Interview with Fr Gaudron, FSSPX
(Published at pius.info on the 13th of July 2012)
The discussion about the controversial statements of Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller concerning the Virginity (of Our Lady) is increasingly attracting attention. A multitude of internet portals host contributions that are either in favour or against these statements.
The exchange was started by the press release of the SSPX at the news agency DAPD concerning the nomination of Bishop Müller.
pius.info has checked with Dogmatic Theologian Fr. Gaudron if he still upholds his critique on the statements of Bishop Müller.
pius.info: Fr. Gaudron, several reactions to your comments defend Bp. Müller by stating that the criticized statements (of Bp. Müller) were taken out of context. This is, for example, the opinion of Msgr. Bux, who is a member of the CDF. What do you have to say about this?
Fr. Gaudron: We are dealing here with a simple pretext, as anyone can prove who reads the statements in their context. I have quoted all the statements so that they can be verified easily. The defenders of Bp. Müller are apparently unable to quote him outlining the issues correctly.
pius.info: Some have also answered you that the Dogmatics of Ludwig Ott, who is not considered a Modernist, describe that the particularities concerning the physiological aspect of the Virginity are not part of the faith of the church.
Fr. Gaudron: The Dogmatics of Ott does explain, though, that Mary has given birth to Jesus without any corporal suffering, preserving her virginal integrity. It also presents the analogies of the Church fathers like the emergence of Christ from the sealed grave and the passing of light through glass.
The only correct thing is that the Church has not stipulated the exact particularities of what was different between the birth of Christ and the birth of other human beings, like, for example, whether the birth canal was widened or not, etc. Such indiscrete penetration of the mystery is not what the church wants to do. However, the painlessness of the birth, as well as the intactness of the hymen have always been proclaimed.
A. Mitterer seems to have been one of the first to want to deny the physiological particularities in his 1952 book Dogma und Biologie der heilgen Familie [Dogma and biology of the Holy Family]. Ott at first referred to this book [in his above-mentioned Dogmatics], but in later editions the reference had disappeared. One could suggest that this is related to a Monitum of the Holy Office (of 1960) that, alas, was never published but only sent to a number of Bishops and religious superiors. This Monitum deplores the apparition of several works in recent times concerning the virginity during the birth that are in clear contradiction to the Catholic teaching, and it prohibits the future publication of such tracts.
pius.info: But isn't the virginity before birth, [by which is] meant the conception of Christ by the Holy Ghost, much more important? This, Bishop Müller doesn't deny.
Fr. Gaudron: Without a doubt. But, firstly, it is Bishop Müller himself who has recently said that whoever wants to be Catholic, must accept the entire doctrine of the Church and should not choose [whatever he likes]. Secondly, those that deny the virginal conception often argue just like [Bishop] Müller: the virginity does not concern biological facts, but that Mary had given herself completely to God. For example, a university lecturer once said to me that of course Mary was a virgin; but one had to wonder what this virginity in fact means! These people manage to state that Mary was a virgin, while maintaining at the same time that she received Jesus from Joseph. The denial of the virginity in the birth seems to me to be a first exercise of relaxation of the dogma that only prepares much more severe ones.
pius.info: What do you have to say about Msgr. Bux's declaration that the explanation of Bishop Müller concerning the Eucharist was only to avoid a certain Capharnaism?
Fr. Gaudron: Also in this reaction I can only see a pretext. Bishop Müller does, in fact, talk about transubstantiation, but his explanations stay within the theories of transfinalization and transsignification, theories that Pope Paul VI. had rejected for being insufficient in his encyclical Mysterium fidei, mentioned by Msgr. Bux, of Sep. 3rd 1965.
The same can be said about the relationship of the Protestants with the church. No one denies that a valid baptism creates a certain orientation towards the church and that one should also be friendly to Christians that are separated from the church; however, that these would be fully integrated in the church is not even something that the new Codex [of Canon Law] says.
pius.info: You do not, then, see your assessment refuted?
Fr. Gaudron: The whole process appears to me to be symptomatic of our relationship to the Vatican. We submit a problem and one answers us with pretexts or with appeals to obedience.
The Fraternity [of St. Pius X] says that there is a problem if the Prefect of the CDF advocates theses that contradict the doctrines of the church. We have brought forth this in a factual manner and we haven't talked about "heretic" or "heresy", like some media present it. As a reaction we get that we should have faith in the Pope, because a Bishop that is nominated by the Pope could never have taught anything wrong.
It is the same with the Council. We say that there are some problems with it, because some passages of the Council clearly contradict the prior Magisterium of the church. Here, too, we always get the reply that there can be no contradiction, so there is none. To some extend this really goes against all logic.