Archbishop Mueller Introduces Himself.
Archbishop Mueller has introduced himself, and he stinks mightily of heresy already. If Pope Benedict thinks he can save his soul with appointments like this, I can’t avoid thinking he might be sorely disappointed.
Archbishop Mueller wonderfully represents the worst that 50 years of post Vatican-II Church have given us: ambiguous, oily, always flirting with heresy, and harsh only when he talks about the SSPX. He does it, of course, to appear “modern” and “with it” to the millions of horribly misinformed and, alas, loud bellowing German Catholics who still constitute the biggest spenders of the Church.
I don’t know how you call this, but I do.
I have just reblogged an old post of mine dealing with both a blog post from Ite ad Thomam concerning Modernism and Neo-Modernism, and the simple fact that modern liturgy and Catholic thinking as listened to in many parishes every week has become simply unrecognisable as such for a Catholic of the past.
Coming more to the point of our hero, let us see what the writers of Ite ad Thomam have to say about neo-Modernism. Emphases always mine.
The post-conciliar theological principle is neo-modernism, and the theology that is based on it is known as the nouvelle theologie. It is the idea that old dogmas or beliefs must be retained, yet not the traditional ‘formulas’: dogmas must be expressed and interpreted in a new way in every age so as to meet the ‘needs of modern man’. This is still a denial of the traditional and common sense notion of truth as adaequatio intellectus et rei (insofar as it is still an attempt to make the terminology that expresses the faith correspond with our modern lifestyle) and consequently of the immutability of Catholic dogma, yet it is not as radical as modernism. It is more subtle and much more deceptive than modernism because it claims that the faith must be retained; it is only the ‘formulas’ of faith that must be abandoned–they use the term ‘formula’ to distinguish the supposedly mutable words of our creeds, dogmas, etc. from their admittedly immutablemeanings. Therefore, neo-modernism can effectively slip under the radar of most pre-conciliar condemnations (except Humani generis, which condemns it directly) insofar as its practitioners claim that their new and unintelligible theological terminology really expresses the same faith of all times. In other words, neo-modernism is supposed to be ‘dynamic orthodoxy’: supposedly orthodox in meaning, yet always changing in expression to adapt to modern life (cf. Franciscan University of Steubenville’s mission statement).
I will save you now the umpteenth repetition of the “courageous” theological statements of the innovative Archbishop now everywhere on the net.
I will, instead, invite you to compare this with a revealing expression of our new guardian of Catholic theology:
The 1965 reorganisation of the dicastery placed this positive aspect in its heart. It is about the promotion of theology and its basis in Revelation, to ensure its quality, and to consider the relevant intellectual developments on a global scale. We cannot simply and mechanically repeat the doctrine of the faith. It must always be associated with the intellectual developments of the time, the sociological changes, the thinking of people.
This, my friends, is pure NuChurch-ese, and bollocks of the most dangerous sort. You can’t say it is openly heretical, but it is not difficult to understand what he is aiming at.
Of course, the Church must adequate the way it communicates to the changing times: two thousand years ago a sermon might have entailed the growing of the crops; together rather a car, or an Iphone. But the Archbishop says much more than this. He says that the doctrine must not be repeated “mechanically” (clearly implying what was good yesterday will not be good tomorrow) and talks of things which become increasingly more dangerous, namely:
a) the “intellectual development of the time”. This is a rather novel concept, to my knowledge unknown before V II: if the intellect of men develops, when will the time come when one says that certain truths of the Faith must now be adapted to the developed intellect of men? Of course doctrine (slowly) develops, but it is an organic development, and it is certainly not the fruit of the development of the human being as such, but of the harmonic growing and flowering of those immutable truths, which are themselves immutable because the human being, in his essence, is immutable himself.
b) the “sociological changes”. I read here “the fact that we are full of divorced people whose money I want”. Once again, if the doctrine must be “evolved”, and be that only in the way it is presented, in harmony with the “sociological changes” we’ll soon have a “theology of divorce and remarriage”, courtesy of Archbishop Mueller. Make no mistake, this is no man likely to be afraid, as he does not hesitate in tampering with the Blessed Virgin’s hymen. But millions of Germans will be thankful to him. Cha-ching…
c) the “thinking of people”. This is scary, and amazing even for a German Bishop. Catholic doctrine can’t be repeated mechanically; no. it must be “associated” with “the thinking of people”. If you think like this, you can say the most absurd things: like… like… that Protestants are part of the same “church”, or even try to give an interpretation of transubstantiation acceptable to Protestant, because it stinks so much of consubstantiation. The possibilities are limitless…
As always, if you really, really want to give to his words a halfway orthodox interpretation, you can. Perhaps, it was all innocently said; perhaps, the Archbishop simply means that you mention the Ipod instead of the wheat crop; perhaps, he simply means that one must pay attention he captures the attention of the people. But does he, really? Is this the history of the last 50 years of German episcopacy? Is the the way he wants to be understood?
Amazing, what being friends with the Pope can do for you…
Let us wake up, say I, and look at the problem in the face: under the wake of Pope Benedict, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church not from a fissure, but from the main entrance; and has blackened the ceilings of the Vatican all right.