Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, German cardinal theologian and editor of Ratzinger’s complete works, goes on the attack on Pope Francis. After the book in which he accused him of favoring his friends in the fight against Church abuses, in an interview with Corriere della Sera the high prelate returns to criticize him on gay couples and relations with China. The former prefect of the Holy Office from 2012 to 2017, replaced by Bergoglio himself, had already come into the limelight for his strange theories on the Coronavirus. Today he returns to talk about the magic circle around the Pontiff: Everyone has friends, but he must also trust collaborators. The appointment of a bishop, for example, must be prepared. A candidate should be chosen on the basis of his intellectual as well as pastoral abilities. And not because he is a friend of the friend who recommends him.
Those recommended by cardinals
Mueller says he recognizes Pope Francis’ authority. But he adds that he is not God on earth: It’s not like we can’t speak our mind. And he points his finger at the relationship with the Chinese regime: The Church cannot ignore this brutal communist dictatorship. You cannot compromise with evil. He then argues that it is not true that the Church is 200 years behind: The Church is the fullness of salvation and truth that came from Jesus, it is not a human organization. It is one thing to respond to the challenges of today, but the content and substance of Revelation cannot be changed according to the pleasure of the times. He adds that gay couples are against nature: God created man and woman. This is the basis of faith. And of cardinals and bishops who recognize the value of same-sex unions, he says, There are also bishops who have taught heresies.
The other popes emeriti
Finally, Mueller dismisses the suggestion that conservatives may be taking breath from Ratzinger’s death: We are not a political reality where there are two opposing wings. If anything there are orthodox and heretics. And on other possible popes emeriti (i.e., the possibility of Pope Francis’ resignation), he says, I accepted Benedict’s personal decision but I cannot understand it. I think that resignations should not be normalized. Jesus instituted the papacy and the episcopate for life. Until martyrdom.