salvific nature of the Catholic Church? Shall I make mention of his harsh and over the top criticism of traditionalists and the SSPX?

    To characterize this as anything other than a disaster is to bury one’s head in the sand.

  17. traditionalorganist says:

    So many people here are much too sensationalist. The Holy Father has made more giant strides than anyone towards the renewal of our Catholic heritage in line with tradition. His appointments, even if doubtful, have led to good things either way. The Holy Father merits our confidence and trust, and our Prayers, not our armchair legislation. The Holy Father will not fall into Heresy. If you think he already has, then, you are not a Catholic.

    The Church is not divided into Modernists and Traditionalists. The Church is One, Holy and Catholic! The Truth Shall prevail no matter which appointment is made. Tradition has it that St. Peter stuttered, and today, every word from every Papal appointee is scrutinized as if he just jumped out of hell. Wouldn’t it be better if we reestablished trust in the Holy Spirit, despite the failings of the members?

  18. Captain Peabody says:

    After a closer examination, most of his heresies do not strike me as particularly heretical. The quote getting passed around of him supposedly denying the Perpetual Virginity simply does nothing of the sort; it is possible he actually does so in another passage, but no one on the length and breadth of the internet has bothered to produce it, which indicates that is rather a matter of internet warriors taking things out of context once again. A private opinion about clerical celibacy, hastily amended with reference to the established church teaching, is not really too great a cause for concern. Saying that Protestant communities have “ecclesial dimensions” and could in some senses of the term be called “churches” (while making clear his assent to the Church’s teaching as to what constitutes a true Church) is really saying little more than Pope Benedict did when he called them “ecclessial communities.”

    The most problematic item are his words on the Eucharist, which, even if not necessarily heterodox in doctrine, still seem very confused and confusing in terminology (i.e. speaking of the “natural essence of the bread and the wine” as apparently meaning the “natural character” or signification of bread and wine rather than its actual substance is confusing in the context of Catholic theology, where in general essence=substance) …though, given the fact that this is only being presented in the same half-dozen chopped-up, out-of-context chunks with explanatory insertions translated from the German by Waru-knows-who, I will withhold judgment for now. There is certainly a strong possibility that what’s getting left out of these passages would completely give the lie to the interpretation internet warriors are giving them.

    This, ultimately, is what comforts me. Theologians, especially German theologians, are going to nuance things and finetune things to the point of madness, and in the process make any number of individual statements that may seem heterodox when taken out of context–surely we’ve seen plenty of examples of this in the Pope’s own writings and speeches? Bp. Muller strikes me as a man very much after the Pope’s own heart, and that means both a fondness for niggling theological nuances to almost the point of madness, and also a strong sense of duty to the actual revealed teachings of the Catholic Church. Certainly, the interview posted on Deacon’s Bench about women’s ordination shows a man speaking very clearly and very forcefully in favor of the revealed doctrine of the Church, even on a matter (the female diaconate) for which the judgment of the church is less definitive; and there is no reason to think that he will take his duties as CDF head, to proclaim the teachings of the Church, with anything but the utmost seriousness.

    Let it be remembered that the young Joseph Ratzinger was once seen as someone with too much fondness for such theological quibbles of doubtful orthodoxy (his view on original sin, for instance, was at one point of very dubious orthodoxy), who nevertheless when tasked with defending the Church’s doctrine took that duty seriously enough to lay aside his own nuances and state with clarity what the Church actually taught and what the limits to it were.

    Ultimately, I have faith in Pope Benedict. The man has some understanding of doctrine and human nature.

    Prayers, however, would certainly not be in error.

  19. Jack Orlando says:

    Go to http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerhard_Ludwig_Müller and read. This ain’t no liberal.

  20. MKR says:

    @ Jack Orlando:

    I read German very, very slowly. Does the article to which you’ve linked mention his less-than-obviously-orthodox beliefs concerning transubstantiation, Mary’s perpetual virginity, and priestly celibacy?

  21. Me says:

    I know Bishop Mueller personally and he cannot be defined as a liberal despite what individuals at Rorate caeli claim. In a German context he is viewed as being a right winger. He is a very faithful member of the hierarchy and I have seen him on more than one occasion go to bat for all sorts of Catholic doctrine. I generally think that this was a good appointment.

    I would say, however, that he has not been well disposed to the SSPX. This might be a setback on that front.

  22. Jack Orlando says:

    Go to http://honneurs.free.fr/Wikini/wakka.php?wiki=BayerN , go to “Bistum Regensburg” and see the Masses in the Extraordinary Form. Count those that are “Diözese Regensburg”.

    Some liberal!

  23. JackintheVox says:

    Captain Peabody is right. There is a lot of calumny going on out there.

    Just look at the issue of perpetual virginity. Of course +Mueller believes in the Virgin Birth and Perpetual Virginity. What he has put forward is the opinion that one is not required to believe that Our Lord “phased” out of Our Lady’s womb to maintain Her Virginity. In other words, that believing Our Lord traveled physically through and out of the birth canal by contractions, as all other babies do, does nothing to diminish the Perpetual Virginity of Our Lady.

    I have not seen the “head-scratching” comments on celibacy. What were they? All I have found are the comments trying to walk back +Zollitsch’s speculation.

  24. Supertradmum says:

    More TLMs than all the dioceses of Iowa put together….I want to see the quotations on Rorate, which I have read, in context. The Blessed Virgin Mary argument on Rorate has never been declared by the Church in that physical manner anyway, only in private revelations. As to the Dominus Iesus problems, the Germans, French, Italians have all erred as far as I am concerned on being too ecumenical, so he is the same as most, sadly. That generation has been infected as well with von Balthasar, which interferes with the comments on the Blood of Christ. I need to read that in context, as that is the iffy bit.

  25. Spaniard says:

    Could someone post the quotation about celibacy? Can’t seem to find it.
    Whatever the case, I sure trust the Holy Father: some confidence in the Holy Spirit sure comes handy!

  26. Andrew says:

    Jack Orlando:

    Looks like 9 at first sight until you read: Jeden Mittwoch, Jeden Montag, an einem Sonntag im Monat, etc.” Many locations but not so many Masses.

  27. spesalvi23 says:

    The media and liberal circles in Germany are foaming from their mouths with fury. Mr. Küng has gotten involved and called the appointment catastrophic -> very good sign.
    The news are filled with negative reports and the Rottweiler talk has returned.

    In German speaking countries Bishop Müller is regarded a hardliner, very much in tune with the Pope. He has been under fire for years for being too ‘autocratic’ ,too outspoken and for cutting the ‘rights’ of the laity.
    He has little patience with dissenting Priests calling for dis-obedience. His appointment might be a clear signal into the direction of European dissent, which is a great concern of the Pope.

    Germans (I’m one of those myself) are structure freaks with a decent ability to organize and an incredible sense of duty. Normally, they’re loyal to the end – even when it may not be called for as history has proven. Narcissic power games are frowned upon.
    Let’s hope he knows whom to stay away from in Rome, the same as Card. Ratzinger did.

  28. Pingback: Gerhard Ludwig Müller for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith | The Anglo-Catholic

  29. nmoerbeek says:

    Supertradmum:

    “In fact, Christ’s birth ‘did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.’” (CCC 499, Lumen Gentium 57)

    It was St Augustine who said that he was born like light through glass as well.

    Christ kept his wounds after the Resurrection, The Blessed Virgin Mary has always had her bodily virginity and will have it now forever in heaven.

  30. pinoytraddie says:

    As a Traddie who Once Flirted with Liberation Theology,I Would Welcome Cautiously the Papal Appointment of Bishop Muller provided He Completes the Work of Reconciling the SSPX back with The Holy See.

  31. Dr. K says:

    The worst part about this appointment is that Müller is 64 and has 11 years before retirement.

  32. Supertradmum says:

    nmoerbeek, thanks for the reference, and I shall ponder it. I do not think we know exactly what that means.

  33. Supertradmum says:

    nmoerbeek, the Wounds analogy is not a good one here.

  34. “That said, his job is to make this run smoothly at the Congregation, not to shape the Church’s doctrine.”

    This eases my mind. Thank you for the perspective, Fr. Z. :)

  35. acardnal says:

    I am very very puzzled by the appointment. I hope that Press Sec’y Fr. Lombardi, SJ and the newly appointed Communications Directer Greg Burke get some pointed questions about Bp. Muller’s background, statements and writings!

  36. jrpascucci says:

    From a 2009 interview:

    [my edit slightly from the link translation]

    Müller: The four bishops of the SSPX should all resign and on political and ecclesiastical questions should not speak. They should lead an exemplary life as a simple priest and chaplain as part of the reparation for the damage that the schism, the Church split, has caused.

  37. Supertradmum says:

    I am glad there is a German in a Vatican post, as at least there will be some organization….I think of Blessed Pope John XXIII’s famous statement when asked, “How many people work at the Vatican?” “About half”, was his answer. Growing up in a Germanic household and community, organization and results are primary goals…and obviously, he can work with this Pope.

  38. Mike says:

    The amount of rash judgment going on in Tradland is not good. I check this guy’s work on Amazon, and the vast majority of it is in GERMAN. I found one work in English on the priesthood. Here’s a blurb:
    “Muller offers us an irrefutable case, based on theological sources, for the Church’s teaching and practice since the time of the Apostles of conferring the sacrament of Holy Orders on baptized males only.”—Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J., Editor, Homiletic & Pastoral Review

    This rush to judgment should stop.

  39. wolfeken says:

    Me wrote: “In a German context he is viewed as being a right winger.”

    Could you give three or four examples? Besides cutting off diocesan funding to pro-abortion activities, I am coming up short on finding anything whatsoever that comes even close to being a right winger. Even for Western Europe.

    Or does the “right winger” label apply because of the one pro-life action? We know his many, many liberal positions — what are the conservative ones?

  40. thomas tucker says:

    People should refrain from making judgements, especially hair-trigger judgements, about things that they have little competency to judge. OTOH, if they did that, comments would be very rare.

  41. jrpascucci says:

    I find this quote disturbing too (wikipedia cites it):

    The theology of Gustavo Gutiérrez, independently of how you look at it, is orthodox because it is orthopractic and it teaches us the correct way of acting in a Christian fashion since it comes from true faith.

    It uses the usual mechanism of a hermeneutic of deconstruction by eliding one term ‘orthodoxy’ (which could have an actual definition outside of deconstruction, in which none is possible) into an outcome, ‘orthopraxy’. In essence, his terminology permits one to say: “Because the Arians are all really nice guys and look at how well they treat widows – so very orthopractic – therefore the Arian take on the Divinity of Jesus is orthodox.” Nonsensical.

  42. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    I had precisely the thought Father Z had. An American was brought in and just before he retires, the teeth are being pulled from the LCWR, among other similar “crackdowns.”

    There are so many problems in German speaking countries that I suspect we will see much happening in the coming years over there.

    With regards to the controversies I think that if anyone knows Bishop Müller it would be a German brother who happens to be Pope. Moreover, if we profess to trust the Holy Spirit, then it makes no sense to get all bent out of shape with Pope Benedict’s decision. We don’t have to like it, but we can’t behave like those who have no faith. There’s this thing called grace that comes with office.

    I would have preferred Cardinal Burke, but I’m not the Pope and God did not give me the keys. In 5-7 years, the wisdom of this decision may be better understood.

    I remember how crazy people went when Cardinal Levada was named prefect. Dissenting Catholics were actually giddy about it while faithful Catholics were apprehensive at best, and horrified at worst.

  43. Ignatius says:

    I think we should refrain from hasty, rash judgments. I honestly do not know enough about Bp. Müller (in the Spanish speaking world, his “Dogmatics”, published by Herder, is considered fully orthodox and thorough) or his future task at the CDF to say if it is a good or a bad appointment. As a matter of fact, there must a reduced number of people with the capacity to assess this and of all of them, the one I trust most -by far- is the Pope himself. Why do not pray for the Pope and Bp. Múller instead?

  44. With regard to the Virgin Birth of Christ one should read what the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus had to say about the manner of the Birth. This council is fundamental to all of Christianity and is Ecumenical in every sense of the word in that all historic representations –Roman, Orthodox, Non Calcedonian, Anglican, Old Catholic affirm its teaching. Only the Nestorians stand outside of this council.

  45. dominic1955 says:

    Exactly, I echo other comments of the same vein. What does all this combox hand-wringing accomplish? Does the Pope have any of you on speed dial, waiting breathlessly for your every pontification? I doubt it.

    Plus, aside from being silly, some of the stuff being thrown around internet Tradiland approaches (if not straight up is) calumny. Imparing (or ending) the divine life in your soul because you want to shoot your mouth off does not help the Church one iota. If only we could be more holy, how much progress would be made in helping the Church out of the many problems we are in!

  46. keithp says:

    I’ll strive to be patient. I really don’t know too much about the Bishop. I do trust the Holy Father, tho.

    And, pls don’t use Wikipedia for anything other than the most simple and trivial answers. For certain don’t use it for researching Bishops. Nor, making judgements on same. Let’s be prudent folks.

  47. PA mom says:

    What an incredible challenge our good pope has. Realizing the language and geographical nuances, as well as theological; choosing from so many fires and weak spots the most important ones to focus on and matching those to a supportive, trust worthy and capable person… I don’t think that we can underestimate how difficult all of this must be.

  48. Jack Orlando says:

    Andrew said “Looks like 9 at first sight until you read: Jeden Mittwoch, Jeden Montag, an einem Sonntag im Monat, etc.” Many locations but not so many Masses.”

    Brick by brick is the watchword around here. Or am I wrong?

  49. Me says:

    wolfeken,

    In German context, he quite frequently upsets all the correct people. The liberal press is upset with him for his positions on moral matters and not just abortion but also homosexuality and contraception. It is really quite funny sometimes. He has curbed lay involvement in the liturgy and stopped a number of abuses for which he again gets criticized both in and out of the church. He is involved in ecumenical matters and respects VII teaching on ecumenism but he also has a very clear ecclesiological vision that makes many upset. I will say that I have heard him speaking both in public and in private on these matters and that he is a very consistent man.

    His Katholische Dogmatik is well regarded in Europe as being thoughtful and orthodox. I have the German copy before me. In fact I have most of his books in german. These books are for the most part liked except by liberals who are frustrate who view them as thoughtful but a bit “old fashioned”. This is what I find most frustrating about the negative comments, I am quite certain that most of the individuals who complain about his Orthodoxy and what a great evil his appointment is have not read his Katholische Dogmatik which is an 814 page text in german.

    This is good news for the Church.

  50. Captain Peabody says:

    Based only on that quote, I don’t see how he’s even necessarily denying the more physical aspects of the Perpetual Virginity. It’s like concluding from the sentence “The doctrine of the crucifixion is not so much concerned with the specific physiological details of suffering (the sweating of blood, the piercing of hands and feet with nails, dehydration, shock, etc) as with Christ’s divine self-offering to the Father and his taking on himself the burden of sin” to mean that the person in question denies the reality of Christ’s physical sufferings on the Cross. It is simply absurdity. This denial may be quite clear in other passages in his work (and in all charity, I sincerely hope that the people making these accusations have stronger proof than this), but the sentence quoted on Rorate-caeli and many other sites is no more a clear or even probable denial of this dogma than the above sentence is of the reality of the crucifixion.

    At the very most, the sentence can be taken to mean that these specific physical events (of the Perpetual Virginity, not the Crucifixion) are not necessarily dogmatic and de fide, which is a legitimate (though probably erroneous) interpretation of how the doctrine has been expressed by the Magisterium; but not even that reading is necessary. Muller may just be stating what he believes to be the most important part of the doctrine.

  51. Jack Orlando says:

    JackintheVox is to be thanked for starting the process of clarifying just what Müller actually said. I’m willing to bet that his other supposed hetrodox statements will prove to be just as false and denigratory.

    Vielen Dank also to spesalvi23.

  52. HHAmbrose says:

    Oceans of ink have been spilt trying to explain Vatican politics, but I’ll say this.

    If you were about to enter a period of reform and you wanted to avoid schism, would you choose an ideologue the potential schismatics could easily rally against or would you choose someone obedient whom they saw from their own ranks?

  53. wolfeken says:

    “Me” — thank you for the thoughtful response.

    So far, we see that the archbishop favors male priests who alone offer Mass, and he opposes abortion, birth control and sodomy. Good.

    On the other hand, he has expressed radically leftist positions on the Virgin birth, transubstantiation, clerical celibacy, ecumenism, salvation, relations with the SSPX/traditionalists and liberation theology.

    I am likely missing something here, but that doesn’t work out to be a balance where “orthodox” can be used as an adjective.

  54. robtbrown says:

    Supertradmum says:

    The Blessed Virgin Mary argument on Rorate has never been declared by the Church in that physical manner anyway

    That’s vintage Karl Rahner.

    Think for a moment. Is a 3 year old girl considered a virgin because she’s physically intact or because she has not willed coition? Or a homely 20 year old, who has not known a man but knows if given the opportunity, she would certainly consent. Is she considered a virgin? Or course, she is.

    Virginity is when the birth canal has not been opened either by coition or birth. A nun who is raped is no longer a virgin but is still considered morally virginal because she didn’t consent. Contra Karl Rahner, man is a composite creature.

    Leo the Great is very explicit in his Letter to Flavian that Christ’s mother remained a virgin during birth.

    Rahner had a two fold MO in undermining doctrine. The first is found in Virginitas in Partu, where he documents various examples that the Church has taught Mary’s Perpetual Virginity. Then he concludes by saying that it has never been defined by a pope or Council, obviously ignoring the Ordinary Universal Magisterium.

    The second MO of the Doctor Equivocus is used when a doctrine actually has been defined by a pope or Council. Then Rahner will say that such a definition is historically and culturally conditioned (he was no fan of Chalcedon).

  55. McCall1981 says:

    Oceans of ink have been spilt trying to explain Vatican politics, but I’ll say this.
    HHAmbrose-

    What are you referring to when you say “about to enter a period of reform” in your quote? Do you mean a reform against the progressivist reading of Vatican II?

    If you were about to enter a period of reform and you wanted to avoid schism, would you choose an ideologue the potential schismatics could easily rally against or would you choose someone obedient whom they saw from their own ranks?

  56. McCall1981 says:

    HHAmbrose-

    Sorry, my post above got kind of jumbled. Just asking what you meant…

  57. William Tighe says:

    As I wrote on an earlier thread, please get and read this book by Abp. Müller :

    http://www.ignatius.com/Products/PAD-P/priesthood-and-diaconate.aspx

    http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=muller&sts=t&tn=priesthood

    He insists in it that ordaining women to “the diaconate” as as much an impossibility as to the presbyterate or episcopate; and, therefore, we may soon see some further activity on the “Zagano Watch” subsection of the WDTPRS blog.

  58. jhayes says:

    Here is someone else quoting and translating +Müller’s writing on transubstantiation. It seems to me to be consistent with the accepted view that saying “the Body of Christ” upon offering the wafer to a communicant is not limiting – and that it is actually the whole presence of Christ – body and blood, soul and divinity – that is offered and received. The word “symbols” could cause some confusion but I haven’t seen the German original so I don’t know what word it translates.

    In 2002, bishop Müller published the book “Die Messe – Quelle des christlichen Lebens” (St. Ulrich Verlag, Augsburg). In this book, he speaks of the Sacrament of the Altar and warns against using the terms “body and blood” in this context. These terms would cause ”misunderstandings”, “when flesh and blood are considered to mean the physical and biological components of the human Jesus. Neither is it simply the transfigured body of the resurrected Lord that is being designated.”

    Bishop Müller continues: “In reality, the body and blood of Christ do not mean the material components of the human person of Jesus during his lifetime or in his transfigured corporality. Here, body and blood mean the presence of Christ in the signs of the medium of bread and wine.”

    Holy Communion transmits according to Müller a “community with Jesus Christ, mediated by eating and drinking the bread and the wine. Even in the merely personal human sphere, something like a letter may represent the friendship between people and, that is to say, show and embody the sympathy of the sender for the receiver.” Bread and wine thus only become “symbols of his salvific presence”.

    That is how Mgr Müller explains a “change of being” in the Eucharistic gifts:

    “The essential definition of bread and wine has to be conceived in an anthropological way. The natural essence of these offerings [bread and wine] as the fruit of the earth and the work of human hands, as the unity of natural and cultural products consists in clarifying the nourishment and sustenance of man and the communion of the people in the sign of a common meal [...]. This natural essence of bread and wine is transfigured by God in the sense that the essence of bread and wine is made to consist exclusively in showing and realizing the salvific communion with God.”

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2012/03/in-charge-of-henhouse.html

  59. Geoffrey says:

    @traditionalorganist: Amen to that! Well said!

  60. jrpascucci says:

    The “change of being” statement is appalling and appears to totally ignore the Thomistic-Aristotelian root of the notions of Transubstantiation.

    “Natural essence of bread and wine is transfigured…exclusively in showing and realizing…” my left foot. I’m almost certain that’s one of the things that is precisely not what Catholics are to believe.

    JHayes – You’re right, although I don’t know symbol is the problem, but perhaps ‘essence’ could be explained by a mistranslation from the German. It’s pretty important to get ‘essence’, ‘substance’, (if it’s in use) ‘substantial form’ and ‘esse’/act right. But I have a hard time with it being just that since he goes on with ‘exclusively in showing and realizing…’, something that the essence does but not something the substance does without mediation of the essence.

    Transfiguration – or transessentialization (if I may coin a new term), seems to be precisely, and consistently through this passage, what he is describing here, in which case he appears to be dead wrong. Consider the transfiguration of Jesus: it was all about the outward signs, a revelation of the inward reality (substance).

    I guess, perhaps this section might be quoted out of context, it might be him paraphrasing something that ought not to be believed, and he responds to this fallacious expression in a later part of the work? Please?

  61. HHAmbrose says:

    McCall1981, no worries.

    If the whispers of continuing reforms within the Church occurring during the upcoming Year of Faith are true, then tapping a moderate individual to the Prefect of the CDF who is however obedient to Pope would in effect dull the kick back from recalcitrant groups within the Church. It robs them of a conservative “ideologue” to rally against and places one of “their own” in front of them.

    Think of it this way, if Cardinal Burke was raised to the Prefect of the CDF then every liberal group would begin to entrench and spread the propaganda; however, Muller has them speaking positively about the CDF and Pope Benedict XVI.

  62. Thank you, Fr. Z for this encouraging slant on the appointment.

    I guess what I’m going to take most heart from is the fact that the liberals are annoyed by the appointment of Bishop Muller…

    That, IMHO, suggests that he is the right man for the job…

  63. Aegidius says:

    I cannot bear the discussions going on over at Rorate Caeli where Archbishop Müller is attacked by holier-than-thou traditionalists judge without any knowledge of facts and his teaching. Supertradmum and others have put some important things right. The incriminated quotations (on virgin birth, transsubstantation, liberation theology) are taken out of context and (purposively) misunderstood. Exactly the quotation concerning perpetual virginity is nothing less than heterodox. One thing we can be sure of: The pope knows Müller very, very well. The pope’s home and family grave is there, as well as his brother who lives in Regensburg. Müller edits the Complete Works of Joseph Ratzinger and heads the Joseph Ratzinger foundation. It is rumoured that the pope wanted to make Müller Archbishop of München in 2006 but was taken back by combined efforts of the German (liberalist) episcopate (who later elected Archbishop Zollitsch, the inventor of the infamous “Dialogprozeß” president of the German bishops conference).
    Müller is a man of intellect and courage, rare in contemporary German-speaking countries. He is not afraid of telling the FSSPX that ultimately it is they who have to obey the pope (and not vice versa), and he had to live with the Zaitzkofen seminar, less than a half hour drive from Regensburg. Müller is the only German bishop so far who installed a diocesan council as an advisory body constituted of persons he trusts – and not elected in a strange sort of pseudodemocracy which is common in all German dioceses and regarded a natural “right” by many. The result was that Regensburg was the only diocese whose members of the council were temporarily NOT ADMITTED in the assembly of the Central Comittee (that’s really its name) of German Catholics (ZDK). One must know that the ZDK, founded as a platform to promote faith and the Church’s teaching into the world against and during the “Kulturkampf” in the 19th century, has degenerated and is now the platform for liberals, cryptoprotestants and former politicians very succesfully promoting secular ideas into the Church living on the txpayer’s monex provided by the dioceses. Bishop Müller is the only German bishop who cut off ZDK funding from his diocese.
    The liberals hate him, they fear him, they are shocked and will soon start to throw all sorts of mud at him. We should not join them but pray for him and support him in his difficult duties.
    As for liberation theology, is it forbidden to be good friend – personally – with Gutierrez, and acknowledge that liberation theology had addressed some real problems? Can there be any doubt about Müller’s orthodoxy, given that it was the pope himself who as the head of the CDF had to fight against the heterodoxies of liberation theology during the eighties, incurring hateful labels such as “Panzerkardinal”?
    And one last thing: It is true, Müller’s teacher was Cardinal Lehmann, but who cares? Müller is intellectually free, courageous and absolutely loyal, prepared to fight in the first row. There are Cardinals around, stemming from the Ratzinger school, that appear to lack these virtues.

  64. Still what pisses me off is that the ultra-radical trads at Rorate Caeli are trolling in the comboxes, saying that this is the near end of Traditional Catholicism under Benedict and he`s a two-faced liar. Basically the message is: This appointment = Spirit of Vatican II and Bye Bye SSPX reconciliation and Benedict is evil.

    Father Z, APX, Centristian, and others who are not tethered to radical traddie-ism, what say you about those criticisms about this guy on Rorate? Should we really fear this priest and think Benedict is now addled in his old age, or is this guy a wize choice and Benedict is an intelligent German chessmaster in it all?

  65. If Küng, Fishwrap are in a nutty about this appointment…..I think the Holy Father made the right choice. I was one that did not like the appointment of Leveda to the CDF, but he turned out alright. We need to trust the Holy Father, I think what can sometimes seem like a dumb move for chess can turn out brilliant in the end. Long live our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI

  66. APX says:

    @Young Canadian RC Male
    Father Z, APX, Centristian, and others who are not tethered to radical traddie-ism, what say you about those criticisms about this guy on Rorate? Should we really fear this priest and think Benedict is now addled in his old age, or is this guy a wize choice and Benedict is an intelligent German chessmaster in it all?

    First, what says I is it would have been more appropriate to start your post of with something such as, “What really grinds my gears” or something along those lines.

    I’m probably the wrong person to ask about this, as I don’t wish to bother with the political side of things. I just want to be a good and faithful Catholic, and do my best to avoid Purgatory, as I’m not a fan of heat and having things burned out of me.

  67. Phil_NL says:

    The combox on Rorate has a tendency to be one big pile-up of pessimism and anger. Basically, on a bad day, any action by BXVI – the most traditional friendly pope in half a century – that would be different from what bp Fellay would do where he in BXVI’s shoes, can count on a large amount of rage.

    What seems to be missed, by a lot of people, is that only after a year or two we can tell what Abp Muller will be like as prefect. The idea that his writings and actions as bishop will be a good indication is flawed; we’ve seen in many cases that people act their office rather than their preferences. We don’t need a prefect who calls protestants heretics and suggests types of wood for the stake, and we don’t need a prefect who says every church and sect has a good dosis of the Church in it and signs kumbaya on a daily basis. We need a prefect who follow’s the Holy Father’s intentions, and faithfully executes that job – a job that will compel him to act against his preferences, surely, as has been the case for anyone who held a position of responsibility for an extended time and takes that responsibility seriously.

    Whether the Abp holds opinions on liberation theology that I don’t share then becomes irrelevant. That he involves himself in a debate about the details of the Virgin Birth – a discussion that in my opinion is the most unwise one ever, as there’s hardly a way to have a debate on that topic while maintaining decency – is irrelevant. And so on – all immaterial to his job as long as he does his job faithfully.
    The only reason his positions are in fact relevant is that they tend to show just how broad the divergence in opinion can be within the Church. and I’ve always maintained that the biggest hurdle towards reconiclliation of the SSPX, as well as removing the inherent rage among some traddies in communion, is that we all have to accept that the positions on either side of the spectrum are in fact still Catholic (as long as the Successor of Peter doesn’t rule to the contrary). That’s a lot to swallow, on either side – and sometimes even in between. In that sense, it puts the thumbscrews on the process, but that hurdle has to be taken sometime anyway.

  68. Victor says:

    My brother spent part of his theology studies in Regensburg (he is a priest now). He used to say that people misunderstood Müller when saying he was a Conservative. In my brother’s words, he is simply power-hungry. Well I don’t know about that – what I do know is that liberal, adultering, semi-arianic priests had a hard time in Regensburg. Müller is not my favourite bishop in Germany, but then, he is not entering a beauty contest. Considering all those supposed quotes – do you honestly think the Holy Father doesn’t know about them? If Müller was really heterodox, he wouldn’t have been appointed in the first place. Or do you believe the Holy Father doesn’t believe in the Virgin Birth anymore?

  69. wolfeken says:

    Aegidius — I read your comment a few times, and I am still looking for some substance beyond blind obedience and why we should agree with you.

    Do you have any specific issues that could possibly offset the archbishop calling for SSPX bishops to resign and for their seminary to close three years ago, or for his interesting thoughts opposing the Virgin birth, transubstantiation and clerical celibacy?

    I think there is a bona fide reason to be suspicious of someone so close to liberation theology, with the same someone opposing the SSPX, with the same someone writing all these wacky theological positions that never seem to wander into a rightward direction. The record of thought is always to the left — sometimes the far left.

    You complain about “holier-than-thou traditionalists judge(s) without any knowledge of facts and his teaching” and then leave us hanging. What facts do you have to counter the facts already in the public domain?

  70. Captain Peabody says:

    -Jhayes
    Yeah, that’s the exact same chopped-up, translated, out-of-context quote interspersed with helpful editorial summaries that is popping up everywhere on the ‘Net. As far as I can tell, though, from that alone, Muller seems to be meaning by “natural essence” merely the “character” or “signification” of bread and wine in a human context, and is saying (in that passage at least) that this signification is transformed in the Eucharistic offering; obviously, in a Catholic context, this is a confusing use of the word essence far from its technical meaning, but in context I assume it’s explained more. Referring to the accidents of bread and wine as “symbols,” though, is perfectly orthodox; the technical definition of a sacrament is simply “a symbol that effects what it signifies.” In the sacrament, the accidents of bread and wine play exactly the role of a “sign” signifying the Real, Substantial Presence of Christ. The important doctrines here, though, are (a) the real, complete, substantial (and not merely symbolic) presence of Christ in the Eucharist, mediated through the appearances (and not the substances) of bread and wine, and (b) the real, supernatural efficacy of the Eucharist to effect the union it signifies. Nothing in these passages seems to me to deny either of these things.

    It’s very difficult to get at what he’s actually saying here with so many editorial insertions and cut-outs, but it seems to me that the translator is taking out of context sayings from two different sections, one where Muller talks about the totality of Christ’s presence and counsels against merely thinking of the Eucharist as being Christ’s body and blood alone, and another section where he explores the significance of the use of bread and wine as the Eucharistic elements.

    In this latter section, he apparently talks about the natural signification of bread and wine in human society, and talks about how this signification (or, in a more confusing parlance, “natural essence”) is taken up and transformed in the Eucharist into a means of effecting God’s union with the soul. Presumably, the actual, substantial presence of Christ and its supernatural efficacy are dealt with in other sections, or in the sentences that our dear translator decided not to provide us with; but there are enough things even in these sections to indicate that we are dealing with an orthodox understanding of the Sacrament.

    Obviously, though, I would appreciate it if someone could provide a more proper and full translation; but without such, I cannot consider this passage anything even approaching conclusive proof of heterodoxy.

  71. Me says:

    wolfeken,

    You write, “On the other hand, he has expressed radically leftist positions on the Virgin birth, transubstantiation, clerical celibacy, ecumenism, salvation, relations with the SSPX/traditionalists and liberation theology. I am likely missing something here, but that doesn’t work out to be a balance where “orthodox” can be used as an adjective.”

    To say that he is not orthodox is to say that he is a heretic. To be a heretic one has to obstinately deny a truth of revelation. Now most of the uproar over his alleged heterodoxy is from undocumented quotations taken from Wikipedia. So now let me understand this correctly, wikipedia dixit … This is completely absurd.

    On the issue of clerical celibacy what could he have said that would have made him a “heretic” about this topic anyway? His statements on ecumenical matters are fully orthodox. There is nothing evil about ecumenism if done properly. I have heard Mueller speak on this repeatedly, both in public and in private, and he has not uttered anything that was not fully orthodox. He will occasionally make, of course,political statements but who doesn’t. Even Fellay has been making all sorts of “political” statements of late. Rorate caeli at least provides the following as evidence of his alleged deviation: “We no longer define the relations among us on the basis of existing differences in doctrine, life or in the constitution of the Church, but rather based on what we have in common, that is, on the very foundation on which we stand.” What is unorthodox about this? I am not sure why Rorate caeli would cite this passage. This quotation is not contrary to any revealed truth and it is descriptively accurate. The point of departure since VII is to begin with what we have in common rather than what divides us. Now one may disagree with this prudential judgment and one is entitled to but this does not make Mueller unorthodox. At no point do any of the quotations from Mueller ever say that there are not all sorts of things that still divide us. He has frequently said that there are in public and if one reads his Katholische Dogmatik (the one thing that no one at Rorate caeli has probably bothered to do) he mentions a number of important differences.

    Finally concerning the perpetual virginity of Mary far too many people confuse the theologically necessary with the dogmatically necessary. There is nothing unorthodox about what he has said on the perpetual virginity. What is interesting is that the quotation on Rorate caeli does not cite the entire passage. Mueller continues “Die Geburt beschränkt sich für die Mutter nicht lediglich auf einen biologischen Vorgang.” (p. 498 Rorate caeli, of course, does not provide page numbers) Mueller’s point was simply that Mary’s virginity is more than merely a biological fact which is of course true. Moreover, even if we read Ludwig Ott (which I cite since it is widely available and it is english) we read, “the dogma merely asserts the fact of the continuance of Mary’s physical virginity without determining more closely how this is to be physiologically explained.” (205) So even if he had denied something concerning the integrity of the hymen, one would have to conclude that even by preconciliar standards he cannot be considered a heretic.

    Concerning his alleged support of liberation theology, this is also a bit absurd. First, the quotations in the article cited by wikipedia are in English and rather poor english at that. The talk was probably not given in english. The bishop’s english is good but not good enough to write a theological speech in english. Moreover, the bishop’s first words were essentially, “I am prescinding from commenting on liberation theology as such.” He is critical of american style capitalish but there are very few europeans who are not. Again without the text of the speech this is not helpful.

    I will say that the bishop does not appear inclined to the SSPX.

  72. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Lessee here.

    The ubertrads hate the appointment.

    The uberprogressives hate the appointment.

    [running off to pop some corn and grab a six-pack of Goose Island Honker's ale]

    HEHEHE

    This is going to be fun to watch!

    MSM

  73. Imrahil says:

    I can only second what what dear @Captain Peabody, dear @You (viz., Me), dear @JackintheVox and dear @Aegidius have said.

    Of course, dear @wolfeken, of all these issues transubstantiation, clerical celibacy, ecumenism, salvation, relations with the SSPX/traditionalists and liberation theology only the last is really concerned with the left/right distinction at all. It’d be helpful not to use “leftist” (or, for that matter, rightist) for any of the others.

    And what does concern liberation theology, it has not been condemned in toto but in some specific parts of its doctrine. The declaration of the CDF that did so even mentioned a concern to purify liberation theology to make way for an orthodox sort of liberation theology. Now Abp Müller certainly did not embrace any of the points the CDF condemned about the liberation theology.

    In a theologian these days you will find statements that can be drawn to sound ungood. Which is true about less than you may make it (it was Fr Ott, before Fr Rahner, who said that the virginitas in partu is not dogmatically defined as physical), but concerning Transsubstantiation I would have appreciated to hear that there really does happen a miracle. (There is hesitation around to use the good old “looks like smells like bread, tastes like bread, feels like bread, is not bread formula, for the simple reason that it is supposed to be children’s catechism – although it sadly has often disappeared from children’s catechisms. That may be lamentable, but it does not mean the respective theologian does not believe it.) And a sentence that says “orthodox because orthopractic” is a problematic one. However, he probably said so in answer to a question regarding the problematic stand of liberation theology and why he still befriends Fr Gutierrez. In interviews there is inexactness. Should all candidates for higher offices stay away from interviews for a lifetime?

    That may be lamentable as it is, but that is as it is. The important thing is that Abp Müller is not whether or not any sentence of Abp Müller can be defended; the important thing is that he is altogether orthodox, and he does not fight orthodoxy.

    That “Abp Müller in a German context is seen as a right winger”, together with Card Meisner, is just plain knowledge. What did contribute most to that? That the term for his relationship to We-are-Church is fight against. And I would suggest that many of his sermons many of theologians around would dismiss for their we-against-the-bad-world mentality. I mean that as a compliment to him (Ecclesia militans comes to mind).

    Though I would appreciate it if the Pope had told Abp Müller to leave all the Ecclesia Dei matters to the Vice President. (Maybe he has.) Sometimes a sympathetic feeling between the persons involved is necessary.

  74. Pingback: EXTRA: Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller Appointed CDF Prefect | Big Pulpit

  75. Imrahil says:

    The important thing is not whether or not.

    Sorry.

  76. WesleyD says:

    Young Canadian RC Male wrote:

    Still what pisses me off is that the ultra-radical trads at Rorate Caeli are trolling in the comboxes, saying that this is the near end of Traditional Catholicism under Benedict and he`s a two-faced liar. Basically the message is: This appointment = Spirit of Vatican II and Bye Bye SSPX reconciliation and Benedict is evil.

    I have a close friend whom I have known and trusted for more than two decades. If he did something that surprised me, I wouldn’t bother to ask him why or to wait for the results. Instead, I would immediately denounce him in public, call him a liar, and denounce his inner motives.

    Wait, no, on second thought — maybe that would be a stupid and ignorant thing to do.

    I have followed Cardinal Ratzinger’s career for many years. I loved The Ratzinger Report and Salt of the Earth, I treasured his work as Prefect of the CDF, and I was in awe of his bravery when he publicly criticized how Pope John Paul II — whom he deeply admired — had organized the first Assisi event. I praised God when he was elected Pope, and have been delighted by how many things he has done, as well as his personal piety and deep love for the Church.

    He did something yesterday that surprised me. So now I won’t bother to wait for the results. Instead, I will immediately denounce him in public, call him a liar, and denounce his inner motives.

    Wait, no, on second thought — maybe that would be a stupid and ignorant thing to do.

  77. brianvzn says:

    Only time will tell what the next few years have in store for us, but the DiNoia interview, the Muller appointment, and the rush to revise the 1962 Missal all trouble me. I am no expert, but I have read the documents of Vatican II a few times. I have also read numerous books about the topic from the point of view of rupture and also that of continuity. I will continue to read the documents of Vatican II, and also read prior councils and encyclicals. I would love to say that I believe the documents of Vatican II do not contain what seem to be contradictions of prior Church teachings, but at this point, I lean towards the argument that the documents of Vatican II themselves, not just the awful reforms that followed, do in fact contain errors and contradictions.

    Let us pray for the Pope, all clergy and religious, and for each other, that one day the fog created by Vatican II will be lifted, and that the Faith be practiced and taught in a very straightforward, orthodox manner in our lifetimes.

    St. Michael the Archangel, Pray for us.

  78. Ambrose Jnr says:

    I would like to thank the many commentators who are prepared to put Archbishop elect Mueller’s wiki quotations in its proper context, as well as the other commentators who are prepared to reserve judgment and not jump to conclusions. Could any wdtprs’er update wiki accordingly?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Archbishop Mueller turns out to be a younger version of Cardinal Ratzinger, and possibly more forceful. He’s a world-class theologian like Archbishope DiNoia, and together I think they’ll be able to get the SSPX back into the fold canonically…I’m pretty sure that there has been a clear agreement with the Pope between Archbishops DiNoia and Mueller to bring back the SSPX’s saner elements, whilst allowing the SSPX to keep its 1958 theology integral…

    I wouldn’t be surprised either that Archbishop Mueller completely agrees with the quote of Archbishop DiNoia where he compared the 16th century dispute between Jesuits and Dominicans about grace as a paradigm for the SSPX which allows for communion with differing interpretations, provided the hermeneutic of continuity is respected…the SSPX could agree to the most traditional hermeneutic possible…liberals though are just plain heretics who, in their minds, created their own 1962/1965 church and only believe in a hermeneutic of rupture.

    I hope Rahner will be put on the Index by Archbishop Mueller, but maybe that’s hoping for too much.

  79. Andrew says:

    All of this might have been avoided if the principles of Veterum Sapientia were followed:

    “In accordance with numerous previous instructions, the major sacred sciences shall be taught in Latin, which, as we know from many centuries of use, “must be considered most suitable for explaining with the utmost facility and clarity the most difficult and profound ideas and concepts.” For apart from the fact that it has long since been enriched with a vocabulary of appropriate and unequivocal terms, best calculated to safeguard the integrity of the Catholic faith, it also serves in no slight measure to prune away useless verbiage.”

    Or, to put it another way:

    “… the sources of the ecclesiastical disciplines are for the most part written in Latin. [...] One ought not to be considered a master of learning who does not understand …“ this language. (John Paul II, Speeches: 27 November 1978.)

  80. FrJLP says:

    Many of you ought to refresh your memory as to the meaning of “calumny”, “slander”, and “libel”. Some of you would do well to back off judging so harshly that which you might not fully understand concerning the theological enterprise… All of you would do well to remember “ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est…” Wait? Perhaps “caritas” is on the advanced vocab list…

    @ wolfeken: You keep demanding and demanding citations. Why don’t you start providing them and IN CONTEXT???

  81. Ignatius says:

    FrJLP: excellent points. Yours is the voice of sanity.

  82. robtbrown says:

    Imrahil says,

    It was Fr Ott, before Fr Rahner, who said that the virginitas in partu is not dogmatically defined as physical)

    From Ott: Bk 3, part 3, Ch 2, 5 (English edition, p 204)

    Mary’s virginity includes virginitas mentis, that is, a constant virginal disposition, virginitas sensus, that is, freedom from inordinate motion of sexual desire, and virginitas corporis, that is, physical integrity. The Church doctrine refers primarily to her bodily integrity.

    Has it been defined? No, but it has been taught by the Ordinary Universal Magisterium.

  83. JackintheVox says:

    With regard to the “heterodox” snippets on the Eucharist, I think this is where something is literally getting lost in translation from the German. Understandable, considering the topic is one of the deepest mysteries of the Faith that most requires more context than a single line or two.

    Without being able to read the original, I can only speculate… but my guess would be that there is a concern with losing sight of the “Soul and Divinity” in the Eucharist. Before I became Catholic, I labored under the misconception that transubstantiation was supposed to be a kind of “cloning” that reproduced the literal Body and Blood of Our Lord, as if the Eucharistic host was an independent “slice” of Him.

    Learning that He is fully present in every drop and crumb of the elements, and that dividing the elements does not divide Him, and that to move the elements around does not move Him (Summa III.76) helped me understand that the Eucharist is Him not “just” His Body and Blood. Now maybe I am fairly alone in having had that misconception, but I can see how an exclusive reference to “Body and Blood” could be an obstacle to a fuller understanding.

  84. jhayes says:

    Captain Peabody, in Mysterium Fidei, Paul VI said:

    Symbolism Inadequate to Express Real Presence

    44. While Eucharistic symbolism is well suited to helping us understand the effect that is proper to this Sacrament—the unity of the Mystical Body—still it does not indicate or explain what it is that makes this Sacrament different from all the others. For the constant teaching that the Catholic Church has passed on to her catechumens, the understanding of the Christian people, the doctrine defined by the Council of Trent, the very words that Christ used when He instituted the Most Holy Eucharist, all require us to profess that “the Eucharist is the flesh of Our Savior Jesus Christ which suffered for our sins and which the Father in His loving kindness raised again.” To these words of St. Ignatius, we may well add those which Theodore of Mopsuestia, who is a faithful witness to the faith of the Church on this point, addressed to the people: “The Lord did not say: This is symbol of my body, and this is a symbol of my blood, but rather: This is my body and my blood. He teaches us not to look to the nature of what lies before us and is perceived by the senses, because the giving of thanks and the words spoken over it have changed it into flesh and blood.”

  85. jm says:

    “He’s a world-class theologian.”

    Come on. By whose standard? What kills me is the TRaddies are vilified here, and then everyone indulges in the reverse extreme. This guy is a Young Ratzinger!! HE is part of the Pope’s plan to revive orthodoxy!! Etc etc. Who knows… But the Traddies have a point. Is it too much to ask for a CDF head who explains transubstantiation in a way that does not upset lifelong Catholics? You isn’t lauding a theology the Church has in fact condemned? If you have to do verbal handstands to make someone look good, it’s not good. There is a profound lack of straight talking coming from Rome these days, with “secret” doctrinal preambles (since when is the faith secret?), and strange opaque vocabulary, all while churches empty and liberal clerics go unchecked. Cardinal Shonborn affirms gay parish members, and there is silence. It is strange. And Traddies are the villains? Please. Fawning over Popes is not an essential of Catholicism. Paul took Peter to task. The knee jerk reflexes here remind me of Obama’s defenders.

  86. Long-Skirts says:

    FrJLP says:

    ” All of you would do well to remember “ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est…”

    and “Semper ubi sub ubi”!!

  87. Andrew says:

    As I replied to one friend, who was very devastated with the news of Bishop Mueller’s appointment to head the CDF. the Catholic Church is both a divine and human insitution at the same time. This is the meaning of some of Our Lord’s parable, off the top of my head I think of the vessels of honour, and the vessesls of dishnour.

    As G.K Chesterton once said, the Church has been run by so many unworthy individuals throughout the ages, the fact that it has survived and endured, is proof of its divine origin. Many people thought of as progressive upon sitting on the throne of Peter, changed wind direction, a good example being Blessed Pius IX.

    We may be disappointed with the credentials of Bishop Mueller, in regard to him being placed at the helm of the Pope’s doctrinal office. But Pope Benedict knows him well, and a number of Vatican heads like Cardinal Kasper and Cardinal Hummes (also known for his background of liberation theology) know that the rule in town is as “Ratzy says, Ratzy does”.

    After Ratzinger was elected to the papacy, I was amazed at the doctrinal strength of a number of Cardinal Kasper’s talks particularly when he went to the Lambeth Conference, to denounce the movement in the Anglican Church, to consecrate women bishops.

    It seems that Pope Benedict picks men he knows very well for these sort of roles, regardlesss of their reputations for orthodoxy or liberalism. The point is, they get the job done. That is all that matters. I agree though that matters in the Secretariat of State in particular, seem to need a major overhaul.

    As I took leave of my friend I said to him, “The Church shows its perfection, by working through its imperfection”. That is the proof that it was purchased by Our Lord’s Precious Blood, shed on the cross, but coming to victory, in His Resurrection.

    We are hardly resurrection people, if we don’t see the hand of providence in the affairs of God.

  88. Captain Peabody says:

    -Jhayes

    Of course, and I don’t mean to say otherwise. The Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, not merely a symbol of this. Nevertheless, the appearances of bread and wine remaining after transubstantiation, considered simply as accidents, do in a sense “symbolize” or “signify” the real, substantial presence of Christ that is hidden “under them” (i.e. the accidents of wine look similar to blood, the accidents of unleavened bread represent the purity of Christ, etc). The Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, however, is not merely a “symbolic” presence, as the Protestants would have it, but a Real, Substantial one, which is signified to our human senses by the appearances of bread and wine, but also revealed to us through faith in a deeper way, and perfected in us supernaturally through adoration and reception.

    When it comes to Eucharistic theology, though, things can get a bit sticky, and it’s easy to make statements that seem heretical when taken out of context or not properly nuanced. Of course, that was my whole point to begin with.

  89. Joshua08 says:

    Müller, whatever else may be said, share this with the modernists…he is downright obfuscating, confusing and not at all conducive to obtaining clarity in doctrinal matters. Maybe the Eucharistic thing has been somewhat mistranslated, maybe he is getting at the truth that Christ is NOT physically present, but only substantially present in the Eucharist, except he probably rejects that language, and the very notion of substance. Heck, even our current holy father never quite got that concept, at least when he was younger, and blithely attacked it in his works. So they need a new language and God alone knows what they are trying to do. I would presume he wishes to be faithful to the Church here, but I deny the sucess of his project, and those like it. But that is a matter of theological and even philosophical disagreement.

    The comments on Mary? obfuscating at best. But he does says “is not primarily about” In other words, he does not even go as far as to deny the virginal integrity of Mary as being part of the doctrine (which it is, remember Rahner rejected the very notion of dogma from the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium). He merely says that is not the main point. That is true, enough. But what he says is is very very very unclear. Aquinas was clear on this, that virginity, as something praised, was first and foremost a moral quality and hence we can, without qualification, still call someone raped a virgin, not analogously, but literally. Heck Augustine was clear on that. The physical intergrity is the third element he lists, it is accidental and exists as a sign. Still, Augustine and Aquinas saw that and yet still saw the need to condemn as heretics those who would deny that sign to our Lady. Müller didn’t deny it, but he certainly obscures it

    I will do not know what to make of him. He impresses me as thoroughly modern, yet, in his general orientation, wanting to defend the Church. Maybe it is all the new terminology preventing someone steeped in traditional language from understanding him. I don’t much care for the defense, “but the pope knows him, and appointed him” Yeah, John Paul II gave the cardinal hat to a few heretics. Cardinal Martini on abortion, that S. American Cardinal who dissented from Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (in fairness after the fact). Not to mention those with heterodox theologies like Balthasar (forget dare we hope, he denies the 2 judgments, the existence of the soul without the body, even the limbo of the fathers…bizarre). I don’t know why those things happen, but they do.

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  92. Imrahil says:

    Dear @robtbrown,

    ibid., page 299 in the nova et vetera German edition: “Mary gave birth without any injury to her virginal integrity. De fide from common teaching of the Church. … The way of her giving birth had therefore an extraordinary character. The more detailed determination whereof the virginal integrity in birth consists in so far as the physiological side is concerned does not belong to the faith of the Church.” He goes on to say something about where this virginity does consist in, which does include a bodily moment, of course.

  93. robtbrown says:

    Imrahil,

    Doesn’t your citation refute your previous assertion?

  94. robtbrown says:

    Most German theologians of Abp Müller’s generation have been heavily influenced by Karl Rahner, or at least employ the language of German Existentialism. JRatzinger, who had already been influenced by St Bonaventure, began pulling back from Rahner at the Council, and later during his Roman years was heavily influenced by non German theologians. Rahner’s work was that of aggiornamento, a highly subjective neo neo-Scholasticism that was built on the framework of Heidegger. Ratzinger went the way of ressourcement, with constant reference to the Fathers, esp St Augustine. His understanding of Joachim da Fiore has given him special insight into the New Church ideology that has seriously damaged Catholic life.

    And I am told that it is the Italian, Msgr Pozzo, who was the latest impediment toward a solution with the SSPX.

  95. robtbrown says:

    David Werling says,

    Müller’s appointment is in part a sign of a positive re-evaluation of Liberation Theology, so obviously, there are those in the Vatican who don’t think the Liberation Theology is for the most part junk to be picked over for spare parts. Perhaps, even the Holy Father thinks there is now more to Liberation Theology than junk to be picked over.

    Did you ever read the SCDF document on Liberation Theology?

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19840806_theology-liberation_en.html

  96. robtbrown says:

    Imrahil,

    Looking at the text you cite, Ott relies on “modern scientific rational knowledge” for a concept of virginity that is limited to non fulfillment of the sexual act. In so far as the topic under which this is written is “Mary’s Virginity During the Birth of Jesus”, such a notion is irrelevant.

    Ott’s book is a very good compilation of dogma. His comments on dogma, however, are not always so good. If memory serves, I found some of his comments on Christology to be deficient.

  97. Suburbanbanshee says:

    From Imrahil’s quote, Mueller seems to be saying something like this — We know that Mary was perpetually virgin, and that this included her physical body, because that’s what the Church teaches de fide. But the exact workings of that, and the exact procedure of the Virgin Birth, the Church doesn’t teach de fide — and nobody knows for sure except God and Mary.

    Which is reasonable. I don’t need to know. I’m not Mary’s doctor.

  98. Me says:

    Jim,

    You write, “But the Traddies have a point. Is it too much to ask for a CDF head who explains transubstantiation in a way that does not upset lifelong Catholics?”

    My answer is no in this case for two reasons. First, very few to my knowledge has read what he actually said. The text was written and German and extracting one sentence from a Wikipedia page or from Rorate Caeli is not a way to pass judgment on a theologian or a bishop. Moreover, notice that there are almost no page citations on these websites. Yet for all the blustering about tradition at Rorate Caeli, this is how they behave. What is “traditional” about this?

    Second, this is assuming that life long Catholics have even understood the tradition correctly. If life long catholics have not understood the church’s teaching correctly how are they not going to be upset when they are told that they have very imperfectly understood the tradition?

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  100. Imrahil says:

    Dear @robtbrown, no it does not refute what I said.

    Dear @Suburbanshee, what he actually says is “with virginity [in birth] geht es nicht um [Engl.: it is not about] the physical state but”. It is not so much negation even the traditional opinion than evading a question. Though it may be lamentable that this putting-aside-as-unimportant happens often enough these days in theology (or so at least it seems to me from afar). In my view, the theologist and the philosopher should not ask which question should be asked, but answer questions that are asked. But I’m a dreamer…

    That’s that. The traditional notion which Abp Müller does not confess (and some assume he denies) is that the virginal integrity which Mary preserved in giving birth (and that she did preserve it, is of faith) includes that this means her body remained physically just as intact as it does in virgins (which as I tried to point out is not of faith).

    And as he did not strictly deny it, we do not know whether he personally believes it. He might quite well, and that is not seeking loopholes for defence but a very real possibility, have hold it back for prudential reasons. (Whether things like that should be hold back for even very prudential reasons is another question.)

  101. Imrahil says:

    Sorry for the inverting mess.

  102. Michael_Thoma says:

    FROM ENGLISH WIKI:
    Doctrinal views
    Clerical celibacy

    In response to controversial reactions to comments by Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg that, while clerical celibacy is a gift but not theologically necessary, but that it would be a “revolution” if the celibacy tradition within the Latin Rite Catholic Church were abandoned, Müller said: “The Second Vatican Council made clear in Article 16 of the “Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests” what the decisive requirements are”.

    *Nothing heretical here, and seems more correct and well-informed than Cardinal Sandri’s insult to Eastern Catholics a few weeks ago.*

    Eucharist

    In 2002, bishop Müller published the book Die Messe – Quelle des christlichen Lebens (The Mass–The Source of Christian Life) (St. Ulrich Verlag, Augsburg). In the book, he says : “In reality, the body and blood of Christ do not mean the material components of the human person of Jesus during his lifetime or in his transfigured corporality. Here, body and blood mean the presence of Christ in the signs of the medium of bread and wine.”

    *Doesn’t sound ‘heterodox’, just using “lay-speak” (at least this translation)

    Liberation theology

    Müller was also a pupil of Gustavo Gutiérrez, the “father” of Latin-American liberation theology, with whom he has a long and close friendship. Commenting on Guitierrez, Müller stated: “The theology of Gustavo Gutiérrez, independently of how you look at it, is orthodox because it is orthopractic and it teaches us the correct way of acting in a Christian fashion since it comes from true faith.” It is important to note that Gutiérrez’s thoughts were never censored by the Holy See although it was asked that he modify a few of his writings.[5]
    *Again, he points to the “theology”, not how it was practiced by extremists and communists.*

    Mariology

    In his 900-page work Katholische Dogmatik. Für Studium und Praxis der Theologie (Catholic Dogma. For the Study and Practice of Theology) (Freiburg. 5th Edition, 2003), Müller says that the doctrine of the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is “not so much concerned with specific physiological proprieties in the natural process of birth [...], but with the healing and saving influence of the grace of the Savior on human nature.”
    *I don’t see the heterodoxy here either, actually he states the obvious truth*

    Status of Protestant communities

    In a speech he gave in October 2011, Müller said that “the Catholic Magisterium is far from denying an ecclesial character or an ecclesial existence to ‘the separated Churches and ecclesial Communities of the West”.[7]
    *”The separated Churches” refer to the Orthodox and other true Churches obviously, and “Communities” for protestantism, not as Muller-bashers claim, he is not referring to protestants as true Churches.

  103. Ezra says:

    While I admire RORATE CAELI, I do not think their handling of this has been very intelligent. They should have posted (at least a link to) the German passages in full, without ellipses and editorial commentary. Since the work is not available in translation, asking us to rely on an anonymous translator – who may, for all we know, wish to cast Abp Müller is a negative light – is wrong. Better to keep silent than have the man branded a heretic on the basis of uncertain evidence.

  104. dspecht says:

    Ezrah, Michael_Thoma, et. al. – Imrahil and robtbronw – et all:

    I am German, holding an exam in theology, philosphy and history and re-read just some of the texts of Müller in the original, at least the main points of his Kath. Dogmatik.
    No, that is not out of context or defendable – it is really bad.
    For contrary, those that try to defend Müller seem to cite out of context and leave out the most problematic parts.

    F.e., Michael_Thoma, you write: “Müller says that the doctrine of the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is “not so much concerned with specific physiological proprieties in the natural process of birth… I don´t see the heterodoxy here…

    But that is not right.

    As also Imrahil (and others) quouted correctly, he says NOT only “not so much” but (Kath. Dogmatik, Herder 1995, Mariology):
    “is not concerned/about..”
    See Imrahil above: “with virginity [in birth] geht es nicht um [Engl.: it is not about] the physical state but”.
    Full, correct quote is:
    Virginity in birth
    “is not about anomalous physiological particularities in the natural act of birth (like not-opening of the birth canal[s], not-injury of the hymen or not-happening of the birth-pain[s]), but about the healing and saving influence of the grace of the Savior on human nature, that was “hurt/injured” ["verletzt" -by.” Müller himselfe uses the quotation-marks here!!] by original sin.”

    So he IS denying the millenial teaching of the Church that the virginity in birth is exactly about the physical, bodily integritiy of Mary, most blessed Virgin.

    But how, Imrahil, can you say “It is not so much negation even the traditional opinion than evading a question.” “And as he did not strictly deny it.”?
    - There is no question here but a clear statement as everybody can see – you yourselfe quoted resp. paraphrased it correctly:
    “It is not about the physical state…” (or, see above the original quote). So he expressly says that it is not about that. He is denying the traditional teaching that it is exactly about the physical, bodily integritiy. So why do you say he would not deny it???!

    And then you say: The traditional notion which Abp Müller does not confess (and some assume he denies) is that the virginal integrity which Mary preserved in giving birth (and that she did preserve it, is of faith) includes that this means her body remained physically just as intact as it does in virgins (which as I tried to point out is not of faith).

    Again, “Some assume he denies” ????! – You yourselfe, as just shown, quoted that he not only questions it but denies it (“it´s not about the…”)

    “which as I tried to point out is not of faith”
    But that´s wrong. It is of faith. So all the old manuals teach. Also Ott.

    You cited Ott – but you left out exactly the crucial part that is against your assertion.
    Again, I have it here in the German orignial, quoting from the 8th ed. 1969 (but no difference to the earlier ones as far as I know)

    [to be continued]

  105. dspecht says:

    [Continuation:]

    You, Imrahil, quoted Ott: “Mary gave birth without any injury to her virginal integrity. De fide from common teaching of the Church. … The way of her giving birth had therefore an extraordinary character. The more detailed determination whereof the virginal integrity in birth consists in so far as the physiological side is concerned does not belong to the faith of the Church.”

    But you left out the crucial part, that is against you and Müller:

    After ” …De fide from common teaching of the Chruch” Ott continues:
    The dogma says that the bodily integritiy of Mary in the act of birth was not hurt/injured

    – Why did you omit this??!

    Only then he goes on – what you quoted – that the dogma is but not of some concrete details in particular of the bodily-physically integrity.

    But, as you again yourselfe then admit, he again goes on to show that, even though the doctrine is not de fide re special details in particular, it is of course re the general assertion the it is about the bodily-physically integrity and virginity.

    You say:“He goes on to say something about where this virginity does consist in, which does include a bodily moment, of course.”

    So, according to Ott, the doctrine “does include a bodily moment” and “of course” so – according to yourselfe!

    And on the other hand you admit that Müller teaches that “with virginity [in birth] geht es nicht um [Engl.: it is not about] the physical state but…” [or see the original phrasing of Müller above].

    But then there is no denying??? And the bodily-physical aspect is not of faith???

    Not only Ott teaches that it is about the physical-bodily aspect, but also all other – of course pre-Vat.II – manuals, cf. f.e. the very detailed dogmatic of Pohle (or Pohle-Gummersbach). And all the Fathers teach that our Lord was born like coming out of the closed door, the closed gate, like the sun goes through glas, like He went throuhg closed doors or walls with His resurged and transfigurated body….

    And you Michael_Thoma, cited re the

    Eucharist
    only the unproblematic passages
    “In reality, the body and blood of Christ do not mean the material components of the human person of Jesus during his lifetime or in his transfigured corporality. Here, body and blood mean the presence of Christ in the signs of the medium of bread and wine.”

    and of course you are right then
    *Doesn’t sound ‘heterodox’, just using “lay-speak” (at least this translation)

    But you omit the crucial, problematic parts – that are provided at RORATE CAELI and elswhere. See there. And they are heterodox.

    And so on.

  106. Me says:

    dspecht,

    First, in order for you to demonstrate your case, i.e. that Mueller is a heretic, you have to cite correctly the Tradition and you have to find a text from Mueller that says the contradictory. Until you do that you have no argument nor does anyone at Rorate caeli. Second, when you cite Mueller please do so in German with an actual page number (unlike wikipedia or Rorate caeli) and when you cite the Tradition please also do so in the original language.

  107. robtbrown says:

    Imrahil says:

    The traditional notion which Abp Müller does not confess (and some assume he denies) is that the virginal integrity which Mary preserved in giving birth (and that she did preserve it, is of faith) includes that this means her body remained physically just as intact as it does in virgins (which as I tried to point out is not of faith).

    And as I pointed out, just because it has not been defined does not mean it is not de fide. It has been taught by the Ordinary Universal Magisterium, which means it is to be held definitively and considered infallible (LG 25.2).

  108. Sancrucensis says:

    The Holy Father has said about Bishop Müller that his theological judgement is “ever reliable”: http://sancrucensis.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/panzerkardinal-or-the-enigma-of-bishop-gerhard-ludwig-muller/

  109. robtbrown says:

    One of the most ignored aspects of Vat II is that in strengthening the status of each bishop, the authority of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium was also strengthened.

    It is sad residue of Counter Reformation theology that infallibility is still thought to be located only in Papal and Conciliar definitions.

  110. Tom Piatak says:

    Sancrucensis’ account of Muller included in his comment above is very interesting and well worth the read.

  111. Imrahil says:

    Dear @dspecht,

    two points: “es geht nicht um a sondern um b” or, to my knowledge of English, “it is not about a but about b“, means: all that is not so important, please just leave a alone without investigation. That is something different from saying “a is wrong”. This was what I meant when I said that he does not explicitly deny. Abp Müller did not say that virginity-in-birth is actually nothing physically special; he said that it is not about anything physically special (that is like, “please talk about other things will you?”. At least in my understanding.)

    I left the most important part of Ott out because bodily integrity can mean a lot of things. Of course the bodily integrity of Mary was not either hurt or injured in her birth! But whether or not the Faith, at least this last sentence does not compel us to assert any physical things except that, well, the birth effected nothing of the things that even in normal mothers are illnesses or disabilities.

    And I’m sorry but Ott’s Dogmatics are the only manual I have at hand. Now he does say after the sentence which I cited (I abbreviate: physiologically does not belong to the Faith), “But [!] according to Magisterium and Tradition it must be upheld that virginity-in-birth is different from virginity-in-conception and adds itself to it as a new moment.” While that is true, why the need to say all this if, as you assume, he’d just a sentence before declared the whole traditional notion to a tradition de fide?

    Dear @robtbrown, in my way of speaking the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium also defines… its definitions are just harder to catch… but then just because you said the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium has (in my words) defined the doctrine, that does not mean it does have defined it. It is true and I concede at once that the Saints, the Apocryphes, the Private Revelations, and the pious opinions have been in favor of not only virginity-in-birth strictly (which is dogma) but also physical-integrity-as-in-virgins. But these do not constitute the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium; the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium is the virtual whole of the episcopal college deciding to henceforth hold a doctrine as de fide binding. I think I have proved that Ludwig Ott does not think the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium has defined (or what you may call it) this also. I’m aware that Ludwig Ott is but an opinion. Gerhard Ludwig Müller is but an opinion. I am less than an opinion. Forgive me that I rely on such sources as I do have.

    The word might be in place that I myself hold physical-integrity-as-in-virgins until defined to the contrary or taught in Heaven to the contrary. But that does not mean that it’d be good to treat as a of faith what appears not to be of faith. (Note again that I speak not of virginity-in-birth, which is defined, but of physical-integrity-as-in-virgins.)

  112. Johnno says:

    In more troubling related news…

    Archbishop Di Noia Admits: “The Goal is to Convert SSPX to Conciliar Thinking”
    http://www.cfnews.org/page10/page45/archbishop_dinoia_admits-convert_sspx_to_v2.html

  113. jm says:

    “He impresses me as thoroughly modern, yet, in his general orientation, wanting to defend the Church. ”

    Exactly.

    thoroughly modern: “Let’s admit we were wrong across the board — on creation, inerrancy, women, human rights, other religions”
    and yet,
    Wanting to defend the Church: We insist people respect our teaching authority!

    Brothers, it has never worked. A worker priest observed that we began losing the faithful when it was conceded that Genesis was essentially myths. It still goes the same way. If it is all so complicated you have to speak in opaque prose, and your defenders simply retreat to, “Show me the page number in the original German!,” then what a farce. You honestly expect an appeal to infallibility to hold under such circumstances? It dies the death of 1001 qualifications. The deal is simply this: the head of CDF should be someone who is obviously and patently very, very Catholic and orthodox, not someone who is a liberation theology wannabe and can’t even agree with the defining Marian distinctives of Cathoilic theology without some obtuse remarks. The reams of words necessitated to argue otherwise shows up the lie. Things are a mess when a pope can’t even appoint a doctrinally stalwart guy to the post. Of course, given the fact you can’t now find a reliable Catholic voice to weigh in authoritatively on original sin, salvation, hell, and the reliability of Scripture, why is anyone surprised? Thank heaven for this New Springtime. I need to go find my set of the Emperor’s New Clothes so I can gush over what a revival of tradition we are experiencing. But please, keep the SSPX riff raff away. Damn dissenters!

  114. Brothers and sisters, until a CFD arrives who is NOT a convinced Evolutionist, all the speculation and consternation about the ‘orthodoxy’ of this one or that is so much looking at the paint job without ever raising the hood. The trend of downward spiral will continual no matter what Liturgical bones are tossed towards ‘traditionalists’ to placate the insistence on ‘continuity.’ Evolutionists want to preserve the appearance of ‘development’ in order to demonstrate a true ‘continuity.’ Its all deception and sophistry designed to fool those uncommitted to the perennial magisterium. Modernists are extremely careful to preserve the packaging while shrewdly transforming the content. Deeming someone orthodox just because they take the [common sense] position that the church has never ordained women is willful blindness to the real issue: Who is Jesus Christ and what did He come into the world to do? (Hint: it has to do with sinners…)

  115. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Johnny, that’s not what he said, that’s what made out of what he said.

    Dear @jm, interesting… buuut… that sort of defense was done on the principle that a man is deemed innocent until proven guilty – and I’m quite sure a little hairsplitting is o.k. if done for this purpose. All this is just what a defendant would do, and – to sum up what I mean – it cannot be accepted as disqualifying a person that she needs defending.

    A heretic does not does not qualify for CDF prefect (or any other place in the Church). An accepted orthodox theologian like Abp Müller does (other qualifications provided). That is the major difference here. [I'm not speaking of modernists in the strict sense of the term who, according to St. Pius, purportedly hide their heresy to undermine the Church from within.]

    Your allusion to the stand towards Genesis (and of course the rest of the Bible) is even more interesting… but then it’s a most major task for theologians to find out what to do about Genesis. And I mean not in the face of the details of Darwinian evolution, which may or may not have happened the way presented [and anyway says little else than that "the successful succeeded", as Chesterton once remarked], but seeing that Genesis does have, for instance, the plants preceding the sun.

    (And, dear @robtbrown, yes the O. Inf. Mag. However in this and as long as we have not a “declared O. Inf. Mag.” as with women priests, I cite the Catholic Encyclopedia: “It is true that …, but as long as the very special question of infallibility is concerned, we may neglect the so-called Ordinary Magisterium.”)

  116. robtbrown says:

    Imrahil,

    Dear @robtbrown, in my way of speaking the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium also defines its definitions are just harder to catch…

    I never said that OUM defined the doctrine, and I also noted that “define” is not predicated of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium. Until you understand that, you will continue to be wrong in this matter. There is a difference between “defined” and “taught infallibly”. There is doctrine taught infallibly that has not been defined.

    but then just because you said the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium has (in my words) defined the doctrine, that does not mean it does have defined it.

    See above re defined.

    You don’t need my opinion. All you need to do is look at Leo the Great and various other texts, most of which are cited by Rahner in the aforementioned article.

    (And, dear @robtbrown, yes the O. Inf. Mag. However in this and as long as we have not a “declared O. Inf. Mag.” as with women priests, I cite the Catholic Encyclopedia: “It is true that …, but as long as the very special question of infallibility is concerned, we may neglect the so-called Ordinary Magisterium.”)

    If the Cath Ency says that, it is at odds with both Vat I and Vat II.

    Vat I (Session 4, Chap 3): . . . matters to be believed as divinely revealed, whether by her solemn judgment or in her ordinary and universal magisterium.

    I already referred to Lumen Gentium, 25.2. And I recommend reading Donum Veritatis.

  117. Johnno says:

    “Your allusion to the stand towards Genesis (and of course the rest of the Bible) is even more interesting… but then it’s a most major task for theologians to find out what to do about Genesis. ”

    -They can stick to Tradition and the infallible teachings and dogmas of the Church for instance. Also actual science rather than the worthless atheistic philosophies pretending to be scientific that always seek to reinterpret reality apart from God and Divine Revelation.

    “And I mean not in the face of the details of Darwinian evolution, which may or may not have happened the way presented [and anyway says little else than that "the successful succeeded", as Chesterton once remarked]”

    - It could never happen the way they presented it. They themselves don’t even know or have any valid explanation to describe such a process. Maybe once upon a time in ignorance they did, but Science has come a long way since then and has totally discredited their claims. Changes on the macro level have never been observed. Catholics need to start getting interested in science and philosophy so they can understand how religious worldviews influence man and especially scientific academia.

    “but seeing that Genesis does have, for instance, the plants preceding the sun.”"

    - So what? The Gospels have a man who says he’s God, oh, but not just God, but a God(s)(?) who is 3 and yet 1 or something, and who was born of a woman who maintained her virginity without any human male seed to precede his conception which is totally not how things should work…and he was known for other amazing magic tricks, and he died and came back from the dead 3 days later, lived for another 40 or so days and then flew up in the air and disappeared. This is all very unscientific, so the Gospels are therefore allegory, right? God forbid the Creator made plants before the Sun, despite that there was already sufficient light from the first day for photosynthesis as if any of that really matters when it comes to the province of miracles…

  118. Imrahil says:

    Dear @robtbrown, thank you very much for your corrections.

    What the Cath Ency said (it is in the article on infallibility, at least at http://www.newadvent.org) was referring not to the duty of believing what the OIM says (of course this duty exists!), but to the probability to come across actual, concrete sentences which are to be believed by faith but not yet defined, in this period of time (and the future).

    Wait a minute: that is in dogmatic theology. Just thinking about it, I might bet that there are still plenty of them in moral theology. Thus I withdraw my appraisal of the Cath Ency in this respect.

    I do not doubt that the Church has taught physical-virginity-in-birth; what I wonder is whether she taught it universally and with the intention of laying down an infallible doctrine. Just because an encyclical once rejected religious freedom and indeed some centuries nobody said anything else until a Council came along, this does not mean that the previous teaching somehow entered into infallibility.

  119. Imrahil says:

    When I said I do not doubt, what I meant is that I have no positive reason to doubt. I do not know, and forgive me that I’ll not now investigate.

  120. dspecht says:

    @ Me:
    Your advice to quote exactly is fair enough and welcome (Well, I thought the pages were provided somewhere yet, but anyway).
    And to quote in the original language, f.e. German, is of course principially better, but I fear many here will not be able to understand it then, so perhaps I must quote both, German and English. So let´s go.

    @Imrahil:
    Btw., good discussion, thanks for reply and clear argumentation.

    Here my reply:
    1. No, Ott does not say that the physical-bodily side is not de fide.

    He only says that the specific – concrete – particularities ( “die nähere Bestimmung”) of the physiological side/aspect are not de fide.
    ( “Die nähere Bestimmung, worin die jungfräuliche Unversehrtheit … nach der physiologischen Seite besteht, gehört nicht zum Glauben”)

    But that – generally, principially – the physiological-bodily side/aspect and the corporal-bodily integritiy is de fide, he expressely states. (As quoted yet.)

    But that is exactly what Müller denies.

    2. So here, re Müller, you are also not right, sorry.

    Well, the problem seems to be the German – so we see how justified “Me´s” advice was.
    Perhaps “it is not about” is not the best translation into English, I don´t know.
    Anyway, in German it is clear.
    “es geht nicht um… (sondern um…)” is pretty clear and unambigous:
    It totaly excludes and rejects a.

    It does NOT mean “Let us not talk so much about a but focus more on b
    Well, if Müller wanted to say this, he would have to have used a phrase like:
    “Es geht nicht so sehr um…. sondern” (“It is not so much about … but”)

    But he just said “es geht nicht um…sondern…” – what means: “It is not at all a but only b. The German here is absolutly clear. He denies and rejects a totaly.

    So here is the contradiction (also @Me, and others):

    Ott says: Whilst the concrete physilogical details and particularities are not de fide it is but de fide that (generally, principially) the physiological-corporal aspect is meant here and the bodily integritiy. The birth was extraordinary re the bodily-physiologically side/aspect.

    Müller: No, the birth was not at all physiologically extraordinary. The physiological aspect is not at all meant by the dogma, there was no physiological anomaly and speciality in Mary´s birth.

    Original German quotes (emphases mine):

    Ott (Grundriss der kath. Dogmatik, 8th ed. Freiburg: Herder 1970, S.247):
    “Das Dogma sagt, dass die körperliche Integrität Mariens beim Geburtsakt nicht verletzt wurde… Die Art und Weise ihres Gebärens hatte darum den Charakter des außerordentlichen an sich… die körperliche Unversehrtheit bei der Geburt…”

    Müller (Kath. Dogmatik, Freiburg: Herder 1995, S. 498):
    Es geht nicht um abweichende physiologische Besonderheiten in dem natürlichen Vorgang der Geburt…sondern um den heilenden und erlösenden Einfluß der Gnade des Erlösers auf die menschliche Natur, die durch die Ursünde “verletzt” worden war.

    (The dogma “does NOT mean extraordinary/deviating physiological anomalities/characteristics in the natural process of birth… but…”)
    – that´s pretty clear.

  121. dspecht says:

    Imrahil.

    I do not doubt that the Church has taught physical-virginity-in-birth; what I wonder is whether she taught it universally and with the intention of laying down an infallible doctrine.

    Ok., let us asume that it is not (yet) infallible or better: it is not that clear if it is infallible universal ordinray magisterium or only authentic teaching.

    But at least we have an authentic teaching here.

    And the irony now is the Churchmen like Ocariz, DiNoia, Koch or Müller himselfe say that you are not allowed to question authentic teachings. According to them rel. liberty etc. are (at least) authentic teachings and you have to submit to them with mind/intellect an will with true religious submission and obsequium – and at least DiNoia and Ocariz say that such authentic teachings can not entail error, are quasi-infallible, you are never allowed to question that.

    But Müller himselfe does not fit this standard, as you see.

    Or re rel. liberty: ok, you have an argument (if it is convincing I will not dicuss here, for the sake of arguement let´s assume that it is right):
    Just because an encyclical once rejected religious freedom and indeed some centuries nobody said anything else until a Council came along, this does not mean that the previous teaching somehow entered into infallibility.

    But then at least this old encyclical was also an authentic papal teaching.

    So according to DiNoia, Ocariz, … – and also K. Gurries – this amounts to an infallible teaching re doctrine. And then again….

    (Well. I do not share their opinion – I hold it dead wrong. But just to show their own inconsistency!

    They call for absolute obedience re all authentic teachings of the Chruch – and they themselfe do not accomplish (to) that standard; they question or reject some [at least] authentic [if not universal ordinary] teachings!!)

  122. dspecht says:

    An other irony is (or better: here you see the current crisis, problems and fights, esp. the fight of the sspx):

    DiNoia critisized Rahner (and the other nouvelle-theology-theologians like de Lubac etc. and their bad theology) sharply.

    But Müller is exactly a pupil/disciple/follower of Rahner (via the Rahner-disciple Lehman, Card. and Bf. of Mainz – where Müller studied – - as also me, btw.) and of the nouvelle theology.

    His printings are full of the nouvelle theology, the language is Rahnerian-German-idelaism- and existencialism-like and Müller very often quotes affirmatively Rahner in his aforementioned Katholische Dogmatik, praising him explicitely. [There is, by the way, Rahner and then there is Rahner. Not everything is dreadful. And it seems that the later into his life he wrote, the less secure his notions are.]

  123. dspecht says:

    Fr. Z. – agreed. The early Rahner was sound and orthodox to my knowledge. And not all is heterodox or problematic later, of course. For me Rahner is not the ultimate bad guy – there are worse theologians (at least materialiter speaking re direct heresies or errors).

    But the language of the late Rahner – ooh…. (do you read German? Have you ever read Kant btw., perhaps in German?

    Because the deepest problem of modern crisis is a philosophical (and linguistical and style-of-thinking one) – the confusion of minds and language by the German-idealism and (German and French) existentialism (and phenomenalism etc.) of Kant, Heidegger, Sartres, et al. – adopted by Rahner & Co., — adopted by Lehman, adopted by Müller and so on. [Even if Lehmann and Müller are not hard-core Rahnerians and idealists-existentialists. You can understand their books much better than those of Rahner or Kant or Hegel f.e.].
    Therefore – “formaliter” so to say – Rahner and Co. are really bad – “bad theology”, as DiNoia calls it, – because they destroy and confuse all sound language and thinking. They have no clear concept of essence/substance, of unchangeable truth etc. That´s not on their cards philosopically. That´s the problem of modernism.)

    And, a second “btw.”, there is really “Rahner and Rahner” (in a strict sense ) – because there is also Hugo Rahner, a very sound theologian – but not as famous and influencial (unfortunately) as his brother Karl. ;-)

  124. Imrahil says:

    On the aside topic: I do not think the problem with Fr. Karl Rahner is either that he is not Catholic (which he most certainly is), nor that his language is ununderstandable, nor that he is not a great theologian (he is) who can be duly praised for some things.

    He did shock back when he saw a real heresy, or even a contradoctriarity to normal teaching, one that he himself saw as heresy. He has my highest respect because he could write about pages and pages how much problems we have with the Church as it is to believe her holy and then say, probably in a later annotation, “However according to Denzinger Hünermann xxxx it must be upheld that the notae ecclesiae are things the Church is recognized from and thus the Holiness of the Church cannot totally be among the things believed contrary to inclination.” On a side note, that excludes his being called Modernist because a Modernist knowingly hold some quite actual heresies, only may hold them back for tactics.

    The problem is that he is not fun to read. And I think this is not so much for the way he says things (though people who instinctly do not like his writings may resort to this rationalization), but the things he says. I’ve already alluded to one: the moaning the state of the Church… is this refreshing? no it isn’t. St. Thomas Aquinas, Peter Lombard, Chesterton, …, are fun to read. The Bible is fun to read. The Liturgy is fun to attend. [I hope I have not offended anybody, as there are those who just seem to think fun is a word reserved for small material pleasures.] But just many of the things he lays worth in do not make fun. It may be holdable that the first human action was the original sin, but why take so much care, even saying “we do not have to believe that the first human action was not original sin?” Is there anyone out who does not want to believe that the Stem Parents still at least did some good things in the original state?

    And some of these funspoiling notions are wrong. God is not “the Nameless”, He has actually been more generous than that. It is wrong (and one among his opinions that run most clearly contrary to quite decisive arguments, such as Old Testament verses) that the Old Testament contains nothing just about any popular legend would not contain. And while it is indeed true that “Christians sometimes, with the passion of the initiated, talk about the things of the Next World”, I wonder why they should not have this at the very least innocent pleasure, and who has given authority to Fr. Karl Rahner to command them “we have to silently worship”.

    I concede he does have one problem with language. He seems to think “nothing but” is another and higher-style word for “primarily”. And some other things of the kind.

    Just that about the side topic, for the fun of it. I was not in the mood to write yet another reply, save that I thank dear @dspecht for his kind words and give the praises back.

  125. Imrahil says:

    Wanted to say: a real heresy; one that he himself saw as a heresy; or even a contradoctrinarity to normal teaching. In that order.

  126. dspecht says:

    Imrahil:
    I agree re the orthodoxy of Rahner (Karl, as we speak of him ;-), purely materialiter speaking. I think, like you, that he did not hold a clear heresy, not only no formal one, but also not a (direct, clear) material one. Even his “anonymous Christians” can be interpreted in an orthodox way, methinks.

    But I can not agree re the language and his transcendental-philosophy (and therefore his “evilness” in some “formal” way).

    Ok, maybe he did not want to be a subjectivist, a modernist, but remaining a faithful and loyal son of the Church – as many others, methinks, wanted it too, that had perhaps the best intentions. Also f.e. Müller (or the [early] Ratzinger) – I do not accuse him of beeing guilty or of beeing evil-minded, having a bad intent. It ´s not my job to do that.
    Perhaps he is more a victim of this modern, transcendental-philosophical education and brain washing than a brain-washer himselfe. But nevertheless, he like Rahner and others spread that nebulous, unsound language and thinking of nouvelle theolgoy and philosophy.

    But enough to Rahner.

    I would like to come back to Müller and beg you Fr. Z., that you allow me to provide a last example of him (also from his Dogmatik) — I think the perhpas most terrible and disturbing one, even though not yet mentioned in the ongoing debate the last days and therefore very interesting.

    It is re RESURRECTION and illustrates also the mentioned unsoundness of the new transcendental philosophy and theology, so the bottom-line of the modern crisis in Church and also our (political, sociological) society.

    Again, it is not so much about if Müller is heretic or not or guilty or else. That´t not the point. But we have to analyse the objective facts and texts to see where the problem of modernism is, how unCatholic and dangerous this new philosophical-theological thinking is, how untraditional.

    Popes Pius X and Pius XII were totaly right: the very bottom of the modernistical crisis and errors is the lack of clear, thomistical language and thinking, the lack of objective-essence-centered thinking, in favour of a subjectivistic-immanentistic philosophy – - – as you will see in the following example of Müller. Please believe me, Kant & Co. makes your mind mad, really, – and it is hard to convert to sound, traditional objective thinking once contaminated by transcendentalism!

  127. dspecht says:

    So Müller re Resurrection – Kath. Dogmatik, Freiburg: Herder 1995 (²1996), 300f. (translation and emphases mine):

    “A shooting film camera could neither have hold/shooted in picture and sound the resurrection-ongoing/occurrence (“Auferstehungsereignis”), that is in essence the carrying out/actualisation of the personal relation of the father with the Son in the Holy Ghost, nor the easter-apparitions of Jesus in front of his disciples. Technical apparatuses or also animals lack – in contrast to the human intellect – the possibility of transcendental experience and therefore of beeing adressed by the Word of God via sensuously perceptible phenomena and signs. Only the human intellect in its inner unity of categoriality and transcendentality is determinable by the spirit of God, in order to perceive the person-reality (“Personwirklichkeit”) of Jesus as the cause of the sensible-mental (perceptional) notion/image in the sensible perceptional image, that is caused by the revelation-ongoing/occurrence (“Offenbarungsereignis”).”

    Well, Müller goes on and affirms that the resurrection and the apparitions were not pure subjective things, some hallucination, pure imagination or sth. like that.

    But they are events only for the minds of beeings that are able of “transcendent(al) experiences” resp. perceptions – and perhaps only for believers, because later he states (301) that the resurged Jesus “could not be seen or recognized in a natural manner / by natural means (“auf natürliche Weise”). A medicinal-empirical verification of the occurrence/event is neither possible nor were it an adequate criterion…

    (or shortly before (300, bottom): “The occurrence/event of the resurrection of Jesus is therefore transcendent re the possibilities of beeing and of knowledge/cognition of the created world…)

  128. dspecht says:

    ” … by the created world” seems to be better.

    And some of the most crucial parts in German:

    “Eine laufende Filmkamera hätte weder das Auferstehungsereignis, das im Kern der Vollzug der personalen Relation des Vaters zum menschgewordenen Sohn im Heiligen Geist ist [!!], noch die Ostererscheinungen Jseu vor seinen Jüngern in Bild und Ton festhalten können.Den technischen Apparaten oder auch den Tieren fehlt im Unterschied zur menschlichen Vernunft die Möglichkeit einer transzendentalen Erfahrung und damit auch des Angesprochenwerdens durch das Wort Gottes in der Vermittlung sinnlich faßbarer Phänomene und Zeichen.”

    “Nur die menschliche Vernunft in ihrer inneren Einheit von Kategorialität und Transzendentalität ist determinierbar durch den Geist Gottes, um in dem vom Offenbarungsereignis ausgelösten sinnlichen Erkenntnisbild die Personwirklichkeit Jesu als Ursache des sinnlich-geistigen Erkenntnisbildes wahrnehmen zu können.”

  129. robtbrown says:

    Imrahil says:

    I do not doubt that the Church has taught physical-virginity-in-birth; what I wonder is whether she taught it universally and with the intention of laying down an infallible doctrine.

    Your various comments here indicate that for you it takes an act of the Extraordinary Universal Magisterium to know that the Ordinary Universal Magisterium has taught infallibly.

  130. dspecht says:

    But robtbrown (in defense of Imrahil):
    Sometimes it is really hard to see if some teaching is in fact an infallible teaching of the oridnary, universal mag. or not.
    And then we need the extraoridnary mag. to make this absolutely clear…

    But via Müllers statements re RESURRECTION it hopefully became abundantely clear where the problem of (neo-)modernism, nouvelle theology and their promoters like Müller, Rahner, Ratzinger etc. lies.

    See the language (“transcendental”, “person-realitiy”, ….) – and the confused thinking.

    On the one hand Müller assures us that the resurrection and the apparitions are not mere subjective imaginations – but on the other hand he states that cameras, animals (and perhaps non-belivers) could not have pitcured and seen the risen Lord, what amounts to the contrary of his first assertion.

    On the one hand he speaks of an perceptable sensual image, that must be interpreted by an intellect to recognize the “person-realitiy” of Jesus – but then he states that cameras or animals would perceive nothing, so there would not be a sensual perceptional image at all.

    And so on.

    So you see – he is perhaps not a real heretic, at least he does not want to hold some heretical view ( – the resurrection is more than just an subjective imagination, he confesses – ) and with some special hermeneutic you could perhaps reconciliate his expressions with the teaching of the Church.

    But I hope you all see that this does not make it sound and fine; that it is not at all Catholic anyway what he utters here; that the whole framework, the whole mode of thinking, of phrasing is contrary to Catholicism, to Tradition – and even to sound thinking..

    Do we agree here?

  131. Imrahil says:

    Dear @robtbrown, no theoretically not. But for the EUM there suffices one source; for the OUM you’d have to read lots and lots of Catechisms, pastoral letters, etc., and take a clear look as to how precise they are, etc. etc. I just do not have the time. I do know that Fr Ott needed to say, paraphrased, “It must be said at the least that virginity-in-birth adds something to virginity-in-conception”. While that is still some thing, this sentence would have been nonsensical if he previously had hold not only virginity-in-birth itself but also its whole traditional physical glory to be of faith. Some physiological detail without practical meaning (as some explain the sentence I allude to) wouldn’t have made necessary such a “craving for a dogmatic minimum”. And Fr Ott had an imprimatur. I’m sorry, again, that I can’t investigate OUM on my own. It’s a voluminous task.

    Anyway, what dear @dspecht cited about the Resurrection is lots and lots more problematic than what he said about virginity-in-birth.

    I just remember a columnist around here joke about Bishop Müller saying: “Well, let’s imagine there’s a dog in the room with the Apostle. The Lord appears. The dog barks. What does the dog bark at? According to Bp Müller, only the astonishment of the Apostles.” As that was meant as joking about theologians’ hairsplitting (though not precisely about theological problematicity, but you know – the deeper senses of the populace), that was a clear case of vox populi, vox Dei.

    However, in this also, Bp Müller has his freedom of opinion since there is no dogma that a dog (or technical apparatus) could have seen our Lord after Resurrection.

    Still, I consider the opinion 1. wrong (under the assumption that Our Lord chose to show himself and not positively decided to show himself not to the dog), 2. dangerous to the reality of the Resurrection, 3. inexplicable to an unbeliever who poses the question “and in what precisely is this different to talking away the belief of Resurrection I associate you with?”, 4. contrary though not to Doctrine yet still to something that could quite possibly be taught in the future (I wish it would). I also have my freedom of opinion.

    However, there is still a different problem. Abp Müller teaches this as if it were clear. I do prefer the older practice where theologians in open questions first presented the casus quaestionis and then give their own opinion, and say that it is opinion. But that is “personal wishes”, it is not dealing out censures (even though private ones; and yes, that is allowed and not forbidden).

    On two other notes,
    1. I believe “event” can be taken as the literal translation of Ereignis.

    2. It is legitimate to talk about theologians’ shortcomings. However, in my view it is not helpful to add, “and this means we won’t accept you until you publicly retracted”, however much we might privately think such a retraction appropriate or even morally obligatory (objectively, always, that is). The one thing is legitimate to the private theologian (that is, the adult Christian); the second is the authority’s prerogative, which still has a subjection to prudence attached to it (after all, theologians are men, and men want do not want to lose their faces).

  132. Imrahil says:

    Dear @dspecht, thank you.

  133. Imrahil says:

    Another word to my

    However, in this also, Bp Müller has his freedom of opinion since there is no dogma that a dog (or technical apparatus) could have seen our Lord after Resurrection.

    You may call that hairsplitting… but here as always, laws that set boundaries to freedom have to be interpreted strictly. And it’s one of the main things the Magisterium is there for (some say, the main thing), to cut down abuses of this freedom and therefore making it possible, because there is after all still a Magisterium to cut abuses down.

    Such as the Magisterium (the CDF) did in 1979 with Resurrection-in-Death (which though totally contrary to whatever a Catholic understands with the words Resurrection of the Flesh, still was formulated with so much reinterpretation of traditional concepts as not to fall under things that had been condemned before).

    So, dear @dspecht, you may excuse that I cannot repeat after you the words “not at all Catholic anyway”, “contrary to Catholicism”, “contrary to Tradition” if by Tradition is understood Depositum fidei, as long as the Magisterium has not spoken. Still, I think I agree with you.

    I’d say “contrary to what Catholics hitherto have understood about their faith (and I do still); and dangerously near to explaining-away-the-Faith; without positive reason for its preference (that is, with prejudice) that God if He does miracles rather takes care they do not look too miraculous”. (That is re the Resurrection topic.)

  134. Poimier says:

    Young Canadian, you may well be Catholic, but you prefer to use non-Catholic words/phrases, so I judge you by that.

    Did your mother never wash your mouth out with soap and water ? This sort of language has no place here.

  135. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Johnno,

    miracles are not part of the question, and the Trinity (etc.) are overrational but not unrational as the formula goes. (And that really is the case.)

    The question is why would God create a world in a way that scientifically investigating it leads to a so much different view of how (not that!) it was created? What sense would it make if He provided miraculously some light on the Third (if I remember correctly) that is not normal starlight (and altogether electromagnetic rays; in that modern science has proved the Bible right against some very popular notions), which could quite as well have been provided by creating the Sun, and then let come to pass that it seems to scientists that the Sun was all created in the first place?

    There may be answers to the question, please do not misunderstand me; but in that case answered they must be. And “God wanted to test us whether we have faith in Him or in the scientists”, that at least is not an answer. Sorry. Faith and reason are not enemies.

  136. robtbrown says:

    Imrahil says:

    Dear @robtbrown, no theoretically not. But for the EUM there suffices one source; for the OUM you’d have to read lots and lots of Catechisms, pastoral letters, etc., and take a clear look as to how precise they are, etc. etc.

    No, just look at the new catechism:

    499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man.154 In fact, Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.”155 and so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin”.156

    This is an matter that no one questioned until obfuscators like Rahner poisoned the well.

  137. Imrahil says:

    Right. I never denied that this was infallbile doctrine of the Ordinary Magisterium. But then I never denied virginity-in-birth was infallible doctrine of the Ordinary Magisterium. And every word of this* Abp Müller would undersign. It is when it comes to what precisely constitutes virginity, what precisely constitutes integrity, what precisely constitutes diminishment, that the problems arise.

    *Though may be if he would stick to the clear preconciliar language, he’d say that the word “even” implys that there is something specific about this birth which can’t only be explained that she was a virgin, gave birth and that the God made this birth something transcendentally special.

  138. dspecht says:

    @Imrahil, again thank you for your clear answer and thoughts.

    As I myselfe wrote, I also tend to say that it is not a direct heresy or error, what Müller holds re resurrection; perhaps you can reinterprete it with some special hermeneutics that is is not a clearcut heresy.

    But my point was, that it is WORSE than a heresy – the passage shows the mode of thinking of Müller that is not at all sound but influenced by transcendentalism, existentialism, phenomenalism etc. – the language, the mode of thinking, phrasing (just see my comments above!)

    And that is (at) the very root of all the modern heresies, errors or just “wrong-goings”.
    If you can not think any longer in a clear, logical and traditional manner – than all is lost. That´s much more dangerous and destructive than concrete heresies – and so also Pope Pius X and the XII pointed to this (they clearly say that modernism is not a problem of this or that error or heresy but of whole wrong framework and mode of thinking and phrasing and so it becomes the “catchment basin” or pool (or perhaps better: the fundament) of all heresies).

    If you ruin all sanity and reason, common sense, logic – then you destroy the faith and more: even humanity and the humans from the roots.

    So in this sense I called it “TOTALLY UNCATHOLIC”: it is an uncatholic, or even more: not any more naturally sound language, thinking, philosophy.
    So no, I did not mean the depositum fidei as some conrete dogmas with “Tradition” resp. when I wrote that is contra Tradition or uncatholic I did not intend so much some concrete errors or heresies – like denying resurrection or virginity.

    I referred to the Tradition or necessary preliminary for all thinking and theology of sound language and thinking, of holding a clear concept of unchangeable truths and substance, essence etc.
    All that lacks the modern philosophy, the nouvelle theology, Rahner, Müller & Co. – in that sense his writings are totally uncatholic and contra Traditon. (cf., as mentioned, Pascendi and Humani Generis)

    As I pointed to in my last comment (5 July 2012 at 11:27 am) the result of this way of thinking and phrasing is also some contradictions, incsonsistencies in the texts itselfe, or some unclearness, confusion (examples above).

    Or let´s take the sentence
    das Auferstehungsereignis, das im Kern der Vollzug der personalen Relation des Vaters zum menschgewordenen Sohn im Heiligen Geist ist

    It´s either A) a heresy/error or B) totaly nonsense — if you hold “what does the words really say”.

    But that´s the problem of neo-modernism: they core the words, fill them with new meanings.

    You yourselfe admitted:
    it´s 2. dangerous to the reality of the Resurrection

    Yes, so again, (as also said above) even if not hertical – then it still can be “haersim sapiens”, “captiosus”, “pia aures offensiva” – “dangerous”.

    And even that is not the worst (considering the particular passage here as perhaps dangerous):

    the problem is the underlying mind-madness, brain-changing through modern anti-philosophy, the destruction of normal, logical thinking. The loss of a clarity, of a concept of unchanging truth, of enduring substance and essence. – As influenced by existentialism-transcendentalism that is lost.
    The loss of Thomism, of philosophia perennisAnd therefore all is lost, all is undermined.
    (Again: Read PASCENDI, HUMANI GENERIS!!)

    Cf. also the new interview with Müller (KNA) and his remarks re “living tradition” etc. and critique of the traditionalists – like DiNoias “frozen” traditionalism, like Ocariz etc. :
    On the very bottom there is the problem that they all stick to a concept of “truth” and “doctrine” that is changeable, they have no clear concept of timeless truth.
    Of course you can comprehend the notion of “living magisterium” in a Catholic, tradtional sense.
    But they don´t!
    And the proof lies also here, if you consider passages like this and the philosophical backraound. And that´s Kant, Sartres, Heidegger – and also Gadamer, Dilthey etc.
    So more an more I see how Bff. like de Galarreta, Tissier or Williamson have a point here:

    there is the loss of clarity and of a concept of unchangeable truth, independent of time and the needs and feelings of the people, of essence, of substance etc. So then there can not be any communication with traditional minded people, that have such concepts and an objective thinking. The very fundaments are destroyed by modern “philosophy”, that influenced the modern, nouvelle theology (and thinking in general).

  139. dspecht says:

    @Imrahil:

    btw., very funny – re the “apostle´s dog” (you wrote: I just remember a columnist around here joke about Bishop Müller saying: “Well, let’s imagine there’s a dog in the room with the Apostle. The Lord appears. The dog barks. What does the dog bark at? According to Bp Müller, only the astonishment of the Apostles.” )

    The fun is: I did not know that anecdote of the coumnist before — but I used exactly the same example of this dog at theanglocatholic, so see there http://www.theanglocatholic.com/2012/07/more-commentary-on-gerhard-ludwig-muller-and-other-appointments/

    I just copy&paste it here what I wrote:

    So the dog of the apostles would not have wagged the tail when Jesus appeared – because it could not have seen, heard and smelled him – because the poor dog has not “the possibility to make a transcendent(al) experience”…

    Well, Müller goes on and affirms that the resurrection and the apparitions were not pure subjective things, some hallucination, pure imagination or sth. like that.

    But they are events only for the minds of beeings that are able of transcendent(al) experiences resp. perceptions – and perhaps only for believers, because later he states (301) that the resurged Jesus “could not be seen or recognized in a natural manner / by natural means (“auf natürliche Weise”). A medicinal-empirical verification of the occurrence/event is neither possible nor were it an adequate criterion…”

    (or shortly before (300, bottom): “The occurrence/event of the resurrection of Jesus is therefore transcendent re the possibilities of beeing and of knowledge/cognition of the created world…”)

    So wondering how the unbelieving Thomas could see the Lord at all – and why the Lord proofed in an empirically way that he was not a ghost but really-materially here with flesh and body…?!
    - Fortunatelly Müller was not there back then, because then our Lord would not have been allowed to do so – and Thomas and the poor dog would not have been allowed to adore the Lord or to wag the tail…!!

    Isn´t that funny? (more discussion see there!)
    And perhaps really Vox Populi – Vox Dei?!

    And btw. II: Are you German, what is your profession – are you also theologian, philosopher? – Nice to meet you here in the web (“im Netz”;-) :-)

  140. robtbrown says:

    Re heresy: I don’t pretend to be an expert on Rahner, but I doubt that anything he wrote directly contradicts dogma.

    I do think, however, that he wrote many things that are ambiguous enough that they can be affirmed by those who actually oppose the specific dogma. An easy example is his “One Sacrifice, many masses” phrase. Someone can sign on to that and still not believe that the Mass is a Sacramental Sacrifice or, for that matter, that the Bread and Wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ.

  141. WesleyD says:

    dspecht translated Father (now Archbishop) Müller’s book Katholische Dogmatik: Für Studium und Praxis der Theologie regarding Christ’s resurrection as follows:

    “A shooting film camera could neither have hold/shooted in picture and sound the resurrection-ongoing/occurrence (“Auferstehungsereignis”), that is in essence the carrying out/actualisation of the personal relation of the father with the Son in the Holy Ghost, nor the easter-apparitions of Jesus in front of his disciples. Technical apparatuses or also animals lack – in contrast to the human intellect – the possibility of transcendental experience and therefore of beeing adressed by the Word of God via sensuously perceptible phenomena and signs. Only the human intellect in its inner unity of categoriality and transcendentality is determinable by the spirit of God, in order to perceive the person-reality (“Personwirklichkeit”) of Jesus as the cause of the sensible-mental (perceptional) notion/image in the sensible perceptional image, that is caused by the revelation-ongoing/occurrence (“Offenbarungsereignis”).”

    I disagree with both Müller and with you on this point, actually. After his resurrection, Christ was manifest as the Lord and Sustainer of all creation. He entered the room although the doors were locked, he disappeared before the eyes of the disciples at Emmaeus, and to this very day he appears simultaneously on altars throughout the world while still seated at the right hand of the Father.

    Therefore, I hold that during his resurrection appearances, Jesus could have caused any person to see whatever he wanted. If he had chosen to be visible to all the apostles other than Andrew, he could have done so just as easily as he ate a piece of fish. If someone had tried to photograph him or record his voice, the recording device would be blank if he chose, or contain his likeness if he chose.

    That is my view. You, on the other hand, seem to hold that Jesus’ body was physical in the common sense of the word, and therefore a camera would necessarily have seen him. I am sure you believe that Jesus had full control of his body (as he could walk through a locked door); are you asserting that Jesus did not have control of the light that illuminated this body and allowed others to see him?

    Müller, on the third hand, seems to hold that Jesus’ body (which he does assert was a true body) would have been visible only to living beings with souls, and not to animals or objects.

    We have three different views. And none of our three views contradicts the teaching of the magisterium.

  142. Pater Raphael says:

    Oh my goodness!

    I am more shocked by the many ridiculous arguments in this comments section than by anything that Archbishop Müller may or may not have said / written.
    I know him personally, indeed was ordained to the diaconate by him and have read several of his books, including his fantastic Dogmatik book during my time in seminary.
    Archbishop Müller is neither remotely heretical nor a supporter of Liberation theology.
    As some of the earlier commentors have written, he is well known in Europe and especially in Germany and Austria as being very orthodox and faithful to the Holy Father and Rome.
    He has done wonders in his diocese to stop the many (in Germany normal) liturgical abuses, to remove the powers of lay committees, and has not been afraid to sack people outright or to excommunicate them.
    Indded, you wanted to describe him in a “nutshell” so to speak, one could say that he is a younger version of Pope Benedict.
    Not, though do I want to eulogise him, however, but I must say that the anglo-phone writers and readers generally do not understand the Germanic thought processes very well, and German theological books do not translate well into other languages, especially English, which is a notoriously weak language for expressing theological truths.
    To all those foaming at the mouth over some of the quotations above, I would just say please calm down.
    Archbishop Müller is really the best Bishop we have in the German-speaking countries and he will be sorely missed. In Rome though, he is desperately needed and I am sure will be a big (and pleasant) surprise to all those writers who think that the world is about to end!

    God bless from Austria (and Rome). Pater Raphael

  143. Imrahil says:

    Dear @WesleyD, that is clear. Indeed your opinion is the only opinion I see feasible in this. However, our Lord’s body was physical (and glorified), which infers that when he did not actively decide not to show himself, He would’ve been seen. And I don’t care that such a theoretical situation of non-action may with good arguments be hold improbable or even impossible. It’s a necessary thought-experiment to explain the situation. Coming to think of it, He did actively hold back His clarity, for just reasons.

    Dear @dspecht, of course I’m German… and a math student.

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  145. robtbrown says:

    WesleyD says,

    Müller, on the third hand, seems to hold that Jesus’ body (which he does assert was a true body) would have been visible only to living beings with souls, and not to animals or objects.

    1. Animals have souls, but they lack rational power.

    2. There is of course the distinction in Corinthians bwtn a physical and spiritual body. I don’t see, however, how it supports a notion that a brute animal would not have seen the risen Christ. What we see in Scripture is that the faith is necessary to recognize Christ but not to see him. I know of no reason to hold that Christ was visible only to those with the Faith.

    3. Ott’s opinion is not a source, but his book contains source material from Scripture, Fathers, Doctors, Popes and Councils.

  146. dspecht says:

    Wesley D. (and Imrahil).

    No, I gree with you that the risen LOrd could have chosen not to be seen by some persons or animals, although I agree that normally, if he appears, he would be seen by every creatur with eyes, as Imrahil pointed to.

    So we have not three different opinions but only two essentially differnt ones: Müllers one on the one hand – yours and mine and Imrahils´s on the other hand, with some small differences but in essence the same – or at least, I would never say that yours is heretical.

    Here what Imrahil or some others have remarked, is true: we have freedom, or at least it is not clearly wrong.

    Only Müllers is really different. – But I am tired to reiterate it again and again – and will end now. You all can read it in his text.

    And you expressely, Wesley D. , also admitted it: he holds, that *principially* no animal or camera could have seen him.
    That´s fo course because of his transcendental-philosophy (mixed with Heidegger etc.)

    If that is not – at very least – “problematic”, then nothing is… But, again, I am tired of it.

    God bless!

  147. dspecht says:

    Then Imrahil I would like to contact you privately.

    Should I provide my e-mail here or what would you ( or F. Z. suggest) how to do? – If you are interested.

    God bless.

  148. dspecht says:

    If you, Imrahil – or you, robtbrown – want to contact me – and you are invited to do so – please contact me at:

    [Noooo.... don't post your email this way unless you want more spam. It's up to you.]

  149. dspecht says:

    Thanks Fr.
    Well, of course this was not my main e-mail adress. And as it is up to me so perhaps I will really provide it in public.

    Or would it be ok that if Imrahils is interested in any contact (what I do not know) he should contact you and you can provide my e-mail then?

    Thanks, God bless.

  150. dspecht says:

    And allow me some last considerations (even if nearly none perhaps will read them anymore).

    It is worth pointing to that Müller is not only hyper-spiritualizing the faith re virginity, but that this is very common in his thinking and works as it is common generally in modern theology.

    So in this sense Müller and his theology is coherent. As said before, his (as other modern theologican´s) theology derives from the very unsound sources of modern philosophy (and theology), in some sense confusing and unclear. But of course in an other sense coherent in itselfe (at least to some degree), so not totaly confused.

    As pointed to, this over-spiritualization you find also in his remarks re ressurection (op. cit. p. 300f.) that a film-camera or animal could principially not “see” the risen LORD, so de-materializing his body.

    The same you find in his (by Fr. M. Gaudron, fsspx) quoted (I would not say really heretical or wrong, but at least confusing, tendencious) statements re the Most Blessed Sacrament.
    Again the tendency to go away from a clear understanding of real body and flesh, that of course includes materiality, to a more “spiritualized”, “nebolous” “presence”.

    And very clear you see this if you discuss the article of faith of the ressurection of flesh/body with modern theologians.

    I can remember that in one discussion I pointed to the fact that it will be our real, material bodies, real flesh — and the semi-conservative counterpart said: “oh no, you can not call it “material”. It is spiritualized.”

    I objected: “yes, i know, there is some big difference to our bodies now, of course they are spiritualized. But, however, they will be real bodies, material etc.”

    And the semi-conservative cried:”No, no… can´t call it “material”…! ”

    It is the accusation of Mgr. Bux of “Capernaism”. – But in reality it is vice versa: Müller´s & Co.´s standpoint is unsound “hyper-spiritualization” (kind of neo-gnostical anti-materialism).
    And very interesting: It is critizised by no less then Ratzinger (according to
    http://renegadetrad.blogspot.ca/2011/12/our-ladys-virginity-in-partu.html ):

    “The cavalier divorce of ‘biology’ and theology omits precisely man from consideration; it becomes a self-contradiction insofar as the initial, essential point of the whole matter lies precisely in the affirmation that in all that concerns man the biological is also human and especially in what concerns the divinely-human nothing is ‘merely biological.’ … The attempt to preserve a spiritual, distilled remainder after the biological element has been eliminated denies the very spiritual reality which is the principal concern of the faith in the God become flesh.”

    And also in his work Einführung in das Christentum he critizises this attitude of modern theologians (München: Kösel 10th ed. 1968, p.229)

    But then how can this same Ratzinger (alias Pope BXVI) create Müller the prefect of the CDF – and expressely praise his Dogmatik (cf.http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2012/07/for-record-popes-praise-for-bishop.html), that is full of this criticized tendency?? (And Bux accuse the critics of “Capernaism”?!)

    And an other paradox thing is that even this work of Ratzinger (“Einführung in das Christentum”) itselfe is not free from this modern “hyper-spiritualizing” trend re the ressurection of the flesh/body (see p. 298f.)!

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