Sunday, February 3, 2013

Head Of The CDF Launches Attack On First World Catholicism

Pope Benedict and Archbishop Gerhard Muller are having issues with the German Church.  Seems the idea of obedience to authority isn't quite as strong as it used to be in Germany.

Vatican Insider has a sad article about Archbishop Muller the current head of the CDF and his issues with the German Catholic Church. Actually he extends his observations to the Church in all of Europe and the United States.  Apparently Catholics in the first world are out to get the Church.  This kind of thinking is sometimes referred to as paranoid ideation.  Someone should remind the Archbishop there would be no bad press in the first world if bishops like himself didn't attempt to snow first world Catholics about the clerical abuse of their children and the mismanagement of their donated monies. Accountability doesn't seem to be the word for the day in the lala land of Vatican city.

Müller compares mood toward Catholic Church to anti-Jewish pogroms

The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith launches an attack from the columns of German daily “Die Welt”: North America and Europe are involved in a "concerted campaign" to discredit the Catholic Church

Alessandro Alviani - Vatican Insider - 2/2/2013 Berlin - The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Mgr. Gerhard Ludwig Müller, has launched a biting attack of the mood toward the Catholic Church in the U.S. and Europe, comparing it to an anti-Jewish “pogrom” in German weekly Die Welt. “The campaigns which are specifically targeted at discrediting the Catholic Church in the U.S. and Europe have led to clerics in some sectors being publicly insulted in a vulgar way,” the former bishop of Regensburg said. “An artificially instigated anger is building, occasionally echoing the sentiment of the pogroms against Jews in Europe,” he added. Attacks against the Church are launched on many blogs and on television. The instruments adopted in these attacks “recall the struggles of totalitarian ideologies against Christianity.” (These are the remarks of a man who does not live in the real world. That he runs the CDF is frightening.)
In his interview with Die Welt, the cardinal also criticises the process of dialogue that is currently underway between bishops and lay people in dioceses across Germany. The fact that there is dialogue is a positive thing but essential questions must be dealt with instead of “dredging up the same problems every time.” The problems Müller was referring to are for example, the requests by the laity for the priesthood to be opened up to women: this “is not possible,” not because women are worth less than men, but because “it is in the nature of the Sacrament of Order for Christ to be represented within it as husband in relation to wife.” (This is just bizarre logic and has nothing to do with Jesus' request that his leadership be servant leaders.  For that to happen the priesthood would have to represent the wife in this equation.)
The rejection of same-sex unions is just as clear-cut: “It is impossible for the Catholic Church to accept a relationship between people of the same sex, as such relations cannot in any way be considered equivalent to marriage,” Müller stated. He also shut the door on the potential abolition of celibacy: “Priestly celibacy corresponds to the example and word of Jesus and has found unique expression through the spiritual experience of the Latin Church.” There is no sign, he added, of the Church wanting to change this, starting with certain mistaken ideas, as if practicing one’ sexuality in or outside marriage were a natural necessity.” (Classic confusion of sexual activity with a loving relationship. Until this changes there is no hope for any sanity in the CDF.)
The real stagnation in reforms within the Church, Müller said, regards “essential issues that are not being dealt with, such as participation in the sacraments and knowledge of the Catholic faith.” The word “reform” should be used to hinder real renewal through Christ. (Maybe he never heard the expression 'you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink'.)
Müller then said one cannot speak of the “German Church” but rather of the Catholic Church in Germany. He went on to deny the existence of “Roman centralism”, saying that unfortunately there is not enough unity in the Church and that is not centralism that is causing the Church to suffer, but other centrifugal forces which are too strong. (Yep, it's too bad the Vatican no longer has the clout to stop the advance of science.  It only has the clout to stop advancement in Catholic theology and practice.)
Finally, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sent a clear message to the Lefebvrians: we presented them with a proposed doctrinal preamble but “we have received no response so far and we will not wait forever.” 


I'm beginning to think the men in the Vatican are seriously losing their grip on reality.  I am at a loss to understand how Muller can begin to compare the media coverage the clergy of the Church most certainly brought on themselves with pogroms instituted against Jews.  The anger with Roman Catholic leadership has not been 'artificially instigated'.  It has been justifiably earned.  Talk about living in denial.

I find this article pretty ominous actually.  No question the German Pope and the German head of the CDF have real problems with the Catholic Church in Germany and many of those problems are directly related to the centralism that is apparently not causing the Church to suffer. I don't think jamming catechesis down the throats of people who have already rejected the rational for that catechesis is going to work very well. Especially when those rationales for the all male priesthood include such drivel as 'representing Jesus as groom to the church as His bride'. I know this is taken from a New Testament verse, but marriage in those days was a property contract, not necessarily a relationship between two equals.  So no, I don't think this metaphor implies equality between men and women, nor does it imply equality between the ordained and the lay.  It implies exactly what we have, religious relationships based in dominance and submission and the continual relegation of women to the margins.

Perhaps the real problem the Vatican has with the Catholic Church in the US and Europe is that the laity and some of the priesthood have come to the conclusion that spiritual relationships based in dominance and submission are not conducive to spiritual growth. In fact, such relationships have produced an enormous amount of infantilization of the laity and the outright sexual abuse of our children, which in turn has produced all the lousy media coverage Archbishop Muller resents.  Throwing a tantrum is not going to shut anyone up.  If he was a real husband to a real wife, he might have figured this one out on his own.  Unfortunately he's become another example of another cleric living in a fantasy world where all his logic makes internal sense but doesn't translate well at all in the external world with it's own set of realities.  Which is why I find this article ominous.  If this truly gives a picture of where Muller is coming from, the Church in the first world is in for a very bad time and men like Fr Flannery might just as well find other employment.     


  1. It is really difficult to see the paranoia and lack of reality-based thinking among the higher clergy and the denizens of the Vatican today. Bob Mickens is right, the Vatican is crumbling as Benedict, Bertone, Muller issue their edicts and talk down to the rest of us who haven't fled for the exits.

  2. It just seems to get crazier all the time. Muller seems to be hanging on to the most illogical of Catholic rationals for these major issues with the priesthood and sexual morality. I suppose it's indicative of just how desperate things are in the Vatican.

  3. I've had root canal and I've gone to churches; I'd rather have root canal. Please stop wasting your lives on this stupidity.

  4. Even speaking as someone who has made the decision you advocate, it's not that simple.

  5. These folks are so effectively shooting themselves in both feet - over and over again.

    First of all, calling legitimate criticism a pogrom is only going to offend the Jews!

    Next, name-calling is a sign that they have no logic left and can only resort to the tactics of the school playground, where they, the bullies, are now shown to be cry babies too.

    Finally, resorting to name calling is not exactly going to win any converts or entice the faithful back to the pews... where clearly a flogging awaits.

    All I can do is sit back and wonder what in the heck they think they are trying to accomplish. Because the way the Vatican is going, it needs no enemies whatsoever, for it will bring itself down. If it's a pogrom, it's self-inflicted. As for the bullying, it's hard to be a bully when your opponents have all left the playground!

  6. Even Bill Maher on HBO's Real Time is talking about the Satanic verses or Ratzinger vault full of pedophile files in the Vatican and how they should be opened up just like with Mahony's papers this past week by means of some court action in Europe. Does Archbishop Muller now control those worldwide centralized Ratzinger Pedophile Files as present head of the CDF? If you take so much evil power to your breast, does it not corrupt all in power in possession of such evil crime and cover up?

    This may be just a coincidence, but is Father Schuller of Austria the new Martin Luther knocking on the German Catholic Church's doors? With calls for civil rights and transparency in his church etc.

  7. Anyone who wears his shaving brush on his head has to be kidding.

  8. They probably won't appreciate the coomment I just left there! "-) I wxpect it to be moderated out of existence heheheh!

  9. That was funny. I surely laughed out loud.

  10. That's whats really scary. All they have left seems to be tantrums about issues they brought on themselves and illogical idiocy. Sometimes even I can't believe the extent and depths of this explosion and I 'saw' it coming.

    It just breaks my heart because there is far more to Catholicism, the Communion of Saints and Angels enveloping we who are embodied here on earth, than Muller has ever seen or apparently ever will.

  11. No it certainly is not. Especially when developing countries are the target of the Vatican and that targeting is aimed at keeping the vast majority of those folks where they are--submissive and in poverty.

  12. In one of Leonard Cohen's songs, he makes the statement the it is the cracks that allow the light to get in. These OD Bishops believe they have no cracks and are operating in a darkness that allows no Holy Spirt. They fail to look toward scientific, sociologic and philosophic progress. They believe in pat black and white answers that were determined in the past, but only when those answers suit them. They in fact pretend that the Spirt can only talk to them.

    The are certainly Borderline in their personality development, but in hiding all the sexual and monetary mayhem they are even sociopathic. This Bishop and even Benedict himself are presenting a false self that lies about so many things when they feel threatened or weak. To compare the press reporting the truth about their actions to the problems caused the Jews in Nazi Germany is a down right falsehood, and this bishop down deep knows it. It is a false picture, a false self defending a failed false leadership. Many of us are really just fed up with PB and his selected authoritarian Leaders. We will not contribute one thin dime to them. Some of us have, however, spoken some truth about these shady characters for a long time. This is what the German people are saying when they refuse to continue to register as Roman Catholics. This leadership is running nothing more than a clerical cult and asking that the laity obey their every wish. This is a huge crack and as the light gets into peoples minds, they refuse to follow these rather sick and at times delusional old boys. dennis

  13. Let's try this again. Discus ate my comment earlier. Word of warning: if this is your first time trying to comment, email it to yourself before trying to post it.

    Yesterday I wandered around a bunch of blogs and came across one discussing the Liturgy of the Hours and the proposed changes to make it more Latiny, like the current Mass that has been shoved onto the English speaking world. Over the last 25 years or so I have prayed the Liturgy of the Hours off and on. The thing is, the Hours are not something you just recite without a conscious mind. The Psalms get inside of you, form you and build your faith in the same way they did to Jesus. The Hours are not meaningless sounds you intone to get into a meditative state. I mean, I love the sound of Chant but it really can't create a firm foundation for me because I can't understand what it says. It really seemed to me they were more concerned with worshiping Latin itself. Not a word was said about the Gospel or how Jesus taught us to pray. Latin for Latin's sake (or any language you really don't understand) can't convey the cry of your heart. Another thought: Latin to Jesus would have been the language of the oppressor and occupier. Kind of like German would have been to a certain Polish teen (and later cleric) Benedict used to know.

  14. For Liturgy of the Hours, try here:

    On the left side-bar you will find links for the different hours. You can also download an app to your computer or phone or whatever you like.

    Another piece of advice: See if you can order a used copy of the 2006 edition (or earlier) of the "The Divine Office" as published by Collins. This version was approved for Australia, England, etc (basically English-speaking countries outside the USA). I find the language more understandable than even the prior USA publications.

    Or stick with Universalis which is based in Great Britain, I believe. Costs way less too!

    For interesting commentary on translations, as well as better translated prayers (downloadable), see Bosco Peters' website here:

    Bosco is a Anglican priest in New Zealand, with a passion for liturgy and prayer. I believe he's a Latin Scholar before becoming a priest. So he does his own translations and can critique with the best of them. He has a wide readership from many liturgical traditions and a longstanding interest in contemplative prayer. (He's chaplain of a prestigious private boys' school in New Zealand, so also has a strong interest in how to do good liturgy that also meets the needs of the youngsters in his care.)

  15. Yes, it is truly heart-breaking!

  16. Fabulous psychodynamic analysis, Dennis! :-)

    (Of course they make it so easy for you!)

  17. Yes, it's important to expose and disinfect the layers of putrid lies to contain the contagion these corrupt clergy are spreading to the unsuspecting.

  18. I know, Dennis is good.