Cardinal Müller issues Manifesto: A quasi correction of Pope Francis’ pontificate

By John-Henry Westen and Maike Hickson

February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, has released a Manifesto which reads like a correction of many of the doctrinal errors Pope Francis has taught during his tenure as Pope.

The cardinal’s intention was to release the manifesto on February 10. That date is the eve of the anniversary of Pope Benedict’s announcement in 2013 that he would abdicate his papal office, as well as the eve of the cardinal’s own ordination to the priesthood. However, a Polish website broke the embargo and thus the document is being released today.

Pope Francis removed Cardinal Müller from his post as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in 2017 after he had served in that capacity since he was appointed by Pope Benedict in 2012.

In the manifesto, Cardinal Müller does not mention the Pope but says that he was asked to make a public testimony of the truth “in the face of growing confusion about the doctrine of the Faith.”

The manifesto was released in the wake of Pope Francis’ highly controversial joint document with an Islamic leader which says that “the pluralism and the diversity of religions” are “willed by God in His wisdom” – a statement many believe contravenes the Catholic Faith.

Cardinal Müller takes a contrary stand when he says in the Manifesto:

The distinction of the three persons in the divine unity (CCC 254) marks a fundamental difference in the belief in God and the image of man from that of other religions. Religions disagree precisely over this belief in Jesus the Christ. … Therefore, the first letter of John refers to one who denies His divinity as an antichrist (1 John 2:22), since Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is from eternity one in being with God, His Father (CCC 663).

The cardinal is releasing his manifesto to a worldwide audience, in seven different languages, thus allowing for a widespread affirmation of the orthodox Catholic faith.

To this end, LifeSite is hosting a petition at its LifePetitions platform so the Catholic clergy and faithful of the world, in all language groups, can make a visible sign of their support for the full and unvarnished faith and for the Cardinal’s initiative.

Read the full Manifesto in English at the bottom of the article, or in PDF form here. Download PDFs of the other languages here: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Polish.

Support Cdl. Müller’s doctrinal manifesto amid Pope Francis’ confusion. Sign the petition here.

Providing clarity on the Church’s view of Islam, Cardinal Müller rejects the Muslim view that sees Christ as a prophet, rather than the Messiah. “We are to resist the relapse into ancient heresies with clear resolve, which saw in Jesus Christ only a good person, brother and friend, prophet and moralist,” the Manifesto says.

The Manifesto also addresses several other points which can be seen as corrections of Pope Francis including the impermissibility of Holy Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics as well as that for Protestants; the eternity of hell; the ban on female priests; and priestly celibacy.

The Manifesto says “divorced and civilly remarried persons, whose sacramental marriage exists before God, as well as those Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Faith and the Church” are “not disposed to receive the Holy Eucharist fruitfully (CCC 1457), because it does not bring them to salvation.”

The Manifesto adds, “Therefore, the Holy Scripture admonishes with regard to the reception of the Holy Communion: ‘Whoever eats unworthily of the bread and drinks from the Lord’s cup makes himself guilty of profaning the body and of the blood of the Lord’ (1 Cor 11:27).”

In his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia Pope Francis wrote “no one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel” and in interviews he went so far as to suggest that those who want no part of God are annihilated rather than in hell.

Quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Müller attests, “He who dies in mortal sin without repentance will be forever separated from God (CCC 1033).” The Manifesto says, “The eternity of the punishment of hell is a terrible reality, which – according to the testimony of Holy Scripture – attracts all who ‘die in the state of mortal sin’ (CCC 1035).”

“To keep silent about these and the other truths of the Faith and to teach people accordingly is the greatest deception against which the Catechism vigorously warns,” says the Cardinal. “It represents the last trial of the Church and leads man to a religious delusion, ‘the price of their apostasy’ (CCC 675); it is the fraud of Antichrist.”

The Pope’s recent opening to a non-celibate priesthood and winking at female ordination also seems to be covered, as the Manifesto says, “priests voluntarily opt for celibacy as ‘a sign of new life’ (CCC 1579).” The Church, says Cardinal Müller, is “bound by the choice made by the Lord Himself. That is why it is not possible to ordain women (CCC 1577).”  The Cardinal adds: “To imply that this impossibility is somehow a form of discrimination against women shows only the lack of understanding for this sacrament, which is not about earthly power but the representation of Christ, the Bridegroom of the Church.”

Furthermore, Cardinal Müller also restates the inseparable link between the Faith and the moral law which needs to be followed “to do good and reach this goal [of promised blessedness],” and he points to certain parts of the Church’s moral teaching “which are often ignored today.” Here, he references several parts of the Catechism’s moral teaching “which may not be relativized” without quoting them explicitly. Among them are such statements as “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception” (no. 2270) and the explicit rejection of the following  grave sins: abortion (no. 2271), contraception (no. 2370), euthanasia (no. 2277), suicide (no. 2280), cohabitation outside of marriage (no. 2350), masturbation (no. 2352),  fornication (no. 2353), pornography (no. 2354), and adultery (no. 2380-2381). Cardinal Müller also explicitly references those parts of the Catechism (no. 2357-2359) which describe “homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity” and “intrinsically disordered” and which call upon homosexual persons to live in “chastity.”

While he never mentions Pope Francis by name, the Manifesto’s criticisms are so pointed they leave little doubt about the identity of at least one of the intended members of the hierarchy Cardinal Müller hopes to correct. “The admonition of the Apostle is still valid today, that cursed is anyone who proclaims another gospel, ‘even if we ourselves were to give it or an angel from heaven’ (Gal 1:8),” the Manifesto reads. “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.”

Read Cardinal Müller’s entire Manifesto in English below. Download a PDF of the seven language versions here: English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Polish.

Manifesto of Faith

“Let not your heart be troubled!” (John 14:1)

In the face of growing confusion about the doctrine of the Faith, many bishops, priests, religious and lay people of the Catholic Church have requested that I make a public testimony about the truth of revelation. It is the shepherds’ very own task to guide those entrusted to them on the path of salvation. This can only succeed if they know this way and follow it themselves. The words of the Apostle here apply: “For above all I have delivered unto you what I have received” (1 Cor. 15:3). Today, many Christians are no longer even aware of the basic teachings of the Faith, so there is a growing danger of missing the path to eternal life. However, it remains the very purpose of the Church to lead humanity to Jesus Christ, the light of the peoples (see LG 1). In this situation, the question of orientation arises. According to John Paul II, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is a “safe standard for the doctrine of the faith” (Fidei Depositum IV). It was written with the aim of strengthening the Faith of the brothers and sisters whose belief has been massively questioned by the “dictatorship of relativism.”[1]

[1] The numbers in the text refer to the Catechism of The Catholic Church.

Support Cdl. Müller’s doctrinal manifesto amid Pope Francis’ confusion. Sign the petition here: https://lifepetitions.com/petition/sign-cardinal-mullers-manifesto-of-faith

Full Manifesto at: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-mueller-issues-manifesto-a-quasi-correction-of-pope-francis-pontif