Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cardinal Müller About Cardinal Kasper: “Can only speak for himself"

(Rome) The German editors of Vatican Radio streamed an interview on Monday  with Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation of Doctrine and the Faith. In connection with the  Consistory Cardinal Kasper's running discussion on divorced and remarried, Cardinal Müller said that he was the Prefect of the Congregation sharing in the Magisterium of the Pope, "while others who talk here, even if they are of the cardinal rank, simply speak only for themselves personally and do not  make an official statement. "
Vatican Radio: Your Eminence, the Pope wants a debate. He wants it to take place in two synods on marriage and family. How do you see the role of the CDF in this upcoming debate?
Cardinal Müller: The CDF will  participate at  this point, but of course in all matters of Catholic doctrine on the level of the truths of faith. I think it is important for the public perception to overcome the narrowing now to only on one subject, as if that would be the solution of all. There is much about getting back centrally to usher the Church's teaching of marriage and family to the consciousness of the Catholic faith, because only when we talk about the success of  marriage and  family have we contributed to this, can we make a positive difference.
Vatican Radio: In public opinion, they are so often perceived or presented as the brakeman or the naysayers when it comes to the Initiatives of the Pope. Does it touch you personally?
Cardinal Müller: Of course, this is now a propaganda that is made specifically to me to construct a contrast to what the Prefect of the CDF or the congregation as a whole, it is only the primus inter pares, has to do. This is clearly just defined by the statutes. However,  also means that we ensure that the Pope is not appropriated for specific goals. It's just interesting that now the time so many groups rely on the Pope, who previously almost invariably rejected the papacy. In this respect, it comes to us in any case that we serve the Pope and the Church, and we are not  served by the Pope. 
Vatican Radio: The debate I just mentioned which has indeed been initiated  by the Pope,   included your participatition too. There are circles, especially in the Italian media, "Il Foglio", a newspaper even went so far  as to say it, there was a campaign against Cardinal Kasper for several days. What is their stake in the debate? What do you demand in the upcoming debate, which far transcends even  the congregations in the Vatican?
Cardinal Müller: I'm not involved as a private theologian, but it is in this function, the CDF is indeed the only one of the Roman congregations, which immediately has a share in providing the Magisterium of the Pope, while others who register here, even if they are of the cardinal rank,  are simply speaking personally for themselves and not to make an official statement.
Vatican Radio: Let's go one step further. It's not just cardinals, who are  participating but there is still a questionnaire, which has indeed generated an attitude of great expectations. Now once it is asked positively: What can the international involvement and suggestions have in the debate, what can its positive contribution be?
Cardinal Müller: Yes it can be positive, I believe,  in its contribution,  very much in  that  Catholics again deal with their own faith and not simply isolate this or that exception from the liturgy,  or  the Church's teaching. We need to see the relationship of preaching and pastoral care of the teaching of the Church but also Diakonia. Can I choose, am  I very socially engaged  or am I doing charitable works at the church, but the worship of God or the celebration of the Sacraments, which doesn’t matter to  me so personally. But the questionnaire as such is no dogma, which is worth as much and just means  as  much as the quality of the questions and the relationship that is given or is not given.
Vatican Radio: You are a man of clear words, which we have just heard. I think it also goes back far in history. Is this the role of the CDF to speak or rather is it  Gerhard Ludwig Müller who speaks?
Cardinal Müller: The CDF has a clear mandate to promote the Catholic faith, but also to protect.  But that is no other than the task  the Pope himself received from Jesus Christ and here we must mention I do not sit back in  comfort and ease to flirt with public opinion. That’s fine if you have the wind at your back and is inflated to a great size.   But I think this temptation must be resisted by every bishop and every priest, whether there is a desire to  hear it or not.
Text: Vatican Radio
Image: Il Foglio

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