More on CDF Prefect Archbp. Müller and the SSPX

The other day I posted that the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbp. Gerhard Müller indicated about the SSPX in an interview with a German radio station that “I don’t think there will be any more new talks” (“Ich glaube, es gibt jetzt keine neuen Gespräche mehr”.)

From CNA:

Archbishop Muller stresses hope as SSPX talks hit impasse

Vatican City, Oct 5, 2012 / 04:50 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican’s doctrine head says hope must be maintained for full communion between the Society of St. Pius X and the Catholic Church, despite his telling a German radio network that talks with the society are off for now.

“I’m always confident in our faith and optimistic. We have to pray for goodwill and for unity in the Church,” Archbishop Gerhard Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register in September.

This news comes amidst reports he said there would be no further talks with the traditionalist society, after an interview with North German Radio which was reported Oct. 4 and will air Oct. 6.

The Register’s two-part interview was posted online Oct. 2 and 4.  [I mentioned that HERE.]

Archbishop Muller affirmed that the talks are not “a dialogue between two Church partners” and described them as a “brotherly colloquium to overcome difficulties with an authentic interpretation of Catholic doctrine.”

I believe that these problems will be resolved in the long term,” he stated.

The society, the archbishop said, must accept the Pope as head of the Church, “doctrinal pronouncements made since the Second Vatican Council,” and the new Mass as “valid and legitimate.”

The biggest obstacle for the society’s reconciliation has been the teaching on religious liberty in Vatican II, which it claims contradicts previous Catholic teaching.

The Vatican’s head of doctrine said the society has picked up on “a tension arising from the use of terminology,” [“tension”? D’ya think?] and that the texts of Vatican II did not contradict previous teachings.

He noted the importance of a “hermeneutic of continuity” in interpreting the council: “we need an authentic interpretation of the magisterium of the Council,” an interpretation “according to the Tradition.”

In his interview with North German Radio, Archbishop Muller said that “in a pastoral sense, the door is always open” for the members of the society to come into full communion with Rome.

He again affirmed that Vatican II “validly formulated” existing Catholic teaching, and that “there will not be any more new talks” on the faith itself.

He made a similar comment to CNA in a July 20 interview. In that interview he stated that there can be no negotiation of dogmas: “we cannot negotiate on revealed faith; that is impossible.” [I don’t think the SSPX is trying to reformulate or negotiate “revealed faith”.]



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  1. Speravi says:

    Great, he admits we need an authentic interpretation according to Tradition. Lets get started. If terms need to be defined, define them! If continuity is not apparent, demonstrate it. Start issuing documents along the lines of the CDF clarification on “subsistit in,” but maybe make the demonstration of continuity a little stronger…since, while that document did affirm THAT “subsistit in” means a relationship of full “identity,” it didn’t fully explain HOW. Of course the Ecclesia Docens does not owe it to the Ecclesia Discens to show their work in how they come to their conclusions…but on these points, particularly religious liberty and ecumenism, especially in light of all this talk about being pastoral and doing all we reasonably can to bring about unity, doesn’t it just make sense?

  2. Sixupman says:

    Are ++Muller’s statements to be taken as non-static? What will we hear tomorrow?

  3. AnnAsher says:

    I agree with you Fr. Z.

  4. I do think, though, that Archbishop Müller is insinuating that the SSPX is trying to negotiate-away the revealed truth. I certainly don’t believe that, but if you put together Müller’s previous statements regarding the SSPX, it appears obvious that he does. The appointment of Müller was the crash of the door being slammed on Bishop Fellay and the rest of the SSPX (if not all traditionalists as well).

  5. Sword40 says:

    I believe you are correct, David Werling.

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