VIDEO: Card. Müller and Bp. Morlino address The Present Crisis

Last night, 4 October, both His Eminence Gerhard Ludwig Card. Müller and then His Excellency Robert C. Morlino were on The World Over with Raymond Arroyo.

Here is the whole show.

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  1. oakdiocesegirl2 says:

    Thanks for posting. This is a very good episode, Arroyo did a good job. Insights into why cardinals cannot police each other without specific papal permission. I especially liked Mueller’s observation : back in the 60s and 70s, they said “Jesus is love; we don’t need laws”. This is stupid! We are men! Of course we need laws!. [paraphrased by me].
    And Morlino’s reference to the high school yearbooks of bishops is priceless!

  2. eymard says:

    Bishop Morlino makes strong points about full investigations of every diocese, assisted by an active laity. I still wonder about his exchange with George Neumayr, a laymen and gumshoe, paying his own way to uncover immoral networks.

  3. Boanerges says:

    I share eymard’s concerns. None of us are without out flaws and foibles but dishing on a man clearly trying to root out the evil from within, Morlino could and should have handled Neumayr differently. No one likes to see how the sausage in made but we’re supposed to be on the same team with the same objective. Attack evil and not each other.

  4. Boanerges says: Morlino could and should have handled Neumayr differently

    Because you were there and you know what really happened.

  5. TonyO says:

    Major, MAJOR element of confusion here. An important one.

    Card. Müller is seemingly spot on in noting that the CDF cannot pursue an investigation of a bishop without approval of the pope. He is also almost certainly correct that this specific rule needs to change, but more on that further on.

    The extraordinary Ordinary, Bishop Morlino, is also correct in noting that an American bishop cannot reprove / pass judgment / punish another bishop.

    But NOTE THE LIMITS of what they “cannot do”.

    An American bishop can certainly investigate the past behavior of his own predecessor in the bishop’s seat in the diocese of which he is now the ordinary. Indeed, he MUST be able to do so, in order to do things like address lawsuits that arise because of that predecessor’s actions. So, Cardinal Wuerl can investigate McCarrick’s actions in Washington.

    In a similar way, a bishop can investigate the behavior of any of his priests, INCLUDING anyone who was a priest in his diocese in the past, even if that person has gone on to be the bishop of a different diocese. So Cardinal Dolan can investigate the doings of McCarrick insofar as he was a NYC resident and studied for the priesthood there.

    These powers belong to the bishop as being necessary to carrying out his duties. So, YES, a bishop can at least investigate a person who is now a prelate.

    But much more interestingly: there is absolutely no reason a bishop cannot initiate an informal investigation of a person whom he feels needs to be investigated. Period. That is to say: (speaking as an American), I can start investigating someone if I decide it is worthwhile to do so. For example, I can start with all (and I mean ALL) records of his public statements, articles, etc. This is “investigating” from an armchair (for the most part). Scholars do it all the time. Then, I could go and start talking to people who know the guy. Investigative journalists do this all the time – but they don’t have some special warrant under our Constitution that forbids anyone else from asking the exact same questions, anyone can do it. I could go to legal records offices and, using lawful means, pull up any records accessible to the public. I can even go around in public places following the guy and taking pictures of him in public. This is all both legal and moral.

    Bishops have just as much right to do these as I do.

    What Card. Müller was referring to was a limitation on the Vatican dicastery of the CDF to engage in an OFFICIAL investigation of a bishop or cardinal, i.e. one with possible canonical sanctions. If I do it on my own, it isn’t an OFFICIAL investigation, it’s just some guy collecting facts when I can find them. And nothing prevents me from forwarding my results to someone else, including some officials in the bishop’s office or in the Vatican, as long as I observe the moral constraints against detraction. (And when I am communicating these findings with people who could act on them, or even MIGHT be able to act on them, detraction almost certainly cannot come into play.) A bishop can do the same thing as I can.

    What a bishop cannot do is open a formal investigation into the actions of someone belonging to another diocese who is also IN some other diocese. At least, not normally. So Cardinal Dolan would have difficulty justifying an official investigation into the actions of a priest of Philadelphia who hasn’t been operating in NY.

    THAT’S WHY WE NEED A NATIONAL BODY (probably lay-led, like the Better Church Governance group) TO INVESTIGATE THE BISHOPS, with which the individual bishops can merely “cooperate” so as to be able to cross jurisdictional lines. By cooperating with some other investigator (by making available information the bishop has about his OWN diocese), the individual bishop is not going beyond his own jurisdiction but is helping to firm up the true picture of men whose operations ran roughshod across many dioceses but for whom the pattern wasn’t always clear just within one diocese.

    Except for canonical obligations with respect to secrecy, nothing prevents a bishop from cooperating with another investigator this way. It simply DOES NOT MATTER whether said investigation may not be a *canonical* one levied by the CDF or the Vatican or by a bishop. SO WHAT? So the investigative body is unable to formally pass judgment, and cannot impose sentence on a perpetrator of iniquities. SO WHAT? They can get the word out. They can collect the evidence and sift it and purify it so that it is readily available to authorities who can act on it. Like the CDF.

    Now, as to Cardinal Müller’s preference of seeking a more independent role for the CDF, so that they can investigate a bishop without getting the approval of the Pope. I am all for this. Good change in law, I would say. However, Müller also seemed to imply that the kind of independence he is seeking is one where the Pope cannot interfere with an investigation by quashing it. I suspect he did not mean to imply this, and I doubt in any case that it COULD be made so no matter what the canon law. For the Pope is the vicar of the absolute ruler, Jesus Christ, and on juridical issues the Pope has complete control over canon law and its execution: even if a new rule were to say “the CDF can investigate without permission of the Pope”, nothing could be put into canon law that precluded the pope from STILL calling up on the phone and saying “as an exception to the rule, cancel that investigation of Cd. X”. The pope’s authority can overrule the application of the rule in any given instance.

    But at least having the rule would require the pope to positively act in order to intervene, instead of simply refusing to grant permission.

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