Why did Card. Rodriguez publicly criticize nay-saying German theology professors?

I have been thinking more about His Eminence Oscar Card. Rodriguez Maradiaga’s shot in the German newspaper at Archbp. Gerhard Müller of the CDF.  HERE

In his public criticism Card. Rodriguez said of Müller:

Er ist Deutscher – ja, ich muss das sagen, er ist obendrein Professor, ein deutscher Theologieprofessor. In seiner Mentalität gibt es nur richtig oder falsch, das war’s. Aber ich sage: “Die Welt, mein Bruder, die Welt ist nicht so. Du solltest ein wenig flexibel sein, wenn du andere Stimmen hörst, damit du nicht nur zuhörst und sagst, nein, hier ist die Wand.”

“He’s a German – yes, I have to say it – and above all he’s a professor, a German theology professor. In his mentality there is only true or false. But I say: The world, my brother, the world is not like that. You should be a little flexible, if you hear other voices, so as not to only hear them and say, no, here is the wall. ”

Rodriguez is, essentially saying in that last part, that German theology professors say “talk to the hand”.

However, I am more and more convinced that Card. Rodriguez’s remark about German theologians is a shot at Benedict XVI, along with Archbp. Müller.

Maybe even more at Benedict than at Müller.

Why would he do that?

This shot could be payback for the way that Benedict XVI’s administration punished Card. Rodriguez when he was president of Caritas Internationalis. In illo tempore, then Secretary of State Card. Bertone intervened in the selection/election of Card. Rodriguez’s Secretary. This was a move to rein in Caritas, if not quite a hostile take-over.

Caritas, under Card. Rodriguez – whom I am convinced contributed heavily to certain paragraphs on economics in Evangelii gaudium – and that secretary seems to have developed too much of an NGO mentality. It was also flirting with pro-abortion organizations and contraception.  HERE Even America Magazine saw this.  HERE  Remember this controversy?  In part:

On 15 February the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, wrote to the bishops’ conferences of the world to explain why the Vatican was not going to renew Dr Knight’s mandate following the CI’s general assembly in May. In the three-page letter, reported by The Tablet last weekend, Cardinal Bertone said Caritas needed a stronger Catholic identity. The next four years, he explained, would need to focus on “harmonizing the theological dimension of Caritas Internationalis … with its role as an organization operating on the international stage”. This would require, he said, greater cooperation with other ecclesial bodies and with Vatican dicasteries that have an “interest” in CI activities. Caritas’s advocacy work, he explained, needs to be better coordinated “in strict cooperation with the Holy See, which is specifically competent in this regard.”


Caritas members are appalled. CI’s president, Honduran cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez de Maradiaga, has made clear his “incomprehension” at the decision. …


Didn’t Pope Francis, on the 2nd day of his pontificate, remind us that the Church isn’t supposed to be just a “compassionate NGO”?  He also said something about this in June.

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  1. Magpie says:

    It’s all very mature.

  2. AVL says:

    Has there been any other information on the German bishops trying to move forward with giving Holy Communion to the divorced/remarried?

  3. robtbrown says:

    AVL says:

    Has there been any other information on the German bishops trying to move forward with giving Holy Communion to the divorced/remarried?

    It’s been going on for years. The German bishops just want to make it official policy.

  4. Traductora says:

    I have been pondering this ever since I read it here a couple of days ago. First we have the unprecedented and most uncollegial attack on a national group: Would the Cardinal like somebody saying of him, “He’s a Latin American, and yes, I have to say it, a bishop, a Latin American bishop, to boot….” which would immediately summon to mind the many less than stellar bishops of Latin America (who have largely lost the continent to the Evangelicals or to the Marxists) and would not be meant as a compliment. Cdl Maradiaga was certainly referring to more than the unfortunate Abp. Muller, and I agree that there was a note of payback in his words. My only question is not whether he meant it, but whether he and all the newly empowered leftists and modernists are speaking on their own, taking advantage of the fact that the Pope doesn’t seem to be paying much attention, or whether they are actually reflecting the views of the Pope.

    I finally realized that what is disturbing me about the recent emergence of this type of thought is that it is a reemergence. It’s the 1980s redux: very simplistic, doctrine free, detached from tradition when not actively rejecting it, personally pious (in the best of cases) but regarding the Church simply as one institution among many with purely earthly goals, ranging from utopian income redistribution to “it’s nice to be nice.” The information on the Cardinal’s stint at Caritas is an ominous reminder that all of this could come back, since these people seem to be getting into power again.

  5. Elizabeth D says:

    Thanks for this. I did not realize Maradiaga had been president of Caritas and this makes a LOT of sense. It makes all too much sense.

    You don’t even mention that Benedict XVI came out with a Motu Proprio in November 2012 “On the service of charity” which instituted canonical requirements that would strengthen the Catholic identity and fidelity of Catholic charity organizations, above all this was understood to be aimed at Caritas. here: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/motu_proprio/documents/hf_ben-xvi_motu-proprio_20121111_caritas_en.html It was a very good document but maybe it was upsetting to Maradiaga. I know via an insider that the Society of St Vincent de Paul in the US basically wanted to know how they could get out of applying all its directives to themselves and that they considered it as being more about Caritas than about Catholic lay groups like SVDP that are not directly part of the Holy See or a diocese. I believed Benedict’s directives were exactly what was needed and so was highly disappointed by this attitude. Having a truly strong and integral commitment to Catholic identity, witness, and fidelity makes Catholic charity better. There are those who practically institute a wall of separation between evangelization and charity. Benedict was actively against that and actually I see Francis against that too.

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  7. Bosco says:

    “Didn’t Pope Francis, on the 2nd day of his pontificate, remind us that the Church isn’t supposed to be just a ‘compassionate NGO’? He also said something about this in June.”

    Yessiree! Pope Francis did indeed say such. Which is precisely why Pope Francis has cast His Eminence Oscar Card. Rodriguez Maradiaga into outer darkness and marginalized him…well…maybe not so banished and marginalized.

  8. Unwilling says:

    Well, very relevant!
    Nevertheless, His Eminence may be risking his project on old news. Last Friday, Francis addressed the World Economic Forum and walked back a lot of the anti-free market hostility in the EG to a position easily recognizable as Catholic Social Doctrine.
    If Mandragora did have a hand in writing those parts of EG and embarrassed the Pope, his reputation for wisdom might evaporate quickly. (sic)

  9. tcreek says:

    Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga’s address at the University of Dallas Ministry Conference.
    25 October 2013

    Excerpts from a long speech. (Seperating Jesus from the Church???)
    The Second Vatican Council was the main event in the Church in the 20th Century. In principle, it meant an end to the hostilities between the Church and modernism …

    The Vatican II Council officially acknowledged that things had changed, and captured the need for such a change in its Documents …

    From being a European Church, more or less culturally uniform, and hence monocentric, the Church is on her way to become a universal Church, with multiple cultural roots and, in this sense, culturally polycentric. …

    Thus, it is symbolic indeed that the last three Popes have not been Italian; the temptation of Europeanizing and Italianizing the Church has always been one tied to pretenses to power. Fortunately, things have changed. …

    Many of the traditions established in the Church could lead her to a veritable self-imprisonment. …

    Salvation comes from Jesus, not from the Church. …

    Her (the Church) foremost goal is to care for the penultimate (hunger, housing, clothing, shoes, health, education…) to be then able to care for the ultimate, …

    Too many times she (the Church) gives the impression of having too much certitude and too little doubt, freedom, dissension or dialogue. …

    “The small transcontinental oligarchies that hold the financial capital dominate the planet… The lords of financial capital wield over billions of human beings a power of life and death. … they decide day to day who has the right to live on this planet and who is doomed to die.” …

    We have to establish as a priority that those majorities who suffer poverty and exclusion (the last) will be the first. …

    The Church could not continue posing as a reality facing the world, as a parallel “perfect society,” which pursued her own autonomous course, strengthening her walls against the errors and the influence of the world. This antithesis of centuries needed to be overcome. …

    The council intended to apply the renovation within the Church herself, because the Church was not the Gospel, nor was she a perfect follower of the Gospel; … had established within her many customs, laws and structures that did not respond to the teachings or the practice of Jesus. …

    The Church did not have a monopoly on truth anymore, … Instead, she should go out into the common arena, plainly and humbly, and share in the common search for truth. …

  10. “Which is precisely why Pope Francis has cast His Eminence Oscar Card. Rodriguez Maradiaga into outer darkness and marginalized him”

    Really? Like by naming him to his permanent council of eight cardinal advisors?

    “Last April, Pope Francis named eight cardinals to advise him on the governance of the universal church and reform of the Vatican bureaucracy; on Sept. 28, he gave the group permanent status and renamed it the Council of Cardinals.”

    “The eight members, who represent six continents, are: Cardinals Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, retired archbishop of Santiago, Chile; Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India; Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany; Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo; Sean P. O’Malley of Boston; George Pell of Sydney; Giuseppe Bertello, president of the commission governing Vatican City State; and Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

  11. polycarped says:

    “However, I am more and more convinced that Card. Rodriguez’s remark about German theologians is a shot at Benedict XVI, along with Archbp. Müller.

    Maybe even more at Benedict than at Müller.”

    I think you are right. The links you have made back to Rodriguez and Caritas seem to have identified the source and this looks like his opportunity to exact revenge.

    As I said in response to your original piece “…the ease with which some of these ‘Princes’ are happy to finally stab poor Benedict XVI in the back is astonishing – such wimps.”

  12. jhayes says:

    Henry Edwards, yes. And Francis also appointed Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga as “coordinator” of the Council of Cardinals.

  13. Robbie says:

    I think the issue with Cardinal Maradiaga is much bigger. Let’s not forget Maradiaga’s speech in Dallas last Fall. It was pure “spirit of VCII” and, when coupled with these comments, it seems to indicate something far larger than just a swipe at Benedict. He obviously think’s the unfinished business of VCII is back and he’s excited. Whether he’s reflecting how Francis feels, I don’t know. Having said that, he was made the head of the group of eight Cardinals and has been referred to as the “vice pope” by many members of the media.

  14. Bea says:


    Such as “do what I want, not what the Church teaches?”

    Me thinks somebody’s feathers got a little ruffled. A girlie-knee-jerk reaction.

  15. Bosco says:

    @Henry Edwards,
    Well spotted!

  16. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Bosco said (with sarcasm on) :
    “Which is precisely why Pope Francis has cast His Eminence Oscar Card. Rodriguez Maradiaga into outer darkness and marginalized him”

    Henry Edwards said:
    “Really? Like by naming him to his permanent council of eight cardinal advisors?”

    I say:
    Actually, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is something that can often work. Keeping a guy under your eye, where he has to meet often with you, is probably not the worst idea, and it maintains “bella figura” with certain people. And who knows? Maybe he’s the kind of guy who has enough good ideas (frequent or infrequent) to counteract ignoring the bad ones.

    But ultimately, I don’t know any of these guys, so I’ll let other people do the Curial analysis.

  17. Moro says:

    As troubling as this is, those of us who are lowly priests and lay people can do nothing but pray. So don’t fixate on this and let’s get back to our own prayer lives, go to confession, go to mass, do acts of charity. I think God would be much happier if we put our efforts there than in curial speculations.

  18. Robbie says:

    Are some here still trying to make the case Francis is a conservative in the same vein of Benedict?

  19. Anchorite says:

    Dear Fr. Z. Great post and great questions. I continue to maintain that what we see is a new regime of populist NGOists and Vatileaks perpetrators. Just think about it? – a newly setup Cardinals Politburo headed by ex-Caritas president? Wasn’t it the den of Weakland and his likes? Msgr. Ricca and the likes are still there. Growing up in USSR I was used to ALWAYS hear the apparatchiks say one thing and do the opposite. Quoting Talking Heads: “it’s just talk.” But Maradiaga and his coreligionists at the helm of the Church is reality.

  20. Palladio says:

    If my opinion could matter, and on the assumption that I follow what the Cardinal is saying, I feel I would have a response not intended to confound or to contradict but to clarify. That is, surely a Catholic intends by truth Christ, in contrast to and against Whom are the world and falsehood. So, presumably, a Catholic understanding is that Christ in being Truth transcends human understanding yet condescends to take our shape and to inform our understanding nonetheless. He is our safeguard, our Savior, from the World, otherwise subject to death and perdition and rife with falsehood. So how could anybody Catholic possibly criticize a Catholic in those terms, let along eminent Catholic theologians? I don’t know anything about the Cardinal and I mean nothing personal by this, no aspersions, no calumny, no ad hominem. It’s just that the words that strike me as harboring no real argument at all.

  21. Bosco says:

    Bingo! Bosco’s sarcasms (I prefer to call them Socratic injections) have to be muted lest his comment be consigned to the dreaded “awaiting moderation” status by Father Z. until the cows come home.
    Seriously, if the Pope kept all his enemies close he’d be taking up residence in the Black Hole of Calcutta, I fear.
    To my lay mind this dust-up is a pastoral/doctrinal turf war which has, regrettably gone public, akin to parents fighting in front of the children. The children never no quite what to make of it when the ‘grown-ups’ fight.
    By the way, I roared with laughter when I read Father Z.’s caption for his previous blog post “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli. Card. Rodriguez v. soon-to-be Card. Müller”. Great and so apropos!
    Poor Paulie! Aint gonna see him no more.

  22. Dundonianski says:

    This analysis of Maradiaga’s latest outpourings is wholly compelling and persuasive, it may even be close to the man’s personal praxis ; sadly he is not the only loose cannon roaming Rome! He is however one of the “chosen eight” and as such personally selected for that star chamber and it would stretch credibility that these latest pronouncements by a modernist prelate should cause consternation or astonishment.

  23. OrthodoxChick says:

    A paper called The Compass in Wisconsin is covering this too. After reading the article, I don’t know what to think. This Cardinal Maradiaga sounds kind of all over the place. Now I’m relying on this paper’s quoting of Maradiaga’s words because I don’t speak a lick of German. But if the translation is correct, then to me, Maradiaga sounds like a bit of a disgruntled liberal in general. He points out on one hand that certain doctrine can’t be changed, but then goes on to outline a few ways to get around that. And of course, his comments are pro liberation theology/anti-capitalism, yahta, yahta, yahta.

    Here’s the link:


  24. Jim Dorchak says:

    I kind of have the feeling that the whole thing is a ruse. Didn’t I hear that Muller was the guy who put the nix on the SSPX family reunion? It strikes me that Muller is just as liberal as Card. Rodriguez. This whole ruse would give him cover to look like the big bad meanie German wolf, preying on those poor liberal Germans who are disobedient, and then when looked at through these glasses it would seem that the SSPX is just getting the treatment they deserve?
    Also there is a real stink in the air in the Church over who is really in charge? No one? I know the Pope is in residence on the former planet PLUTO (which I still call a planet) and has no idea what is going on in the Vatican, but he would have to be deaf, blind and or dumb not to know about these two Cardinals (aka children) fighting in the other room! I mean really how did this ever get to the public level of conversation before it was not squashed. Who is in charge in the Church again?
    If I was Muller I would be wondering ,,,,,what is next and who else do I have to send a letter to and straighten out,,,, and will the Pope back me up on the teaching the Church this time?
    What ever happened to One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church? Some one needs to send these babies to their room, or at least back to their Baltimore Catechism Class with Sr. Kyran Hennesy. She would have straightened them out in an Irish minute. Sheeeees…….

  25. Jim Dorchak says:

    BTW: Sr. Kyran was my 5th grade teacher in Spartanburg SC. She passed away at the nuns home in P.A. around 2001. I actually went to see her there before she passed.
    She was the Bomb, the golden gloves of Irish Catholic Nuns. She could have been a Marine Drill instructor the way she herded us delinquents (and yes I was not the only one), but most important she was a good and true Catholic who love the Church and the Truth, and I loved her for what she taught me.

  26. NBW says:

    “In his mentality there is only true or false. But I say: The world, my brother, the world is not like that. You should be a little flexible, if you hear other voices, so as not to only hear them and say, no, here is the wall. ”

    I thought that true or false are the only options. Is he saying we should believe in gray areas (flexible) as opposed to things being black or white?
    Sounds like trouble to me.

  27. Bosco says:

    ” I thought that true or false are the only options.”

    Aha! There’s ‘true’, and there’s ‘false’, and there’s ‘true’ but with mitigating circumstances. It all depends on whose temporal translation trumps.

  28. Vecchio di Londra says:

    What Cardinal Maradiaga said in the part of the interview that preceded those remarks about Cd Mueller seems imo even more astonishing: firstly, on the subject of the divorced and remarried
    “Christ says: ‘What God has put together let no man put asunder.’ This statement is fixed. But there are many ways to interpret it. For instance, after the failure of a marriage we can ask ‘Were the married partners really joined together in God?’ So there is a lot of room for a more in-depth penetration [ie of the matter].
    In answer to the journalist’s question, “Why another Synod on the family? We had one in 1980, and we have Pope John Paul II’s beautiful apostolic exhortation ‘Familiaris consortio’,” Maradiaga replies: “That was 30 years ago. For most people the family of those days doesn’t exist any longer. We have divorces, patchwork-families, lone parents, phenomena such as surrogate motherhood, childless families, not to mention same-sex partners. In 198o, none of that could even be glimpsed on the horizon. [Oh, really?!] All that demands answers for the world of today. It’s not enough to say ‘For that we have traditional doctrine.’ Traditional doctrine will continue to exist, of course. But the pastoral needs demand contemporary answers. And they do not come any more from authoritarianism, or moralism. That is no ‘New Evangelism’, no, no!”

    Btw, the Cardinal said he’d spoken with Cardinal Bergoglio before the Conclave, and Bergoglio had told him “by the way I’ve already sent in my letter of resignation.” (“Ich habe übrigens schon mein Rücktrittsgesuch eingereicht.”)
    Is that generally known? It’s the first I’ve heard of it.

  29. Marty says:

    Fr. Z, if you are correct (your logic is good), does this support Benedict being the Pope in the famous St. John Bosco dream of the two pillars?

  30. Rouxfus says:

    This situation with the princes of the church sniping at each other brings to mind the message of the Blessed Virgin at Akita, Japan, and in particular this part given in 1973:

    Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and the priests. The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, and bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their Confreres. The Church and altars will be vandalized. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.

    The demon will rage especially against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will no longer be pardon for them.

  31. Sword40 says:

    I would really like to clean house in the Curia. Its beginning to sound a lot like Washington D.C. and I’m sick of that stuff. I think Benedict XVI felt the same. Francis is still learning to be a Pope. I sure wish he would learn quicker.
    Another thing about this “permanent” council of Cardinals”, its only permanent as long as the Pope wants it to exist.

  32. RJHighland says:

    Pope Frances & Cardinal Rodriguez = Paul VI & Bishop Bugnini? A reprimanded bishop by a previous Pope is elevate to a position of great authority that can do great harm to the Church? Dejavu?

  33. Lin says:

    Déjà vu? Absolutely frightening!

  34. Johnny Domer says:

    Perhaps the silliest part of this statement by the Cardinal is the characterization of Archbishop Mueller as a doctrinal rigorist. Was he not around for the first two months following Mueller’s appointment by Pope Benedict, when everyone was wigging out about his somewhat odd statements on the Eucharist and Our Lady, as well as his continuing enthusiasm for Liberation Theology?

    Archbishop Mueller is not some right-winger, but (like most of the “Benedict team”) he is a professional, someone who understands the importance of theological ideas and their consequences. The solution of the “pastoral” fellows who seem to be ascendant under Francis is just to let people get divorced, remarried, receive Communion, whatever, and let the chips fall where they may. Mueller, on the other hand, realizes that a “practical,” “real-world” solution is not so practical or based in reality if it leaves 2000 years of consistent Catholic teaching and practice in ruins.


  35. Oscar Bugnini? Is the diplomatic post in Tehran still open?

  36. donato2 says:

    I find it absolutely frightening that a cutthroat careerist who uttered the rubbish that is in that University of Dallas speech is in a position of such power within the Vatican. What credibility do Pope Francis’s anathemas against careerism, gossip and NGOism have if Pope Francis elevates the likes of Cardinal Rodriguez?

  37. Supertradmum says:

    Fr. Z, brilliant, and if people cannot understand one liberal making comments against another liberal, they know nothing of egotism.

  38. Fr_Sotelo says:

    There is something in the Latino blood that gives way to outbursts like this. Among the Mexican clergy in my diocese, even among the best of friends, we let loose on each other and make snide comments about someone else’s character without giving careful thought to what we are saying. And this is much more the case when one of our group comes into a position of favor among the clergy and seems to have provoked jealousy among his confreres. He gets a “comeuppance” or what is perceived as a finger wagging, even when it is not justified.

    Supertradmum hit the nail on the head–“egotism” here is a source or cause of these comments of Maradiaga, in my opinion. He all of a sudden has a need to show off his influence, but among his brother Latino bishops has probably set off laughter or a rolling of eyes for the lack of prudence more than anything else.

  39. robtbrown says:

    The remarks by Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga reflect outdated moral theology (hello again, disco music) and are typical of someone who studied under Fr Bernard Häring. Like other theologians (incl some good ones), Häring objected to the pre Vat II approach, which was thought to ignore the importance of human freedom in human acts: Too big an emphasis on blind obedience. This was thought too Ecclesiocentric and not Christocentric enough.

    Häring’s solution was a relationship with Christ combined with conscience. In itself this doesn’t sound bad, but a valid criticism can be made that it reduces the morality of any act to intention, thus bristling at any mention of intrinsic evil or even moral precepts. Not surprisingly, Häring was no fan of Humanae Vitae and Veritatis Splendor.

    Rahner’s fundamental option is a similar approach.

  40. yzerman123 says:

    I don’t like the bigotry manifested in the Cardinal’s statement. It’s one thing to playfully make analogies, in private, between an individual and stereotypes associated with a nationality (e.g. My dad has an Italian-like temperament). It’s quite different, as the Cardinal does, to make someone’s nationality the *foundation* of your argument (i.e. Muller says these things because he’s a German). That’s his opening premise and everything hinges on the notion that Germans are pathologically obssessed with strict rules.

    This is unacceptable in the Church and we shouldn’t put up with it.

  41. Nordic Breed says:

    The photo of Rodriguez de Maradiaga accompanying this article – the angle and the expression on his face – fully expresses the man. I don’t know why Pope Francis selected him for his advisory council, but he is scary to me. He plays politics and does not follow what Jesus has called us to do as Christians in the Gospel. That he is such a big name now is bad for his soul and bad for the Church. The cult of personality is really really dangerous.

  42. Pat says:

    Also remember that Bertone and Rodriguez know each other very well since they belong to the same order, the Salesians. By the way, Card. R. has been sending seminarians to spend some time in the US to learn English; I gather it all started under the previous archbishop from Cincinnati http://www.athenaeum.edu/News.aspx?ID=443

  43. Pat says:

    One more important point if you really want to know about the past of Don Oscar: in Honduras, he is often associated with Opus Dei. You may be surprised but if you read in Spanish, just google both names together, for example http://www.tercerainformacion.es/spip.php?article15331

  44. Pat says:

    Don Oscar’s speech at the 2013 Canadian Bishop Conference Plenary Assembly on “The role of the Bishop and Episcopal Conferences in justice, peace and caritas” was quite good. FYI CCCB Summary: The Cardinal spoke about how the landmark Encyclical Deus Caritas Est and the Motu Proprio Intima Ecclesiae Natura, issued by Pope Benedict XVI when he was in the Petrine office, changed the way Catholics think about and practice charity. The Cardinal’s address was followed by an outline of how Caritas Internationalis is organized throughout the world.

  45. taad says:

    Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga’s comments sound like he is promoting the “Dictatorship of Relativism”! What is truth? You have your truth, and they have their truth. And whose voice(s) is he listening to. I only want to listen to One Voice! My sheep know me! Says the Lord!

  46. jhayes says:

    In his mentality there is only true or false. But I say: The world, my brother, the world is not like that. You should be a little flexible, if you hear other voices, so as not to only hear them and say, no, here is the wall. ”

    Or, as Francis said today in his message on the media:

    We need…to be patient if we want to understand those who are different from us. People only express themselves fully when they are not merely tolerated, but know that they are truly accepted….

    “Effective Christian witness is not about bombarding people with religious messages, but about our willingness to be available to others “by patiently and respectfully engaging their questions and their doubts as they advance in their search for the truth and the meaning of human existence” (BENEDICT XVI)…

    To dialogue means to believe that the “other” has something worthwhile to say, and to entertain his or her point of view and perspective. Engaging in dialogue does not mean renouncing our own ideas and traditions, but the claim that they alone are valid or absolute.


  47. janeway529 says:

    There are two general philosophical approaches to law in the Western world. One philosophy of law is often referred to as “Germanic” and can be summarized as, “Whatever is not permitted is prohibited.” The other is often referred to as the “Mediterranean” approach and can be summarized as, “Whatever is not prohibited is allowed.”

    Last I checked, Rome prefers the Mediterranean approach. This is what Cardinal Rodriguez is referencing.

  48. acardnal says:

    The Sacrament of marriage was instituted by Christ and that marriage is indissoluble until the death of one of its partners. This is the long standing teaching of the Church. If one or both spouses forsakes this marriage bond for another person, she/he is committing the mortal sin of adultery and consequently risks the eternal punishment of hell. (And people with mortal sin on their souls are not to receive holy communion. It is a mortal sin of sacrilege to do so.) This teaching cannot be changed by the Pope or the Church because it is Christ’s teaching. . . very similar to the Sacrament of Holy Orders and the male-only priesthood. If any cleric or Cardinal doesn’t understand this, he needs to return to seminary for an orthodox education.

  49. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    NBW asked, “Is he saying we should believe in gray areas (flexible) as opposed to things being black or white?” Am I missing something? It sounds like the Cardinal is saying, ‘You must admit, my brother, that there is gray rather than black and white, – oh, and concede that Big Brother Oscar’s gray uniquely has the force of black and white.’ For, the dictatorship of relativism requires its dictators who get to privilege their ‘relative’ positions as exclusively, absolutely, draconianly as they see fit.

    More than 70 years ago, C.S. Lewis observed, “When all that says ‘it is good’ has been debunked, what says ‘I want’ remains. It cannot be exploded or ‘seen through’ because it never had any pretensions.” Going by tcreek’s quotations, for example, “Her [he Church’s] foremost goal is to care for the penultimate (hunger, housing, clothing, shoes, health, education…) to be then able to care for the ultimate, …”, the Cardinal is still, on some level, working with ‘pretensions’, but to what effect?

  50. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Johnny Domer interestingly said, ” Mueller, on the other hand, realizes that a ‘practical,’ ‘real-world’ solution is not so practical or based in reality if it leaves 2000 years of consistent Catholic teaching and practice in ruins.”

    In this context, do we yet know any more about the thoughts of the Most Rev. Gerhard L. Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in authorizing the publication of “God the Trinity and the unity of humanity: Christian monotheism and its opposition to violence” on 16 January, or how much longer we will be waiting for the translations of the document from the Italian?

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