Cdl. Müller Slams Rome Over Intercommunion

by Stephen Wynne  •  •  July 24, 2018   

Warns Communion for non-Catholics 'absolutely, objectively' impossible

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SYDNEY ( - Cardinal Gerhard Müller is denouncing a lack of leadership in Rome on a German bishops' plan to admit non-Catholics to Holy Communion.

In a Monday exclusive with Australian journalist Jordan Grantham, Müller reiterated that, despite what is being preached from German pulpits, non-Catholics cannot receive the Eucharist.

"Intercommunion is not possible, absolutely, objectively, is not possible because the Communion is the sacramental representation of the communion in the Faith," the Vatican's former doctrine chief observed. "If you don't have full communion in the Faith, it's not possible to have full communion in the sacramental expression, especially in the Eucharist."

Müller lamented the Holy See's mixed messages on the issue, conceding, "I am very sad that from Rome are coming directives, which are contrary ones."

In May, Cdl. Luis Ladaria, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, indicated Pope Francis was curbing the German proposal.

Weeks later, the Pontiff appeared to greenlight intercommunion, telling reporters the decision to allow non-Catholics to receive the Eucharist should rest with individual bishops.

"The Pope, according to the Catholic faith, is the universal principle of the unity of the Church, not political unity but the unity in the revealed Faith," Müller told Grantham. "The Faith, the doctrine of the Catholic Church regarding the Eucharist and the Eucharist's belonging to the full communion of the Church under the Pope and the episcopacy is very clear. It cannot be changed."

We can say nothing, nor establish a doctrine or an understanding in the Church that is against the words of God in Holy Scripture and the expression of Catholic tradition.

Müller also rebuked his brother bishops in Germany for spearheading the intercommunion push, the latest sign of their loss of supernatural faith. He called on the prelates to "find the way back to more a religious and spiritual understanding of the Church," reminding them that "the fundamentals of the Catholic faith ... cannot be changed."

"The Holy Spirit unites the Church and is the antidote against the divisions and separations," the cardinal noted.

But, he cautioned, throughout history "different groups referred themselves to the Holy Spirit. ... They said that we have direct feeling, a direct line to the Holy Spirit, 'we don't need the Holy Scripture, we don't need the Apostolic tradition, we don't need the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.'"

"Nobody, even the Pope and a council, has a direct line to the Holy Spirit because they are not receiving a new revelation," Müller continued. "There is one revelation, forever given in Jesus Christ and therefore our basis is Holy Scripture. We can say nothing, nor establish a doctrine or an understanding in the Church that is against the words of God in Holy Scripture and the expression of Catholic tradition."

Perth Abp. Timothy Costelloe

Cardinal Müller's reflections have especially deep implications for Australia at this time. After years of sex abuse scandals, collapsing vocations and parish closings, the Australian hierarchy have announced that, in October 2020, they will convene in Adelaide to hew a new path forward.

In preparation for "Plenary Council 2020," as the summit is called, the bishops have launched a series of nationwide "dialogue and listening encounters" for the laity to help decide the future of the Church in Australia. Talk of "listening to the Spirit" permeates the initiative.

According to Plenary Council President Abp. Timothy Costelloe of Perth, "We will need to listen to many different voices, for God speaks in many different ways, some of them likely to surprise us."

In March, Costelloe told Australian Catholics, "Listening can sometimes be a difficult or confronting thing. Sometimes when we listen really carefully, we hear things that surprise us or even unsettle us. We might have some of our strongly held views challenged or even turned upside down."

The phrasing is unsettling many faithful Australian Catholics, who worry the listening sessions are being used as a pretext to spark revolution in the Church in Australia.

But Cdl. Müller's message is clear: Any novelty — whether intercommunion, same-sex "marriage" or something else — that is "against the words of God in Holy Scripture and the expression of Catholic tradition" is a falsehood and must be resisted.

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