Cd. Mueller Officially Denies “Five Questions” Story

July 12, 2017

Cd. Mueller Officially Denies “Five Questions” Story

By Andrew Parrish

(ROME, Italy) – Speaking to Die Tagespost today, Cardinal Mueller, ex-head of the CDF, has denied allegations printed by OnePeterFive and others that the Pope asked him ‘five questions’ in the confidential interview which led to the Cardinal’s dismissal.

“When Cardinal Mueller read the expression of the two reports, almost the same, on Wednesday morning, he could not believe his eyes,” Die Tagespost states. Mueller denies the substance of the conversation as reported; he also specifically denies the claim that at the close of the interview he “had still been sitting a little after the departure of the Pope, expecting something to come from Francis, a small gift or the like to say goodbye to the Cardinal or to thank him for his services; until the Prefect of the Pontifical Council, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, had informed him that the audience had finished.” As Die Tagespost reports, “Cardinal Mueller was not a little surprised when he had to read this fictitious portrayal.”

Vatican reporting is notoriously plagued with anonymous sources, wildfire rumors, and secondhand reports of secret meetings which took place in cafes. The editor of Die Tagespost claims acquaintance with the anonymous source upon whom Maike Hickson of 1P5 and Marco Tosatti of Stilum Curiae depended; according to the article this person is known in Rome as “a dubious figure,” “whose bubbling imagination knows no boundaries.” The story cannot be verified without additional sources or information; however, Steve Skojec, also of 1P5, has defended it as entirely consistent with recent events in the Vatican and other known statements by Cd. Mueller and the Pope.

Cd. Mueller has been under heavy pressure from all sides as a central figure in the Amoris Laetitia controversy. As head of the CDF, he held what was until recently a masterful authority over the definition of Church doctrine; in this position he defended the traditional Church teaching on the reception of Communion by those divorced and remarried without an annulment, without issuing a condemnation of Amoris Laetitia, thus earning the ire of both sides in the dispute. He has expressed his anger over the abruptness of his dismissal, and resentment may still linger over the forced firing of three priests under his jurisdiction by Pope Francis last year.

The five questions which the Pope is supposed to have asked Cardinal Mueller, with the Cardinal’s responses, are:

  • Are you in favor of, or against, a female diaconate? “I am against it,” responded Cardinal Müller.

  • Are you in favor of, or against, the repeal of celibacy? “Of course I am against it,” the cardinal responded.

  • Are you in favor of, or against, female priests? “I am very decisively against it,” replied Cardinal Müller.
  • Are you willing to defend Amoris Laetitia? “As far as it is possible for me,” the Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith replied: “there still exist ambiguities.”
  • Are you willing to retract your complaint concerning the dismissal of three of your own employees? Cardinal Müller responded: “Holy Father, these were good, unblemished men whom I now lack, and it was not correct to dismiss them over my head, shortly before Christmas, so that they had to clear their offices by 28 December. I am missing them now.”

The entire Die Tagespost story, in its original German, is here. Pewsitter translated excerpts from this story with the aid of Google Translate.


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By Andrew Parrish

Andrew Parrish is a 2015 graduate of the Catholic University of Lublin in Poland. He holds a BA in Philosophy.

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