Cardinal Müller Dismissed: His Replacement May Be OK
As Catholics reel after Pope Francis fails to renew Cardinal Müller's position as Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, traditionally known as La Suprema, or the "supreme" congregation, it is interesting to look back to a source I seldom quote, the National Catholic Reporter, to see what was said about Müller's replacement, Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer SJ, formerly Secretary of the CDF, when he was appointed secretary:
As rumors of the appointment began to circulate early this week, I reached out to Ladaria's colleagues at the Gregorian and on the ITC for a "read" on who he is, and what one might expect from him at the CDF. It's telling that the two most common terms Italians used to characterize him were gentile, meaning "kind," and affidabile, meaning "reliable" -- both in the generic sense that he's a responsible, hard-working person, and in the more narrow ecclesiastical sense that he's strongly committed to church teaching. As I listened, it struck me that affidabilità gentile could serve as a rough Italian equivalent of "affirmative orthodoxy."So that doesn't sound too bad in all honesty. Certainly his official stand on admitting remarried divorcees to Holy Communion has been clearly in conformity with previous papal teaching. So it will be most interesting to see if he changes his tune now he has the top job!
A bit more worrying is this report that he has expressed a position of Universalism, which contradicts the constant teaching of the Church.
Fr Z Has a good summary of reactions here.
Roberto de Mattei has written a piece in the Corrispondenza Romana which has been cited by numerous people. Rorate Caeli translate it here.
Basically the gist is that Müller's position was clearly at odds with the Pope over Amoris Laetitia, but his approach was to try and address the disparity in a low-key manner, choosing not to side with i quattro Cardinali of the dubia, whilst writing in Il Timone:
“Amoris laetitia clearly must be interpreted in the light of the whole doctrine of the Church. […] I’m not pleased, it isn’t right that many bishops are interpreting Amoris laetitia according to their own way of understanding the Pope’s teaching”This strategy, according to de Mattei, was an attempt to retain the important position as head of the CDF and not lose it to someone who might further damage the Church. But this strategy has now failed. Cardinal Müller has lost a precious opportunity to criticise Amoris laetitia publicly and was ultimately dismissed, without forewarning. Marco Tosatti correctly observes, that he is now more free to express himself. But even if he did, it would be the voice of a retired cardinal and not that of the Prefect of the Church’s most important Dicastery.
It seems to me that it is always this way. The respect for the position of pope, the timidity of loyal servants of the Church are not shared by those who seek to undermine Church teaching. We must be bolder in standing up for Christ!