October 15, 2022 Column Father De Celles

Synodality. On October 6, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, appeared on EWTN talking with Raymond Arroyo about the ongoing “Synodal process” and the Synod on Synodality coming up in March. This is an extremely important interview, so I will dedicate this column to presenting a transcript here [edited for length]. The italics are Arroyo’s questions. The edited text follows:

… What must you think as you watch a system being created, where all of that doctrine seems to be up for grabs?

The basis of the Church is the word of God as a revelation … not our strange reflections. … This [agenda] is a system of self-revelation. This occupation of the Catholic Church is a hostile takeover of the Church of Jesus Christ. … And if you look at only one page, or read one page of the Gospel, you’ll see that it has nothing to do with Jesus Christ … and [in this agenda] they think that doctrine is only like a program of a political party, who can change it according to their votes.

….Cardinal Mario Grech, who is the secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops…last month in Rome…talked of …divorced-and-remarried people receiving Communion, blessing same-sex couples…: These are not to be understood simply in terms of doctrine, but in terms of God’s ongoing encounter with human beings. What has the Church to fear if these two groups within the faithful are given the opportunity to express their intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience? Might this be an opportunity for the Church, to listen to the Holy Spirit, speaking through them also.” Your thoughts….? …

That is a hermeneutic of the old cultural Protestantism; and observe modernism: That is the individual experience, as the same level as objective revelation of God. And God is only a wall to you, on which you can project your proper ideas, and to make certain populism in the Church; and surely everybody outside of the Church who want to destroy the Catholic Church, and the fundamentals, they are very glad about these declarations. But it is obvious that is absolutely against the Catholic doctrine. We have Revelation of God in Jesus Christ. And it is definitely closed and finished in Jesus Christ. … This is absolutely clear: that Jesus has spoken about the indissolubility of matrimony. And how is it possible that Cardinal Grech is more intelligent than Jesus Christ, where he takes his authority to relativize, to subvert of God?

…I am shaken when I hear you say….that you believe the synodal process is … shaping up into a hostile takeover of the Church, of an attempt to destroy the Church…

If they succeed, it will be the end of the Catholic Church. And we must resist it like the old heretics of the Arianism. When Arias thought, according to his ideas, what can God do and what can God not do? And it is irrationalism: human, the intellect to decide what is true and what is wrong.

All these national reports are being synthesized into a working document…This is being drafted by the synod leadership and advisory committee and a group of approximately 20 so-called experts. …Who are these people…?

They are dreaming of another church that has nothing to do with the Catholic faith … and they want to abuse this process, for shifting the Catholic Church — and not only in other direction, but in the destruction of the Catholic Church. … Nobody can make an absolute shift and substitute the revealed doctrine of the Church, but they have these strange ideas, as doctrine as only a theory of some theologians. 

The doctrine of the apostles is a reflection and manifestation of the Revelation of the word of God. We have to listen to the word of God in the authority of the Holy Bible, of apostolic tradition, and of the magisterium. And all the Council said before: that it is not possible to substitute Revelation, given once and forever in Jesus Christ, by another revelation.

Why do you believe the Pope is allowing this?

That is a difficult question. But I cannot understand it. I must say it openly, because the definition of the popeis, and [based in] the Vatican Council and also the history of Catholic theology, he has to guarantee the truth of the Gospel and the unity of all the bishops, and in the Church, in the revealed truth…

 …This week….Cardinal Grech …[tweeted]: A correct reception of the council’s ecclesiology is activating such fruitful processes as to open up scenarios that not even the council had imagined, and in which the actions of the Spirit that guides the church is made manifest.” What does that mean to you? 

That is coming from the authority of Cardinal Grech, his own revelation for him. And not only this: It is a theory about so-called processes, which are overcoming Revelation. And everybody knows who studied the first semester of sociology: The Church and the authorities in the Church cannot change the Revelation …to found a new church according to things and then use all the offices speaking about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not a way of Presbyterianism, or all these pneumatic movements outside of the Catholic Church … substituting Jesus Christ. It is the Spirit of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit that will introduce us into full truths, but once said forever, revealed in Jesus Christ, and therefore not an impulse only for one process which leads us in the end against the Revelation; and, therefore, we have a clear Apostolic Creed. I am wondering that, as Cardinal Grech here presents himself as a super authority, he is not a recognized theologian, he has no importance in the academic theology, and how he is presenting a new hermeneutic of the Catholic faith only because he is the secretary of the synod, which has no authority about the doctrine of the Church; and all these Synods of Bishops and the process has no authority, in no way an magisterial authority.

Is this a play for Vatican III?…

Yes, it certainly is. It is very astonishing, that it is allowed under the authority,  in this context, of the Vatican. And it gives the impression that it is really possible that the Church [can change] … [that the synod organizers] are authorized to be the audience of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is only a function for them. … It has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit, who reveals himself as the Father and Son and the Holy Spirit …

Oremus pro invicem.

Fr. De Celles