Vatican prefect fires broadside at traditionalists
Archbishop Müller has made some barbed comments that seem clearly aimed at traditionalist groups who see the Second Vatican Council as a backward step.
- Gianni Valente
- Vatican City
- November 30, 2012
Those who consider the Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II, to be a break from Church Tradition, offer a “heretical interpretation” of this great ecclesiastical event. And this doctrinal error is not made only by modernist innovators: it is also committed by neo-traditionalists who believe that Vatican II supposedly turned its back on the “traditional Church”. The suggestion that the traditionalist position may have “heretical” elements was made yesterday evening by Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, current Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
His remarks came during the presentation of volume VII of the German edition of Joseph Ratzinger’s “Opera Omnia”, a systematic collection of all the works which the theologian-turned-Pope dedicated to the Council and the documents that came out of it. The presentation took place in a very evocative place: the Teutonic College of Santa Maria dell'Anima which was expert-theologian Joseph Ratzinger’s logistical base during the Council sessions.
During his presentation, the head of the doctrinal dicastery, clearly stated that the only orthodox interpretation of the Second Vatican Council is that which sees it as an opportunity for reform and renewal, in continuity with the one subject-Church which the Lord has given us. Müller sees this as the only hermeneutics that respects “the indissoluble unity between the Holy Scriptures, the complete and integral Tradition and the Magisterium, which finds its highest expression in the Council, presided over by St. Peter’s Successor, as visible head of the Church.”
Archbishop Müller contrasted this “singular orthodox interpretation” with a “heretical interpretation” which he identified with “the hermeneutics of a split, both on the progressivist front and the traditionalist front.” According to Müller, what they both share in common is a rejection of the Council: “progressivists want to leave it behind them, as if it were just a phase that should be abandoned in order to move towards a different Church; traditionalists do not want to move towards such a Church, as if it represented the winter of the Catholica.”
In his speech, the former bishop of Regensburg described the contribution of Joseph Ratzinger, first as a theologian during the actual Council meetings (as a theological advisor to Cardinal Joseph Frings also) and then during the long and turbulent reception phase of the conciliar teachings. “It was a time of great expectation. Something big had to happen,” Benedict XVI wrote in the preface to the German volume presented by Müller.
Source: Vatican Insider/La Stampa