The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith repudiated

Source: FSSPX News

In early February 2013, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, had suspended the decision made by Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, Archbishop of Lima (Peru) to forbid the theology professors of the Catholic University of Peru to teach.  In a letter whose contents had been circulated by the Peruvian press, Abp. Müller asked the Peruvian cardinal to justify his prohibition, indicating that it did not have to be implemented so long as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had not decided the question.

On February 13, 2013, Cardinal Cipriani announced that the sanctions against the professors of the Faculty of Theology stood and that they were not authorized to teach.  According to the Peruvian Catholic news agency ACI Prensa, the Archbishop of Lima considers Abp. Müller’s letter asking him to lift those sanctions to be have no legal force because it was not sent through official channels—indeed, it was a simple fax.  Moreover it is invalid, because every bishop is autonomous in his pastoral decisions:  “The only person who can give orders and make a bishop change his mind is the pope,” not a Roman Congregation.  In the estimation of the Archbishop of Lima, the letter from the Prefect of the CDF is merely a response to a petition that had been addressed to him by the professors of the Faculty of Theology.

The Italian website Vatican Insider reveals, in an article penned by Andrés Beltramo Àlvarez, that in mid-February, at the pope’s orders, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State of the Holy See, convoked a meeting of cardinals which in effect invalidated the “personal” initiative of Abp. Müller, which had been written without the required formalities and dispatched through improper channels, without consulting the specialists of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and contrary to canon law.  Cardinal Bertone thus informed Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani that Abp. Müller’s act was null and void, and that the Holy See was changing nothing of what he had decided in June 2012, namely, to withdraw from the University of Peru its canonical titles as a “Catholic” and “Pontifical” university.  Andrés Beltramo Àlvarez concluded:  “Some Curia insiders are beginning to wonder whether Abp. Müller is really the right man for a post of such enormous responsibility, which allows for no error or improvisation, either in form or substance.”

When Benedict XVI appointed Abp. Müller to head the CDF, the English journalist William Oddie wrote in the Catholic Herald (July 6, 2012):  “[Abp. Müller is] also an old friend of the most renowned (or notorious) of liberation theologians, Gustavo Gutiérrez. He has written a book with him; and according to [American Vaticanist] John Allen, every year since 1998 has travelled to Peru to ‘take a course’ from Gutiérrez. In 2008, he accepted an honorary doctorate from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, which is widely seen as a bastion of the progressive wing of the Peruvian Church. On that occasion, he praised Gutiérrez and defended his theology. ‘The theology of Gustavo Gutiérrez, independently of how you look at it, is orthodox because it is orthopractic,’ he is on record as saying: ‘It teaches us the correct way of acting in a Christian fashion since it comes from true faith.’”  — No comment. 

(Sources : La Croix/KNA/Apic/Osservatore Vaticano/Vatican Insider/Catholic Herald DICI no. 271 dated March 1, 2013)

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