The following comes from a Feb. 21 article on The Catholic Thing by Fr. Gerald Murray.
Now that the initial excitement has died down some, it’s a good time to take a calmer look at Cardinal Gerhard Mueller’s recently published Manifesto of Faith.
Troubled are the faithful these days. The doctrinal and moral chaos in the Church is manifest and grave. We are seeking both guidance and the courageous refutation of errors. Mueller acts as a good shepherd in protecting the flock that is wandering in ignorance and imperiled by false teachings.
Mueller writes, “…Many wonder today what purpose the Church still has in its existence, when even bishops prefer to be politicians rather than to proclaim the Gospel as teachers of the Faith.”
The clerical politician in the Church is concerned with pleasing those in the hierarchy who can advance his career. He ignores, tempers, and even discards the hard truths of the Gospel when he senses that those truths will frustrate his ambitions.
Mueller calls to repentance those shepherds who disturb the faith of the sheep: “The mediation of faith is inextricably bound up with the human credibility of its messengers, who in some cases have abandoned the people entrusted to them, unsettling them and severely damaging their faith.”
A prime example is the waffling about who can properly receive Communion. This is the poisoned fruit of the disastrous innovation in footnote 315 of Amoris Laetitia that authorizes a practice always forbidden by the Church, namely the administration of the Holy Eucharist to those who are in an adulterous “second marriage.” He likewise rebukes those who would claim, as some have, that the Eucharist should be administered to Protestants. Mueller rejects these innovations, citing St. Paul and the Catechism.
Mueller further reminds us that “[t]he Church is not a man-made association whose structure its members voted into being at their will. It is of divine origin.”
Bishops are ambassadors entrusted with a message not of their own making. They must not distort that message.
A strong point in the Manifesto is the reminder that the true mission of the Church is the salvation of souls. The reality of Hell for souls who die in mortal sin is something that we rarely hear about from the pulpit.
Cardinal Mueller simply states what was, until recently, commonplace and taken for granted by all Catholics. Yet now he is accused of being a new Martin Luther by his fellow German cardinal, Walter Kasper (which is strange, given Kasper’s affinity for Luther).
Mueller deserves our thanks and prayers. The good fight for Catholic truth must be fought no matter what the cost.