Interview: Cardinal Gerhard L. Müller

Amoris Laetitia?

“It should be read as a whole, in any case, adultery is always a mortal sin and the bishops who stir confusion on this should study for themselves the doctrine of the Church. We must help the sinner to overcome the sin and to repent.”

The unity of Christians? “It is important, but it cannot become relativism, one can not sell out the sacraments instituted by Jesus.”

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, weighs in with utmost clarity upon the hottest topics of ecclesial debate and beyond. We met him in the rooms from which he directs what once was the Holy Office, the place with custody of sound doctrine. We were greeted with great cordiality.

His role of defender of Catholic orthodoxy, combined with an imposing physique and Teutonic [German] origins elicited a certain reverence, but it was quickly overcome by the Cardinal’s cheerfulness and accessibility. We sit around the table; the theme is doctrine, the role it has in the Christian life, knowing we were broaching an unpopular topic.

Your Eminence, let us go straight to the heart of the question. What is doctrine?

Aristotle says at the beginning of his Metaphysics, that all men seek the truth. The nature of the intellect is love for the truth. That is why God gave has given us an intellect and will, the one ordered towards the truth and the other towards love as the center of existence of all being, of God himself in his nature.

For us God is the origin and the end of our existence, and for this reason it is necessary to know what God has revealed: it is the most important thing for a human creature—to know from where I came and to where I am going, what it is the meaning of suffering, of death.

It is a sign of a hope that goes beyond the limits we experience in our weak and finite lives. The Catechism tells us what to believe in the Creed, what to do in the Commandments, how to unite ourselves to God in faith, hope and charity, through the prayer (the Our Father), how to receive sanctifying grace in the seven sacraments. Continue reading

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