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Cardinal Müller: Amoris Laetitia is not Heretical

Yesterday, 9 November, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave yet another interview, in which he continues to try to explain his own position with regard to the current debate about Pope Francis’ post-synodal exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. With his new statement, he contradicts the claims of the Filial Correction, which, as summarized on the official website of the effort, “states that the pope has, by his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, and by other, related, words, deeds and omissions, effectively upheld 7 heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments, and has caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church.” Speaking to the German regional newspaper, Passauer Neue Presse, Cardinal Müller responds to the question as to how it could happen that the pope fell under the suspicion of heresy with the following words:

One may only speak about heresy when a Catholic insistently denies a revealed doctrine that has been presented by the Church in a binding way. Popes and bishops thus would then be heretical if they present to the faithful who have been entrusted to them a highly authoritative teaching which directly and obviously contradicts the Word of God in Holy Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the heretofore presented dogmatic decisions of the ecumenical councils or of the popes as the supreme teachers of Christianity. That is, without any doubt, not the case with the few passages of the post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia that have been interpreted in a controversial way. That is what I have tried to show in detail by making use of the binding principles of interpretation of magisterial texts. It can be found in a all-encompassing introduction to a book written by Rocco Buttiglione: Riposte amichevoli ai critici di Amoris Laetitia. [emphasis added]

When later asked once more about Pope Francis’ own position with regard to divorced and “remarried” couples, the German cardinal responds:

He [Pope Francis] did not want to shake the foundations of the Catholic Faith or to modernize the teaching of Christ, as if it were old-fashioned. It is about how one can assist, in a pastoral way, those persons who find themselves in very difficult marital situations and who often have tragic conditions in their families, and how one can lead them onto a path of insight, discernment, and conversion [Umkehr], at the end of which there also can be the full reconciliation with God and the Church in the Sacrament of Penance, and then also the full participation in the Eucharistic sacrifice with the sacramental Communion.” [emphasis added]

Cardinal Müller also explained that one may not look at the pope as a “man of a political party” who negotiates with other political groups, but, rather, as the “principle of unity of the whole Church and the guarantor of the truth of the Gospels.” For Cardinal Müller, the current debate is about “contradictory interpretations of the same magisterial document [AL].” He later adds that “the unity of the Church will not be obtained by one of the camps eliminating the other camp, but, rather, by dissolving those camps and parties altogether.”

With regard to another controversial topic – namely, the recent papal decision to give more independence to local bishops’ conferences with regard to the translation of liturgical texts – Cardinal Müller makes it clear that “the last authority, in case of doubt, cannot be with the bishops’ conferences. That would destroy the unity of the Catholic Church in faith, in profession, and in prayer.” Cardinal Müller pointed to the past, saying that in some cases “translators consulted by the bishops have watered down biblical and liturgical texts.” In this context, the political categories of “centralization” and “decentralization” are not to be used, according to Müller.

As we said at the beginning of this report, Cardinal Müller, in this new 9 November interview, indirectly contradicted the claim of the Filial Correction, according to which Pope Francis, with Amoris Laetitia, as well as some related omissions and statements, has spread seven heretical propositions. Professor Paolo Pasqualucci, a retired Professor of Philosophy of Law at the University of Perugia (Italy), who is a signatory of the Filial Correction, has kindly provided us with a personal comment on this report about Cardinal Müller’s new interview. Professor Pasqualucci thus states:

  1. The controversy about the ambiguous parts of Amoris Laetitia is not about what Pope Francis intended to do; it is about the exact, objective meaning of what he has written in those ambiguous parts. Given the fact that several bishops and cardinals (and the Pope himself but in a private letter to the Argentinian Episcopate) have interpreted it in a way absolutely contrary to the perennial teaching of the Church on marriage, adultery, etc., while other cardinals and bishops maintain that those same parts must be interpreted according to that perennial teaching – it was perfectly legitimate for some cardinals to respectfully request an official clarification on the part of the Pope himself. Here “official clarification” means: to issue a magisterial document containing the interpretatio authentica of the said ambiguous parts of AL. The Church is divided, the situation is very serious: the Pope has the duty to answer the Dubia in a way formally relevant; it is a duty inherent to his office, i.e. the office of the Vicar of Christ on earth.
  2. Cardinal Müller is right on lamenting the dangers included in giving “more independence” to local bishops with regard to the translation of liturgical texts. In promoting more local autonomy in this field, Pope Francis is openly acting according to the spirit of the liturgical reforms promoted by Council Vatican II. There’s the rub! we might say. In my humble opinion, there is the core of the present liturgical crisis, its real origin: in the introduction of the new principle of experimentation and creativity in the Liturgy (Const. Sacrosanctum Concilium, art. 22, par. 2; 37-40). Is this new principle in accordance with the Tradition and the teaching of the Church perennial? In other words: until we reach for the roots of the present evils, i.e., until we initiate an open and frank discussion on the ambiguous parts of the pastoral Vatican II, nothing is going to change.

The post has been slightly updated.

208 thoughts on “Cardinal Müller: Amoris Laetitia is not Heretical”

  1. “the unity of the Church will not be obtained by one of the camps eliminating the other camp, but, rather, by dissolving those camps and parties altogether.”

    So basically a Hegelian synthesis of truth and error? The precise problem we have with the modernists trying to reconcile the irreconcilable?

    We really should stop giving Muller the time of day. He’s a very confused little man who contradicts himself with each interview.

    Unity in the Church only exists between those who hold fast to the True Doctrine and Teachings of Christ upheld consistently by those Popes who likewise were faithful. Those who are of that other ‘camp’ or ‘party’ will grow up alongside the faithful. The wheat and the chaff growing together. But wheat remains wheat, and chaff remains chaff, and only one of these will be burnt up in the fire. They will not mutate together into some Montsanto Frankenstein crop and be considered edible to our Lord.

    Someone should send Cardinal Mueller a copy of the New Testament. It seems that he never read it.

    • We have to accept the sincerity of Cdl Mullers assertion:

      “It is about how one can assist, in a pastoral way, those persons who find themselves in very difficult marital situations and who often have tragic conditions in their families, and how one can lead them onto a path of insight, discernment, and conversion [Umkehr], at the end of which there also can be the full reconciliation with God and the Church…”

      Our commission is to “make disciple of all nations”. In my reading of the gospels I do not believe that Jesus gave up on anyone and neither should we.

      That said, the current situation from Rome really is disconcerting and perplexing. It really does feel like “the gates of the underworld ” (Mt 16:17) prevail. But this cannot be.

      And yes it is suffocatingly difficult to try and even talk about these issues among fellow Catholics – so many seem uninterested (caught up in the cares of the world), other seem bemused (ridiculing efforts to bring these matters to the public square), others oppose (certain that the Spirit of VII is at last coming to the fore and liberation of the Holy Catholic Church is finally at hand).

      To pass through this time of tribulation, our faith must be strong. We must keep our eyes upon Jesus. We must not be swayed to left or right. We must press on. We must be careful not to criticise those around us, as this can be used to turn the undecided and wavering away from the path of life and the Grace offered to us.

      Will harsh words dissuade sinners from the path to perdition, will words for itchy ears (2 Tim 4:3) encourage sinners to stay on such path. Are there any words of Wisdom available to turn sinners like Job and the Ninevites.(Jonah 3:5-10 and Mat 12:41).

      Example, prayer, fasting, actions – these are charity and only they can prevail. There will be a great sign and one final opportunity for men to repent (Rev 12 and on) – in anticipation of this point we must be sure to be ready so that waverers are not confused.

      • These tragic conditions in families are a great concern to Holy Mother Church, and our Lord being as wise as He is,
        knows how these “tragic conditions” can seduce one to rationalize behavior against God’s Laws.
        These tragic conditions can also certainly seduce the good priest, who out of empathy and pastoral
        relationship , may very well desire to suggest, to permit, what “he” deems is the path to full reconciliation, conversion.

        Harsh words, in and of themselves do little to dissuade sinners. But, the Truth, spoken, in love, many times, is taken as harsh and rigid by many sinners at the same time.
        Only God converts by His grace.
        Our Lord knew all when He walked the earth and spoke. Does not one think that He would have given a multitude of examples of ” pastoral accompaniment” to show that the Law can be changed or nuanced?

        The great sign you speak of is coming, yes. And in the meantime, our Lord expects and demands His Church
        priests to speak Truth, regardless of what ” each priest or bishop” seems to think is the ” better way” for each sinner he attempts to accompany.

        Poor Cardinal Mueller, a very empathetic and perhaps sweet man…….but as for a ” Prince of the Church”……….I am not so certain if he is strong enough to stand through this abdominal disorientation that has infested not only the Church, but the world at large.

      • “Amoris Laetitia” is very plain in its acceptance of “adultery, fornication, and sodomy”. Even AB Chaput is troubled with the view that marriage in only an “ideal”. He is troubled but he is also scared to death. Francis has spies everywhere and has turned into the “wizard of id”, the little king and not the successor to Peter.

      • “”It is about how one can assist …” that’s nice, but it means nothjing in the context of the confusion if you don’t clarify what the answer to that question is. And that answer can never be to give communion to them while they persist in their relationship: difficult marital situations and tragic family conditions do not rob a person of his reason and ability to act as a free moral agent.

        • No, but they can mitigate the guilt.

          Catechism of the Catholic Church

          2352 “By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. “Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.”137 “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of “the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved.”138
          To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety, or other psychological or social factors that lessen or even extenuate moral culpability.”

          The same can be said for people who find themselves in a situation which renders them very difficult to act otherwise, expecially when they have duty towards innocent (children).

          That’s why Cardinal Müller said

          “This does not mean, however, that now Amoris laetitia art. 302 supports, in contrast to Veritatis splendor 81, that, due to mitigating circumstances, an objectively bad act can become subjectively good (it is dubium n. 4 of the cardinals). The action in itself bad (the sexual relationship with a partner who is not the legitimate spouse) does not become subjectively good due to circumstances. In the assessment of guilt, however, there may be mitigating circumstances and the ancillary elements of an irregular cohabitation similar to marriage can also be presented before God in their ethical value in the overall assessment of judgment (for example, the care for children in common, which is a duty deriving from natural law)”.

          As you can see sin in itself is never excused, sin is never justified, but the sinner can have a mitigated guilt which allows him to remain in the state of Grace.

          We should judge the sin, not the sinner, because he could be closer to God than us.

      • Yes our Lord gave us the great commission to make disciples of His but this can only be done with Truth. You can’t allow people to excuse sin. You show His love and mercy best when you teach His Truth so they can repent and grow in faith! To do otherwise is not love! You can’t compromise that . You Can’t relativized moral Truth!

    • Here’s a song for the Cardinal:

      “First you say you do
      And then you don’t
      And then you say you will
      And then you won’t
      You’re undecided now
      So what are you gonna do?
      Now you want to play
      And then it’s no
      And when you say you’ll stay
      That’s when you go
      You’re undecided now
      So what are you gonna do?”

    • The modernist love for Hegel’s philosophy is so great that sometimes it seems to me that nothing in this earth could ever get them to reconsider it. I wonder, just what will it take for them to seriously consider that the current state of the Church is exactly what De Chardin, Von Balthazar and their like actually wanted? When the Church as we know it is reduced to ashes and its bastions are razed to the ground?

      It’s even more saddening when you have sincere and well meaning Cdls. such as Cdl. Mueller being face to face with the fruits of the liberal infiltration of seminaries and still refusing to take see these philosophical currents for what they are.

    • Wheat and chaff are part of the same plant. The wheat is the fruit, the chaff is the stem and leaves. The phrase you actually want is “wheat and weeds” – two different types of plants. I know what you intended; just offering a minor filial correction. 🙂

      • President Trump blasted the forced abortions and infanticide that are regularly committed in North Korea, asking why China would “feel an obligation” to help a country that kills Chinese babies for being “inferior.”
        “North Korean women are forced to abort babies that are considered ethnically inferior,” Trump told South Korea’s National Assembly. “And if these babies are born, the newborns are murdered.”
        “One woman’s baby born to a Chinese father was taken away in a bucket,” Trump recalled. “The guard said it did not deserve to live because it was impure.”
        “So why would China feel an obligation to help North Korea?” he asked.
        “The horror of life in North Korea is so complete that citizens pay bribes to government officials to have themselves exported abroad as slaves,” said Trump. “They would rather be slaves than live in North Korea.”
        North Koreans who successfully escape to China “face grave danger because the Chinese government arrests and forcibly repatriates North Korean refugees,” according to Liberty in North Korea (LINK). “If sent back, they undergo interrogation and are at risk of extremely harsh punishments including torture, forced labor, forced abortions, and internment in a political prison camp.”
        The totalitarian regime sees religion as a threat and “therefore nothing apart from token churches built as a facade of religious freedom for foreign visitors are allowed,” LINK explains. “People caught practicing or spreading religion in secret are punished extremely harshly, including by public execution or being sent to political prison camps.”
        Forced abortion is a major problem in China as well. The country recently changed its one-child policy to a two-child policy, giving some couples the “right” to a second child.
        This coercive population control program has led to gendercide because of cultural preferences for sons.
        In April 2017, Trump announced that the U.S. would no longer fund the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) because it participates in China’s forced abortion regime.
        The U.S., North Korea, and China are three of the seven countries in the world with the most liberal, unrestrictive abortion laws.
        The Trump administration is blocking political and financial support for abortion groups in the highest echelons of international diplomacy, including the most recent G7 and G20 meetings.
        President Donald Trump is expected to nominate one of the nation’s most pro-life, pro-family, and pro-marriage advocates to the State Department.
        President and CEO of Concerned Women for America Penny Nance is rumored as Trump’s pick to be Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. The position was created by former President Barack Obama shortly after entering office to promote abortion and a liberal “gender equality” agenda worldwide.

        Every year, generous and loving families adopt thousands of children and provide them with the affection, attention, and opportunity they deserve. Adoption is a true blessing that greatly enriches the lives of parents and children alike. During National Adoption Month, we celebrate the thousands of families who have expanded through adoption, and we acknowledge the strength and resiliency of the children who are still waiting to find their forever home.

        My Administration recognizes the profound importance of adoption for the American family. Adoption is a life-changing and life-affirming act that signals that no child in America — born or unborn — is unwanted or unloved. Adoptive parents are a selfless and loving part of God’s plan for their future children. As a Nation, we extend sincere appreciation and gratitude to those families who have welcomed a young person into their hearts and homes, sharing the precious gift of family and a lifetime of support.
        We must continue to remove barriers to adoption whenever we can, so that the love and care of prospective adoptive parents can be directed to children waiting for their permanent homes. This year’s National Adoption Month, we focus on our commitment to helping older youth experience the transformative value of permanency and love. A child is never too old for adoption. A supportive family can provide the critical direction that older children need as they enter adulthood, helping them attain educational and employment goals, and, in certain cases, avoid homelessness or incarceration. We never outgrow the need for family, and older youth who are adopted are more likely to finish high school and feel emotionally secure than those who age out of foster care without a permanent family.
        This month, let us celebrate the gift of adoption — an act of love that provides deserving young people with the foundation they need to achieve their potential and pursue the American Dream.
        Click here to sign up for pro-life news alerts from
        NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2017 as National Adoption Month. I encourage all Americans to observe this month by helping children in need of a permanent home secure a more promising future with a forever family, so they may enter adulthood with the love we all deserve.
        IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.
        U.S bishops are going to have Cdl. Cupich in charge of Right to Life? This is an all out war against President Trump. Pro Abortion Ex President of Ireland Mary Robinson has just met with the pope. The abortion referendum is to be voted on in Ireland soon. Has the pope said anything about it?
        Pope Francis will visit Ireland in August,2018 right after the abortion vote. POPE FRANCIS PLEASE SPEAK UP FOR THE UNBORN.

        • I read this in the Wanderer Newspaper this morn’. The whole push for the world to accept Amoris Laetitia is for us to to forget the plight of the unborn. ABORTION IS ABOUT TO BE LEGALIZED IN IRELAND AND THE POPE IS TALKING ABOUT THE PROHIBTION OF PURCHASING CIGARETTES IN THE VATICAN?

          “Hypocrites!” That’s what Bishop Mark Seitz called Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last summer when Paxton led a group of officials defending the Constitution. Meanwhile the bishop admitted that he had never publicly corrected, much less condemned, Catholic Cong. Beto O’Rourke, his 100 percent pro-abortion U.S. representative.
          Well. While El Paso’s petulant prelate maintains his right to remain silent, let’s take a look at what his alleged “hypocrite,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, has been up to.
          Last week, Paxton went into federal court to defend SB 8, a Texas law prohibiting “dismemberment abortion.”
          “I will always fight to protect the basic human rights and dignity of the unborn,” Attorney General Ken Paxton told the Population Research Institute.
          “The Texas Legislature, through the passage of Senate Bill 8, took reasonable steps to prohibit the live dismemberment of babies still in the womb, a brutal, gruesome and inhumane procedure that involves an abortionist tearing a fully formed child apart limb by limb,” Paxton said. “It’s time the American people fully understand the horrific practices occurring in our country.”
          While Attorney General Paxton defends the right to life of preborn Texans in federal court, Bishop Seitz has never apologized for calling him a “Pharisee” and a “hypocrite” for his stand on DREAMers. And Bishop Seitz is not alone.
          Throughout Texas and throughout the country, countless Catholic bishops are represented in the Senate and the House of Representatives by 100 percent pro-abortion politicians. Yet the vast majority of these bishops have seldom if ever uttered a public word of disapproval of those manifestly grave scandals, much less do their duty under canon law and publicly condemn them.
          Of course, virtually all our bishops receive federal taxpayer funding for their secular welfare agencies, and often publicly lavish praise on these same pro-abortion officials at ceremonies staged to celebrate the generosity of the government that gives them hundreds of millions a year, rather than the taxpayer from whom the money was taken.
          Meanwhile, while praising the generous government, prelates continue to complain about the stingy people in the pews, as New York’s Timothy Cardinal Dolan did a year ago in a letter to all his pastors.
          One wonders. Shouldn’t we tell them that we “gave at the office”?
          Rebukes For the Faithful,
          Not For Dissenters
          These days, while bishops exhibit fawning affection for their federal paymasters, they are quick on the draw when decrying motes in the eye of faithful laity and priests.
          On July 31, the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Capuchin Fr. Thomas Weinandy, one-time chief of staff for the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine and a member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission, wrote to the Holy Father. In his letter, he warned the Pope of the “unease” and “chronic confusion” among the faithful caused by his “seemingly intentional lack of clarity,” especially in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The Pope is fomenting a studied ambiguity which “risks sinning against the Holy Spirit,” Fr. Weinandy wrote.
          Speaking in defense of millions of the faithful, Fr. Weinandy told the Holy Father that “you seem to censor and even mock those who interpret Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia in accord with Church tradition as Pharisaic stone-throwers who embody a merciless rigorism. This kind of calumny is alien to the nature of the Petrine ministry.”
          Fr. Weinandy also criticized the Pope’s “choice of some bishops, men who seem not merely open to those who hold views counter to Christian belief but who support and even defend them. What scandalizes believers, and even some fellow bishops,” he continued, “is not only your having appointed such men to be shepherds of the Church, but that you also seem silent in the face of their teaching and pastoral practice.”
          Having received no reply from Pope Francis, Fr. Weinandy released his letter publicly last week. Within a day, he was gone, axed by USCCB bishops, many of whom have complaisantly celebrated pro-abortion Catholic politicians for decades.
          In the uproar that followed Fr. Weinandy’s firing, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, USCCB president, issued a curious “explanation.” Affirming the unity of U.S. bishops with Pope Francis, he added that “Christian charity needs to be exercised by all involved. In saying this, we all must acknowledge that legitimate differences exist, and that it is the work of the Church, the entire body of Christ, to work towards an ever-growing understanding of God’s truth.”
          “By all involved”? Whom did Cardinal DiNardo have in mind here? Fr. Weinandy? Or Pope Francis?
          We’re not sure — yet. After all, the concerns articulated in Fr. Weinandy’s letter mirror those of the four cardinals who last year made public their grave concerns about the same exhortation in their Dubia. Their invitation to “dialogue” hit the Vatican’s stone wall because, you see, that “dialogue” door swings only one way: to the exit labeled “Dissent.”
          Our beloved bishops have no doubt taken note of what we might delicately describe as Pope Francis’ pastoral petulance. Indeed, one might observe that, in publicly rebuking Fr. Weinandy, the bishops’ conference was merely facing reality: Had their rebuke not been forthcoming, there are a thousand ways that the Vatican clique surrounding Pope Francis could have reacted — all of them detrimental to the future careers of certain bishops.
          Battle Lines Being Drawn…
          All of this will come to a head at the annual fall meeting of the USCCB on November 13-14 in Baltimore, where bishops will elect certain conference leaders. The election of the new chairman of Committee on Pro-Life Activities will be particularly critical. The two nominees for the position are Blase Cardinal Cupich of Chicago and Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kans.
          According to sources close to the bishops, it would be difficult to find a starker contrast.
          Archbishop Naumann ended diocesan ties to the Girl Scouts of America because it was pro-abortion. He and other Kansan bishops produced a video prior to the 2016 elections to be shown in all parishes that carried a statement to keep “the human rights catastrophe” of abortion “at the forefront of their minds when voting” as a “moral obligation” for Catholics.
          In 2008, after meeting with her privately, Archbishop Naumann publicly directed pro-abortion zealot Kathleen Sebelius, then secretary of Health and Human Services, not to present herself for Holy Communion until she publicly renounced her abortion advocacy.
          In 2010, Archbishop Naumann publicly rebuked Sr. Carol Keehan and the Catholic Health Association for supporting Obama’s Affordable Care Act that includes taxpayer funding for abortions and contraceptive drugs and devices.
          Archbishop Naumann was also one of the few bishops who publicly criticized the “unlimited tax-funded abortions up to and including birth” position of Catholic 2016 vice-presidential nominee, Tim Kaine.
          Cardinal Cupich’s disdain for pro-lifers goes back to his days as the young bishop of Rapid City. Under his leadership, the “Pro-Life Committee” in the Rapid City diocese became the “Social Justice Committee.”
          When he became bishop of Spokane, he effectively forbade his priests and seminarians to participate in the 40 Days for Life vigils, which emphasize prayer and fasting to end abortion.
          At the 2015 USCCB annual meeting, Archbishop Cupich joined Robert McElroy, bishop of San Diego, urging that poverty and the environment be given equal attention to opposing abortion. In Chicago, he has welcomed sodomites, insisting that the perverted terms, “gay and lesbian, LGBT . . . should be respected.”
          In responding to the Texas massacre of Christians in Sutherland Springs, Cardinal Cupich didn’t mention the atheist shooter, but called for “comprehensive national gun control” and national health care. Our friends at Ignatius Insight observe that his comments contained “no mention of evil, sin, Jesus Christ, God, eternal hope (or even mercy).”
          And in order to practice Pope Francis’ version of discernment, the cardinal insists that “we be prepared to let go of cherished beliefs and long-held biases.”
          Which biases? Against adultery? Sodomy? Abortion? If Cardinal Cupich wins this election, the answer will surely be quickly forthcoming.
          Indeed, Cardinal Dolan, who now chairs the bishops’ pro-life committee, has already opened the door to further politicization. A year ago, he used his homily at the Mass before the annual March for Life to link the pro-life cause to support for amnesty for illegal aliens and sanctuary cities.
          The USCCB has been so hostile to President Trump, and so ungrateful for his numerous pro-life initiatives countering the Obama-Clinton Culture of Death, that anything is possible in Baltimore. Our bishops have already rebuked Fr. Weinandy the truth-teller. What’s next? In Baltimore, they might well give us the answer.

          • Thirty million former Catholics in the US. The only way the Bishops can maintain the coverup is to support unlimited immigration. In a couple of generations the descendants of these immigrants will drift away from the Catholic lite and outright apostasy of many of these men.

  2. The main problem with the Cardinal is that he says AL is fine if you interpret it through the previous teachings of the Church. One could say that about Luther!! In actuality, AL 301-303 profoundly contradict VERITATIS SPLENDOR and the prohibition of any exceptions to intrinsically evil acts. THIS IS BEYOND OBVIOUS.

  3. Ambiguity reigns; ambiguity remains. All moral judgements to be based on traditional Church teaching. Prudence dictates Pope Francis papacy be treated as if it never happened.

  4. Yeah, right your Eminence. Amoris laetitia is so good that the CDF (under your leadership) had to write the Francis with a bunch of suggested corrections in order to bring it back into line with Catholic teaching. The corrections were ignored (of course) and then he fired you……………..LOL!! Only two days ago I read an article in which you were quoted as saying….“no Communion for those living in irregular marital situations….no exceptions!!” That would be news to El Lider Maximo and the bishops of Malta, Argentina and various other places where NuChurch is currently in full swing.

    Is there currently a more forlorn, obsequious, self-contradictory figure in the hierarchy than you?

  5. Last sentence from Prof. Pasqualucci:

    “Until we reach for the roots of the present evils, i.e., until we initiate an open and frank discussion on the ambiguous parts of the pastoral Vatican II, nothing is going to change.”

    Spot on. Which means, aside from some special grace of God, nothing is going to change soon.

  6. “In this context, the political categories of “centralization” and “decentralization” are not to be used, according to Müller.”

    But Pope Jorge is using the term “decentralization.” So what are you going to do about this, Cardinal Muller?

    • It is uncharitable to interpret the Supreme Pontiff’s words as asserting that a person obeys God by sinning, or that a person sins against God by obeying. The first thing he says is that “a given situation”, such as divorce and remarriage, “does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel.” So he does teach that the acts of the divorced and remarried (more uxorio) are objective mortal sins, they are always grave matter. But some persons, due to their fallen state, various mitigating factors (stated in the CCC), and a longstanding habit of sin, might find it very difficult to change their behavior.

      So then, “what God himself is asking” is not to commit a grave sin, but rather to continue to struggle against sin, and to work toward complete freedom from all objective mortal sin. God still loves that person. And they remain in the state of grace, IF (mark my words: IF) their objective mortal sin is not also an actual mortal sin. Thus, God continues to help them grow in grace and continue along the path to salvation, and eventually to a life without mortal sin of any kind.

      But our course, if you interpret the Roman Pontiff in an uncharitable way you are going to find tons of heresies.

      • OK so let’s agree that what Pope Francis is saying is NOT heresy. What is it then? Without using the word heresy it is still easy as pie to show that most of what Pope Francis is saying on this topic is WRONG and goes AGAINST perennial Church Teachings.

        That’s enough for me, and is enough for all Catholics to understand – the theologically trained and the boob in the pew.

        • “OK so let’s agree that what Pope Francis is saying is NOT heresy. What is it then?”

          If it is not heresy that means that what he wrote is ortodox. Principle of non contradiction 101.

      • Cardinal Burke was the head of the Apostolic Signatura…..the head of the highest court in the church. He is a canon lawyer par excellence. He is not claiming that his own ‘understanding is the truth’ he is proclaiming and defending the truth that the church of Jesus Christ has always taught. Are he and the other dubia cardinals ‘interpreting the Roman Pontiff in an uncharitable way’? No of course they are not.One can say the same for all those who signed the filial correction and also Father Weinandy. These are all faithful sons and daughters of the church. SOMETHING must be wrong and I think they have all put their finger on it.

        • “No of course they are not”

          I didn’t know that cardinals couldn’t be wrong in their interpretation of a papal document. But never mind, apparently a Pope can be heretic whereas Cardinals can’t be wrong in their interpretation.

          Cardinal ultramontanism here I guess.

      • I have a hard time understanding what you mean by saying “if their objective mortal sin is not an actual mortal sin.” So, as far as I know, what would make it *objectively* a mortal sin is the grave matter. And what would make it *subjectively* a mortal sin is if the conditions are fulfilled: full knowledge, full consent and sufficient reflection. For those immersed in an ongoing situation of what has always been known as “living in sin” I would think that reflection would be more than sufficient, and assuming that the accompanier helping that person discern has informed them of the nature of the sin, then they would also have full knowledge. Is it consent then that is lacking? I recognize that it may be difficult to extricate oneself from the “occasion of sin” but that doesn’t mean they should receive carte blanche to live in a way displeasing to God and scandalous to those around them.

      • “So then, “what God himself is asking” is not to commit a grave sin, but rather to continue to struggle against sin, and to work toward complete freedom from all objective mortal sin.”

        That’s your own interpretation. Did the pope clarify his statement? NO. This pope is the author of confusion and so is SATAN!. This garbage document is NOT from the Holy Spirit!

        • “That’s your own interpretation. Did the pope clarify his statement? NO. “

          If a statement can be read according to catholic doctrine then you must read it according to catholic doctrine. Otherwise you are giving an uncharitable interpretation for no good reasons.

          • And you are just some Troll on the internet who doesn’t know how to read a simple text. That text doesn’t need any interpretation because IT IS WRITTEN CLEARLY. The text is against Catholic Doctrine! 250 scholars have already condemned paragraph 303 in Amoris Laetita, yet you think that you are smarter than them. The 250 scholars have pointed out that paragraph 303 is heretical. YOU ARE FULL OF YOURSELF! Disgusting!

          • The ex prefect of the CDF says that Amoris Laetitia is not heretic, and i believe he is right and scholars are wrong. The paragraph 303 can be interpreted in an heretical way but if it can be interpreted in an ortodox and Catholic way than we cannot say that it is heretic. It would be heretic if we couldn’t interpret it in a catholic way.


            “YOU ARE FULL OF YOURSELF! Disgusting!”


          • You are an uneducated Troll who is defending this horrible Pope who just celebrated a Heretic named Martin Luther. Don’t bother me with your nonsense. So go and defend a person who celebrated a Blasphemer like Luther who attacked the doctrine of Transubstantiation, threw out 7 books of the Bible and rejected 5 Catholic Sacraments out of 7. You are a true cheerleader of pope Bergoglio.

          • I’m not a cheerleader of Bergoglio and the only uneducated one is you. I’m just saying that i think that we should interpret his documents in the catholic way, period. If that makes me a troll, so be it.

          • You haven’t even read Amoris Laetitia. Yet you are shooting off your mouth and defending it! You haven’t even done your homework. Your comment has no substance. Just keep on with your comment and honest people will laugh at you. Amoris Laetitia is a dishonest document that cites deceptive footnote. Because Pope Bergoglio is a dishonest man!

          • I have read Amoris Laetitia, what i was saying is that if a papal document can be interpreted in an ortodox way, THEN we have the duty, as catholics, to interpret said document in an ortodox way. That’s what Müller said in this piece

            If you want to interpret a papal document in an heretical way it’s your problem, not mine.

          • You did not address Foot Note 329 of AL. It is a deceptive footnote and has nothing to do with misinterpretation! Go ahead and make a comment and people will laugh at you!

          • “paragraph 303 can be interpreted in an heretical way but if it can be interpreted in an ortodox and Catholic way.” – Marco Van Basten

            So this leaves room for a heretical interpretation, so the unity of the Church is SPLIT open then! This is a sign that this pope is under the influence of Satan. For only Satan is the Author of division and confusion!

          • “So this leaves room for a heretical interpretation, so the unity of the Church is SPLIT open then!”

            A lot of things can leave room for an heretical interpretation if you interpret them in a non catholic way. Even the Bible if it is not interpreted according to the Magisterium can lead to heresy, the proofs are the various heresies of the protestants.

          • So if the Pope is a Catholic then he shouldn’t allow any room for any heretical interpretation. He won’t anwer the Dubia, because he’s a protestant just like you since you are defending this stupid document. The 250 scholars are right and you are wrong!

          • NO! It is the DUTY of the Pope to make everything Crystal Clear and how many people know the Catholic Doctrines? Very few. Therefore, it is the duty of the Pope to make everything crystal clear so that no one can interpret his documents the wrong way. The confusion from Amoris Laetitia shows demonic influences. And YOU are defending a stupid document! So Keep on talking and people will laugh at you!

          • “Therefore, it is the duty of the Pope to make everything crystal clear so that no one can interpret his documents the wrong way”.

            A lot of documents of the past can be interpreted the wrong way if someone doesn’t interpret them with a catholic mindset.

            Let’s take for example the following ex cathedra from “Cantate Domino”

            “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”

            If this ex cathedra is interpreted in the wrong way it seems to exclude the possibility of Baptism of desire and Baptism of blood, but that is clearly not the case.

            There is no contradiction, for example, between this ex cathedra and the teaching of Lumen Gentium where our Church taught us that

            “The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honoured by the name of Christian, but who do not however profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter.[14] For there are many who hold sacred scripture in honour as a rule of faith and of life, who have a sincere religious zeal, who lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and the Saviour,[15] who are sealed by baptism which unites them to Christ, and who indeed recognize and receive other sacraments in their own Churches or ecclesiastical communities. Many of them possess the episcopate, celebrate the holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion of the Virgin Mother of God.[16] There is furthermore a sharing in prayer and spiritual benefits; these Christians are indeed in some real way joined to us in the Holy Spirit for, by his gifts and graces, his sanctifying power is also active in them and he has strengthened some of them even to the shedding of their blood. And so the Spirit stirs up desires and actions in all of Christ’s disciples in order that all may be peaceably united, as Christ ordained, in one flock under one shepherd.[17] Mother Church never ceases to pray, hope and work that this may be achieved, and she exhorts her children to purification and renewal so that the sign of Christ may shine more brightly over the face of the Church.

            Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways.[18] There is, first, that people to which the covenants and promises were made, and from which Christ was born according to the flesh (cf. Rom. 9:4-5): in view of the divine choice, they are a people most dear for the sake of the fathers, for the gifts of God are without repentance (cf. Rom. 11:29-29). But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Moslems: these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day. Nor is God remote from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, since he gives to all men life and breath and all things (cf. Acts 17:25-28), and since the Saviour wills all men to be saved (cf. 1 Tim. 2:4). Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience–those too many achieve eternal salvation.[19] Nor shall divine providence deny the assistance necessary for salvation to those who, without any fault of theirs, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God, and who, not without grace, strive to lead a good life” (Lumen Gentium 15 & 16).

            Indeed it is true that outside of the Church there is no salvation, but heretics and schismatics and pagans, IF they are in good faith in their rejection of our catholic faith, can be incorporated in the Church, even though in an invisible and misterious way.

            The fact that if someone rejects culpably to join the Church (or to remain in the Church) he cannot be saved is reiterated in Lumen Gentium 14

            “ They could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it. “

            I’ve made this example to show you that someone could interpret Cantate Domino the wrong way, thus inferring heresy in Lumen Gentium, when this is clearly not true.

            The interpretation of Church’s document belongs to the Church herself, to the Magisterium, not to the laity or the theologians, because the laity often doesn’t know how to interpret the documents of our Church.

  7. It does not matter, practically speaking, what Amoris Laetitia does and does not say, or whether it is or is not heretical. What matters is how people, particularly bishops and bishops conferences, respond to it. Several bishops, and a bishops’ conference or two, have said that Amoris Laetitia allows those who are divorced and remarried to receive communion. There has not been a loud enough or clear enough correction on that, and it risks being seen as acceptable by popular idea even though still formally prohibited. On that same note, it doesn’t matter that Vatican II never called for the removal of communion rails, because thousands upon thousands did just that and what once would have been considered very strange is now considered normal.

    • “There has not been a loud enough or clear enough correction on that….” I may be wrong, but I don’t think there has been any official correction at all on that.

      • We have an answer that ought to be official enough, which is the answer found in scripture itself: “Give not that which is holy to dogs; neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turning upon you, they tear you.” (Matt 7:6). Those who would challenge that in the name of “accompaniment,” “mercy,” or anything else do so out of false compassion. Multiple Catholic commentaries (Lapide and Haydock at least, and I’m sure others as well) have interpreted this scripture passage to be a warning not to give the sacraments to those who hate the Church’s doctrines or are unwilling to reform their lives. In addition, this warning is echoed in the Church’s liturgy for Corpus Christi- “non mittendus canibus.”

        Many bishops seem intent on asking for more than what we have already been given. They have been corrupted by worldly things, and rather than acknowledging their own brokenness, working to detach themselves from the world, and proclaiming the truth even though they struggle to live it, they try to justify sin. The way to heaven is love of God and love of neighbor, as instructed to us by the Church. Trying to sneak in any other way only leads to hell.

    • I wish that instead of calling it “communion for the divorced and remarried” they would call it like it really is, namely “communion for adulturers.” It should shock everyone that that is being proposed and accepted; that one need not have a firm purpose of amendment, and therefore, be in a state of grace to “go forward” and receive holy communion. It’s unreal where they have headed, to the hitherto unimaginable. I don’t think we should play along with their mistaken ideas, and furthermore, I suggest that headlines and discussion should reflect the reality of the situation, because language matters. Thus, in referring to a “remarried” spouse (since only spouses who have been widowed are remarried in any true sense; for those who were granted anulments, it would be only the first marriage in actuality) I think it might be helpful to refer to such a person as a “putative spouse.” It might sound like splitting hairs, but we shouldn’t cede the moral ground!

  8. In some cases “translators consulted by the bishops have watered down biblical and liturgical texts.”

    Translators run roughshod over the bishops because the bishops themselves couldn’t translate their way out of a paper bag.

    • Translator is a form of traitor I believe, or along those lines, I’m sure someone else can do a better job of explaining.

  9. Typical schizophrenic VII “conservative” prelate. Chaput is another one. Just when you think found a Cardinal or Bishop you could trust they stab you in the back.

    • Yes, the “schizophrenia” is diabolic disorientation which many have said, I might go as far to say that their
      obfuscation is a result of their “damage limitation” exercises which further exacerbates THE problem.

      How incredible that these “learned men” who would profess fidelity to the truths of our Catholic Faith
      can not speak clearly and make proper distinctions on matters of Faith that are Central and Primary.

      God has surely withdrawn significant grace because A.L is NOT simply a “sop” to those in secondary
      relationships ( who very well may have married in err ) but an attack on Marriage, an attack on the Real Presence,
      then by extension an attack on the sacramental life itself!

      That’s a little meat on the bones of the fears raised by Prof.Seifert.

      • The attack is not on the family, but on the Real Presence, Sanctifying Grace, and from where I sit in ” laity land”, it is an attack on the Incarnation of our Lord.
        Maybe I am stretching things a bit, and seem hysterical, but that is my opinion.

        • What else could it be? We’ve heard about ecumenical “masses”. We’ve heard a “little bread and wine never hurts” uttered by the pope.

        • It is an attack on the Family in the sense that Marriage is for life and A.L does not
          encourage that, quite the opposite.
          And yes, it opens the door to great danger beyond the narrow field of initial marital breakdown.

      • You got it. This is all about a classless society and the destruction of the sacraments. You only need read Teilhard de Chardin, SJ even if it is just the interpretation from Malachi Martin, SJ.

  10. He’s just saying that if you resolve the ambiguity in the text of AL in harmony with the pre-existing Magisterium (which is the only way to properly interpret it) then the document itself is not heretical. He’s saying that since CAN be read in harmony with prior teaching, it MUST be read that way. What he does not address is Pope Francis’ subsequent attempts to “spin” the document in a heterodox fashion while using subordinates to assert that going from “never” to “sometimes” is either a just pastoral matter a legitimate development of doctrine.

    • But their should be no ambiguity at all.
      The fact that there is significant ambiguity suggests foul play which conclusively suggests
      that the ” spirit ” that brought the encyclical A.L to maturation was and is a deliberate hand-grenade
      by stealth.

    • Uttering ambiguities as an elixir for ambiguity. It makes perfectly imperfect perfect sense, if you reconcile how the perfect can be imperfect when perfected.

  11. The German bishops should jump in bed with the Lutherans and leave the Church alone. They are so concerned about upholding some imagined superiority in logic and rationality that they twist the truth and ultimately themselves into pretzels.

  12. So a Modernist doesn’t believe AL is heresy. I’m shocked, shocked there’s gambling in this casino. Cardinal Müller is the SSPX obstructionist Modernist who supported the heresy of Liberation Theology. There has been a lot of revisionism to make him some sort of orthodox conservative over these last years, but many have forgotten the genuine anger in the Catholic blogosphere over his initial appointment by Pope BXVI. Many believed he should not have been head of the CDF because of his Eucharistic heresies that went along with the rest of his Modernism.

  13. Cardinal Muller is convinced the best approach to AL and its controversial content is to read it positively as corresponding to the Apostolic Tradition. He is well intended like many other good prelates Archbishop Chaput among them. However if we parse Ch 8 it’s true that it’s difficult if not possible to isolate definitive error. There aren’t grounds for an accusation of heresy as rightly stated, and which was wrongly conferred in the Filial Correction. A rebuke. Nonetheless there is clearly a thesis contained in Ch 8 that encourages communion for D&R living in a state of objective sin, those in irregular union. The quandary is it compromises those who perceive a thesis favorable to D&R, and it ironically gives credibility to the growing number of clerics and Laity that own such a thesis and practice it. The divide is increasing and polarized. The best approach is assessment of what Ch 8 is actually proposing, phrases such as “We can no longer say D&R are guilty of grave sin, no one is condemned forever, communion is not a reward, it is powerful medicine, perhaps a first step, and footnote 351. If the Pontiff is referring to D&R who meet traditional criteria to receive communion it does seem unnecessary to add the footnote. Laity and clerics are better served if Hierarchy address the premises contained in AL [as recommended by the late Cardinal Caffarra] that lead to error. That does not require a rebuke of the Pontiff.

      • As we go forward in the era of gender ideology we need not only insist on a male priesthood, but only men with stones need apply. Fembot intent on pleasing the boss and neglecting the Gospel are not working out, not matter how much we would like to pretend they are contributing. Double talk and reverencing the posterior of the leader of the pack just won’t do.

    • “If the Pontiff is referring to D&R who meet traditional criteria to receive communion it does seem unnecessary to add the

      And so it goes that IF that IS the case then surely the Encyclical itself is/was unnecessary itself!
      But we know that there IS a deliberate subversion by “stealth” at work as most surely DID the architects.

      • The problem is the perennial Magisterium is not proclaimed. Personal notions emanating from episcopal narcissism run rife and are not a suitable or adequate substitute.
        These men need abandon their positions and either take up a life of penance and reparation for what they have perpetrated upon the faithful for the past fifty-seven years or just get real jobs and be still.

    • You are well intended, Father Morello.
      They are merely covering their collective posterior, attempting to bring some rationale to the clearly irrational. I suppose in other settings such loyalty to the leader might have some justification, but not when the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the salvation of souls is at risk.
      No more double talk in the defense of the Bergoglian collective. It does not supersede the priceless treasure of the faith. The character of this pontificate need be laid bare.
      Mumbo jumbo posing as theology has to cease.

    • “Cardinal Muller is convinced the best approach to AL and its controversial content is to read it positively as corresponding to the Apostolic Tradition.

      “the best approach”: What you have just stated here is that Cardinal Müller cares not for the means, but only the ends.

      “the best approach”: How about the truth?

    • Father Morello,
      I’d like to make a comment if I may. I’m old enough to remember (vaguely)
      a time when the Pope, the Hierarchy and Priests spoke plainly (I’m pretty old) 🙂 Their primary concern was not to impress me with verbal or literary prowess,
      but to make sure that I understood what was sinful and WHY and then to offer
      me a solution that was NOT sinful. Sometimes the solution was not
      an easy decision, but it was explained to me and provided a near immediate cessation of the sin involved, which allowed an opening for God’s grace to help me sort the problem out, and make the correct (hopefully, but not always) decision.
      It seems to me this situation needs to be spoken about plainly. Does this statement cover it or no? —-
      “If you are divorced and remarried and you cannot or will not separate,
      you may receive Holy Communion as long as you are not
      committing/performing the marital act.” (Period)
      I can’t really understand, that even in the Confessional,
      this is not spoken of and it is not explained why this must be.
      I can pretty much say most of these teachings are totally lost.
      Your average sheep in the pews don’t have any idea why this must
      be and nobody is telling them. I am a revert, and the ONLY
      reason I have any understanding of anything Catholic is because
      I started reading the OLD Saints (like the sermons of St. Alphonsus
      Liguori and St. John Vianney).
      Why will no one just speak plainly? I’m reminded of a quote from
      Padre Pio. “Luther is in Hell and those that follow him will be there too.”
      Is there any confusion in that statement? Obviously this isn’t every
      Priest, but it seems like anything mildly unpopular is covered from the pulpit
      in one sentence and the reason for the true teaching is never spoken.
      The sheep are truly starving for lack of knowledge. A lot of people who are
      against certain teachings have never had the reason for the teaching
      explained to them. You can trust me on this one, I’ve had some
      things explained to me that literally nearly knocked me over and I’m
      not particularly stupid or simple thru the grace of God, but no one
      ever bothered to tell me WHY God insisted on a particular thing or
      that something be done in a particular way. Let me give you an example here
      also, (not correcting you obviously) You said, ” If the Pontiff is referring to D&R who meet traditional criteria to receive Communion it does seem unnecessary to add the footnote.” I’m not sure you all realize that a lot of people don’t know what the “traditional criteria” required actually are, and even that each criteria itself now needs an explanation. I can’t tell you, in questioning your average laity, how many have said “Tell them to just get an annulment.”
      this includes me. “Oh, the Church will annul that.” (WRONG!) I have an
      annulment, but I had no idea that those questions pertained to the
      moment that the vow was spoken and not during the marriage. There are
      a lot out here who think an annulment is indeed Catholic divorce. We are in a very serious situation. Those who comment on these sites
      usually seem to know their Religion. A lot of those reading are trying to
      learn. Your sheep are starving Father. Please help us!

      • All in a nutshell…
        “Their primary concern was not to impress me with verbal or literary prowess, but to make sure that I understood what was sinful and WHY and then to offer me a solution that was NOT sinful.”
        You write the depth truth.
        We shoulder a crew of narcissists who regard themselves academics, intellectuals, wisdom figures — even mystics! The more modest of them “Doctor Phil” in a dog collar. Such men cannot ever be humble servants of the Lord and His Gospel. They need make up their own “good news.”
        It isn’t news — justification for any manner of concupiscence is as old as Adam and Eve.
        It isn’t good — it generates the cesspool constituting the post-conciliar Church and the Bergoglian pontificate.

      • Dear Friend, what you experienced in the confessional I have likewise experienced from penitents, and thru personal counsel outside the confessional. There is an abysmal lack of knowledge, even disinterest among many Catholic priests, never mind Laity. We cannot fault the Laity entirely since priests, pastors simply have not taught their parishioners. “Your sheep are starving Father. Please help us!”. Yes. For several years since I returned to parish duties following work at the VA and seminary lecturing I’ve come to realize exactly what you say and have made my sermons pedagogical, teaching sermons focused on the rudiments of the faith and moral, sacramental doctrine. For example you are correct that it is only deficiency in the exchange of marital vows that warrants a declaration of nullity. Never unrelated subsequent events. Your reply motivates me to do more. Since the past couple of years I’ve found a forum for offering my experience and knowledge [I have a PhD The Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas on the moral doctrine of St Thomas Aquinas] experience in teaching. Thank you for your reply.

        • Thank you Father for your reply. We are so frustrated (if you can’t already tell). I’m a practical, common sense kind of
          person. It seems like not only the world has abandoned
          God, but even his Priests in a lot of ways (not all Priests).
          Does anyone with an ounce of the true Faith, actually believe
          that if a Priest said to me in the confessional, “In your situation, this is mostly about committing the marital act. I want you to do something. I want you to give up the act, and instead pray for a week or two for God’s grace and some understanding and a resolution for your situation. Ask Our Lady of Sorrows to reveal to you what is hidden from you in this area. I, personally (the Priest) will also pray for you and offer a sacrifice in my life for you.” Does ANYONE with an ounce of the true Faith, not think that God would lift this person up, for the very fact that they tried to put even one toe on this road and if this person did not get in His way, carry them back to a state of Grace. Is THIS not truly supporting and ACCOMPANYING me with your prayer and sacrifice into
          the correct way and then adding just for good measure the
          Church’s teaching on marriage. How can someone just
          be allowed to “follow their conscience” when consciences
          are not properly formed? Wasn’t this Fulton Sheen’s
          big thing? He must be rolling over in his grave. Would
          everyone do this is if it was suggested in the confessional?
          Obviously, no. But some would, and others would indeed
          be plagued by their waking conscience and understanding and might eventually be moved to do it or at least think about it and start praying about it. This doesn’t seem like rocket science. Am I incorrect in my thinking on this? Should
          we not try to raise people to a higher nature even by
          just telling them WHY this must be. Please pray for me
          Father. I feel like a deer in the headlights many days.

          • Your example is a modal for compassionate care and the true meaning of a priest accompanying a person struggling with their marriage. It shows appreciation for the penitent’s capacity to love beyond their circumstances. I appreciate your insight and reminder.

    • For me, Father, the issue goes far beyond itself.

      It cuts very close to the claims of the Church.

      The Church either is, or is not, what She claims. Right now, no Protestant can be blamed for making a reasoned assessment of the Catholic Church and coming to the conclusion that the Church has apostatized or is simply a defunct organization, that is, as a friend of mine says; “An organization that may have been formed by God for a time, but is now no longer relevant or even godly”. And notice the
      attempt at real charity in this harsh assessment!

      I am exhausted with hearing from Catholics that “the Protestants are worse”. As an ex-Protestant, I don’t CARE how bad Protestantism is, I care about how holy the Church is.

      The PRACTICE and common teaching of the Catholic Church are no longer what they were, and no longer what can be found “on paper” and in old books. That is, except in pockets.

      As a convert I can tell you, many non-Catholics are and would be interested in the Catholic faith and many are watching the Catholic Church, and many see facts that cannot be denied; total lack of discipline and defense of the faith and indeed, sweeping heresy and perversion and self-destruction and celebration of heterodox teaching. about the best assessment might be to say the Church right now demonstrates VINCIBLE ignorance of Her own faith.

      In old Anglo-Saxon law, a man could possess the land he could defend. The same notion might motivate us to defend the ground upon which the Church stands. For at this point, it looks like the new owners are moving in.

      • Rod I’ve been commenting on Catholic websites for approx 2 years and the thread of my comments have been in defense of Apostolic Tradition and serious questioning of what has occurred within Catholicism since this Pontificate. As a priest I do my best not to judge Pope Francis but rather the effects of his policies, which in the main are engendering an Apostasy exactly as you describe. The most vocal, courageous outcry and intelligent responses to date have been from converts like yourself. The simple reason is that they made a serious decision. What is being criticized, placed in disrepute by the Pontiff and other hierarchy, priests, Laity are the very beliefs for which you entered the Church. Now more Catholic priests, some bishops and cardinals are addressing this issue of discontinuity with the faith. You have helped achieve that response. Stand fast in the faith. The essential truths of the faith are permanent, since they reflect the Eternal Law. This I’m convinced is a time of trial for us all. Repudiation of the Deposit of the Faith and emergence of a new paradigm is being done by suggestion, political maneuvering, structural and liturgical change. To date nothing binding. Essential doctrine has not been officially changed. Valor, fearlessness, loyalty to Christ is now the challenge. Our prayers and sacrifice for the many being mislead is our charitable mission.

        • THANK YOU for this most encouraging post.

          “Now more Catholic priests, some bishops and cardinals are addressing this issue of discontinuity with the faith.”

          And we will fight to defend them. I sincerely hope more and more priests test us, give us the advice and guidance we need, and give us opportunities to prove our commitment to the faith. I truly believe that those priests and prelates who seek to live and teach and prophetically announce the faith WILL find MANY Catholics willing to support them. They may have to break with a culture or habits that have formed over the past decades, but when they put the timidity and culture of compromise behind, the joy that will flow will be unstoppable, for the Catholic faith is the ONLY faith that can save this crippled world.

          God bless you Father Morello!

        • And your commentary is nothing less than the most faithful and enlightening catechism. You and a number of other priests who really extend themselves in these venues will have an ample reward.
          You and they are the brace on many nasty days.
          God reward you, Father Morello.

      • RodH nailed it.

        Sometimes I wonder the following:

        Was the goal of V2 conspirators to water down and confuse everything and everyone so that out of mercy everyone would have invincible ignorance about the truth of the one true faith?

        And if you think about it Protestants can’t be held responsible for not joining the RCC at nearly any point after the council. For all intents and purposes it does look in most places to have aposticized as we discussed here so often.

        Their goal seems to be this: hide the truth so that all can be saved by their own good conscience.

    • But Father, when the Pope’s every word is taken as the absolute truth and guideline how can we not rebuke him when he is in error? This is more serious every day when Catholics who should know better spout error and back themselves up by saying they heard it from the Pope.

      • Barbara at this stage I don’t wish to judge him personally. Whatever the state of his conscience is I prefer to leave that judgment to God. I have strongly rejected many of his premises, suggestions, criticisms of Apostolic Tradition. If you read my comments on other Catholic sites you’ll have a better understanding, impression. I’ll add this. Christ said “We may judge a tree by its fruit”. The fruit are rotten.

        • As a priest I respect your decision not to judge Francis personally. But I am laity and I do judge him quite personally. He is a very very fallen priest who promotes heresy and is promoting the acceptance of homosexuality. I am sure you are aware of the many examples of which I speak. He persecutes those who are orthodox. Not a nice man would you say? Unfortunately this lack on the prelates not to judge is very dangerous and negligent

  14. What has Bergoglio been saying for the last two years? Hilary White got it right: “Amoris Laetitia means what I say it means. It means shut up.”

    All further discussion of AL is a crashing bore.

  15. There is one hundred percent no doubt that this guy is destroying tradition and probably dogma. This is what was alluded to in the Third Secret of Fatima. He is creating a new entity where in accordance with Marxist principles all avenues of dichotomy are alleviated through the dialectic. There is no right and wrong. In accordance with the writings of Malachi Martin, he has lost the faith. He has a new one.—-Today’s “LifeSiteNews” has an article from AB Chaput of Philadelphia. His quotations are straight out of the Muller “playbook”. Anyone with any conservative credential is lining up behind Muller and pledging loyalty to the pontiff.

  16. How many German theologians does it take to turn protestant conjecture into Catholic theology?
    When will the theological academy acknowledge that justification by faith is simply a gussied
    up moniker for self-justification – the underpinning of Amoris Laetitia’s 351st footnote?
    Will Cardinal abandon the notion he is the star of the Teutonic theological trapeze team? He need no longer fly through hoops, climb the stratospheric monkey bars of the irrational to make us believe a circle is a square? That a sin is a virtue?
    It won’t work.
    Will he ever submit to his only necessity – present the perennial Magisterium in the clearest and most coherent language available?
    When will the episcopal determine their sole purpose is the shepherding of souls and the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – not the defense of a pontificate gone rogue from connivance to inception?
    Let the defenders of the Bergoglian agenda exhaust their breath with their mendacity.
    Cardinal Mueller, cease traversing the razor’s edge of allegiance to absurdity. You serve yourself and the faithful poorly indeed.

  17. What would be truly pastoral of Francis, if there is sincerely no change, would be to assist the poor confused priests, bishops and laity by contacting immediately ( the same way he contacted Cardinal Sarah ) those bishops of dioceses that proclaim a new way of walking with the adulterous and allowing them to follow their consciences and if they consider themselves at peace…then by all means ..come forward and receive the Body and Blood of Christ. One cannot be blamed for having doubts when the silence has been deafening to those who respectfully ask for clarification while those who promote the blessing of homosexual unions, cohabitation, climate change, population control are tucked under his wing.

    • p.s. And I might add…after Francis has contacted his bishops who see things differently by mail , order them to send out a letter ( as he did to Cardinal Sarah )to all of the parishes in their dioceses to clear up the confusion. See how easy it could be? It does speak volumes does it not?

  18. Archbishop Forte stated that the Pope told him: “If we speak explicitly about communion for the divorced and remarried, you do not know what a terrible mess we will make. So we won’t speak plainly, do it in a way that the premises are there, then I will draw out the conclusions.”

    Thus the Pope pointing to Cardinal Schönborn as the official interpreter, the Pope’s letter in response to “Basic criteria for the application of chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia” to the Bishops of Argentina, and the Pope’s letter to the Bishops of Malta are his active actions to draw out his – obvious-to-all but the willingly blind – conclusions. The Pope’s omission of correction to the German episcopate is simply another of the Pope’s decisions to draw out of the premises of AL its heretical conclusion by silence.

  19. I find myself asking why we are still talking about this, then I realize there are those who still drink the kool-aid. In that case, it is necessary.
    It seems as if their goal is to discredit the entire Magisterium by peddling inane, hollow, PC platitudes so that only the shell of the Church remains which can then be filled with humanist drivel.

  20. Are you sure that’s translated correctly? “insistently denies … ” and “highly authoritative …”? That would give a bishop, of Rome or anywhere else, a get out clause to deny dogma, as insistently and persistently as he liked, orally or, perhaps, in a document that didn’t quite reach the heights of authority – an apostolic exhortation, for example. Surely Cardinal Mueller didn’t mean that?

    • Dear Mr. Platt, please see here the German: “Von Haeresie kann nur die Rede sein, wenn ein Katholik hartnaeckig eine geoffenbarte und von der Kirche verbindlich vorgetragene Glaubenswahrheit leugnet. Paepste und Bischoefe waeren dann haeretisch, wenn sie den ihnen anvertrauten Glaeubigen eine Lehre mit hoechstverbindlicher Autoritaet zu glauben vorlegen, die dem Wort Gottes in der Heiligen Schrift, der Apostolischen Tradition und den bisherigen dogmatischen Entscheidungen der oekumenischen Konzilien oder der Paepste als der hoechsten Lehrer der Christenheit direkt und offensichtlich widersprechen. Das ist ohne Zweifel in den wenigen kontrovers ausgelegten Passagen des Nachsynodalen Schreibens “Amoris Laetitia” nicht der Fall.”
      I hope this helps!

  21. I think maybe some seeming ambiguities come through different translations. That is why it should only be read in the Latin’ which is a much more precise language.

    • Bishops (and by extension Cardinals) when speaking to the laity are to speak clearly. It’s too easy when speaking about issues that impact the souls of everyday Catholics to speak in a way that obscures the plain meaning. The Pope has been quoted by Bishop Forte to say he will not speak clearly because he knows that he will be stopped from what he wants ultimately to do.

      You are correct in that official Vatican documents should be written FIRST in Latin for precision, then carefully, and prayerfully translated into each language. This is done no longer and we see the result.

    • Unfortunately, another lacuna in Jorge Bergoglio’s education is Latin, a language in which he does not write for an obvious reason, to wit, he cannot.

  22. What was it Cromwell said to Parliament? Something like “You’ve sat here long enough to do any good you were going to do, so be gone! In the name of God, go!”

    We need some sort of a Catholic Cromwell. (Preferably one without all the slaughter, but still, someone to “clean house”.)


    • Cromwell had a deep and abiding loathing for Catholicism, and in particular, for the Irish. Cromwell was an English military leader bearing the title “Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland.” During his military campaign in Ireland, he sought to rid the country of Catholics and sent the following report back to his superiors in England:

      “All is not well with Ireland yet. You gave us the money, you gave us the guns. But let me tell you that every house in Ireland is a house of prayer, and when I bring these fanatical Irish before the muzzles of my guns, they hold up in their hands a string of BEADS, and they never surrender.”

      Being an Irishman I have a particular “distaste” for this English historical “hero”. I am aware of what your post MEANT but
      could not resist a little additional information.

      Inspiration for present times perhaps, though the violence is more of an intellectual nature. FOR NOW.

      • An Gael thú, a Bháarí, an ea? Mise, freisin. Fíor Gael na bhfíorGhael. Sin mise, agus rugadh agus tugadh i gCorca Dhorcha. Scéal cheana mar Mileas na gCoplaín, sin í an fhirinne.

        Agus tá a fhios agam – ‘s eolas chomh maith – faoi Oilibhear Cromwell, an diabhal. Ar léigh tú riomh an úrscéal “Seek the Fair Land” le Walter Macken? Ar fheabhas an scéal sin.

        Mar sin, tá eolas agam ar O. Cromwell, a.k.a “Willilams”. An fear ab cosúil le Muhammad riomh rugadh i measc na Críostaí.

        Raghnall Mac Conhrú

        • Dia duit Raghnall.
          I read something of Mackens’ many year’s ago about the “tan war”
          can’t remember the title. Tá brón orm nach bhfuil mo Ghaeilge maith go leor le scríobh.
          Buíochas a ghabháil leat agus dia duit!

          • Á, tá brón an dhomhain orm nach bhfuil do chuid Gaedhilge ab fhéidir níos maith a úsáid, ach tá cuid Gaeilge agat ar aon nós, buíochas le Dia. Is ea, there were three Macken novels, the first was Seek the Fair Land, the second the one about An t-Ocras Mór, agus an tríú an cheann scríobh tú faoi anseo. I’d have to look up their titles meself…the first was best, though. A grand thing altogether, and tá ceann faoi liomsa anois féin. And it told Drogheda’s story. (Which revisionists now deny.)

            Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam, goes the doggerel but an-fhirinne ‘seanfhocal’ nua. That’s a large problem with the Church herself, as well. Gan teanga féin, without her own language, the Latin, whither then the Latin Church? Wither, indeed.

            Me mother taught me to pray as Gaedhilge as a child (somehow we kept that 3-syllable version the inner ‘dh’ represents, and it is still easier and more natural for me to say). I think it helped, and a strong help, in me keeping the Faith.

            Little things.

            Beannachtaí go leor ortsa agus do chuid, a chara.


  23. I love Cardinal Mueller but he is really threading a needle here with the “pastoral” explanation of AL. I understand his wanting to give the benefit of the doubt to Pope Francis but the fact is that confusion abounds due to AL. And, realistically speaking, being “pastoral” is code for not admonishing sinners. Admonishing sinners is one of the spiritual works of mercy. And it has all but disappeared. It is not done from the pulpits or the bully pulpits. This pastoral approach merely aids the faithful in feeling comfortable in sin.

  24. Worse than heretical: Utterly ambiguous.
    When a local bishops conference asks the Pope if they are OK in allowing the communion to the divorced/remarried people, the Pope says they are.
    Cardinal Muller, who is heretic? A.L. or Pope Francis?
    Wasn’t this ambiguity purposely sown by the Pope to enable the bishops spreading the heresy ?
    Your stance intended to shield the Pope from the critics is unsustainable.

  25. Matthew 19:8
    Why then,” they asked, “did Moses order a man to give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus answered, “It was because your hearts had been hardened that Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but it was not this way from the beginning. Now I tell you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman, commits adultery.”…
    So, Francis in his pride deems to be a new Moses and he reverses the precept Jésus enforced on the believers of the New Covenant.
    At least we know which is probably his number one reason: Because “the hearts of the catholics have been hardened”. So true…

  26. Absolute twaddle. What’s all the fuss about then, if Pope Francis wants the interpretation that we have always had to stand? Why doesn’t HE come out, like this poor Cardinal does, and SAY that he wants all sinners to repent, go to Confession, amend their lives, then go to Holy Communion?

    Why the hell is it so difficult to say flat out? Muller is a dupe. He looks like a fool when he twists himself into a pretzel like this. Wake up Cardinal!! It is not rocket science no matter how much theological fluff you try to toss into the air. It is soooooo simple! Repent. Stop sinning. Go to Confession. That’s what has always been taught, what is taught now, and will always be taught by The Holy Catholic Church. Anything else is evil obfuscation.

    • It would be good if he did that. But it would change nothing with regard to the Bishops and their local influence over what a person thinks is sin and what he thinks he needs to confess and repent of.

  27. “until we initiate an open and frank discussion on the ambiguous parts of the pastoral Vatican II, nothing is going to change.”


    One day animist
    The next day Latin
    One day Renew
    Some use a paten.

    Some let ministers
    Hand out Our Lord
    So you can have your pick.

    Sometimes bongos
    Assembly on their feet
    Holding hands in the air
    Kneelers obsolete.

    One Holy Catholic
    Apostolic Church?
    Good for some let others run
    In circles as they search.

    For we ourselves have ours
    Don’t ever rock the boat —
    Like those who open schools and classes
    Teaching souls to float.

    Saintly Thomas More
    Could’ve had it all
    Private Latin Masses
    Behind a purpled wall.

    But, no, he chose the scaffold
    Where truth and lie collide

    Heads were cut —

    Entrails gut –

    Ambiguity couldn’t hide!

    • Yes, the immortal “Yes, Minister”. Absolutely spot-on, whether it was sending up useless politicians or infidel clergymen. This riotously funny episode is seriously dated as the civil servant does not include the options of a female or sodomite bishop.

  28. Poor Cardinal Muller. He tries so hard to put a square peg in a round hole. He’s too traditional, too Catholic in the sense he believes it’s impossible for a 21st Century pope to fall into heresy, so he tries to make Pope Bergoglio fit his beliefs. He runs on parallel tracks; one is doctrine, on which he is fairly sound. The other is the Pope and AL. When the two get switched to the same track he becomes terribly confused. Pray for him.

  29. Accompaniment.

    Norfolk: ““Oh confound all this. I’m not a scholar, I don’t know whether the marriage was lawful or not but – dammit, Thomas, look at these names! Why can’t you do as I did and come with us…for fellowship!”

    More: “And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me… for fellowship?”

    In a footnote to his translation of the “Divine Comedy,” John Ciardi points out that, early on in his descent, Dante is “most susceptible to the grief about him. As he descends pity leaves him and he even goes so far as to add to the torments of one sinner. The allegory is clear: we must harden ourselves against every sympathy for sin.”

      • Implicit in De Matteo statement is that Jesus Christ is inextricably united to His Church. They cannot be separated from each other. It is simply impossible.
        Although, having written that, realize that that very mystery is ultimately what Amoris Laetitia undermines.
        This is the depth of corruption of the Bergoglian enterprise. The evisceration of doctrine from within.
        De Matteo is supremely rich. I wish I had come to know his work years ago. He is well worth following. You’ll like him.

  30. “For Cardinal Müller, the current debate is about ‘contradictory interpretations of the same magisterial document [AL].'” – No, it is not. The debate is about the CIRCUMNSTANCES around the ambiguity. The debate is about WHAT THE POPE DOES about this ambiguity and why his DEEDS and OMISSIONS help spread heresy in the Church. It’s NOT about an interpretation of AL.

  31. At Confession today, a man I barely know who is beside me while we were waiting our turn. He sees a photo of Pope Francis on the opposite wall and whispers to me: “This pope is doing things that I REALLY don’t like. Something’s wrong. Been reading about it in the National Catholic Register….” Word is getting down to the pfcs and corporals that, despite what initial scuttlebutt proclaimed, our general is no George Patton.

  32. Francis stirs the already well-muddied moral waters by answering a question that no one was asking, viz. What is the role of an individual’s conscience in making decisions? (See: Catholics have always known that an informed and well-formed conscience is imperative. What the pope seems to be up to here is an attempt to oppose illegitimately a penitent’s conscience to the truth as taught for 2000+ years. According to him, if the penitent’s conscience says “yes” then the penitent’s confessor must also say “yes”! Five seconds of analysis will show this is nothing more than a thinly disguised version of what Protestant heretics have asserted now for five centuries. Even then, he seems to go the heretics one better by substituting conscientia sola for scriptura sola.

  33. The controversy about the ambiguous parts of Amoris Laetitia is not about what Pope Francis intended to do; it is about the exact, objective meaning of what he has written in those ambiguous parts.

    And that in a nutshell nails it.

    This is the problem. This is why those who insist that AL can be interpreted in line with the Magisterium is in fact really not following AL but simply following the teaching of the Church.

  34. In other words, we must accept the judaizing influence of these modern day pharisees. Moses said we could have another wife….yada, yada, yada. Same old heresy. The Hussites, Luther, Calvin, Pope Francis. It’s all judaizing and real Catholics should never put this heretical yoke on their necks.

  35. Beware of the leaven of the pharisees, brothers and sisters, as Our Blessed Lord said. It has worked its way throughout Western civilization and now inside the See of Peter.

  36. David Frye was an impersonator of Richard Nixon back in the 60s. He was brilliant. In one sketch he has Nixon being asked in a press conference, “Sir, what do you think about integration?” To which the legendary “Tricky Dick” (David Frye) responded: “Well, let me say this about that. It seems to me there are two extremes on this issue. Some people want instant integration; other people want segregation forever. I’m for compromise. I want INSTANT FOREVER!”

    Good Lord, that’s Cardinal Mueller to a tee.

  37. The following scripture came to mind in regards to Cardinal Muller’s comment on what some Bishops may “do,” to the Unity of Holy Mother Church in faith, profession, and prayer. Why would a Bishop – why would Judas be permitted to “do,” what he was about to do? Scripture recorded; No one at the table knew why Jesus said this. Jesus had to be lifted up – we know that now. Perhaps the Church – the believers – must be lifted up now. Read Catechism 675-677. I think it is notable that Judas had the – money – box. Just can’t serve both God and mammon.

    John 13: 27 Then after the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29* Some thought that, because Judas had the money box, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast”; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30* So, after receiving the morsel, he immediately went out; and it was night. 31* When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of man glorified, and in him God is glorified; 32 if God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. 33* Little children, yet a little while I am with you.

  38. He later adds that “the unity of the Church will not be obtained by {Catholic church} eliminating the {Protestant church}, but, rather, by dissolving those {churches} and parties altogether.”

  39. I would have thought the Pope is of an age where he HAD to study Latin. He may not write easily in it, but has plenty of people who can help in this. I do not know what language AMORIS LAETITIA was originally written in, but as a former scrittore (translator) in the Vatican I do know that all sorts of subtle changes can occur in translations.

    • It was released in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, that is to say in just about every European language BUT Latin. To know if its author knew sufficient Latin to redact it in that language, one would have to study the academic history of Bishop “Tucho” Fernández, reportedly the ghost writer for much of Amoris laetitia.

  40. Cardinal Müller is trying theological funambulism.

    I’m sorry because it seemed he was going to face the present unserious Church.


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