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Getting Perspective: There’s Nothing New in the Five Questions Story

Image: Yet another downward spiral at the Vatican.

Yesterday, when we hit publish on the story about five alleged questions the pope asked Cardinal Müller before informing him his mandate as prefect of the CDF would not be renewed, I knew we were opening the door to backlash, outrage, and accusations. This is only the second time (that I can recall) that we’ve published an original story in which we’ve not been able to get direct corroboration from a first-hand source. (This was the first time.) Both times we have done so, I’ve calculated the risk that we could be wrong against the probability that we would be right. Both times, the stories were credible because of our sources and what we already knew about the topic at hand.

We’ve now received multiple points of denial on our story. Greg Burke, Director of the Vatican Press Office, was so urgent in his insistence that the “reconstruction is totally false” (interestingly, this is the first time he’s ever responded to my requests for a statement) that he sent an insistent followup less than six hours after the first, which hit my inbox at 2:33AM my time while I was asleep. (Evidently, story corrections are supposed to transpire far faster than dubia answers…) The personal secretary of Cardinal Müller has denied that these questions were put to Müller and said that our report was “doing damage” to the cardinal, though he did not explain how Müller being depicted as an orthodox prefect willing to stand his ground for the faith in a job he was already unceremoniously dismissed from would harm him. We’ve even heard through the journalistic grapevine that Cardinal Müller himself has seen the article, and was “shocked” by it.

Nevertheless, our sources — including the one who spoke to the eyewitness directly — continue to stand their ground, and I think it’s worth investigating the claims made in the report on their merits. We’ll set aside for the moment the different standards for journalism between the US and Europe in general, and more particularly, Italy and the Vatican, where the truth appears to be a far more malleable thing. And for the sake of argument, let’s also set aside the veracity of the report itself. What if the entire thing was, for reasons I honestly can’t puzzle out, a fabrication?

Why is the story shocking or outrageous? Is it because it tells us something we don’t already know? Hardly. With the exception of the insinuation-laden question to a cardinal prefect of the CDF about his position on women’s ordination (an already settled matter), every single piece of the puzzle we presented is a known quantity to our readers. Let’s look closer:

The overarching theme in the story is that the pope met with Müller in a very cold and curt way, and asked him a series of questions that either formed the basis of or affirmed his decision not to renew the cardinal’s mandate as prefect.

But we already know that the pope was brusque in his treatment of Müller. Müller himself said so:

Pope Francis, Cardinal Müller said, “communicated his decision” not to renew his term “within one minute” on the last work day of his five-year-term, and did not give any reasons for it.

“This style [sic] I cannot accept,” said Müller. In dealing with employees, “the Church’s social teaching should be applied,” he added.

We also know that in the past sixty years, no cardinal prefect of the CDF has been let go before retirement age, and that Francis’ decision to let Müller know at the last possible moment and with no rationale given was entirely out of the ordinary and would be construed by any reasonable person as rude.

So what of the questions that Francis is alleged to have asked? His own dubia, as it were? The simple asking of these questions does not in any way signal his personal interpretation of them or the answers he would give. Of course, the implication of getting answers in the negative to all of them as a basis to refuse renewal of Müller’s mandate would seem to indicate that the pope favors the positive answer in each case. But let’s take them one at a time and see what we know about the papal position on each:

1. ) “Are you in favor of, or against, a female diaconate?”

Hardly a groundbreaking question from a man who formed a commission that is studying this very issue, and who has now replaced the cardinal prefect with the man he personally chose to head up that commission. It is not at all unreasonable to think that the pope considers this issue favorably.

(Müller’s answer, “I am against it,” speaks favorably of his orthodoxy in this regard.)

2.) “Are you in favor of, or against, the repeal of celibacy?”

The question of revisiting the discipline on clerical celibacy has come up not infrequently during this pontificate. As we reported last year, “Bishop Erwin Kräutler of Brazil declared, after his private audience with Pope Francis in 2014, that the pope had encouraged him to further explore this matter and to be “courageous” in doing so.” Leonardo Boff, a Brazilian liberation theologian and consultant to Pope Francis, said last December that he believed the pope wants to perform a trial experiment on relaxing the discipline in his home country of Brazil after receiving a request from his friend Cardinal Claudio Hummes. Vatican experts Marco Tosatti and Sandro Magister have both indicated they see movement in this direction. The issue is being pushed by the largest lay Catholic organization in Germany at a time when Germany is facing a massive vocation crisis and the German bishops enjoy unprecedented influence in Rome. Francis himself has expressed in public statements an openness toward initiatives that move in this direction.

(Müller’s answer, “Of course I am against it,” speaks favorably of his orthodoxy in this regard.)

3.) “Are you in favor of, or against, female priests?”

This is the sole standout question, the one point of discussion that has ruffled the most feathers. And this is understandable, because the pope has made clear — that is to say, as clear as he ever makes things — that he believes the door to this question was closed by John Paul II. I suspect that this is an issue he will not try to push, despite his close adviser Cardinal Reinhard Marx indicating that Francis had praised the work of Bishop Fritz Lobinger, who has written in favor of ordaining women. But if a female diaconate is something Francis truly wants, is it really too much to believe that a Hegelian dialectic — a method he historically favors — could be an important part of the rhetorical advance?

(Müller’s answer, “I am very decisively against it,” speaks favorably of his orthodoxy in this regard.)

4.) “Are you willing to defend Amoris Laetitia?”

There is clearly nothing controversial about this question. Amoris Laetitia is the pope’s Magnum Opus and the single most divisive issue in the Church today. It is widely believed that Müller was initially favorable toward the dubia but opposed making the questions public — an opposition he has attested to in public commentary that very much undermined the force of the dubia cardinals’ work. Müller has always taken the approach of attempting to interpret AL as changing nothing when it comes to sacramental discipline — an untenable claim, but one that he clearly believes allows him to support the exhortation without compromising his moral position on communion for the “remarried”. Nevertheless, he has claimed that “Amoris Laetitia is very clear in its doctrine and [in it] we can interpret the whole doctrine of Jesus concerning marriage, the whole doctrine of the Church of 2000 years history,” and further, that in it “there is not any danger to the Faith”. It is thus reasonable to see why the pope might ask if Müller is willing to defend it, since the pope’s own affirmation of the Argentinian bishops approach, which allows communion for the remarried, is the one about which Francis says there can be “no other interpretation.”

(Cardinal Müller’s alleged answer, “As far as it is possible for me,” the Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith replied: “there still exist ambiguities”, makes perfect sense in light of the above.)

5.) “Are you willing to retract your complaint concerning the dismissal of three of your own employees?”

We covered the astonishing story of the unilateral and unexplained dismissal of three priests from the CDF whom Müller himself considered among his best employees and did not want to see go. From our excerpt of Marco Tosatti’s description of the events:

The head of a dicastery has received the order to remove three of his employees (all of whom have worked there for a long time), and it was without any explanation. He [the Prefect] received these official letters: “….I request that you please dismiss ….” The order was: send him [each of them] back into his diocese of origin or to the Religious Family to which he belongs. He [the Prefect of the Congregation] was very perplexed because it was about three excellent priests who are among the most capable professionally. He first avoided obeying and several times asked for an audience with the pope. He had to wait because that meeting was postponed several times. Finally, he was received in an audience. And he said: “Your Holiness, I have received these letters, but I did not do anything because these persons are among the best of my dicastery… what did they do?” The answer was, as follows: “And I am the pope, I do not need to give reasons for any of my decisions. I have decided that they have to leave and they have to leave.” He got up and stretched out his hand in order to indicate that the audience was at an end. On 31 December, two of the three [men] will leave the dicastery in which they have worked for years, and without knowing the why. For the third, there seems to be a certain delay. But then, there is another implication which, if true, would be even more unpleasant. One of the two had freely spoken about certain decisions of the pope – perhaps a little bit too much. A certain person – a friend of a close collaborator of the pope – heard this disclosure and passed it on. The victim received then a very harsh telephone call from Number One [i.e., the pope]. And then soon came the dismissal.” [emphasis added]

It was clear from this initial report that Müller did not believe this decision was just, and the fact that his opinion on the matter was widely reported in the media would certainly give a basis to the pope to request that he retract such complaints if he felt they indicated insubordination. Müller later confirmed the story directly — and his opposition to the way the pope handled it — in his interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo. There is absolutely nothing far-fetched here.

(Cardinal Müller’s alleged response: “Holy Father, these were good, unblemished men whom I now lack, and it was not correct to dismiss them over my head, shortly before Christmas, so that they had to clear their offices by 28 December. I am missing them now,” is totally in character with his initial objections, and shows that on this issue at least, he is willing to stand his ground for the sake of justice.)

So that dispenses with the five questions. Nothing outlandish, nothing unexpected, no ground that has not already been tread. The fact that the pope is willing to arbitrarily and capriciously dispense with members of the CDF also segues nicely to him being willing to arbitrarily and capriciously dispense with the CDF prefect. There is no incongruity.

And if we’re being perfectly candid, the image of poor Cardinal Müller not realizing that the pope just dropped the microphone and walked out — and sitting there patiently waiting for a token of gratitude for his service until the papal prefect had to gently tell him it was time to go — is so characteristically Müller, that it frankly sells the entire story. Müller is known to have great esteem for the office of CDF prefect, and believes that he has unique gifts to offer the Church — contributions he takes very seriously and hopes to have recognized. He appears to have been characterstically unable to see that he has been treated with contempt from the very beginning of this papacy. If this portion of the report is a fabrication, it is an excellent one. It’s not a detail I could see someone thinking to add unless they knew the cardinal very, very well. This particular pattern of behavior in the cardinal is subtle, and really only emerges when one pays close attention to his mode of operation over time.

When I made the decision to run this story, I did it on the basis of trust and credibility. Trust for Dr. Hickson and her sources, and credibility of themes we’ve seen play out over and over and over again.

There was nothing new in our report. There was only the possibility of a more concrete affirmation of what we already know. And because of this, despite the denials — we’ve faced those before — we will continue to give our sources, who stand by their story, the benefit of the doubt unless new evidence emerges to the contrary.

This post has been updated.

350 thoughts on “Getting Perspective: There’s Nothing New in the Five Questions Story”

  1. 1P5 could be damaging Cardinal Mueller with this story because it suggests that His Eminence did relay the contents of this conversation to an indiscrete lunch companion, and even in this post it goes unquestioned that Cardinal Mueller is a man who would do that. If he did not do this, and especially if he would not do this, then 1P5 is doing him a great disservice, albeit unintentionally.

    • I can see that. Modifies my statement below. Now I wonder if the publishing of it is prudent, too. Not sure.

      We live in troubled times, for sure, when mere human trust is a thing not easily granted to Catholic prelates. I wonder if Cardinal Mueller understands just how low things have sunk?

      • I think any time we decide to censure ourselves our cause is lost.

        To answer your question, it appears he doesn’t.

    • Whether true or not it opens Muller to scorn and retribution. Some may believe he just made it up to damage Francis. Others may think he’s betrayed a confidence. If it’s false, but Team Francis thinks Muller was trying to embarrass the pope, or, if it’s true, and team Francis is pissed at being outed — in either scenario — I’m certain there are a lot of ways, above and beyond the position he’s already lost, that they can make Muller’s life absolutely miserable.

    • Sources told America that the Vatican was scheduled to announce the change at the head of the C.D.F. on Monday, July 3, but after the audience with the pope, Cardinal Müller returned to the C.D.F. and informed his colleagues that he was no longer head of the congregation. That news was quickly passed to media close to the cardinal and became public some hours later. For this reason, the Vatican decided to make the announcement at noon today.

      • Steve, it’s a rather different thing for Cardinal Mueller to tell his coworkers at the CDF that he’s done as Prefect than for him to allegedly give the entire conversation in detail to a lunch companion, especially when it paints the pope in such a negative light.

          • And he certainly does seem to think he has a career to salvage:

            “When asked if he thought Pope Francis should discuss the dubia with the remaining three cardinals who signed the letter, he said: ‘I would suggest that the pope entrust me with the dialogue as I have the competence and the necessary sense of responsibility required. I could moderate the discussion between the pope and the cardinals.'”


          • And, besides that, has it struck you that you have been arguing that the objective truth or falsity of a significant story doesn’t matter? You are a Catholic. So am I. When we start thinking that the truth doesn’t really matter so much, have we not just adopted one of the mindsets that at any other moment we would be striving to destroy?

          • I’m actually not arguing that. It does matter. My point here is to say that setting aside truth or falsehood, the story isn’t anything revealing, shocking, or new. This is all stuff we already know, which is why the report is credible in the first place.

            Our sources stand firm that this is true. As I said in the piece above, if evidence emerges to the contrary, that changes things. Sadly, denials don’t mean much when men have no honor and have no problem lying or obscuring the truth.

            If this story is demonstrably false, I want to know, and I want to make that unequivocally clear. But I don’t believe it’s false, and I do believe it’s credible. Make sense?

          • It makes sense. I stand by what i wrote about your post potwntially damaging Cardinal Mueller, however. I also want to ask what denial you would accept? Cardinal Mueller? Archbishop Gaenswein?

          • Well, Cardinal Mueller contradicts himself and reality on the regular. Ganswein seems to think the papacy has bifurcated into a dual role.

            If I were to accept a denial, I think it would be a retraction from the person who shared the content of the lunch conversation.

          • Hopefully, you know who it was who actually had the conversation in question with Cardinal Mueller.

          • Hmm, I wonder why that would be…? Can’t seem to put my finger on it, but it will eventually come to me…

          • ” Ganswein seems to think the papacy has bifurcated into a dual role.”

            People who think they are smart enough, powerful enough and entitled enough to make up reality out of their brains are not trustworthy sources, no matter how famous or how “high-ranking” they are.

          • You would do that because don’t have a “Stocholm syndrome”. Cardinal Müller does have it and that is why he “contradicts himself and reality”.

          • Yes, what is stopping the good Cardinal from issuing a denial of this story? Absolutely nothing. He now is sort of a free agent. Apart from having a minion clean out his former desk, and take home the plant in the window, Mueller is free. If he will not correct this story, or deny it – it stands. Silence is consent (pace St. Thomas More).

          • Denials mean exactly the opposite, in fact. This has been going on for some time, even before the last Conclave. Something would happen and the Rome journalists would wait for Fr. Lombardi’s Official Denial (TM) – which was always a jesuitical bit of sleight of tongue, btw – to have a signal that there was something worth digging into. Let me be clear on that: it was not usually considered newsworthy, or worth your time to investigate, until Fr. Lombardi denied it.

            There is an aspect of this that is cultural; in Italy a denial from an official is normally taken as nothing more than a move in the chess game. And this is across the board with anything official. If you go to fill out a form for something, say to sign up for the national health system, the first thing you will always hear from the lady you talk to in the office is “It’s not possible.” As an Anglo you have to learn that this does not mean it’s not possible. It means, “Come back in a few days or call me on my personal cell phone, and we’ll see what we can work out.” The next time you go, you have filled out the forms (that took a week to get hold of) and you have brought along your friend friend from the Carabinieri. He’s in his civvies and on his day off, so everyone knows it’s nothing official. Then he sweet talks the lady for 20 minutes or so, and plays up what a nice person you are and how much you love Italy and don’t want to go back to Ingleterra for treatment… and 15 minutes after that you have your card all signed and your receipt. And the next time you come, you’re “that nice English lady with the nice Carabinieri friend” and they do anything for you…

            I find there are a lot of problems that Catholics have interpreting what’s going on in the Vatican because they are Anglo-saxons (which is really, honestly what the Italians call us – not always nicely) and they don’t understand how things are here. They expect the rules to be followed, for people to say up front and immediately what they mean. And that is just not how things are here.

            Now, we know Greg Burke is an Anglo, of course, but he’s also a man under Italians, and the people he works with absolutely and for sure know how to manipulate what they regard as his naive credulousness. (Of course, we call it “honesty and forthrightness” but… tomato-tomahto.)

          • Thank you and Steve for the explanation.

            If I understand Steve correctly from his comment in the previous post, these are the choices when it comes to news about the Vatican: no news, official news or news from secret sources that Steve trusts but cannot reveal. Is this an accurate assessment?

            This will be useful information for deciding which posts to read or skip. Again, thank you.

          • Steve, do not apologize for last two articles. They serve for completely other purpose than what people think. Both articles are great help when observed together from the point of reaction of the people, including yours and Cardinal Müllers. Here you can learn what kind of negative effects such peronist abuse can have on others and why Cardinal Müller behaves like he does.

    • The lunch companion may not have been indiscreet. He/she may have made a carefully-weighed choice to disclose information in good conscience. We are in a war for the soul of the Church, each according to his station in life.

    • Just a theory. Maybe they are denying this article because it could lead to dissension with the Cardinals. It has become obvious the vast majority of Cardinals don’t care about Francis’ assault on doctrine and the harm his modernist agenda will cause but they certainly care about their own egos.

      • We can say the same about most of the Catholic hierarchy. The only exception I can think of at the moment is Bishop Schneider. My bishop, the non-functioning Archbishop of Boston, (just call me Sean), is one of Bergoglio’s lapdogs who wouldn’t criticize him if his life depended on it.

        • Bishop Schneider’s interviews are of great value for he always gives much needed clarifications and directions to the faithful.

          • Is your question ‘why hasn’t Bergoglio made Bishop Schneider a Cardinal? I think you know the answer to that one.

          • I was just guessing ????

            Otherwise, your Bishop Sean O’Malley is quite attached to the Neocatechumenal Way. How do you deal with this phenomenon?

          • I don’t since I know nothing about it. I will say it’s not unusual for a fake bishop to attach to a legitimate organization to buff up his image.

    • And what does the “structual abuse”, “policy of silence” and Cardinal Müller’s “Stockholm syndrome” do to the rest of the Catholic Church? We will all end up as psychiatric cases unless someone doesn’t finally open his mouth and says the whole truth about this huge deception called “Pope Francis”.

      • “We will all end up as psychiatric cases unless someone doesn’t finally open his mouth and says the whole truth about this huge deception called “Pope Francis”.”

        Battle fatigue will occur as well, and that’s when Satan swoops in, for the final kill of the soul.
        THIS is what our bishops and cardinals are risking every day with their closed lips, perhaps too many of these lips are crooked at that.
        And they have no right to put the souls in such jeopardy. No right at all.

        Out of charity to them, I shall shut my mouth right now and be silent.

        • Our Lord never called us speaking out without fear, for He is with us.

          That is why I believe that there is a hidden reason behind the silence of the authentic Catholic Cardinals and Bishops, and that it is somehow connected with the safety of the Holy Father – Pope Benedict XVI. It seems to me that they do it out of respect for him, not Bergoglio.

          • I don’t know. All these theories and rationales for their silence are just that, endless numerous theories. Pope Benedict is gone, He left us. He is no longer pope.
            I do not understand why this is not accepted at face value?

            Quite honestly, all these theories have lost an audience with me.

          • Than to say that the Pope Benedict XVI “is gone”, “has left us” and “is no longer pope” are also nothing but endless numerous theories. I guess the chances are 50:50.

          • Even, if any of theories have some merit; as Catholics, we must never manipulate the Truth. We speak the Truth in and out of season, as I recall that Bible verse somewhere.

          • That is exactly what I am talking about: how can you be sure that “most clergy are too cowardly to denounce hresies”?

            If we are not talking about the modernists, but our authentic Catholic priests we should have two things in our mind: 1) the good shepherds lay down their life for the sheep (John 10:11) and 2) they should keep on speaking without fear (Acts 18:9-10).

            Observed from that viewpoint, nothing makes me think that behind their silence stands the cowardice for it is not what makes a good shepherd. According to the Bible, there must be another reason to commonly behave like this. A huge one! For example something like if you speak out, it’s not about your life being in danger (for the good shepherd would sacrifice himself for the flock, right?), but someone’s elses life. In that case, you are bound to protect that life by beeing silent.

          • Hi Kora, firstly there is one good shepherd and that is Christ Himself. Jesus teaches that God alone is good. God alone is the wellspring of all holiness. Those entrusted with the care of souls merely participate in his goodness and cannot do so if they remain silent in the face of error.

            Your quotation from Acts is very apt here. The clergy most peach boldly against deceit and falsehood which fractures the mystical body of Christ. But do they? Our Pontiff cannot respond clearly to the dubia raised so something is badly wrong. Either because he holds heretical beliefs or he is too arrogant and haughty to respond to his cardinals.

            Regarding Amoris Laetitia and specifically the reception of Holy Communion by those who choose to continue having sexual relations outside marriage. Either extra-marital sexual relations do not constitute mortal sin or the Eucharist is not the body and blood of our Lord Jesus. A faithful Catholic can accept neither position.

            Pope Francis urges us to make a mess. Now it’s time for the clergy to help him clean up some of his messes.

          • My personal opinion is that our shephards are not silent in the face of error, but for higher reason concening the security of the Holy Father. But of course, I may have it wrong.

          • If there are any faithful Catholic bishops in the world they should draft a general statement telling the world that Pope Bergoglio is a manifest heretic and they will no longer follow him or accept any instruction from him and would not recognize any attempts by him to discipline them. They should them invite all faithful Catholics to join them, put the document on the internet and invite cyber signatures. That will create a schism, but we already have one so it makes no difference. Let’s just blow the whole thing up and start over. Our Lord will help us.

  2. For me the question is: Is the specific story true? I’d like to know.

    That I have no confidence in the word of the spokesman for a Pope in all seriousness indicates to me that I may have a spiritual problem. Or that he does. Or that the Pope does.

    I guess I need some counsel as to which is most likely.

  3. Interesting that Burke only claimed the “reconstruction” was completely false; not that there wasn’t a conversation or even questions posed by Francis.

    In any event, what’s new and shocking in this is not so much the lady priest thing. Even that has been rumored. What’s arresting is the image of Francis, who usually works circumspectly and with layers of plausible deniability, taking direct and deliberate action to clear away any opposition. It also takes these matters out of the realm of rumors, committees, and slippery surrogates, and makes it clear, that if true, these initiatives are coming straight from the top. Certainly, that has been suspected as well, but seeing the pope’s bullying hand at work is still an unpleasant sight to behold.

        • Yes, a determination I made about ten minutes after his fraudulent election. It is not possible for any negative, heretic and/or anti-Catholic implication made about Bergoglio that doesn’t have instant credibility with me. He is Satan incarnate. Period!

          • Really? I’m pretty sure Satan can not become incarnate, certainly in the way the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became incarnate in Jesus Christ.

          • Very modernist with the miracles and Resurrection of Christ being allegories and metaphors

          • Do you mean during his appearance on the balcony? Seeing him there filled me with absolute dread that the Church was not safe in his heads – I knew nothing about him.

          • Yes, Jules, that’s what I meant. That was the reaction of many Catholics. None of knew anything about him, but he revealed himself at our first glance at him. He is a walking, talking atrocity

      • I reserve judgment on all such stories, but the simple fact that it does not at all seem out of charcter is a deep heartbreak.

        • Francis and his agenda are a long way outside the Catholic Church…..

          “Behold ye among the nations, and see: wonder, and be astonished: for a work is done in your days, which no man will believe when it shall be told.

          6For behold, I will raise up the Chaldeans, a bitter and swift nation, marching upon the breadth of the earth, to possess the dwelling places that are not their own.

          7They are dreadful, and terrible: from themselves shall their judgment, and their burden proceed.

          8Their horses are lighter than leopards, and swifter than evening wolves; and their horsemen shall be spread abroad: for their horsemen shall come from afar, they shall fly as an eagle that maketh haste to eat.

          9They shall all come to the prey, their face is like a burning wind: and they shall gather together captives as the sand.

          10And their prince shall triumph over kings, and princes shall be his laughingstock: and he shall laugh at every strong hold, and shall cast up a mount, and shall take it.

          • ‘And in the last times He will judge the Gentiles and rebuke many people.’ (Isaias 2:4)

            ‘For behold the Lord will visit the iniquity of the inhabitants of the earth.’ (Isaias 26:21)

            ‘Come near ye Gentiles and hear and hearken ye people …. for the indignation of the Lord is
            upon all nations and his fury upon all their armies …. He hath delivered them to slaughter.’ (Isaias 34:1-3)

            ‘And the earth is infected by the inhabitants thereof because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, they have broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore shall a curse devour the earth …. and few men shall be left.’ (Isaias 24:5-6)

            ‘Thus saith the Lord of Hosts; behold evil shall go forth from nation to nation and a great whirlwind shall go forth from the ends of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be …. from one end of the earth to the other. And the shepherds shall have no way to flee nor the leaders of the flock to save themselves. A voice of the cry of the shepherds and a howling of the principal of the flock.’ (Jeremias 25:32,35,36).

            ‘Behold the whirlwind of the Lord. His fury going forth, a violent storm; it shall rest upon the head of the wicked ….in the latter days you will understand these things.’ (Jeremias 30:23,24)

          • How do you interrupt a Mass? By being an unrepentant bully who has lost his faith in God and who believes that he is answerable to no one. Violations of The First Commandment are viewed most seriously in Heaven – especially when committed by a Pope.

          • If the priest downs tools, and walks off the altar he is interrupting the Mass. This is NOT done – well, maybe if the roof collapses on the priest or servers – but to stop at any point because someone of importance (sic) demands your presence RIGHT NOW is just not done.

            This is just the same as that very telling visual way back when Francis insisted that sweet little server separate his hands instead of holding the traditional reverent folding of hands in prayer – that image was the beginning of the end. A picture is worth a thousand words.

          • I wouldn’t know that detail. What I can see from this incident is that nothing in the Catholic Church is Holy to “Pope Francis”, and that he surely knows how to harrass the others to obtain the optimal effect.

            When it comes to Cardinal Müller, he reacts on “Dr. Francis’ therapie” according to his own sensibility and cultural origin. I would probably fight Bergoglio for such interuption already in the sacristy but Cardinal Müller is a German gentleman who has too much respect for other people to behave as an eccentric. That is why he probably wouldn’t intentionally spread himself the rumours around, but more important is that this is also the reason why he is at the first place obediant to Bergoglio. I can’t imagine any preast stopping the celebration unless something dramatical is not happening in the church or to him personally, meaning in the case of urgence. What Bergoglio did cannot be connected with anything urgent, but demonstration of contrarriness and power over Cardinal Müller. Though Cardinal Müller controls himself, a period of four years is a long one to live under such a pressure even if you like what you do. We also need to take into consideration that Cardinal Müller probably knows much more facts about Bergoglio’s papacy than we can imagine. All that must leave some consequences on him.

          • Cardinal Muller is a great theologian. I have read his Manual of Dogmatic Theology and it is excellent. Of course, there are no heresies or errors in it. He has a vast knowledge of philosophy and theology and whilst he is in dialgoue with positions which are not Catholic, he always presents the truth of the Catholic faith. He was an excellent choice for the job at the CDF. I also have to say that Archbishop Ladaria is also orthodox. I have read some of his works also good.

        • And for what exactly? Because he was upset about someone under Muller’s jurisdiction? For that he interrupted a MASS?? This incident alone, all by itself, tells me he’s not a Catholic.

        • He has no respect for anything Catholic. He is not a Catholic. I have no doubt, based on his actions and statements, he does not believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I wish someone would ask him the question directly. He’d either duck the question or lie, but at least his position will be out there. I rely on the omnipotence of God who sees everything and will give to Bergoglio what his deeds deserve.

        • I agree with you. Since we know that every Mass is the unbloody representation of Christ to His Father I believe it is the same as being at the foot of Calvary and calling Saint John away from the cross to tell him something. It is sad and tragic and shows absolute contempt for our Lord Jesus Christ.

        • Cardinal Mueller interrupted the Mass – the Pope “requested” the interruption and he acquiesced. He should have replied to Archbishop Ganswein “I’ll be with the Holy Father the minute Mass is finished”, and simply carried on. But he did not.

        • Incredible. Unless it is a matter of life or death, an earthquake for instance, I see no justificaation for interrupting a Mass. In the case of an earthquake, in any case, the priest should later complete the Mass.

        • He would have interrupted a mass in order to keep the protest to a minimum.

          You could say that this is the ultimate power move in a negotiation: interrupting the consecration of the body of Christ to make a political point.

      • Actually the ‘Mass’ story did it for me as well. At least with the Muller situation. But, there have been many more grotesque Francis utterings and dealings in the past that also sealed the deal with this guy. This story is typical Francis, and nothing out of character, and Steve hit it when he said it was also typical Muller from someone that knows him well. It had to be more truth than not.

      • 32. If, while the priest is celebrating Mass, the church is violated before he has reached the Canon, the Mass is to be discontinued; if after the Canon, it is not to be discontinued. If there is fear of an attack by enemies, or of a flood or of the collapse of the building where the Mass is being celebrated, the Mass is to be discontinued if it is before the Consecration; if this fear arises after the Consecration, however, the priest may omit everything else and go on at once to the reception of the Sacrament. (De defectibus)

      • He never kneel down in front of Eucharist so the mass is nothing and meaningless to him. Please put him aside, Lord!

    • I agree with the assessment of the “reconstruction” language. That is a very odd word choice and isn’t a common way for an American like Burke to phrase a straight-up denial.

      • How does one “reconstruct” something that is non-existent? Reconstruction is not in any way synonymous with fabrication

    • That’s right, great points. There’s a tacit admission of the encounter happening and even the questions being posed. And it does link all this destruction as an agenda straight to Pope Francis. Corroborated by Cardinal Mueller’s testimony to Pope Francis’s brute exercise of his perceived authority, we have enough. We have enough.

    • He’s gotten away with so much that he no longer fears deposition or even correction. That signals recklessness and carelessness. The next few weeks will be very interesting. Perhaps decisive.

      • As reported by Pewsitter, Cardinal Mueller himself has now explicitly denied the veracity of 1P5’s report about the alleged five questions, as well as the part about waiting for Abp. Gaenswein at the end.

        • Guido Horst says he denies it. It’s not exactly a statement (and Horst has reported things of questionable provinence, such as the idea that Matthew Festing was enriching himself at the expense of the Order of Malta, or that Edward Pentin and Roberto de Mattei are responsible for a new “black legend” in Rome) but it’s…something.

          But what is it, precisely?

          Greg Burke said “the reconstruction is totally false”.

          Cardinal Mueller, we have been told, said that “the conversation had been quite different”.

          These are not denials of the broad outlines of what we reported. They are technical denials. It is of course possible that not every detail of what we were told was correct. Nevertheless, our sources continue to stand by what they were told.

          As Hilary White said elsewhere in this thread or the last, Vatican correspondents have learned to sit up and take notice when a denial is issued. Because usually, the Vatican doesn’t even bother unless the story has something to it. The Vatican issued a denial in the name of Pope Benedict when we ran our Fr. Dollinger story on the Third Secret of Fatima, too. Fr. Dollinger went to his death asserting that his version of events was true.

          So who, in such circumstances, do we believe? We spoke to one person with access to the highest levels of the Vatican who flat out told us that if we were to ask a certain person who should have knowledge of the situation, he would deny it, regardless of what transpired.

          You will have to forgive me if I am credulous about the obfuscations of people who have been covering for a mass apostasy in the Church. Mueller himself has told us that Amoris Laetitia presents no danger to the faith. He even attacked the four dubia cardinals publicly. And he very much is a man who continues to wish for a role in Rome.

          I wish we still lived in simpler times when if a cleric — especially a high-ranking one — spoke, we could take him at his word. We do not live in such times. We have updated our story with denials both from Cardinal Muellers’ secretary and from the Vatican Press Office. Failing a full statement from Mueller himself, I do not see a reason to update the story again.

          But until and unless our sources retract, their version of events deserves a hearing, too. We intend to stand by them.

          • “These are not denials of the broad outlines of what we reported. They are technical denials.”

            Where are the direct denials?

    • Cardinal Mueller himself has now explicitly denied the veracity of 1P5’s report about the alleged five questions, as well as the part about waiting for Abp. Gaenswein at the end.

    • I recall “no controlling legal authority…” as a form of denial once which was totally ridiculed. I suspect Burke’s “reconstruction was completely false” rises to an equal level of ridicule. It amazes me that this Vatican doesn’t realize it has zero credibility remaining.

  4. I have been following the pontificate from day one and I am not the least bit shocked by it. Pope Francis would only shock me if did something distinctively and unambiguous Catholic that would offend a secular liberal.

  5. Considering what has been going on at the Vatican the past 50 or so years, including popes beloved or not, they all deserve whatever comes their way. The fact is no one in this religious institution has the guts to tell the whole truth. They have all forgotten why they are there, who they are and what their mission is in the vocation that they chose so many years ago. They are no longer Catholic priests in the world but politicians of the world who happen to also be catholic priests. They are all pathetic.

  6. Steve, as a point of clarification for the readers, as I understand it the only thing that is being denied is the ‘reconstruction’ of the lunch conversation with Cardinal Müller in Mainz, and not the report from Marco Tosatti from First Things (parts of which are related in 1P5’s original story of the lunch conversation with Cardinal Müller) :

    So, the fact that Pope Francis interrupted Cardinal Mueller during Mass to thrash him in the sacristy etc… is not being denied, correct?

      • So, as I said, its the reconstruction of the lunch conversation that is being denied, not Marco’s article. He did not refute Marco’s article in First Things or the account of that on his blog.

        Greg said this to Marco:

        Dear Marco,
        I read your piece today about Card. Muller.
        I have only one thing to say to you:
        The recreation is completely false.
        I ask you to publish what I am writing to you.

        (translation by Fr. Z)

        nothing about his First Things report. So, that is not being denied.

        • That is horrifying.

          Because I can grind my teeth, ponder and take a deep breath and move on when typos and bad translations and even shoulder-to-shoulders occur with perverts, but telling Jesus to get out of the way cuz “I have something important to say” is over the top even for this recent convert.

          God help us and GOD SAVE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.

          • He will! It’s His Church after all, and one can be certain that Our Lord Jesus Christ does not take the rape of His Bride lightly. In fact, only Our Lady holds Him back from a terrible Divine vengeance.

            But the moment will come when she drops her hand.

          • Should we not be praying for that now? This whole offense to God is sickening. At this point Divine intervention may be the only way to eradicate the filth in the Vatican and around the world.

          • On Christmas, 1816 Blessed Elizabeth saw Our Lady, who appeared extremely sad. Upon inquiring why, Our Lady answered, “Behold, my daughter, such great ungodliness.” Blessed Elizabeth then saw “apostates brazenly trying to rip her most holy Son from her arms. Confronted with such an outrage, the Mother of God ceased to ask mercy for the world, and instead requested justice from the Eternal Father. Clothed in His inexorable Justice and full of indignation, he turned to the world.
            “At that moment all nature went into convulsions, the world lost its normal order and was filled with the most terrible calamity imaginable. This will be something so deplorable and atrocious that it will reduce the world to the ultimate depths of desolation.”

        • That’s a strange request at the end. Seems like he wants it on the record that he challenged what has been alleged re: Cardinal Muller. That he was a good little slave to The Liar in Chief.

      • It’s a curious wording. That “reconstruction”. Not that story. Maybe the questions were in reverse order, you go them totally I mean totally wrong!

  7. The question about women priests makes no sense.

    According to this story, the pope asked about women deacons, and Müller said “no”. Then the pope asked about women priests? Why? Nobody in the world, liberal or orthodox or atheist or anything else, opposes women deacons while supporting women priests. It’s not even logically possible, because priestly ordination is preceded by diaconal ordination! Therefore, by saying “no” to women deacons, Müller had already answered the women priests question. So the pope would not have asked him this.

    Moreover the pope already knew where Müller stood on women priests. Unbroken tradition, an infallible teaching by John Paul II, and multiple statements by Francis himself oppose women priests. Even if we were to suppose that Francis secretly supports women’s ordination while publicly speaking against it, Francis certainly knows what he himself has said in public. In other words, when Müller opposes communion for the remarried, he is opposing Francis (which is good). But when Müller opposes women priests, he is following Francis (as far as he knows) — which someone like Francis, who prizes loyalty, would not punish him for!

    Finally, if we assume that Francis secretly supports women priests, why would he ask these questions — thus divulging his secret plans to Müller — immediately before firing him?

    • The question about women priests need have no significance and could have been merely a filler to get to the number five. The fact that it was asked, if it was, does not necessarily indicate that the pope favors priestesses.

      If this story is true, you see what happened here?

      There are five questions, just like there were five dubia sent to the pope. The pope and Cardinal Muller have discussed the dubia, as is evident by the fact that the cardinal has publicly stated he was told not to answer them.

      However, Cardinal Muller has been speaking publicly about the teaching of the Church on marriage, and without directly doing so, he has been answering the dubia in his public comments.

      It is not a stretch to think that the pope may suspect that Muller had a hand in the dubia.

      If that is the pope’s perception, and if the pope has not been happy about that, and, further, if he is the type that settles scores (and he gives every indication of doing so), then it is easy to figure out what happened.

      In an effort to humiliate the cardinal with one last parting shot, the pope called him to a meeting to present five dubia to him (I don’t think each question needs to have significance, but the pope needed five to match the number of the dubia) and then cut the cardinal loose.

      We refer to that as “a power play.”

      • In English we refer to that as the deliberate humiliation of a subordinate by a very small-minded and vindictive superior.

        This Bergoglio is a grudge-holding narcissist, a thuggish and bitter man.

        I wonder if he is a sodomite?

        He is certainly the antithesis of a Christian.

  8. The plain unvarnished truth in black and white regarding political moves is only offered in ecclesiastical circles when it serves the one providing same. Otherwise the dissemination of information is always offered in the most artful manner, diplomatic speak, mental reservation and carefully couched phrases offered with the appropriate comportment are always in in the quiver. It is a sport – an art form – and they like to display their expertise.
    Since this story is claimed to be untrue there is no reason to get hysterical about it. However there does appear to be a degree of – let’s say backlash?
    The fact that it is so believable, that it has “legs” – bespeaks the difficulty.
    So whether it is true or not, the problem remains.

  9. Unfortunately, neither Muller, nor anyone else seems to have grown a set to stand up to the disgraceful, evil Bergoglio. Probably most of them still hoping to carve out a career of comfort.

    • I think it’s a fear of retribution. They all know the vindictiveness and deceit of Bergoglio. They know, the tighter the noose gets around his neck, the more dangerous he’ll be. They fear he will silence and defrock them. That’s my theory anyway. What they should to is employ the best way to handle a bully: slap his face. Figuratively, of course.

  10. You could always say that any written article about a private conversation is “not a perfect reconstruction”, Burke’s denials mean little. He also didn’t deny anything specificly. So, while I’m sure it has errors, the gist of it is true, especially its reflections on Francis’ character. I think the real problem is that the Vatican has somehow just awakened to the status of this pontificate in the minds of faithful Catholics. I suspect they’ve been in extreme denial. All the traditional blogs I’ve read for years, OnePeterFive, Rorate Caeli, LifeSite, Remnant, etc seem to be awash with liberal heretical new arrivals in the combo boxes, by direct communication. I think it’s a first shot in a war on trads. I feel uneasy….

    • “All the traditional blogs I’ve read for years, OnePeterFive, Rorate Caeli, LifeSite, Remnant, etc seem to be awash with liberal heretical new arrivals in the combo boxes, by direct communication. I think it’s a first shot in a war on trads. I feel uneasy….”

      It’s just a few individuals (with Vatican or Jesuit-location IP addresses, under multiple online names?). But I am sure you are exaggerating: the Remnant blocks even Traditionalists, let alone swivel-eyed liberals, while Rorate Caeli doesn;t allow comments at all.

      • My comment is fact-free. I’m just emoting. It’s a sensation. I have no inside or special knowledge of any of the players. I’m just a random dude. I have a very bad feeling today, worse than the past three years, which is saying a lot.

        • We are all random dudes I suppose, and emoting is very easy. I do it all the time. And I share your bad feeling. This Pope is — well, it’s best I don’t use the word which just sprang to mind. I detest the man and all his cohorts and all their wicked intentions.

          • Is it me picking nits again to beg that we do not detest Francis, but detest what he does? And CAN we know what his intentions are? I know, I know, this seems so crazy – but Jesus told us to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us. I would really like to know from others here who appear to be serious Catholics how we square this ‘ hatred and detestation’ with Our Lord’s words?

            Believe me, I’m not intending to start an argument but I really want to know: how do we live out His words in this time of apostasy and heresy?

          • I struggled with that problem. I have made an exception for Bergoglio and have several scripture passages to back me up, so I dismissed it.

          • That’s never a bad nit to pick. If we hate him, the devil has power over us. He would like nothing better than to get that foothold in our souls so hate becomes easier in other situations.

            Easier…said…than done though. ????

          • Great question, Barbara. I think it is healthy and proper to loathe the destruction Francis has wrought. I recognize that there is a deep, visceral repugnance I feel when I gaze at his disingenuous, Perry Como-like visage. I do not hate him, however. I pray for his conversion and that God deliver us from his depraved papacy, or anti-papacy. I’m really not sure who is pope.

          • If I hated someone it would be that I wished for their damnation.
            I do not wish that upon anyone.
            Jorge Mario Bergoglio has my prayer every day for his spiritual and temporal welfare. That surely encompasses his spiritual conversion and a secure and happy life. Implicit there is his exercise of his office as a faithful Roman Catholic or his resignation.
            I don’t hate him. I hold his connivance and comportment contemptible.
            Be a good man or resign.

          • I really do pray for the man in my morning prayers. He has a permanent slot. I pray for his fidelity to his office and the will of God.

            I also, when I am in a position of saying other prayers for the pope, pray for his conversion. I loathe who he is and what he does, but it does not absolve us of this obligation. You’re correct to point this out, Barbara.

          • I pray for him in my morning prayers, too.

            And when he falls, which he surely will do unless he converts, I must remember:

            “When thy enemy shall fall, be not glad, and in his ruin let not thy heart rejoice”. Ps 24:17

            That’s not to say I can’t rejoice when truth replaces him.

          • I should thank you Barbara for making me clarify what I wrote above.

            I hate Bergoglio’s sliminess, his 1970s faux-theology, his liberalism, his nastiness, his vindictiveness. I hate the things he says, does and evidently thinks. I hate the immoral creatures with whom he surrounds himself. I hate his socialist leanings. I hate the fact that our Church is in such dire straits that a nincompoop such as he was ever consecrated Bishop let alone elected Pope. I hate his decision to reinstate in the Priesthood a predatory homosexual who then went on to rape a child in the Confessional (for this alone Bergoglio should remove himself to a monastery to practice penance for the rest of his life). I hate his promotion of the predatory homosexual protector Daneels. I hate his attempts to manipulate and con the Synod on the Family to accept his wicked plans.

            I hate everything that Bergoglio is, thinks, believes, feels, touches, smells, tastes, and says.

            Does this mean that I hate Bergoglio? I dunno. I hope he gets to Heaven. That’s as much as I can say.

          • We don’t hate Bergoglio but how does he feel about the truth? We can’t read the intentions of his heart but his actions and words speak loudly. It seems undeniable that, on some level, Pope Bergoglio has convinced himself that he can run the Church better than our Lord Jesus Christ. He has demonstrated nothing but contempt for our Lord’s words and teachings. It really astounds me. How long will our Lord Jesus be patient with such manifest rebellion on Bergoglio’s part? His soul is in grave danger. May God enlighten and save his soul but, meanwhile, his attack on everything Catholic is relentless. Bergoglio might have a few years to speak ambiguity and undermine the Scriptures and sow discord and division and corrode the Faith and spawn heresies and lead souls to the brink of hell, but he will have an eternity to endure the consequences of his own actions and beliefs. While I trust in the Lord’s Goodness and Wisdom and timing, I cannot help but wonder what the Lord is thinking. Day to day the Church is being scourged and mocked and put on the Cross, but God sees all as He did when His only begotten Son was crucified. May the Lord be pleased through the Immaculate Heart of Mary to shorten the days of trial. Nothing short of a miracle will save the Church from the devastation that Bergoglio is perpetrating. Like the Bride in the Apocalypse we must pray, “Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.”

          • We should be kind and helpful towards everyone, but Our Lord Jesus Christ said that not everyone will be acknowledged before Him and the Father. He even described some people as “pigs” that we can’t trust. So, I guess it is ok if we are righteously angry with certain individuals, especially when we can’t neglect what they do since it really matters. Otherwise, we pray and carry the Cross.

        • You wrote: “I’m just a random dude”. Just a little word of advice – avoid being random and take some time to study the very Words of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Scripture, followed by a study of the De Fide teachings of the Catholic Church. If you want to know what the Truth really is – then start right there.

  11. They need a exorcism at Casa Santa Marta, too. Ricca and Bergoglios parties most likely put “Coco’s” to shame. Bergoglio used to (and liking of) nasty barnyard stench, it’s why he wants all the clergy to sme’ll like sheep…

  12. Regardless of whether “questions” were asked and answered, the manner in which Cardinal Muller was dismissed was terrible. This Pope should have had more respect for a brother priest to have handled this situation in a more dignified manner. Nasty behavior such as this diminishes respect for the Papal office and undermines the Church’s credibility.

  13. “Hidden One” below seems to be arguing that the publication of this material is wrong (i) because it’s bad strategy as it harms Cardinal Muller (the presumption is that he is on the side of the Catholic Faith and not opposed to it as Bergoglio clearly is); (ii) because it behoves a Catholic journalist to be certain of his facts; (iii) because it isn’t credible.

    These protestations seem to me to be full of holes.

    * If a journalist cannot publish the allegations of trustworthy sources, then journalism is dead.
    * Muller is the kind of semi-Modernist defender of the Faith we can do without. His “defence” consists of doing nothing except moaning about forced personnel changes.
    * ANYTHING at all is credible coming from a sleazy bunch of liars, sodomites, Masons and heretics.

  14. Preserving the Church’s unity, yes.
    But never at the expense of the Truth.
    If a schism is on the way, and Francis almost jokingly already assumed he himself could trigger it, then LET IT BE.
    The earlier, the best it will be.
    The issue of the Church’s unity is the way Francis paralyses his opponents. Nobody wants to endorse the responsibility of looking like sowing division if one dares to say where the Truth is. Then everyone stays silent, scared by this tyrannical pope. But we are not in the Inquisition’s times: So far as I know the Pope no longer has the power to physically harm anyone…

  15. If I’m Muller, I say to Francis…..“I’ll answer your questions, when you answer the dubia!!”

    I trust the monumental irony of Francis asking Muller five……that’s right, five questions is lost on nobody?

    What a piece of work!

    • I am sure the irony was intended and that he obviously suspects that Muller had something to do with the dubia.

      • That is his job, (was); seeking theological clarity.

        Too bad he didn’t use the power of his Office more effectively and publically in pursuit of the truth. Too late now.

        I do believe the Pope’s (alleged) five questions were in response to that unappreciated, unanswered, subterranean maneuver.

    • It would appear no.
      But this leads on to another even bigger question, no? If such is the contempt Bergoglio has for the Holy Sacrifice, are the Masses he celebrates even valid? Doe he “intend to do what the Church does”? Or does he merely intend to mock Christ?
      At this stage this question can hardly be ignored.

  16. You are doing the right thing Steve. The only interesting thing about all of this is the immediate negative reaction from the Vatican to the story. The good part is that this shows they are fearful of the truth and that One Peter 5 has considerable credibility and influence. The bad part is that the story is probably true and further highlights the destructiveness of Pope Francis.

    The are many crosses to bear in this life. Most come from our own sinfulness, some from others, and some from devil. Unfortunate for Cardinal Muller and the rest of us is that Pope Francis appears to be the devils instrument.

    • I agree. The 1P5 is doing the great job in exposing how deep is the psychological harrass by “Pope Francis” when it comes to our authentic Catholic Cardinals anf faithful. What we are dealing with is the unbearable violation of human rights committed on many levels.

  17. Even though the info comes from a “reliable source,” it is still rumor and hearsay. Perhaps 1P5 needs to get a second source to confirm info before posting something like this. There is a grave moral responsibility not to cause scandal by possibly posting something that turns out not to be true.

    • The point of this article is that everything claimed in the original article is backed by existing public record. There is nothing claimed here the Pope would not proudly affirm if asked, or if not, has previously affirmed already.

      Point by point, Mr. Skojec proves this. It’s an effective journalistic tool. It shouldn’t be controversial to the Pope and the Vatican. This is their program. It is only controversial when laid out all at once on a buffet table for viewing. It does seem startling when viewed like that all at once, just sitting there all steamy and stinky. Kind of gross. But, as Skojec says here, this is what they stand for, really.

  18. Ah yes, “…we need not listen too much to the Africans…”
    Despite Kasper’s denial he did say it, and we have it on film.
    And Danneels never conspired to silence a victim of abuse although it was caught on a recording devise by the victim. And Ivereigh’s “The Great Reformer” never alluded to team Bergoglo or Bergoglio’s agreement to acquiesce to election – in its first “pulled” edition. Thank you, Cardinals Murphy-O’Connor, Danneels and company.
    And multiple times a day over sixty years the contrivance of “the” council was not poured down our throats with the honey of mendacity.
    If credence is no longer given to every word pronounced by the episcopate it is not without reason.

  19. With regards to the denials, the point is that when men have been openly relativising the 6th Commandment, why on eath should we beleive that they are above relativising the 8th Commandment?

    I would suggest, therefore, that nothing whatsoever which this pope and his minions say is worthy of uncritical belief. When one is guilty of holding part of the Law in contempt, one holds all of the Law in contempt. He has no credibility and should resign for the good of the Church.

    • He’s not out to foster the ‘good of the Church’. What conclusion can one come to other than he is out to destroy it? He’s not a stupid man. He KNOWS he’s causing chaos and dissension in the Church. And anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of Catholic Christianity knows that chaos and dissension is not from God but from Satan himself.

  20. I do a lot of ancestry research and it has taught me lessons about sizing people up (in the case of ancestry, mostly dead people). Things like a man’s past actions, reports about his temperament on various occasions, the company he prefers to keep and the company he rejects, the opinions he expresses, the forums where he chooses to express those opinions, the way he does his job, etc., all these things go into the mix that paints a picture and allows a prudential judgement concerning a man’s character. The incident at the heart of Steve’s article here is just one small piece of the Bergoglio puzzle. We must add it to all the other evidence accumulated over the years. At least for me, a clear picture of the man has emerged after four years. Those who read and write at 1P5 are usually perspicacious and fair, so I won’t presume to weigh the facts of this case and think for them.

  21. Comrades, I knew that this man was a monster the moment he stepped onto the loggia and regarded the crowds below not only with the air of a haughty and exultant victor, but with the air of a man who wanted to destroy and devour every one of the people below in St. Peter’s Square.

    • I tting RCIA class when his name was announced. I sensed a heavy blanket of darkness come over me and I seriously thought about leaving the room and never coming back. I had no reason to think this knowing nothing specific about the man. But there it is.

      I am glad I came to the Catholic FAITH, but living under this man’s regime has been a daily ordeal.

  22. I think it is noticeable that the myth of the Bishop of Rome’s humbleness has completely evaporated. No sycophant dares to proclaim it anymore.

  23. Based on everything that has actually happened before our very eyes, it seems that Pope Francis simply hates God. Therefore, I find nothing in this story that seems unbelievable. Wicked, but not unbelievable.

  24. The Pope didn’t interrupt a Mass. Cardinal Mueller did – why does everyone get that wrong?

    “Please tell the Holy Father I’ll be with him as soon as Mass is ended.”

    He could have said this. It would require courage, but it was possible. He chose not to.

          • The Pope interrupted nothing. He “requested” it be interrupted. Cardinal Mueller acquiesced and did it.

          • Stop with your pedantic semantics in an effort to falsely accuse. If you’re on a phone call with a client, and your boss comes up and says he’d like to speak with you right now, knowing you’re on a call, and you acquiesce and terminate the call, who interrupted the call?

            The request is the initial interruption. Francis, and ONLY FRANCIS, interrupted the Mass. Mueller was obedient to the Pope.

          • From a Pope who will brook no disobedience and who will not be crossed that’s a pretty peremptory “request”!

    • Who has been more credible in the past? This site or Muller who speaks like a lawyer?
      The answer is quite obvious.

  25. Please. The reconstruction was completely false. And now this elaborate defence of how the fabrication might have meaning. Realise that, with ordinary readers, that just brings headshaking and a smile or outright laugh. A respectable news site would know better. Simply retract, apologise, resolve not to use uncorroborated stories again, and move on.

  26. Please. The reconstruction was completely false. And now this elaborate defense of how the fabrication might have meaning. I’m afraid that, with ordinary readers, that simply brings headshaking, and a smile, or outright laugh. Better that you simply retract, apologise, resolve not to use uncorroborated stories again, and move on.

    • I will copy and paste what Steve has already said regarding this further down in the comments:

      Guido Horst says he denies it. It’s not exactly a statement (and Horst has reported things of questionable provinence, such as the idea that Matthew Festing was enriching himself at the expense of the Order of Malta, or that Edward Pentin and Roberto de Mattei are responsible for a new “black legend” in Rome) but it’s…something.

      But what is it, precisely?

      Greg Burke said “the reconstruction is totally false”.

      Cardinal Mueller, we have been told, said that “the conversation had been quite different”.

      These are not denials of the broad outlines of what we reported. They are technical denials. It is of course possible that not every detail of what we were told was correct. Nevertheless, our sources continue to stand by what they were told.

      As Hilary White said elsewhere in this thread or the last, Vatican correspondents have learned to sit up and take notice when a denial is issued. Because usually, the Vatican doesn’t even bother unless the story has something to it. The Vatican issued a denial in the name of Pope Benedict when we ran our Fr. Dollinger story on the Third Secret of Fatima, too. Fr. Dollinger went to his death asserting that his version of events was true.

      So who, in such circumstances, do we believe? We spoke to one person with access to the highest levels of the Vatican who flat out told us that if we were to ask a certain person who should have knowledge of the situation, he would deny it, regardless of what transpired.

      You will have to forgive me if I am incredulous about the obfuscations of people who have been covering for a mass apostasy in the Church. Mueller himself has told us that Amoris Laetitia presents no danger to the faith. He even attacked the four dubia cardinals publicly. And he very much is a man who continues to wish for a role in Rome.

      I wish we still lived in simpler times when if a cleric — especially a high-ranking one — spoke, we could take him at his word. We do not live in such times. We have updated our story with denials both from Cardinal Muellers’ secretary and from the Vatican Press Office. Failing a full statement from Mueller himself, I do not see a reason to update the story again.

      But until and unless our sources retract, their version of events deserves a hearing, too. We intend to stand by them.

      • Again: Please. Burke says, “totally false”. Mueller himself, despite his being pleased with the manner of the non-extension of his term, says the conversation was “quite different”. He denies there was anything like a papal walkout on him. If that detail is false, and if whatever was said to him was “totally different”, what’s left of this story, except make-up? I’m afraid (trying to be charitable here!), that if anything of the “five points” narrative was true, whoever felt free to dress it up in that melodramatic report was not just altering technical details. He was doing exactly what a defamer does: spinning a false yarn, when the truth would have served better, even if it didn’t serve the reporter’s purpose. Ordinary readers, again, shake their heads and laugh at the gymnastics which attempt to keep the story alive. I am a first-time reader, looking for information on Vatican goings-on. But there are limits to what can be done to keep a conspiracy theory going. if this head-in-sand approach to magnifying what elsewhere is called, simply, “scuttlebutt” — a rumour which someone enjoyed creating, but which has no correspondence to what actually happened — I’m afraid I’ll soon be a last-time reader. Peace.

      • Jafin, I yesterday posted a polite reply to you, which, though it took me some time to write, somehow didn’t stay up. If the moderator can find it and post it, I’d be grateful. Otherwise, I guess I’ve been somehow judged “off-topic” by the censor. How that can happen, when one is continuing a debate, puzzles me. I will check to see whether the present simple comment survives — if it doesn’t, that will be informative in itself, and I won’t waste my time with this site any further, but wish everybody here well, and depart. I do repeat that ordinary readers will be shaking their heads, or smiling (or, if the defenses of an untenable story here continue, eventually laughing) at the gymnastics on the Muller “report”, and the readers consequently lost, when a simple retraction would have sufficed.

        • I’m not sure where your comment would have gone. I’m a moderator and nothing was flagged. I didn’t delete it, and I doubt any of the other moderators did. And as far as I can see, there’s no record of it. Something must have not made it through. Oh the joys of technology.

          The reason that no retraction was offered is because Steve and Dr. Hickson believe their source and stand by the story until a clear denial or confirmation is made. 1P5 has taken some heat from various sources regarding running this story. Instead of caving to the pressure, 1P5 is standing up for their sources. The story was also run by Marco Tosatti, a well-respected Vaticanista. That’s not to be ignored. I should note now that I have absolutely no part in editorial decisions here, just the comments.

          Regardless, I hope things are fully cleared up soon. Personally, I hope the story is false, but the attitude of this pontiff and the behavior of Cardinal Muller in the story are simply too in character… It seems likely to be true to me, personally.

  27. Two disgraces we are witnessing: The Democrats unrelenting desire to impeach President Trump and the Tradionalist unrelenting desire to paint Pope Francis as the anti-pope and a heretic. When does the time come that people accept the results of elections whether they be the Electoral College of the United States or College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church? Do you not think that we should build each other up and engage in healthy dialogue as opposed to partisan or ideological rhetoric? How do you assume to know the facts of a private conservation when both parties who were present have not revealed the contents? This is dangerous and irresponsible journalism. You are indeed harming the good Cardinal. You make him look like an immature school-girl whose boyfriend broke up with her and so she spreads rumors about him. Please stop. I usually enjoy reading your articles and even considered donating, but if you continue spreading fake news, I do not see how I can support that.

    • You may have a fair point about this particular story but your wider point about the need to simply accept elections and equate a political election with that of a Pope? Bizarre. I’m assuming you are either not a Catholic or you have been asleep for several years..? Do you really think the criticism of the current Pope revolves around this one isolated (and, Yes, alleged) incident?

      • I think the criticism of this pope revolves around what some people perceive that he is not going along with the program. Their program. You have assumed wrong. I am Catholic. I am a Catholic priest. I have been awake this whole time. People don’t like this pope and I get it. I was not a big fan of JP2 and longed for a new guy, yet I went into a depression when the new guy was Ratzinger, who ironically, I ended up kind of liking. But I never disrespected or bad mouthed either the way I see people who claim to be so Catholic speak of Francis. It is so uncharitable and cruel, judgmental and arrogant. There is venom in every sentence. It is just sad. It makes me think that you are not part of love of Christ, but the rules of an institute that you seek to hide and mask your hatred of your selves.

        • I don’t know where to begin. It seems that, especially as a priest, you need to do some basic fact checking and decide whether or not this Pope is just not ‘with the program’ or whether something far more serious is at stake. There is more than enough evidence out there for you to be able to make a clear judgement on that. My assumption is that you hold to the perennial fundamental teachings of the Catholic faith and would be using that as a benchmark. I would suggest if you do that, carefully and rationally, you will only be able to draw one conclusion. Then, perhaps, you might start to have some sympathy with the uncharitable tone that you may be seeing a lot of (whether that’s right or wrong). The fact that you ‘went into a depression when the new guy was Ratzinger’ suggests to me that you perhaps judge things on the basis of superficial criteria. This is not about who one ‘likes’ or ‘doesn’t like’; i would suggest that very few people commenting here have time and energy to spend on their superficial likes and dislikes. We are in an unprecedented situation and perhaps you haven’t realised that yet.

          • I realize it. We are in a time of reform. And, because of that, some people are uncomfortable.

            I was in depression when Ratzinger was elected, however, I am very respectful of the Pope Emeritus. He writings are inspirational and his gentleness as a shepherd were evident. I didn’t keep him in a box and I was able to appreciate what he brought to the church. I am just saddened that people are not open to Pope Francis and have become not only depressed, but possessed in their hatred.

    • Nonsense. These two “disgraces” have only one thing in common: in both we see the determination of the Left born out of the French Revolution to overthrow common sense and traditional wisdom. But in the US, the Left is on the outside looking in at the moment, while at the Vatican, the Left is enthroned. In the US a lying narrative is fabricated out of whole cloth about the current occupant of the White House in order to destroy him. In Rome, an equally mendacious narrative is peddled about the past and about the Church’s authentic teachings. A false dichotomy is drawn between law and mercy and an imaginary ‘rigidity’ verbally flogged at every opportunity.

      The equivalency you posit here is false for another reason. The Left has been violent and duplicitous since its inception; we’ve almost come to expect it to lie and lop off heads. But Catholic traditionalists have only gradually and reluctantly grown suspicious of Francis since 2013. His actions and words, not some fantastical ideology, have determined their growing alienation. What’s more, the traditionalists’ alarm is not fueled by hatred or demonic paranoia as is the case with Antifa and Democrats in the US. Rather, it is the product of verifiable facts, repeated odd interviews, and words written in the pope’s own hand.

      Here is a last difference. If the story related here turns out to be fake news as you suggest, Steve and traditionalists generally will be fast to retract it and to publish a corrected version with full explanation. They will do so because they are interested in getting at the truth. In the case of the leftist fanatics opposing Trump, though, they simply disseminate more lies when something they say is proven false. The Russian collusion nonsense is a case in point.

      • I am a rare bird in the that I lean to the left in the church and to the right in US politics. I don’t think Francis gets everything perfect, I don’t agree with him on everything. But I love his pastoral zeal. He sees the Gospel message in a way that most pontiffs haven’t – at least since John XXIII. I think there is a cycle of 5 Papacy Styles (possibly a 6th). The 5 are Pastor, Diplomat, Visionary, King and Intellectual. The 6th would be Administrator. I have written about this in fuller detail, but for the purposes here, in 2013 I was interested in who would be elected to see if we would see the 6th style (which I think Pius XII was) or a Pastor, like John XXIII. I think we got a Pastor in Francis. Paul was a Diplomat, JP1 a Visionary, JP2 a King, and Benedict, an Intellectual. I believe we need these different styles to keep the church balanced. People get so rigid and judgemental and never take the time to walk in anothers shoes or see the pain and hurt they have lived through. I see it everyday and I will be the last to shame someone or judge them. I will never refuse communion to any Catholic who approaches the altar with sincerity. Who am I to judge? I’d rather go to hell for being generous with Jesus than go to hell for withholding him from someone who desired him. I just think people have to stop hating this pope or calling him names. What is wrong with that?

        • “I will never refuse communion to any Catholic who approaches the altar with sincerity. Who am I to judge?”

          So in today’s brave new world, the non-negotiable prerequisite of receiving Holy Communion in a state of grace has been replaced by the wholly subjective condition of personal “sincerity”. How many Catholics, both practising and those who left the Church decades ago, would say if asked, that they lacked sincerity? Would they reach double figures?

          In another comment, you link LifeSite with drinking the Kool-Aid. Have *you* checked your refrigerator lately? Be especially wary of the Papa Francesco vintage, Amoris Laetitia – it disrupts one’s thought process even more effectively than absinthe.

        • What’s wrong is that you’ve set up a convenient straw man, the pew sitter who mindlessly “hates” Francis and calls him malicious names, all for seemingly no reason at all. I can’t speak for others, only for myself. I don’t “hate” Francis any more than I “hate” Obama or Clinton; I simply think all three are dead wrong, catastrophically mistaken, in their assumptions, words, and actions. I’ve learned this by observing them over time. It’s that way in life, you know. In your local area there are garages you trust to care for you car because you’ve seen work they’ve done for others and heard tales of their honesty and ability. But there are other garages you’d never frequent. You’ve learned from experience, your own or others’, that they are incompetent and perhaps even dishonest. You don’t hate the latter, though; you’d just rather have nothing to do with them for perfectly rational reasons.

          As for name calling, those who defend this pope can hardly censure that with a straight face. Francis is a past master of the art. Let’s be clear though. When someone points out correctly that an administrator is lousy, that he allows incompetency and perhaps even lawlessness to thrive under his very nose, that his own actions and words are making things worse all around, that is hardly name calling. It’s using language to describe reality. You may say Francis is “pastoral” but I have other words to describe his papacy.

          • There are clearly people here who have said hate and written some uncharitable things, even about me personally. I hear what you are saying and you make some credible remarks. I thank you for engaging in dialogue without calling me a heretic.

            Using your analogy, I would go to Pope Francis’ garage. I trust him. I know he is not perfect and I don’t necessarily think as he does on every issue. And yes, Francis does use strong language when talking about certain types of people and their thoughts and actions, but I don’t think it has the same venom I read on some of the conservative sites.

          • As I said once at this site, determining who is and isn’t a heretic is far above my pay grade; my criticisms of Francis involve his spiritual acumen, his personality, and his management skills, all shockingly lacking papal stature in my estimation. As for your car, get some really good insurance and buy a back-up jalopy if you don’t already have one.

          • It means he approves of the words and actions of a garden-variety Latin American leftist. It means he might be upset should a photo surface of a smiling Pius XII accepting a Swastika with Jesus affixed to it from Joseph Goebbels, but thinks it perfectly acceptable that Francis accepts an equally blasphemous piece of “art” from Evo Morales. It means he accepts episcopal appointments of dubious individuals as long as said individuals show themselves sufficiently “pastoral.” It means he applauds confusion over clarity if the confusion undergirds the current zeitgeist. There’s more, but I’m sure you get the picture.

          • I assume he is a heretic, but was interested in what his response would be.

            There are, amazingly, orthodox Catholics who don’t like the critiques of Francis, even when spoken moderately. I didn’t realise before how self-deceived ppl could be.

          • Do you really need to ask what it means? Just because someone leans to the left, does that make them a heretic??

            In my opinion, leaning to the left for me means that I attempt to look at some mitigating pastoral matters in the interpretation of doctrine and law. To me, it is accepting the gray matter than seeing things black and white. It does NOT mean everything that JohnnyCuredents suggests in his comment, but it may suggest that you and I see things a little differently. To me, it doesn’t make you right or me right or you wrong or me wrong. It may mean we have a different view of ecclesiology. Of course you will respond by saying the Truth has been revealed and of course, you accept it all and I should be burned at the stake. I think the church that I belong to, the Catholic church, has room enough for both of us.

        • The gospel message is now: Sin boldly. Lies, I was deceived. Christ became the devil. Go and do as thou wilt. Who am I to judge? The god of surprises and make a mess theology. Mercy, me. Dialogue and accompaniment and discernment and (subjective) peace with conscience and with God. That is the new “pastoral” gospel under Francis.

          Francis has turned the Catholic faith into Five Solas: sola mercy. sola compassion. sola accompaniment. sola discernment. sola conscience. It’s all relative. There is no objective standard of morality or of sin. Francis loves every religion except for Catholicism and has become spokesperson for CAIR, the global elite and for the UN New World Order.

          Is it now hateful to call rotten fruit from a rotten tree for what it is? If so, then count me in as being “hateful”. I assure you that Jesus said even harsher things to the Pharisees and at one point Jesus even said to Peter, “Get behind me Satan.” I pray that your eyes will be opened to see the destruction and chaos that Francis is bringing to Christ’s Church.

    • The reality of what happened to him and his Office is worse than the allegations.

      It all flows from the strange, unprecedented partial resignation (non-renunciation) of Pope BXVI and two Popes within the Vatican walls: contemplative and active.

      The reality is what it is. President Trump won the election. There is an acknowledged, obvious bifurcated Papacy. And the Dubia remain unanswered, ignored.

      • He wasn’t fired. His term wasn’t renewed. The Pope doesn’t have to give a reason. That was fine with you folks when it was the previous two pontiffs. You all have no respect for our Holy Father. The dubia he owes nothing too. He is the pope. Benedict renounced the papacy. He is clear about it. Why do you not believe him. Let the guy rest. If he were still pope, he would have been dead now by the stress and the taxation on his body. I am glad he is alive.

    • Whoever you are, JStab, Bergoglio’s rap sheet is twice as long as your message. I guess you somehow managed to miss it.

  28. Cardinal Muller interrupted the Mass probably because he has that traditional upbringing that obedience to one’s superiors is a given in service of God and is actually the way to know the Will of God. I lived in a diocese where the bishop used that principle to cow orthodox believers into accepting wreckovations of churches, bizarre liturgical abuses, gay Masses, invalid substance for the host, seminarians who attended a Presbyterian seminary if they got in at all after passing psychological testing to expose rigidity of orthodox beliefs, preaching homilies by laymen and nuns, public scolding for prolife activism.. Liberals are all of the same ilk. And the orthodox Catholics for the most part blindly obeyed. When I protested to my older friends about all of this, the mantra was, “God is more pleased by our obedience to the bishop and He will use the merit of our obedience to fix the situation.” This reminded me of how in the Book of Maccabees, the Israelites realized after they’d been massacred by the enemy who deliberately attacked on the Sabbath knowing their religion forbade work on the Lord’s Day, it had to be God’s Will for them to fight in order to survive. So, let’s all pick our battles and fight hard, invoking St Michael and the Glorious Queen of Heaven!!!

    • I posted the following at PewSitter. I do not expect my comment to be approved.

      “So Cardinal Mueller, what are your answers to those five questions that Pope Francis never asked you in a conversation that never happened? While we are at it, what are your answers to the five questions posed by the four (now three) Cardinals in the dubia? Finally, did you interrupt a mass to go talk to your boss (Pope Francis) about personnel matters?

      None of it looks good for the men who run the Vatican. None of it.

    • Perhaps. The story was presented originally as an allegation; likely true, possibly not.

      Yet as stated in this follow-up, the corrosive, destructive reality behind the five questions remains true. The all important Dubia remain unanswered. The CDF was ignored in Office and unceremoniously fired the minute his term expired.

      Those facts remain and are what matters.

  29. To those arriving here for the first time with wagging fingers, you clearly don’t understand how this works.

    We are dealing, sadly, with liars. We are dealing with men who care more about their own agendas than serving God. In some cases, their reasons are more noble — some care more about the unity of the Church than the truth. But there is no apparent fear of deceit.

    We ran this story for exactly what it was: credible allegations posed to us by two sources with long reputations of being reliable, who relied upon the eyewitness testimony of a third. Those sources stand by their stories. They have re-affirmed it since the denials came out. (I don’t see the charges against Cardinal Pell being dropped, incidentally, simply because he’s said they’re not true. That’s not how this works, and I think we all know it.)

    We said we asked for statements, and that we’d update the story when we got them. We did. In fact, we put them right at the top of the page and even sent the story out again on social media with a note that it was updated. We’re not hiding anything. We’re presenting both versions for your consideration.

    But I would submit to you that one of the deeper problems here is that people are thinking of Cardinal Mueller as one of the good guys. He’s described endlessly as a “conservative”, which is really not a very accurate depiction.

    Remember this: the most important denial Mueller has made is that Amoris Laetitia presents no danger to the faith.

    And we know without a doubt that this denial is false.

    The pope, seeing as how AL is his master work, obviously agrees.

    How can we believe anything these people say?

  30. Re: Official denials.

    Remember how, last week, after a big story about problems at the Bambino Gesù hospital, the Vatican strenuously asserted, “There’s nothing to see here”? Even to the point of threatening legal action?

    Funny how this week two former administrators of the Bambino Gesù Foundation were suddenly indicted for embezzlement….

        • That’s right: if you go through a period of discernment, and talk to your pastor about it, and discern together, and then go through some more discernment, and begin to feel comfortable with your transgression, and suddenly realise that it’s not such a big deal, and begin to feel that you are at peace with God, and then tell your pastor that you feel at peace with God, then finally, really and truly–so say the heretics–you are good to go!

          • I want to know how many in perpetual adultery will “examine” their previous marriage and find it was actually valid while they are engaging in adultery with their current sex partner? Does anyone actually think they will suddenly see the light while they are practicing adultery????

            They will always find the first marriage was invalid.

    • Fake news has become a thing. Dishonesty is the currency of today’s realm, a sure sign the Devil is loose among us, even (esp) among Clergy who are sinners no less than us all. Discern everything.

      I like your approach here. Present information that is, if not known fact, then at least likely true, clearly labeled as such; and why this is so. Then present context behind the allegations and the supporting facts surrounding them. Then allow readers to discern, and place your reporting in context with other sources to draw our own conclusions.

      It’s an honest way to report. Dark days these, in which truth is quite hard to discern. More than ever, know the source and place in context with multiple reliable sources. Take it all for what it’s worth, and keep our eyes fixed on Christ, His Mother and the Saints who follow them.

  31. Given that all parties involved explicitly deny your account, I’d say it’s far more probable to believe your source is in error (deliberately or mistaken) than to believe there’s some massive coverup on the part of the Vatican.

    You don’t exactly have a lot of credibility, being wrong every time.

      • Ironic when the article alleging these things was based on an unknown source.

        I find them far more credible than 1P5

    • Credibility problem?
      You have to go no further than the Vatican City State.
      Where have you been?
      As I posted earlier, one need only look at the past few years — the golden age of the Bergoglian Captivity.
      Recall well Kasper’s “…we need not listen too much to the Africans…” Despite Kasper’s denial he did say it, and we have it on film.
      And Danneels never conspired to silence a victim of abuse although it was caught on a recording devise by the victim.
      And Ivereigh’s “The Great Reformer” never alluded to “Team Bergoglio” or Bergoglio’s agreement to acquiesce to election – in its first “pulled” edition. Thank you, Cardinals Murphy-O’Connor, Danneels and company.
      And then the multiple times a day over almost sixty years the contrivance of “the” council was not poured down our throats with the honey of mendacity.
      I have more confidence in used-car salesmen.
      If credence is no longer given to every word pronounced by the episcopate
      it is not without reason.

  32. I would not have printed the story based on how far away the sources were from the conversation. However, I still don’t understand Burke’s “denial.” This is one American person writing to another American person. No translation problem. If I was going to deny the story, I would say “the story is false” or “the story is wrong.” I would not use the word “reconstruction” to deny the story because that doesn’t mean the story was wrong or false. It would mean to me that the story was not constructed correctly. And that makes no sense unless you don’t want to really deny the story but you want to make it sound like you’re denying the story. “Reconstruction” is a very strange word to use to deny a conversation took place. Of course, if the the conversation did take place but you’re reporting the context of the story in the wrong sequence, then “reconstruction” is appropriate. The conversation occurred or it didn’t. Whether it was “constructed” correctly or not is of little value to the truth of the matter. But then again, you’re dealing with Vatican bureaucrats. They now sound like Pontius Pilot: “What is the truth?”

  33. “we will continue to give our sources, who stand by their story, the benefit of the doubt unless new evidence emerges to the contrary”

    Cardinal Mueller, the man at the center of all this, has denied the OnePeterFive story:

    One wonders what evidence, if not this, would it take for OnePeterFive to realize their sources were wrong and to retract this false story?

      • Yes, I don’t think he would lie. He doesn’t have a history of dishonesty, and it is very inconsistent with his character.

        • He denied that Amoris Laetitia poses any danger to the faith. He has a very odd relationship with the truth. His character, insofar as it can be observed by his actions from afar, is one of placing career and perceived propriety above defense of the faith.

          There’s nothing incongruous, therefore, with saying that the conversation didn’t happen the way we reported it (that was his denial) if it was at all different than how it was described to us.

          I’m perfectly willing to accept that we may have some details wrong. But he was very angry about how he was dismissed, and so were certain members of the CDF we spoke with. There was nothing normal, decent, or kind about that last meeting. There was nothing in the story we were given that was out of character with the way the pope conducts himself on a regular basis.

          So we are at an impasse. We have a believable story on one hand from people who don’t want to be named but stand by their story, and a far harder to believe denial from the people involved, all of whom have something to lose.

          We have chosen to do what we said we would from the beginning: present both sides. We have. Unless we’re able to uncover more, it seems the trail goes cold here.

          • It’s a gross understatement to say that his denial was that “the conversation didn’t happen the way you reported it”, or to report as you have in the article that “We’ve even heard through the journalistic grapevine that Cardinal Müller himself has seen the article, and was “shocked” by it”. From the article I linked to:

            “Now Cardinal Müller has told Vaticanista Guido Horst that none of these claims are true.”

            “The cardinal was ‘flabbergasted to read this description of his meeting with the Pope’, Horst writes, quoting Cardinal Müller as stating: ‘This is incorrect'”

            “In fact, the whole meeting had run very differently Cardinal Müller asserted, and the claims made by the “anonymous German source” were quite false.”

            Publish those quotes at the top of the article, and I’ll believe that you present both sides fairly. I doubt you’ll do that though, because it will make the article seem like the stuff of amateur conspiracy theories. Anonymous sources of sources, none of whom had anything to do with the meeting itself, who we’re supposed to believe over everyone actually involved in the meeting. Right-oh.

          • Andrew, I’m not going to spend much more time on this. We’re moving on. So briefly:

            It’s a gross understatement to say that his denial was that “the conversation didn’t happen the way you reported it”,

            No, it isn’t. Mueller said, “the conversation had been quite different.” Burke said, “the reconstruction is totally false”.

            Ok, so the conversation was different. How, your eminence? We’d like to know.

            The reconstruction is false? Mmmm. Interesting. So what would make it true?

            Because we know that the pope called Mueller in, was brief and brusque with him, and dismissed him at the last minute.

            We know that Mueller has confirmed that he was called in to go over some files, and that he was told afterward, as he was leaving, that his time was up. See here:


            We know that Mueller was angry, because he gave an interview saying he couldn’t accept the way he had been dismissed, and that the Church needs to follow its own social teaching (which he previously said when the pope summarily dismissed three of his best priests without explanation.)

            We know that some of Mueller’s subordinates were so angry they said things we are not at liberty to repeat. But we spoke to them directly.

            So it’s not a gross understatement at all. What if the pope asked three of the questions? What if he didn’t phrase them as questions? Will we ever know?

            “We’ve even heard through the journalistic grapevine that Cardinal Müller himself has seen the article, and was “shocked” by it”.

            At the time I wrote those words, the Horst report was only in German and I did not have a full translation. But Horst is not reporting a full statement from Mueller, and I have reason to doubt Horts’s own credibility as a journalist, inasmuch as he has, in my estimation, unfairly attacked Edward Pentin and Roberto de Mattei, and has insinuated things about Matthew Festing which were false.

            Him presenting his observation of Mueller’s reaction is a far cry from a Mueller statement. I have updated the story with only those statements we have received directly, just as our original report was based on information sent to us directly by contacts whose names we know — and who are well known and well connected Catholics in Germany and in Rome — who reported to us the testimony of the eyewitness.

            I wish I found Mueller’s denial credible enough to simply say, “Well, THAT was a big mistake.” Unfortunately, based on his track record, I don’t.

          • We don’t see eye-to-eye on this issue, but it is late and I have said my piece. God bless and good night.

          • As always we are unlikely to ever get the entire truth. What occurs to me is that perhaps finally some people will wake up and stop viewing the Vatican people as they do Washington, DC and the President. They have some idealistic 1950 comic book type propaganda in their mind that is childish and overly obsequious.

            They think these men float around on clouds and have no earthly desires or defects.

      • Also, what incentive would he have for lying? Covering up for the pope that (according to the narrative presented here) treats him like garbage and just steam rolled him and his office? Please.

        • If the story is true it could only have come from Mueller. Now in the crosshairs he has to cover for the Pope. Yes…his security and reputation are at stake. Its all about covering your tail and retaining your security.
          Life can be made quite unpleasant and inconvenient.
          Real life time. Its no different in ecclesiastical circles than in secular life — but for the fact that if you work it right, there is no accountability.
          Wake up and withdraw head from sand.

        • Please, you are reasoning in a superficial manner here. Muller has been covering for the Pope since day one. This is not new. He has been treated poorly for a long time. That is not new.

          • If he is as angry and dissatisfied with the pope as this article describes, I don’t see any reason for him to lie for the pope. What does he have to lose at this point? It would be like if I got fired, but lied for my boss after the fact. That line of thinking beggars belief.

          • Does it “beggar belief”? Really? Although Mueller has been fired, he remains a Cardinal in the Catholic Church. Francis has shown he can make life a living hell (white martyrdom) for anyone in the clergy who dares to show him anything except 100% blind obedience.

            Let me put it this way: the Vatican spokespeople may be telling the truth, but I don’t believe them. As a poster said above, “the courtroom is the last place to find truth.” That is a truism. There are some just decisions but one would do better flipping a coin.

            But honestly, I have greater distress over Francis’ interruption of the mass — because Francis just can’t wait until the mass is concluded and talking about personnel matters is much more important that Jesus, don’t ya know. Francis puts himself above our Lord.

            And I am furious about the attacks on conservative American Catholics and the Trump administration. No, it wasn’t out of pen and mouth of Francis himself, but I have no doubt it was approved by him and done at his behest. And I believe it will backfire badly!

          • If you’re going to approach this ordeal with a priori distrust of Cardinal Mueller and the Vatican, nothing anyone says is going to convince you otherwise because you’re just going to assume the worst of the clergy involved. Accusing these people of lying about the the events in the meeting is a serious accusation that I would hope has strong evidence to back it up. But all that has been presented here is double hearsay that can’t even be properly evaluated since the sources choose to remain anonymous. It’s perfectly reasonable to call into question the accuracy (whether intentional or unintentional) of these mysterious sources given that they are contradicted by multiple first hand sources.

          • The clergy themselves have convinced me that “distrust” is the only sane and logical response to the Vatican Ministry of Truth. After four years of Francis, any benefit has been utterly destroyed by doubt. Every day brings a new heresy. Every day brings a new insult. Every day brings a new scandal. Every day brings new shenanigans.

            Of course it is perfectly reasonable to question the accuracy of “mysterious sources” that relate one narrative. As it is perfectly reasonable to question the “multiple first hand Vatican sources” that relate an entirely different narrative. Like I said, the Vatican spokespeople may be telling the truth, but I don’t believe them. As I see it, the Vatican richly deserves its less than stellar reputation and its questionable credibility.

            When secular journalists and atheist philosophers have figured out that something is terribly amiss with the Catholic Church, I shake my head that “good” Catholics continue to defend what is not defensible with respect to Francis and his friends. What will it take for you to open your eyes to see what is happening in the Church? Will anything sway you?

          • Because he still thinks he can have an important role:

            When asked if he thought Pope Francis should discuss the dubia with the remaining three cardinals who signed the letter, he said: “I would suggest that the pope entrust me with the dialogue as I have the competence and the necessary sense of responsibility required. I could moderate the discussion between the pope and the cardinals.”


          • Think about what you are suggesting. If, for argument’s sake, I grant that your source is correct and Pope Francis asked Cardinal Mueller the five questions (implying, as you say in the article, that Pope Francis would answer in the affirmative for each), Cardinal Mueller would be volunteering to attempt to reconcile the uncompromising dubia Cardinals with a Pope who apparently approves of female ordination. Not only is that an un-enviable task, it is nigh impossible. Plus, if (as your source claims), Cardinal Mueller opposes female ordination, why would he even want a reconciliation on those terms, knowing what he knows? If anything, what you quoted makes me even less convinced your source is accurate.

          • Andrew, what part of he defended Amoris Laetitia as no danger to the faith and threw the dubia cardinals under the bus do you not understand?

            I don’t know the man, but I’ve been reading every major story about him for years, and we have contact with people close to him in the CDF. My unshakeable impression is that he is a careerist who wants very much to be an important figure in the Church and believes that he can do more good on the inside, making compromises and resisting in small ways, than he can on the outside as a critic. This is why he didn’t stand his ground against AL. Or against anything the pope has done. This is why he let it go when he was given a fake version of AL for final doctrinal review, and why he let it slide that even his corrections to that version were ignored.

            Mueller, by every account, opposes Communion for the remarried. And yet he makes excuses and concocts equivocations for the very document (written by the very pope) being used to implement this exact thing in dioceses around the world.

            What is going to take to get you to see that he an otherwise decent and sincere man, malformed by modernism (Cardinal Lehmann was one of his mentors, for goodness’ sake) who has lost his way in the midst of too many labyrinthine compromises?

          • This is what you are doing right now:


            You can throw everything but the kitchen sink at Cardinal Mueller, but none of that means he is covering up for the pope in this situation. If you want to allege that he is, the burden of proof falls on you. And you don’t have proof. You have hearsay.

            I look forward to your upcoming article that promises more clarification on this important issue.

          • No, Andrew. Ad hominem arguments are when you seek to refute the position of another by attacking some irrelevant aspect of their character, appearance, etc.

            I am pointing out to you relevant behavior from the cardinal that shows his willingness to equivocate and compromise on non-negotiables. I am saying that his own confusion over his duty to the truth makes the idea that he may be employing some form of mental reservation in his denial entirely plausible, even probable.

            I am speaking to the character of the witness, since you like to use courtroom terminology. And it matters very much here.

            I, too, look forward to the upcoming article. I hope our new sources will be more forthcoming (it seems that everyone is reticent to put their foot in this, even though more people know about it than we originally ascertained). One thing that is very likely, based on new information I’ve discovered, is that our description of how things transpired at the meeting is what is being contested, not the substance of what was discussed.

            Again, mental reservation and technicalities. Would that the truth would simply come out from those in the best position to clear the air.

          • When Cardinal Mueller, a first hand eye witness and participant in the conversation resulting in the non-renewal of his term as prefect, denies your account of the events, it would be admissible evidence in any American court that your account of events is wrong. That’s what the link says.

            To get back to my original point, I’m genuinely curious… what evidence would it take for you to discount your source? You said “unless new evidence emerges to the contrary”, so you must have had something in mind.

          • That’s not what the link says. It actually favors the eyewitness who claims this is what he heard the cardinal say at the table, not the other way round.

            Which is why the evidence I’d accept is a retraction of that eyewitness testimony. The eyewitness has nothing to gain by reporting this. The cardinal has something to lose by having it reported, as does the pope.

            So, barring something that proves either side’s story — or diminishes the credibility thereof sufficiently — both sides remain resolute in their opposition, and we present the assertions of each.

            If the story is falsified — not just denied — that’s when we’ll reatract it.

          • Anyone reading this can click the link and read what it says for themselves. In a court of law, both accounts would be admissible evidence…I never said your source wouldn’t be. But your source would have to reveal his identity and leave himself open to cross-examination in this hypothetical court room scenario. And it would be clear to everyone that your source was not an eyewitness to the meeting itself, but an eyewitness to an alleged lunchtime conversation about the meeting (referring to him as “the eyewitness”, as you do in the article above, is misleading).

            As you say, I guess it comes down to who people want to believe. This unknown source who claims to have heard what the Cardinal said, or the Cardinal (and his secretary, and the Vatican) who knows what he said and says this unknown source is wrong.

          • The irony here is that I received an article submission today from an attorney who argues the contrary of what you do. In fact, he states:

            He said –she said debate is a dietary staple of litigation. Reconstructing these encounters sometimes yields wildly different recaps but more often the points of divergence are subtle but important. If you’ve ever seen The Verdict, you’ve seen an accurate portrayal of how people can attempt to ruthlessly craft perception in a courtroom.

            I chose not to run his piece, however, because there’s nothing left to say. We have a prelate who has damaged his own credibility by failing to do his moral duty as pertains to the spread of arguably heretical material through the Church — and who has gone so far as to deny it even constitutes a moral danger when it clearly and manifestly does — and a pope who is not only an autocratic dictator but most likely, at the very least, a material heretic, who has unleashed his spokesman to deny the charges.

            These are not men whose word I take as bond. Meanwhile, our sources on this story have long experience in both research and journalism, have significant public reputations (which helps to explain why they have chosen to remain anonymous), and are well connected to both the German Church and Rome. They are also — both of them — known for their reticence to criticize the papacy. They initiated this story because of concern that Cardinal Meisner in fact was so distressed by Mueller’s report that it may have catalyzed his death. We did not solicit their information.

            So yes, we know the reputation of Cardinal Mueller who would not fight for the faith when the faithful were counting on him, and the pope who seeks to undermine it at every turn. If people choose to believe them over unnamed sources, I can understand why, but they hardly inspire confidence.

    • Ultimately, what happened to Muller matters less than the underlying truth of the five alleged questions asked of him.

      1: female diaconat
      2: repeal of celibacy
      3: female priests
      4: communion to adulterers
      5: unjust dismissal of three employee

      We can choose to believe, or not, that these questions were asked of Cardinal Muller. But really, what matters is that the underlying agenda the alleged questions represent is real. Fact. He did nothing to stop this agenda when he could have. Now he is gone. The march of revolution continues.

  34. With the massive errors put forward by numerous priest, cardinals, bishops, secular groups, politicians, etc. Pope Francis is most fitting for our time. I mean he is perfect for the people to embrace whatever they want. Most fitting indeed. Nothing good out of Rome or elsewhere for that matter when it is about our Lord Jesus Christ. Clearly a Pope we all deserve. What else could it mean? The more I see of this putrid mess of our Holy Mother Church the more disgusting it gets. People all around me are confused, angry, unable to communicate, ignorant of the teachings of the deposit of faith and couldn’t care less. The only thing I can figure is our Lord Jesus Christ is very confident, likes a challenge and will soon clean house. Let’s face it one thing remains and that is what is most important to me, the body blood soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, master and creator of all. I will continue to pray, goto Church, partake of all the Holy sacraments and stay in a state of repentance and with our Lord’s blessing a state of grace. God bless you all.

  35. Steve, I see the gutless, holier than thou, arrogant jerks at Rorate running there mouths. Hang in there, those guys must have had their feelings hurt, that they aren’t the be all and end all, with regard to Church news. They are like little, spoiled children. They can’t handle when someone calls them out on anything, that’s why they can’t handle commentary, any more.
    It’s beyond me why anyone would so easily believe Muller and friends denials so easily. The guy was spineless, always backing down from his defense of the Faith when pressed ( not to mention he holds heretical views, himself). I think I read somewhere that he’s (Muller) probably making all his denials, in order that he not anymore face the wrath of Francis, and remain a silent “martyr.” He’ll hang out in Rome, thinking he can snake his way into the Papacy if there is another conclave in a few years, making everyone think he’s the hero of orthodoxy ( he obviously has the blind mice at Rorate
    all fawning over him). Unfortunately, the present age is in such a downward spiral, most of the hierarchy seems to have absolutely no issues with telling outright lies.

    • Thanks, although I’d avoid painting all the folks at Rorate with the same brush. Peter Kwasniewksi and Joseph Shaw both write there, and I’m on great terms with both. Augustinius has never been anything but decent to me, and I’ve got a good working relationship with Adfero.

      Really, New Catholic is 90% of the problem. Maybe he should man up and use his real name.

      • PLEASE let’s not let this descend into a fight between traditionalists. Extremely counterproductive. Steve, you’ve made it clear that you stand by this story and why. Although i and many others disagree with that, that’s entirely your call/this is your back yard. People are free to believe what they wish, especially in the absence of more transparent/credible sources. My view of Pope Francis (and I would suspect those at Rorate’s view) doesn’t change one iota either way. He’s a disaster for the Church.

        • I suggest you lodge your complaints with those attacking our moral integrity or taking delight in our perceived failures for what appear to be petty reasons. We’ve never treated Rorate with anything but respect, but we’ve been on the receiving end of some very strange behavior from NC for years. I could speculate why, but I don’t think it’s helpful.

          Meanwhile, we continue to get new confirmations that our story was not wrong in its broad outlines, only in some of its particulars. We plan to write a followup soon.

          • You may have noticed that I’m a fighter. Having my ethics impugned by people who are allegedly on my side is not something I take lightly. This is not a fight I initiated, but I do a very poor impression of a doormat.

          • Perhaps I’ve missed something. In which case my apologies. I hope you don’t think i have intended to impugn your ethics.

          • No, not you. I mean I’ve either been attacked directly (or by extension) now by several traditionally-inclined and well-known blogs. I’m merely standing my ground, not starting fights.

  36. I’ll give this story credibility until it’s explicitly denied by Burke. Francis could deny it all he likes, but he’s a blaspheming foreshadowing of Antichrist (without the charm), so I would still believe it.

  37. When what is sorely lacking in Western Christianity.both Catholic and Protestant is the active presence of men in the Church, something probably goes back at least 800 year, in my estimation, the last thing the Chuch needs is more women on the altars, as this would only finally convince men that the Church is a matter for women and anytnng but masculine. As for daconesses, The International Theological Comission already did a study of it and found that there is no basis for it. The word “diakonos” in Greek has a much broader meaning than what we now understand by “deacon”. It means a servant at table, or in some other fashion. Women who were called deaconesses were probably virgins or wiidows, both of whom were highly esteemed in the Ancient Church and dedicated their energies to works of charity. They were not sacramentally ordained, nor does there exist any ritual for such ordination. Besides, they didn’t exist in all parts of the Church. I assume if PF is going ordain deaconesses, that would very likely cause an ecumenical problem with the Orthodox Churches, which is no small matter. Why not recover the “order” of widows? In any case, in my opinion, the great challenge the Church has is not filling it with more women, rather diagnosing the problem of why men are not attracted to the Church and see it as a matter for women. Once that has been done, then the necessary steps should be taken to change many things, including eliminating effeminate and homosexual clergy, wimpy bishops incapable of standing up and defending what the Church teaches, changing the way boys are trained and helping them to become real men, giving back some backbbone to Catholicism so that there will be some demands on those who want to receive sacraments, much less emphasis and insistence on inclusiveness and a long etcetera. Also why is it that the Orthodox Churches don’t have this problem? What are they doing right that we are not? Did Jesús say: “He who is not with me is against me. He who does not gather with me scatters”. In today’s gospel he says he didn ¡t come to bring peace but the sword. Where is all the inclusiveness in the words of Jesus?
    Does he not make very great demands on his followers, although he also assures them of the power of his grace? .

  38. His Holiness’s political skills remind me of Obama political skills: tiny tactical victories but creating a groundswell of opposition that decimated his party.


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