As much as I try to dismiss and ignore it, I must admit that Cardinal Müller’s endless pontificating often causes me pain. While it never undermines my trust in the Holy Father, it hurts me to think that it may be having that effect on others. Some, I know, actually find the sheer force of his absolutist rhetoric convincing, at least on an emotional level.

In his latest statement, published on LifeSite News on October 3 and ostensibly focused on the issue of ordination of women, Müller writes with typical bombast,

It is shocking what kind of dilettantism is currently to be seen in theology and what a brutal contempt of man is taking place in Church politics. He who has an independent mind is being mercilessly taken out and discarded in an inhuman way without taking into consideration his achievements for the Church and theology.

A “brutal contempt for man,” really? “Merciless” and “inhuman”? He doesn’t say exactly who or what he is talking about here, but it’s very difficult to avoid the conclusion that he is referring at least in part to his own abrupt dismissal from his position as Prefect of the CDF. This rhetoric certainly sounds like a product of resentment from someone who is not used to being out of sync with the dominant powers within an organization.

Reacting to this perceived persecution, Cardinal Müller lashes out and accuses others of doing exactly what he is doing himself. Speaking of the “progressivists” in the Church, he claims that “they use personal attacks, instead of putting forward for discussion their substantive arguments, and they help themselves in their embarrassment with the help of absurd insinuations that lack any intellectual honesty.” And yet he misrepresents the arguments of these “progressivists” (many of whom are not progressivists at all), and chooses to battle against straw men of his own making. His opponents are “Modernists,” “factionists,” and “ideologues” who create “political and media phantasies of [papal] omnipotence.” They believe that there is an “additional source of Revelation, either in the Pope or in the People of God, to whom the Shepherds should listen.” Is it any use explaining that many of the people Müller places in this “ideological camp” see the pope not as a source of revelation but as a teaching authority who is aided by the Holy Spirit? That they think the People of God should be listened to, not as a source of new revelation but as a source of insight and inspiration for deepening our understanding of the deposit of faith?

But it appears that Cardinal Müller is not interested in debate or dialogue, and simply wants retribution. For example, he can’t help but strike back at Cardinal Kasper for his response to Müller’s “Manifesto of Faith” from earlier this year. He writes (while advertising his new book) that

The Manifesto of Faith (as it can be found in my book: The Power of the Truth. The Challenges to Catholic Doctrine and Morals Today—Ignatius Press 2019), which I had issued in the face of the chaos in the teaching proclamation […] was demeaned as ‘half truths of a subjective and arbitrary character.’ Someone who usually is a glowing admirer of Luther then even had thought himself able to accuse me of being a Lutherus redivivus, that is to say a revenant Luther.

The quote about “half-truths” sounds like a paraphrase of Kasper’s response, and the part about Müller as a reborn Luther is certainly from Kasper. This swipe at Kasper, though, is itself based on half-truths. First, Kasper did not accuse Müller of being a reborn Luther, but said, in response to Müller’s ominous reference to the Antichrist, that he did not want to believe that there was a reborn Luther behind the manifesto. And here is how Kasper opened his response (my translation):

No doubt, the Manifesto of Faith that Cardinal Gerhard Müller published contains many statements of belief that every upright Catholic can wholeheartedly affirm. […] It is good to call these fundamental truths to mind, in order that they do not get lost in the seemingly more pressing controversies of the moment. So far so good.

What is not good, however, is that some truths are so trenchantly pointed out that the other half of the truth is hidden.

I see this as an entirely fair assessment of Cardinal Müller’s whole campaign, and not just the Manifesto of Faith. Müller proclaims certain truths, but in doing so he hides or warps others. The primary truths he harnesses are those of Tradition, to which he has turned as the rock upon which to build his oppositional enterprise, to the exclusion or distortion of much else. With his one-sided militancy, the larger Truth is sacrificed for particular truths.

Cardinal Müller’s militancy is what makes his pronouncements at once thunderous assertions of truth and fragmented score-settling diatribes that in my opinion (as a mere layperson) work against a more nuanced and truthful understanding of Church teaching. For example, while I agree that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is probably definitive regarding the ordination of women as priests, I am troubled by Müller’s explanation for why this is definitive, since this explanation is true in part but not in whole. He writes,

It is certainly without doubt […] that this definitive decision from Pope John Paul II is indeed a dogma of the Faith of the Catholic Church and that this was of course the case already before this Pope defined this truth as contained in Revelation in the year 1994.

This suggests that one of the primary jobs of the pope is to confirm dogma that is already understood to be dogma. He explains,

When it comes to a dogma, one has to differentiate between the substantive and the formal side. The revealed truth which is being expressed in it—and whose denial is being sanctioned with an “anathema sit” or which is being pronounced “ex cathedra” by the Pope alone—does not therefore depend upon the external form of the definition.

Again, this is true in a certain sense. If the pope pronounces a doctrine or teaching to be dogmatic ex cathedra, then that dogma is true and has always been true. The problem is that definitive pronouncements are often made about issues that are in dispute—not just among ordinary Catholics but also among theologians and priests and bishops. The problem of determining what has always been true is not a simple one, especially if we do not confine ourselves to an idealized or partisan understanding of the history of Christianity. The final decision on what has always been true has to rest with some highest authority, if it is not to be a decision based on majority rule, and that highest authority is the pope in communion with the bishops. If that authority cannot be consulted, the pope himself may make a decision that while not necessarily infallible (if not spoken ex cathedra) is nevertheless binding upon the faithful. No matter how great his learning, no matter how far-ranging his experience and wisdom, it is not up to one bishop or a group of bishops alone to determine and proclaim what has always been true. And Cardinal Müller, unfortunately, has taken it upon himself to let us know what has always been true, no matter what the pope or other bishops might say. He seems to have lost all trust in the Church or pope to make this determination.

Müller asks us to read the CDF document on The Primacy of the Successor of Peter in the Mystery of the Church in order to understand his position. I did, and these are the passages that stood out to me:

The ultimate and absolute responsibility of the Pope is best guaranteed, on the one hand, by its relationship to Tradition and fraternal communion and, on the other, by trust in the assistance of the Holy Spirit who governs the Church.

And the closing sentence,

We are all invited to trust in the Holy Spirit, to trust in Christ, by trusting in Peter.

Speaking for myself, everything I have written in defense of Pope Francis is geared toward this idea that we should trust the pope—not that we have to take his every word as infallible. And so much of what I see that disturbs me in Catholic media or among a small segment of the Church hierarchy is a campaign to undermine this trust. LifeSite News, a publication to which Müller chose to deliver his recent statement, has been working for years now to diminish the trust of ordinary Catholics in Pope Francis. This should be clear to anyone with a basic critical understanding of media. Does Müller believe that LifeSite rises above the “fickle opinions of the people” that he refers to with such disdain? If so, I beg him to read what they publish on a daily basis.

I understand, though, that his thoughts may be clouded by anger. In his address at the Ordinary Public Consistory for the Creation of New Cardinals on October 5, Pope Francis stated to the new cardinals that

The readiness of a cardinal to shed his own blood—as signified by the scarlet colour of your robes—is secure if it is rooted in this awareness of having been shown compassion and in the ability to show compassion in turn. Otherwise, one cannot be loyal. So many disloyal actions on the part of ecclesiastics are born of the lack of a sense of having been shown compassion, and by the habit of averting one’s gaze, the habit of indifference.

If this is in any way a message to Cardinal Müller, then it may also represent some self-criticism on the part of Pope Francis. I don’t know much about the history of their personal interactions, but perhaps Pope Francis recognizes that he could have been more compassionate toward Müller, even if it was inevitable that they would not be able to work as close colleagues. In any case, I pray for Cardinal Müller—that his anger will subside, that his fears for the Church will ease, that his proclaimed loyalty to Pope Francis will one day become more apparent in his words and actions, and that he will be able to harness the power of truth by trusting in Peter as much as he trusts in Tradition.

Image: Gerhard Müller as Archbishop in 2012, by Jolanta Dyr. Creative Commons license

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D.W. Lafferty, PhD, is a Catholic husband, dad, and independent scholar from Ontario, Canada. He works in higher education and has published articles on the literature of Wyndham Lewis, the conspiracy theory of Douglas Reed, and the life and legacy of Engelbert Dollfuss. Online, he tweets as @rightscholar.

The Power of the Half-Truth: Cardinal Müller’s Latest Statement

31 Responses

  1. Chris dorf says:

    Add to that Cardinal Burke’s over the top comments before the Amazon synod:

    Cardinal Burke: Vatican’s Synod Document ‘Is a Direct Attack on the Lordship of Christ,’ It’s ‘Apostasy!’

  2. Tony Correia says:

    D.W. Lafferty, Cardinal Muller’s Manifesto of Faith not only appeals to a multitude of Catholics at an emotional level, but primarily st an intellectual level. St a time of so much blatant ambiguity and confusion coming from the Vatican, and with so many compromised clergy, it is refreshing to see and hear a strong and forceful defense of the Catholic Faith. A very significant number of Laity across the world are fed up with the worldly focus and concerns coming out of this pontificate. Only faithful Catholics who remain united to Rome will survive this revolution in the Church. I do not got a second believe that Cardinal Muller is “pontificating” out of any kind of resentment, they is your own skewed optics. It pains me that a significant number of Catholics will not see the peril to the Church and Catholic Faith bring unleashed by this current pontificate. Let us pray for each other and especially for our Holy Father, Pope Francis.

    • jong says:

      Tonny Correia
      Here is the meaning of “pontificating” : express one’s opinions in a way considered annoyingly pompous and dogmatic.

      Aren’t the Dubia Cardinals, Bishop Schneider, Ab.Vigano and in this article Cardinal Muller pontificating? I think its no rocket scientist, they are projecting themselves since Pope Francis removed them from their post as “more Catholic than the Pope”, they are convincing their audience that they are the defenders of Tradition and Doctrines and Pope Francis was a destroyer. Is this true?

      The above quote on the Primacy of Peter gave us the clear picture why Pope Francis is justified in removing Cardinal Burke and Cardinal Muller;

      “The ultimate and absolute responsibility of the Pope is best guaranteed, on the one hand, by its relationship to Tradition and fraternal communion and, on the other, by trust in the assistance of the Holy Spirit who governs the Church.”

      Pope Francis and all the Popes are bestowed upon a gift of a “never failing faith” and this is a dogma they cannot fall into error or heresy in teaching the faith & morals plus the Holy Spirit are guiding and inspiring the Church united to the Pope. Clergy & prelates who possessed a different mind and thinking from the Vicar of Christ are outside the Church and St.Paul reminded us of his words;
      A Church Divided Over Leaders
      10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. (1Corinthian1:10)

      See, when Cardinal Burke expressed openly his contradiction on Family Synod in 2014 he was demoted, why?
      When Cardinal Muller did not support or rather oppose with his position on Amoris Laetetia uphelding the Justice of God over the Mercy of God he was removed from his post as CDF Prefect, but why?
      The answer simply can be seen on St.Paul and the Dogma of the Church that all the Pope is guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit in governing and feeding Christ Flock. If a Cardinal or Bishop position on the inspired teaching on the Pope is to oppose? What is the logical conclusion if the Pope is guided by the Holy Spirit, this Cardinal & Bishop have a different mind & thought not docile to the voice of the Holy Spirit and this character is what Paul Fahey in his previous article is called “rigid”. A soul that is “rigid” is oppose to the Holy Spirit inspirations, they are like the Pharisees who do not see “Christ” in their midst because they too much attached to tradition & laws.

      Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Muller, Bishop Schneider,etc shows us their “rigidity” to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit in moving the Church to a new direction, a new way of evangelization and the ultimate destination is a New Face of the Church by showing a Church that is Merciful like the Father is merciful. (Luke6:36)

      The Dubia Cardinals, Dissenting Bishops, Disobedient Priest and Theologians plus all their followers are no longer one in heart and mind with the Church united to the Pope and St.Paul said they are outside the Church.
      I will close my thoughts on this reflections;
      “The Church is the mysticsal body of Christ and Jesus is the Head of the Church and Her “soul” is the Holy Spirit”.
      How about the group of people possessing a different mind & heart, they claimed to be the Church too…Yes they are a Church too..
      “Are they not the prophesied “mystical body of the Antichrist who embraced the evil attitude of “recognize and resist the Pope” and their leaders are identified as infected by Clericalism and have the attitude of the Pharisees?
      Blessed Ab.Fulton Sheen described the “mystical body of the Antichrist who are infected by the spirit of Antichrist and their “soul” is Satan”
      So, we now have a Two Church both think they are is the “True Mystical Body of Christ” and the other is the “mystical body of the Antichrist”.
      The Antichrist means according to St.john will deny the Jesus is the Christ of the Son of God “made flesh” and will oppose the Father and the Son.
      Aren’t the shismatic rigid Trads possessing the “spirit of Antichrist”, How?
      Jesus is Divine Mercy made flesh, and anyone who denies the Mercy of God denies Jesus is the “Christ or the Saviour”. Jesus is the Redeemer of all mankind no exceptions. God the Father sent Jesus and desire all mankind to be saved.

      So, we see the Antichrist will oppose and denies the Mercy of God be given to souls who needed God’s Infinite Mercy like the couples in irregular union, convicted criminals, LGBTQ, atheist, other religions like Jews & Muslims, even Hindus and Buddhist, and even to Christian and non-christian faith. The Antichrist will inspire a religion that will destroy all religions meaning they will oppose Ecumenism and Inter-religious dialogue.
      We can see a lot of attributes of Antichrist the counterfeit church are pointing towards the schismatic rigid Trads or the Clan of Trads as Michael Matt and Dr.Marshall etc called their Traditionalist groups.
      Are we seeing the clash of the Two Church? Is this the Final Confrontation that St.JP2 and the Akita prophesied?

    • Mike Lewis says:

      Tony, in the middle of your comment, you say:

      “Only faithful Catholics who remain united to Rome will survive this revolution in the Church.”

      But everything you write before and after that statement is in support of those who are not remaining faithful to Rome, who are trying to cause a revolution against the pope, and supporting a Cardinal who is openly attacking the pope.

      It’s a very confusing comment.

      • Christopher Lake says:


        I noticed that too. It leads me to wonder (and I would genuinely, sincerely like to see Tony’s reply to the following questions!):

        What is the crucial importance, in Tony’s mind, of him and others to being “faithful Catholics united to Rome” when, at the same time, he seems to be strongly believe that the current Pope (the Bishop of Rome, and the Vicar of Christ for the worldwide Catholic Church!) is causing serious peril to the Church and the faith of the Church?

        From his comment, it seems that Tony believes that “Rome,” itself, i.e. the Papacy of Francis, is the biggest current problem in the Church– so why the emphasis on remaining “united to Rome”?

        Tony, do you think that by remaining formally united to the Papacy, Catholics who, *in your mind*, are more faithful to Catholicism than the Pope, himself, can somehow put the Church back on the right track? Who would have the authority to decide what that “right track” would be, if not the Pope?

  3. Chris dorf says:

    … and this one from a longtime critic of Pope Francis:

    “The Catholic Church is heading toward an “internal papal schism” whereby Pope Francis effectively leads two opposing factions, Capuchin theologian Father Thomas Weinandy has warned.

    These are divided, he said, into one loyal to the papacy yet critical of this pontificate, and the other supportive of him due to his tolerance of ambiguous teaching and pastoral practice.

    “This is the real schism,” observed Father Weinandy, a former chief of staff for the U.S. bishops’ doctrinal committee, in a commentary published today in The Catholic Thing.””

    • jong says:

      Chris Dorf
      Fr.Weinandy observation was true, there are two factions, and the internal papal schism” is true, But why those people like Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Muller, Bishop Schneider,etc. and esp. Ab.Vigano do not want to be identified themselves as already separated from the Church and maintain they still recognized Pope Francis as the valid Pope? It is too obvious that they are openly resisting Pope Francis magisterium and openly & continuously expressing contradiction to Pope Francis approved Magisterial teachings. Not to mention they are consistently prematurely criticizing every action of Pope Francis like the Family Synod. World Bishop Synod, Youth Synod and now the Pan Amazon Bishop Synod.
      Have you wonder why? How come this very vocal prelates do not want to be identified as already separated from the Church?
      I tell you frankly, the Dubia Cardinals and Dissenting Bishops do not want to be identified and label as schismatics because of St.John revelation that the false prophets the Antichrist or the body of Antichrist will come from the Church who separates themselves;
      Let’s read the clear wordings of St.John in his letter;
      “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”(1John2:18-19)
      So, now you know why the Rad Trads even their schismatic acts and behavior are very,very, very obvious they are in complete denial that they are the one in schism, because in TRUTH as St.John teaches the Antichrist and the many antichrist is a member of the Church who separated themselves from the Church.
      Not convince yet please take a look at Canon751 definition of schismatics;

      “Canon 751: “Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

      Canon 1364, n. 1: “an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication””

      read this article link below and try to explore other articles on this site as it will help understand even more.

  4. Chris dorf says:

    This group where Peter is is over and over show no ambiguity with the teachings of Pope Francis as related to dogma and doctrine. Exactly where they find this to attack him is a mystery or else they just have some extra grind how about his annunciating the gospel message and teachings and church teachings

  5. Robert Fastiggi says:

    Thank you, Dr. Rafferty, for your very thoughtful article. I would only add that I am surprised that Cardinal Müller describes the 1994 definitive judgment of “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis”[OS] on the Church’s lack of authority to ordain women priests as a dogma “contained in divine Revelation.” The CDF in its Response of Oct. 28, 1995 described the teaching of OS as”pertaining to the deposit of faith” (ut pertinens ad fidei depositum). Definitive judgments that pertain to the deposition of faith are different than dogmas contained in the deposit of faith. The teaching of OS is a definitive infallible judgment (secondary object of infallibility), but it is not set forth as a dogma “revealed by God.” It is to be held as belonging to the faith (de fide tenenda), but it does not require an assent as belonging to the faith (de fide credenda). This is not my judgment but that of Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Bertone in their 1998 Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the “Professio Fidei.” They give the judgment of OS as an example of a teaching that falls under the second concluding paragraph of the 1989 Professio Fidei (judgments to be definitively held) rather than the first concluding paragraph (dogmas revealed by God contained in the deposit of faith). Here is what Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Bertone say about OS in no. 11 of their 1998 Commentary: “A similar process can be observed in the more recent teaching regarding the doctrine that priestly ordination is reserved only to men. The Supreme Pontiff, while not wishing to proceed to a dogmatic definition, intended to reaffirm that this doctrine is to be held definitively, since, founded on the written word of God, constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium. As the prior example illustrates, this does not foreclose the possibility that, in the future, the consciousness of the Church might progress to the point where this teaching could be defined as a doctrine to be believed as divinely revealed.” The 1998 Commentary makes it clear that the definitive judgment of OS has not not yet reached the level of being able to be defined as revealed by God (though this might happen in the future). If, as Cardinal Müller says, the teaching of OS is a dogma “contained in Revelation,” then Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Bertone would have given it as an example of the first level of assent rather than the second level of assent corresponding to the 1989 Profession of Faith.

    • D.W. Lafferty says:

      Great points. It seems that Cardinal Muller is overreaching on a number of fronts, going further than a careful appraisal of Church teaching allows. Another example: I’m not sure about his claim that OS also applies, with the same force, in the question of female deacons. Maybe there is a good argument that it does, but the fact that there is a commission looking into the question suggests that it’s not quite so clear.

      • Robert Fastiggi says:

        Thank you for your comments. I believe Cardinal Müller is overreaching on the question of female deacons. The magisterium has not issued a definitive judgment on this issue. Cardinal Müller has provided some good arguments against ordaining women deacons, but his arguments cannot claim to be definitive magisterial teaching. This post by Ron Conte Jr. reacts to some of Cardinal Müller’s recent statements on women deacons: I might not go as far as Mr. Conte, but I think Cardinal Müller would do better simply to explain why he believes the Church cannot ordain women to the sacramental diaconate rather than claiming that not even the pope could allow such ordination.

      • George XY Palantine says:

        What bothers me about your article, and these articles in general, is that you do not give us the gist of Mueller’s article. Rather than doing that, you select out one paragraph or sentence where you think you can find fault, and go after that rather than address the whole of his thought as represented in the article. This is a sort of cherry picking that leads nowhere, and only causes confusion. I find it is the tactic used by people who cannot rebut the main points Mueller is making, and therfore searches for ancillary things that they then try to make a big fuss over. Useful, perhaps in rallying the troops, but in the end, simply more heat than light.

      • George XY Palantine says:

        Also, referring to Fastiggi, below, Ron Conte is a well known kook. Perhaps Fastiggi does not understand this about the guy.

    • Todd Voss says:

      Yes it is strange that Cardinal Ratzinger’s explication of OS seems to have been forgotten in general whenever OS is now discussed. What it essentially says is that Pope JPII fallibly but definitively taught that there was an already existing infallible teaching from the ordinary magisterium. Because he definitively taught this, the matter requires at least a religious submission of the will and the intellect, and more likely, even a higher submission that the teaching should be firmly accepted and held. See the following two levels of submission set forth in Donum Veritatis

      ” When the Magisterium proposes “in a definitive way” truths concerning faith and morals, which, even if not divinely revealed, are nevertheless strictly and intimately connected with Revelation, these must be firmly accepted and held.

      When the Magisterium, not intending to act “definitively”, teaches a doctrine to aid a better understanding of Revelation and make explicit its contents, or to recall how some teaching is in conformity with the truths of faith, or finally to guard against ideas that are incompatible with these truths, the response called for is that of the religious submission of will and intellect. This kind of response cannot be simply exterior or disciplinary but must be understood within the logic of faith and under the impulse of obedience to the faith.”

      So public debate should have ended (although a theologian could privately express doubts – I won’t go into it). Thus all those who have continued making public statements opposing or questioning OS are disobedient in a serious way. It is my understanding, that it is possible, though unlikely in the extreme, that a future pope (and likely desiring to act with a Council) could question Pope JPII’s conclusion that he recognized an already existing infallible teaching in the ordinary magisterium. In the meantime, as a lay person I serenely submit to this teaching (I suppose it helps that I strongly agree with it, but even if I didn’t I would strive to submit my intellect and will as well as firmly accept it).

    • George XY Palantine says:

      I see you got bogged down in the finer points of infallible pronouncements. But the simple fact that your rather long explanation avoids is that Ordenatio Sacerdotalis is required belief for all Catholics. Period, end of story. In that sense, Mueller was right, no matter what nitpicking you might apply towards his loose use of a few words. So Mueller is right, no one at the synod should be trying to override what JP II, Benedict, and Pope Francis have all described as settled Catholic teaching. Yet we have these people, ostensibly Catholic of a sort, telling us that we should be ordaining women (Krautler). So it seems that if you want to complain about people not following the pope, you should be equally upset with them.

  6. Chris dorf says:

    That’s why I like that message that is attributed to the blessed Virgin Mary at Mefjugorje couple decades ago:

    This is what Catholics believe about peoples in the world:

    Responding to the confusion of a Catholic Priest over the cure of an Orthodox child:

    “Tell this priest, tell everyone, that it is you who are divided on earth. The Muslims and the Orthodox, for the same reason as Catholics, are equal before my Son and me.

    You are all my children. Certainly, all religions are not equal, but all men are equal before God, as St. Paul says. It does not suffice to belong to the Catholic Church to be saved, but it is necessary to respect the commandments of God in following one’s conscience.

    “Those who are not Catholics, are no less creatures made in the image of God, and destined to rejoin someday, the House of the Father. Salvation is available to everyone, without exception.

    Only those who refuse God deliberately are condemned. To him who has been given little, little will be asked for. To whomever has been given much (to Catholics), very much will be required.

    It is God alone, in His infinite justice, Who determines the degree of responsibility and pronounces judgment.”

    1984–1985;  Before God, man is equal. However, religions are not equal. Most religions contain some truth. Those truths are common ground among those religions. But some religions have more truth than others. They are not equal. Our Lady of Medjugorje explained this.

    • George XY Palantine says:

      Medjugorje is almost certainly a hoax. Anyone who has looked into it has found lots of bizarre stuff. The idea that our Lady would come to this group of people, every day for thirty years, seems to indicate Our Lady is merely a chatty old lady who loves to talk.

  7. Chris dorf says:

    Peter’s Speech

    34. Then Peter proceeded to speak and said, “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.

    35. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.

  8. Terry says:

    “As much as I try to dismiss and ignore it, I must admit that Cardinal Müller’s endless pontificating often causes me pain. While it never undermines my trust in the Holy Father, it hurts me to think that it may be having that effect on others”

    Mr. Lafferty, I’m glad that comments such as these don’t sway your trust in the Pope. For myself, my trust is nil, and I don’t need for Cardinal Muller to influence my thinking

    • L Daily says:

      So who has influenced your thinking?

      • Terry says:

        I guess that I might ask who influences the thinking of all those who are overly loyal to this Pope? I observe, all of the time, critical views towards those who are considered ‘traditional” or as some like to refer to them as , ‘Rad Trads’. I have been told (by a noted apologist) that the obligation is to the faith, not just the Pope as even he, himself, answers to a higher power. I will say that I believe that this Pope is hostile towards those who might be considered traditional, and I don’t mean Sedevacantists, either.
        And here again, if my thinking has been ‘influenced’, than who influenced the thinking of this Pope who was formed in a country which is largely socialist in their mentality? So it can be said that it works both ways. I see nothing saintly about this Pope, if they ever get it in their minds to canonize him. Also, I heard a priest, in full communion with Rome, once say that the Pope has nothing in common with the saint for whose name he selected.

    • L Daily says:

      But you didn’t answer the question below. Instead you posed an odd question, which is an indirect answer: “I guess that I might ask who influences the thinking of all those who are overly loyal to this Pope?”

      Schism may be a sad necessity to safeguard the faith and continue the mission of the Church. Navel gazers can look up and follow or remain stuck in their place.

      • Terry says:

        My thinking isn’t necessarily influenced by any one individual or group, thereof. I have been reading on these type of issues for several years and in a lot of instances, I can come to the conclusions on my own. What I really believe is that why we, as a Church have the issues we do is because a great many alleged ‘Catholics’ these days are not walking the walk. How many fornicate and yet proceed to the communion rail on Sunday’s as if nothing is wrong? How many are contracepting themselves at alarming rates? It might just be that the Almighty will assist us when we are living lives worthy of the name ‘Catholic”. Until then it might just be that those who attempt to live those lives will have to suffer on account of those who don’t. So my point in my ‘indirect’ question was that while it might appear that Rad Trads might be influenced by someone who doesn’t necessarily agree with the hierarchy these days, who or what influences the mindset of those who will follow along with whatever they are told, even if it appears a bit left of center? Hope that helps.

  9. Ralph says:

    On the subject of Cardinal Müller possibly resenting his dismissal from his position as Prefect of the CDF, I do sometimes wonder if much of the opposition to Pope Francis is due to hurt feelings over Vatican politics. Remember that Cardinal Burke was removed as head of the Apostolic Signatura in 2014.

    Personal vendettas probably do not account for all of the opposition to Pope Francis but I do wonder if they play some role. There is an air of pettiness about Pope Francis’s opponents. Everything this pope does is wrong or at least held to be worthy of suspicion to the point where there is likely nothing Pope Francis can do to satisfy his critics.

    • Chris dorf says:

      That has been thought of by many of people… But we make no judgements out to charity

    • George XY Palantine says:

      It is the weakest of arguments to say that this is all personal. None of these guys is that petty. Francis has caused lots of confusion in the church, and people no longer have a grasp of what the faith is or what it demands, precisely because Francis is so confusing. Both Burke and Mueller are way above getting their little feelings hurt. What they point out is the failure of Pope Francis to live up to existing Catholic teaching, over and over again. This is a big problem, one that might undermine the church as a whole. There is no need to pretend you see into their hearts and see pettiness, because you don’t and neither does this author. They have real, legitimate complaints. They do not act alone, but represent the concerns of an increasing number of bishops.

      • Christopher Lake says:


        Cardinal Robert Sarah, who is very well-loved (and, seemingly, at least somewhat misread by?) by many highly vocal critics of Pope Francis, has just publicly (re)affirmed his support of Francis. Sarah has also stated that anyone who is tries to pit him against Francis is doing the work of Satan in trying to divide the Church. Moreover, the Cardinal has stated that to oppose the Pope is to be outside of the Church. What do you think of Sarah’s words here, George? Is Cardinal Sarah somehow unable to see the supposed problems with Francis that you claim are so easy for honest, clear-eyed, non-deluded Catholics to see?

        The Nigerian bishops also recently issued a public statement of support for, and loyalty to, Pope Francis. Those terrible, heterodox, “Catholic” liberals– Nigerian Catholic Bishops and Cardinal Robert Sarah!– and their support of Pope Francis! What shall we do with them? Speaking for myself, I’ll happily support them and the Pope!

  10. What a great website and love the discussion. It seems to me the people who say that Pope Francis is confusing people are the very people who are confusing the people about the Pope who is in the words of St Catherine of Siena is “our sweet Christ on earth”. I for one and my community are seeking to listen and hear what the Holy Spirit is speaking to the churches through Pope Francis just as we did with Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul the Great.

    • Christopher Lake says:

      Br. Gilbert Joseph,

      Welcome to WPI, my brother in Christ! As a “traditional” (but *not* radical traditionalist!) Catholic who loves Pope Francis, I’m so glad that God is bringing more people to this website!

      In the early years of Francis’s Papacy, I loved and defended him, but gradually, almost imperceptibly, I found myself being very influenced by anti-Francis voices in Catholic media, and also by some of my Catholic friends, who seemed to be certain that the Pope was moving the Church in the wrong direction in numerous ways. Their opposition to him seems to have deepened and intensified, but my perspective has seriously changed.

      Reading the Pope’s own writings, speeches, and interviews (in context), and discovering WPI, were both crucial in keeping me from falling into the “anti-Francis resistance” in the Church. God is good! I love Pope Francis now more than ever and am happy to be learning from him as the Vicar of Christ. May God bless you and your community!

      • Br Gilbert Joseph says:

        Thank you Christopher. I have been sharing this website with others and they are loving it. Those of us who consider ourselves traditional or orthodox and love what Pope Francis is teaching almost seem to be drowned out by the anti-Francis crowd. It was our youngest brother (26 year old) who put me on to this wonderful website with such great article in defence of the Pope and the Church. I am seeing many goood Catholics going into the anti-Francis camp so it is great to hear how God has lead you out of it. Keep up the good work and we will be praying for you in these days of contestation against the Pope- that Our Lady warned us about through Father Gobbi and the Marian Movement.

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