Sunday, February 02, 2014

Archbishop Müller attempts to head off Pope on church reform

The Prefect of the Vatican Congregation , the German Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, has warned the local churches of taking special regional paths. The "separatist tendencies" of national episcopal conferences could harm the church, Müller writes in an article for the Vatican newspaper "Osservatore Romano" (published this Friday). Individual conferences could never write arbitrary statements, which relativized the "definitive dogmas" of the Church or her sacramental structures.

The Prefect, who will receive the dignity of Cardinal in February, warned of a " power struggle " between the centralist and particularist forces in the Catholic Church . "At the end, only a secularized and politicized church would remain, which would only be slightly different from a non-governmental organization. "

In this context, the Head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith criticized "superficial interpretations " of the doctrinal document,  "Evangelii gaudium" of Pope Francis. Their supporters felt themselves able to see in Pope Francis a revolution in the relationship between the Pope and the bishops of the universal Church . In fact, according to Müller's words, the Pope only has reaffirmed the results of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) on the collegiality between the two. The Pope and Bishop of Rome , according to Müller, is more than the " honorary president " of a worldwide association.

Elements such as language, culture and nation, according to Müller, although they are means to spread the church's message, could never constitute the Church herself. This consists of the community of all the local churches .

Cathcon:  The head of the CDF has become emboldened by his Cardinal's hat.  The Pope has spoken warmly of giving more disciplinary power to Bishops' Conference to stem the flow of dilations to Rome of teaching from erroneous theologians.  This statement is indicative of an enormous power struggle going on at the top as those who were at seminary in the 60s attempt to preserve that "beautiful work of the Holy Spirit", the spirit of Vatican II.  This whole debate only arises because of the teaching on collegiality in chapter III of Lumen Gentium, which so concerned Pope Paul VI that he caused a corrective note to be inserted into the document. 
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