How important is the CDF — until the 1960s, the most important Vatican department — in the life of the Church today? 13 with Cardinal Gerhard Müller, who had served five years as the congregation’s prefect until Pope Francis decided not to renew his term in July for reasons the cardinal has said were never explained to him.
In this extensive interview, Cardinal Müller criticizes what he describes as careerists and opportunists who he says are sowing discord in the Roman Curia and besmirched his name.
Instead, the Holy Father prefers to consult his advisers, such as his close confidant Archbishop Victor Fernandez, rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires.
But in the end, what is decisive is the authority of the Pope.
An apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis, and all that he says concerning doctrine, has a magisterial authority.
The use of such underhanded tactics is always detrimental to the life of the Church and to the functioning of the Curia.
Looking at history, we see that courts are often blighted by such intrigues, and this is something that the Pope himself has condemned very strongly as a longstanding evil in the Roman Curia.
There was a group of so-called progressive activists, who issued propaganda against us, saying the existence of the congregation is a throwback to the days of the Inquisition. Now the same people say they’ve been successful in intervening with “their” Pope, that the congregation isn’t doing its work, but this is not true.
We addressed some cases involving problematic views and theologians.He also discusses the dangers of the CDF being ignored, particularly in the drafting process of pontifical documents such as the Pope’s apostolic exhortation on the family, and how a pervading sense of fear is preventing more people, particularly priests, seminarians and professors, from daring to openly criticize aspects of this pontificate.He also shares his opinion on the the extent of authority held by the Pope’s closest advisers, and the dangers some of them present by invoking the Holy Spirit to justify their positions considered by some scholars as propagating heresy. The approach of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith since the changes of the Second Vatican Council is first to promote the faith — and the second is to defend the faith.The Pope will not and cannot change either the doctrine or the sacraments.What he wants is to help couples in very difficult circumstances as a good shepherd, but in accord with the word of God.He assured me that no credence should be given to such gossip.