Hat to hat: Cardinal Kasper attacks Müller’s manifesto

Cardinal Walter Kasper has attacked Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s Manifesto of Faith.

Kasper says the manifesto, which Müller published on Sunday, contains half-truths and blanket statements that could lead to division and confusion in the Church.

Although the manifesto “contains many statements of faith that every upright Catholic can wholeheartedly affirm,” some of the truths in it “are pointed out so pointedly that it fades out the other half,” Kasper says.

Müller, who is former prefect of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, says he wrote the manifesto as a response to Catholics who asked him to issue a “public testimony about the truth of revelation” because of “growing confusion about the doctrine of the Faith”.

The manifesto addresses five areas of Catholic doctrine: Christology, ecclesiology, sacraments, morality, and eschatology – the branch of theology that addresses death, judgment, heaven, and hell. Each section draws heavily from references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Kasper, who has been an outspoken advocate of the admission of the divorced-and-remarried to Holy Communion, accused Müller of making “unacceptable blanket statements”.

These include the assertion that “the conscience of the faithful is not sufficiently formed.

“It is undoubtedly true that the confession of the Triune God constitutes a fundamental difference in belief in God and the image of man from other religions,” Kasper said.

“But are there not similarities, especially with the Jews and the Muslims, in the belief in the one God? And are not these similarities today fundamental to peace in the world and in society? Half the truth is not the Catholic truth!” Kasper said.

He also said that he was “totally horrified” to read Müller’s statement that failing to teach the truths of the Catholic faith “is the fraud of Antichrist”.

Kasper suggested that Müller was following the path of Martin Luther: “One who rightly advocates reforms in the Church, but wants to pursue these behind the pope’s back and enforce them in opposition to him? I would find that hard to believe. For that could only lead to confusion and division. That could unhinge the Catholic Church”.


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