The ideological efforts to change Catholic doctrine after the Second Vatican Council were deeply misguided, said Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and a leading interpreter of Benedict XVI.
“Ideology,” he said, “is always a proud attempt to subject the Word of God and the doctrine of the Church to the prejudice of one’s own thoughts, with the aim to obtain a manipulative power over the faithful and their lives.” Theology is different, the cardinal explained, because “theology is the humble reflection on faith that rises up from listening to the Word of God.” For this reason, “any fear that the Council might provoke a breach with the tradition of the Church is not only heretical: it would dismantle the meaning of supernatural mediation.”
Cardinal Mueller spoke at the Pontifical Gregorian University for the Dec. 14 presentation of the Italian edition of the seventh book in a series of Joseph Ratzinger’s complete works. The seventh volume contains all the writings the man who served as Benedict XVI wrote about the Second Vatican Council, including writings when he was an expert advisor to Cardinal Joseph Frings of Cologne.
The complete works are curated by Cardinal Mueller himself. In his remarks, the cardinal said the Second Vatican Council’s wake included a conflict between theology and ideology: “the expected Pentecostal renewal was replaced by the perspective of a ‘Babylonic’ confession of faith and by the attempt to contradict the thought of the theological school.” All of this was “not a work of the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit always listens to the Church in love and truth.”
“Defecting from faith and counterfeiting faith, and the division from the Church that follows, are fruits of another spirit that is not the Spirit of God,” he explained.
Cardinal Mueller cited a famous expression of Benedict XVI: his Dec. 22, 2005 Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia, in which he spoke of a “hermeneutic of continuity” to interpret the Catholic faith.
Cardinal Mueller emphasized: “without a hermeneutic of continuity and of reform, the Church would secularize itself, and would turn into something more similar to a humanitarian organization.”
If this would happen, he said, “there would be no reason to be part of the Church.”
Full story at Catholic News Agency.