Monday, July 02, 2012

Bishop Gerhard Mueller, the CDF's new Prefect, and the pillars of the Faith

It was Father Vincent Miceli who warned that, "Once the liturgy is humanized, Christ the Center and Object of it becomes the humanist par excellence, the liberator, the revolutionary, the Marxist ushering in the millenium; he ceases to be the Divine Redeemer.  We must be alerted to those who plan, by convincing us to abandon our sacred forms, at length to seduce us into denying our Christian faith altogether.  The Church is attacked by these Sons of Satan, in and outside her fold, because she is a living form, the sacrament - sign and instrument - of communion with God and of unity among all men; because she is the visible body of Religion.  Hence these shrewd masters of sedition know that when her sacred forms go, religion will also go.  Violate the lex orandi and you must inevitably destroy the lex credendi.  That is why they rail against so many devotions as superstitions, why they propose so many alterations and changes, a tactic cleverly calculated to shake the foundations of faith.."

The Devil hates the Eucharist and Our Lady [recall how these two pillars played an important part in Don Bosco's prophetic dream as they stabilized the Church represented by a ship with Peter at the head] and never ceases to attack them.  He uses variations on gnosticism, symbolism and modernism to attack the authentic teaching of the Magisterium on the Holy Eucharist.  As the spiritual war continues to escalate all around us, the Devil's attacks against the Eucharist will multiply.  These attacks will intensify and reach a crescendo with the Man of Sin.  Do you doubt this?  Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, Doctor of the Church, has already warned us that:

"The devil has always managed to get rid of the Mass by means of the heretics, making them precursors of the Antichrist who, above all else, will manage to abolish, and in fact will succeed in abolishing, as a punishment for the sins of men, the Holy Sacrifice of the altar, precisely as Daniel had predicted." ("Le Messa e l'Officio Strapazzati" in Opere Ascetiche).

Pope Benedict XVI has just named Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, who was a student of Father Gustavo Gutierrez (credited with founding Liberation Theology), to head the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  As this Blog post notes, Bishop Mueller has expressed some rather odd ideas regarding the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity - in the Holy Eucharist:

"On the Perpetual Virginity of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary:

In his 900-page work "Katholische Dogmatik. Für Studium und Praxis der Theologie" (Freiburg. 5th Edition, 2003), Müller denies the dogma of the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary claiming that the doctrine is "not so much concerned with specific physiological proprieties in the natural process of birth (such as the birth canal not having been opened, the hymen not being broken, or the absence of birth pangs), but with the healing and saving influence of the grace of the Savior on human nature."

On the Real Presence of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the Lord in the transubstantiated Eucharistic species:

In 2002, bishop Müller published the book "Die Messe - Quelle des christlichen Lebens" (St. Ulrich Verlag, Augsburg). In this book, he speaks of the Sacrament of the Altar and warns against using the terms "body and blood" in this context. These terms would cause "misunderstandings", "when flesh and blood are considered to mean the physical and biological components of the human Jesus. Neither is it simply the transfigured body of the resurrected Lord that is being designated."

Bishop Müller continues: "In reality, the body and blood of Christ do not mean the material components of the human person of Jesus during his lifetime or in his transfigured corporality. Here, body and blood mean the presence of Christ in the signs of the medium of bread and wine."

Holy Communion transmits according to Müller a "community with Jesus Christ, mediated by eating and drinking the bread and the wine. Even in the merely personal human sphere, something like a letter may represent the friendship between people and, that is to say, show and embody the sympathy of the sender for the receiver." Bread and wine thus only become "symbols of his salvific presence".

That is how Mgr Müller explains a "change of being" in the Eucharistic gifts:

"The essential definition of bread and wine has to be conceived in an anthropological way. The natural essence of these offerings [bread and wine] as the fruit of the earth and the work of human hands, as the unity of natural and cultural products consists in clarifying the nourishment and sustenance of man and the communion of the people in the sign of a common meal [...]. This natural essence of bread and wine is transfigured by God in the sense that the essence of bread and wine is made to consist exclusively in showing and realizing the salvific communion with God."

Strange days.  Dark days.  The smoke of Satan has darkened many minds.

In his Encyclical Letter Mysterium Fidei, Pope Paul VI warned us that, "..among those who deal with this Most Holy Mystery [transubstantiation] in written or spoken word, there are some who, with reference either to Masses which are celebrated in private, or to the dogma of transubstantiation, or to devotion to the Eucharist, spread abroad such opinions as disturb the faithful and fill their minds with no little confusion about matters of faith, as if every one were permitted to consign to oblivion doctrine already defined by the Church, or to interpret it in such a way as to weaken the genuine meaning of the words or the approved import of the concepts involved." (No. 10).

Pope Paul VI goes on to warn in this important Encyclical that, "it is not discuss the mystery of transubstantiation without mentioning the marvelous changing of the whole substance of the bread into the Body and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood of Christ as stated by the Council of Trent, so that it consists in 'transignification' or 'transfinalization.' as they put it."

In No. 46 of Mysterium Fidei, the Pope explains:

"After transubstantiation has taken place, the species of bread and wine undoubtedly take on a new meaning and a new finality, for they no longer remain ordinary bread and ordinary drink, but become the sign of something sacred, and the sign of a spiritual food.  However, the reason they take on a new significance and this new finality is simply because they contain a new 'reality' which we may justly term ontological."

This is the teaching of the Council of Trent regarding Eucharistic dogma: "In the first place the holy Synod teaches...that in the precious Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, after the consecration of the bread and wine, Our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is truly, really and substantially contained under the species of those sensible things."

This is the Church's authoritative teaching.  And, as Pope Paul VI said, no one is free to "consign to oblivion" this defined doctrine or to weaken the Church's teaching or the concepts involved.

Pray and watch.  For a diabolical disorientation is clouding minds.  The smoke of Satan continues to wreak havoc.


Jacob said...

The Devil is working harder than ever to destroy the Church and to sow confusion and error.

ACatholicinClinton said...

I disagree vehemently with Fr. Zuhlsdorf who doesn't seem concerned about this appointment at all. That, to me, is also very strange. Bishop Mueller's views are frightening to me.

Stewart said...

Clinton, I don't get it either. It is peculiar that Fr. Z touches upon liberation theology, saying this isn't an issue because the Church has "picked it over" retaining what is good and getting rid of what is false, but says absolutely nothing about Muller's position on the Real Presence and Our Lady's perpetual virginity.

jac said...

Is our Holy Father so unaware of the odd beliefs of Bp Mueller regarding serious dogmatic issues, that he appointed him as head of the CFD?
Who wants to torpedo the pending talks with the SSPX?

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Very encouraging words from Archbishop Mueller:

Praise God.

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