Rorate Caeli

Müller: Yes, I do believe in those things

Vatican City, Aug 6, 2012 - The new head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says he wants the department to play a positive role in the New Evangelization, rather than simply responding to doctrinal problems as they arise.

“The task of this congregation is not only to defend the Catholic faith but to promote it, to give the positive aspects and possibilities of the whole richness of the Catholic faith,” Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller told EWTN News in a July 20 interview.

“We must speak about God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and also about Holy Scripture, the great Tradition of the Church, our Creed and our belief. In this way our hearts will be more open and our thinking more profound,” he said. ...

Archbishop Muller’s latest appointment, however, has been met with a degree of criticism from some who allege he holds unorthodox views on a range of issues – from the perpetual virginity of Our Lady, to the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, to the relationship of non-Catholic Christians to the Church.

“These are not criticisms, they are provocations. And not very intelligent provocations at that,” he said. “Either they have not read what I have written or they have not understood it.”

“Our Catholic faith is very clear,” he explained,“that at the consecration during Mass a change occurs so that the whole substance of the bread and wine is changed into the whole substance body and blood of Jesus Christ, and that this change is rightly called transubstantiation. And we have refused to accept all the other interpretations, consubstantiation, transignification, transfinalisation and so on.”

The Church is also equally clear on the “virginity of Mary, mother of Jesus, mother of God, before, during and after the birth of Christ,” Archbishop Muller stated.

It seems we are done with this matter, right? Thank you.

[Tip: reader]


  1. Mostly.

    He does say "the Church believes" or the "Faith is clear..."

    He doesn't say "I believe in X" or "It is clear I believe in Y"....

  2. Well golly gee whiz, maybe he should write things in a way which leave no doubt. He sounds clear here so it's not like he can't express himself clearly. One should never present something in such a way that might be interpreted as controversial or provocative. Of course there are some people who will latch onto anything no matter how small to discredit another person. As his works are in German and not English I honestly can't say.

  3. Hmmn, so non-dogmatic mental-gymnastics on dogma, after all? Our leaders. O Lord have mercy on us, give us good shepherds.

  4. The arrogance is astounding, he writes things in a bizarre modernist fashion which could mean almost anything and then complains when people interpret in the most obvious fashion. Frankly I don't buy this statement and I don't think many people will.

  5. Very "good", he has giving a public retraction as the head of the CDF.

    I wonder if his future books will be presented as a private work that anyone can contend with.

    You have to love it when the "Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church" comes in handy.

  6. Matthew M, your comment just made me realize, even in jest, why it is better to never understand the faith untarnished in Latin, than misrepresent it in German, then have it critique in English - then later rebut as having been 'mis'represented. Only to dance to the tune "wiggle it" just to get out of it. Confusing stuff...

  7. Jason C.10:17 PM

    If I'm a theologian suspected by the CDF because of one of my books, I'm taking my tu quoque defense all the way to the bank. "Oh, this lil' bit of heresy? Those were just my private views as a private theologian, you know, until I'm prefect of the CDF and can clear them up."

    In all seriousness, though, hopefully this clarification will be enough for most balanced people.

  8. Just one comment: are you people crazy?

  9. Bravo.

    A very welcome and important statement.

    Clear as a bell.

    Yes, NC, I'd say this one is done.

  10. NIANTIC11:02 PM

    Well, let us hope that he now really means, and believes, what he says. Perhaps he has learned the lesson; that one must be absolutely clear, precise and leave no room for ambiquity.
    Pax Christi.

  11. We should accept this, and move on.

    Otherwise, we're grassy knoll Catholics, and there will be no end to the lack of trust.

  12. I thought promoting the faith fell to Propaganda Fide...

  13. People, do you realize that the whole (traditionalist) critique of ++Mueller hangs (or hanged) on 3-4 opaque passages in an opus that spans thousands (!) of pages?

    I can understand why the Holy Father has put his trust in him, if this is really all, that can be brought against him.

    I think his orthodoxy is beyond doubt.

  14. This is hardly a case closed. His "clarification" on the Eucharist should be enough to satisfy doubt, however his "clarification" of Mary's virginity is hardly reassuring. He says,
    "The Church is also equally clear on the “virginity of Mary, mother of Jesus, mother of God, before, during and after the birth of Christ,”
    His original comments never *denided* that the Church taught the virginity before, during, and after birth, but rather, he offered a new and unorthodox explanation of that doctrine. His affirmation that the Church teaches the three fold virginity of Mary, does not mean he has given up his suspect interpretation of that doctrine.
    And what does he say of ecumenism, now?
    Maybe his "interpretations" were orthodox, all along (though that's a long shot). But again, as a prominent member of the Church he should have kept his words in the accepted formulas, and been much more charitable in responding to legitimate concerns.

  15. Joseph11:34 PM

    Andrew K,

    He says 'OUR Catholic Faith'. Stop being obtuse. He clarifies something that could have been misinterpreted and still gets attacked by some trads, who will likely never be happy with the Church because they have adopted the spirit of Luther.

  16. Archbishop Mueller. What a tone! What a way of responding! Jah vol Archbishop! What is it about the Germanic mind that is arrogant no matter whether they are liberal or conservative? Can't he grasp questions are asked so he can answer. Not give others the flick! It is the mindset! Conforming is the virtue... to what doesn't matter! What exactly are we Evangelising others to? Religious liberty means we do not have to or should. Tradition of the Church? Is that the ones we talk about...or have survived the tradition purge of the 1960, 70's 80's ...? Germans love the control. You VILL conform and I do not have to explain!

  17. Perhaps he _did_ include those statements in his written works. Has anyone on this forum actually read the written works from which certain quotations have been excerpted? Perhaps there he explains what he means.

  18. Excuse me, but can someone explain what is the picture in this entry about?

  19. It's a mill, as in miller... The poor kernels are just mercilessly crushed...

  20. "And we have refused to accept all the other interpretations, consubstantiation, transignification, transfinalisation and so on."

    Technically, I think the Church has refused to accept these interpretations IF they are meant in such a way as to deny transubstantiation or to be mutually exclusive from it.

  21. Prof. Basto2:11 AM

    Ok. Thank you. I'm satisfied.

    At least the Archbishop made clear that trasubstantiation is the doctrine of the Church, and that the Virginity of Mary (including, implicitly, the external elements denoting it), was preserved upon the birth of Our Lord and after.

    Although he was not so humble as to recognize that he was wrong before, and in spite of adopting an unjust tone towards the legitimate criticism he received, yet Muller still did a good thing by affirming publicly his acceptance of the Faith of the Church on those two points.

    We can now understand that he has abandoned any heterodox views on those issues, and now submits to the wisdom of the perennial ecclesiastical magisterium.

    Those who would have liked to see the defense of those doctrines weakened have now suffered a setback: those Truths of the Catholic Religion have been affirmed once more, highlighting the essential nature of the Real Presence and of Mary's Perpetual Virginity to the Catholic Faith.

    Laudetur Iesus Christus in aeternum!

  22. Yes, Bp Muller...we know what The Church teaches, but what do YOU teach? We want to hear you explain yourself, not the Catechism.

    "not very intelligent provocations at that"? Those criticisms were justified. More than that, for the sake of the Faithful and for the entire Church it was demanded that he give clarification. Those "provocations" obviously nailed him good or he wouldn't be responding like a child. FAIL

  23. "It's a mill, as in miller... The poor kernels are just mercilessly crushed..." The poor kernels would be us? - Perhaps not such a bad thing. St. Ignatius of Antioch Bishop, martyr, and Early Church Father said: I am God’s wheat and shall be ground by their teeth so that I may become Christ’s pure bread. Pray to Christ for me that the animals will be the means of making me a sacrificial victim for God.

  24. True, 'our' Catholic faith is very clear. However, the big question is whether the Archbishop's exposition of the faith is very clear.

    His petulant answer to valid criticism underlines the truth of the French saying: Qui s'excuse, s'accuse.

  25. Tradical3:26 AM

    Thomas De Aquino made the following comment:

    "... 3-4 opaque passages in an opus that spans thousands (!) of pages?..."

    Denial of one Truth of the Faith is sufficient to lose the Faith.

    The passages in question either touched upon or dealt with Dogma.

    If the opinion presented could be interpreted as being contrary to the Faith - then it is important that a clarification be given.

  26. don pierluigi4:21 AM

    I think I told you

  27. Here's the link I wanted.

  28. Müller said, "

    The task of this Congregation is not only to defend the Catholic Faith but to promote It, to give the positive aspects and possibilities of the whole richness of the Catholic Faith... Tradition of the Church... perpetual virginity of Our Lady... transubstantiation...

    Well, well. Did the Holy Father have a word or two with the archbishop? Oddly, he seems to have touched upon all the key points of the very things he's spoken wacky of.

    We can only sit and watch as these very things Müller spoke of won't apply the efforts of the SSPX from Day One.

  29. John MC8:12 AM

    "We are in communion with the Church only in so far as we accept the whole and the complete revelation of Jesus Christ, all the doctrine of the Church."

    Wow. I'm starting to like this Archbishop. He can state things clearly when called to. And he has an attitude about him as well - he certainty aint afraid to offend and antagonize people,

    "These are not criticisms, they are provocations. And not very intelligent provocations at that"

    Ha! :D

    And need I mention his suggestion that the SSPX bishops should shut up and be reduced to parish priest without the ability to preach? I think many of us can agree with him there, at least in the case of Bp. Williamson!

    Yup. This is going to be an interesting era for the CDF. Looking forward to it.

  30. I think the Archbishop has made his orthodoxy perfectly clear. I am amazed at the lack of charity displayed in some of these comments.

  31. P.K.T.P.8:44 AM

    Notice that he repeats the official teaching without in any way touching on how he explained it in the past. They never unsay anything problematical, even if they have to repeat the official teaching without further analysis. The same can be said for past theological statements of the Pope himself when he was a peritus.

    What matter is that we can believe PRECISELY in these doctrines EXACTLY as the fathers have believed them before, before, that is, Hegel was a twinkle in his father's eye. And that is what we do. Christ is full extended in substance in the Eucharist; the accidents, which are the discernible properties, are not.


  32. P.K.T.P.8:46 AM

    As regards ++Müller's position, we only need to get past a statement on the present status of the S.S.P.X. After that, there will be talks going on for decades, and we can ignore them all.


  33. I endorse the comment of JMJ earlier and avoid making comment as to that which I really suspect of ++Muller!

  34. Paul M9:34 AM

    I do not believe +Mullers 'retraction' will remove the worries of the SSPX. Apart from the fact that he again mocks their intelligence, the use of the formulas 'Our Catholic faith is very clear' and 'The Church is also equally clear' instead of simply 'I believe' or some other statement indicating what HIS belief is, still leaves open the possibility that he is what he is suspected of being... a modernist.
    I have to qualify what follows by stating from the outset that this article may not provide all the details of what +Muller has said, and perhaps what is not reported may have been some sort of personal affirmation of Faith. I hope it is so....

    But otherwise...

    it is characteristic of modernist thinking that truth is immanent ie: it comes from within us. In the modernist mind Catholic doctrine is true because it is the sentiment of the majority of believers. If the majority of believers begin to believe something else, then the truth evolves with this gradual change in belief- hence doctrine evolves. They term this the 'living tradition' (this is why they protest that they are the true adherents of tradition and Traditionalist are whacko). A modernist believes that the Church needs to evolve to keep up with modern man (or else the Church will become irrelevant). To change/evolve doctrine it is necessary for contemporary theologians to introduce new ideas at some stage. These new ideas won't be accepted at first, the theologian may even be reprimanded for preaching them (like Teilhard, de lubac, but these ideas are repeated over and over until finally they become accepted. When enough theologians are accepting of the novelty it becomes default doctrine and a 'progression of the Faith'. So for example, the old Doctrine of 'outside the Church no salvation' has morphed into Assisi 1, 2 & 3.
    Seen in this light +Mullers 'retraction' may simply mean; “I acknowledge that the Church teaches so and so (for now), I have different ideas which I am promoting in the hope that one day they find wide acceptance and I will then have done my bit to serve the Church by keeping her up to date with the times”.
    I hope I am wrong, in the meantime I shall continue to pray for +Muller

  35. Patrick10:41 AM

    Done with this matter? This is far from sure, as, in the same movement as he claims to confess the Catholic Faith, Abp Mueller stubbornly refuses to retract his dubious (to put it mildly)statements. In other words, this only adds to confusion. Est est, non non.

  36. John MC11:38 AM

    Paul M wrote: "...the use of the formulas 'Our Catholic faith is very clear'..."

    The use of the word "our" indicates that he includes himself in that faith (our = myself, along with others). What about that is unclear to you? It seems like at this point we're just nitpicking.

  37. Thorin11:50 AM

    Yes, the matter is closed.

  38. dominic19551:29 PM

    Theology is much more complicated than bleating out quotes from the Roman Catechism. I do not think that the Archbishop is unorthodox, the work of theology sometimes takes us into dead ends or ultimately unhelpful birdwalks but the people who are looking to expand our knowledge about the Sacred Sciences are not thereby heretics or modernists for honestly exploring the posibilities.

    Yes, by all means, this hounding of Archbishop Mueller needs to end. There is nothing wrong with some theological challenge but some of the rules of orthodoxy that some self-professed Trads use as litmus tests smack of being Fundamentalist. It is not because of the content, but rather the unfortunate and inveterate refusal to trust the Church any more that gives birth to that mindset in Catholicism.

  39. P.K.T.P.4:31 PM


    Open your eyes. He goes every year to take lessons from Gutiérrez on liberation theology. He is not going there to test Peruvian coffee. It amazes me how neo-conservatives will see precisely what they want to see and will find precisely what they hope to find. Such people refuse to face the facts every time.


  40. P.K.T.P.4:38 PM

    The traditional way to assure orthodoxy might go, in the case of a heretic, like this:

    1. If anyone say

    2. that [direct quotation from heretic], [the comma is important: it marks a rhetorical pause!]

    3. anathema sit.

    In other words, in the case of Müller's past statements, the question is whether or not those formulations are heterodox. It is not whether or not he claims to hold to official teaching by repeating that teaching sans analysis. Most heretics claim to follow official teaching. It is just that their understanding of that teaching is entirely erroneous and noxious to souls. This matter is NOT closed; rather, the Pope refuses to open it for investigation. As a matter of duty, Archbishop Müller should investigate his own past positions to see if they are orthodox. If not, he should condemn himself publicly and retract.


  41. Maybe he's going there for ceviche and pisco.

  42. P.K.T.P.4:43 PM

    The matter is closed for me too, but not in a positive way.


  43. "take lessons"?

    You were in the room, of course.

  44. P.K.T.P.4:56 PM


    Ho, we're the sane ones. The lunatics are the chaps who demolished the Church. They were led by heterodox theologians steeped in subjectivist philosophy and posing as Catholics. They bone up on their liberation theology in lectures delivered by communists in South America.



  45. P.K.T.P.5:24 PM


    Maybe he goes there to give lessons. You never know. What we do know is what he said about the S.S.P.X: it's priests should be put under the local liberal bishops and its four bishops should be incarcerated in a monastery for the rest of their lives. Maybe he was just kidding. Maybe you are just kidding.


  46. Pedro5:45 PM

    So the Archbishop is orthodox. OK.

    However, if he can express his orthodox views in such heterodox sounding ways, as in the quotes we all read, how could we possibly hope to receive adequate guidance from him in distinguishing orthodoxy from heterodoxy (which is one of his responsibilities as Prefect)?

    If the quotes are authentic, and the translations accurate, one might think that he has made himself quite useless for the job (unless he abjured of his previous writings. Which he seems not eager to do).

  47. Barbara6:13 PM

    "This hounding of Archbishop Mueller needs to end...."

    I don't see anyone hounding Archbishop Mueller and he seems to be really tough and quite able to "defend" himself against the unintelligent traditional Catholics like myself who are simply asking for doctrinal clarity. After all, DIALOGUE WITH THE LAITY AND EVERYONE ELSE IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE - [EXCEPT YOU KNOW WHO?] - is so essential in the Post Conciliar Church - so what's the problem? I go along completely with P.K T.P. and others,I will be convinced when he publically, personally retracts his insidious theological musings.

    I will continue to pray for him of course.


  48. PKTP:

    Well, that was a nasty thing for Muller to say, agreed.

    We're not obligated to respond in kind. To the contrary.

    Who knows, he sounds like a strong personality, to say the least. Perhaps he will do the Holy Father's will in this regard, regardless of his own opinions.

    BTW, his book on the priesthood is very good. Slams the proponents of female deacons.

  49. Picard6:28 PM


    I read Müller´s works (in the original German), at least those re virg. in partu - and re those I can attest that the context makes them not better, for contrary: the context makes clear, that he totaly rejects any corporal aspect of virg. in partu and reinterpretes it in a spriritual, "theological" way, contrary to tradition.

    One of the few German thomistic theologians, Dr. Obenauer, called this "Hermeneutism", see

    The sspx did understand Müller very well - and did critisize him not in a stupid way!

  50. Picard7:01 PM

    Prof. Basto (and Matthew M, Tom etc.):

    "We can now understand that he has abandoned any heterodox views on those issues, and now submits to the wisdom of the perennial ecclesiastical magisterium."

    No, at least re virg. not at all! As Tom precisely pointed to:

    At most the case of the Most blessed Sacrament is settled now.

    (But still here is the problem of what the German thomist theolgian Dr. Obenauer - see link above in my previous comment - calls "hermeneutism" and accuses Müller of - and rigthly so, as I read Müllers works:
    Müller uses the old terms, but reinterpretes them in a totally different way.

    But re virg. in partu - as Tom is absolutely right - Müller did not correct anything at all. He never denied the trad. terms - he only filled them with some totally different content.

    If you can read German please read the very good article of Obenauer re Müller and his modern "hermeneutism", linked above.

    Read also the foreword (of the 1st ed.) of Müllers dogamtics.
    And his little work Was heißt: Geboren von der Jungfrau Maria? Eine theologische Deutung. (Quaestiones Disputatae 119.) Freiburg: Herder 1989.

    Then it will become clear why Obenauer or me (or others) point to this problem, that Müller, like almost all the modern theologians, is still using old terms but totaly reinterpreting them.

    Perhaps we should also read again Pascendi and Humani Generis.

  51. Let´s have a quote of the foreword of the dogmatics of Müller (my translation):

    "Formative for the interminable/unlimited process of acquirement of the faith in the human thinking is the tension/conflict between the definitiveness of the self-revelation of God in history and the ever new attempt to translate it into the changing understanding horizons and different contexts of the revelation-receiver.
    In the face of the specific framework of relationship of/between truth and history a dogmatical draft can neither meet the expectation of so called supra-temporal truth(s)..."

  52. Seems to me that his comments here were another little step directed at smoothing the way for an SSPX deal.

    The anti-accordionists in SSPX circles, understandably, were using his prior statements as ammunition.

  53. Picard stop it already. I have read Obenauers article, and he says explicitly that there is no question about ++Müllers formal orthodoxy,
    and that his teaching on virginity is in line for example with Ott, whom nobody would accuse of heterodoxy.

    He comes lastly to the conclusion that there is no reason to accuse ++Müller of material heresy.

    If Müller is really a liberal and modernist, why do the liberals and modernists hate him?

  54. Thomas:
    Then you read an other Obenauer than me.

    Picard stop it already. I have read Obenauers article, and he says explicitly that there is no question about ++Müllers formal orthodoxy, - yes, here you are right

    and that his teaching on virginity is in line for example with Ott, whom nobody would accuse of heterodoxy. - no, that´s not right (first part of the statement)

    He comes lastly to the conclusion that there is no reason to accuse ++Müller of material heresy. - no, that´s not right again, absolutely not, for contrary...!

    [to be continued..]

  55. [contin.]
    So yes, Obenauer says - as you, Thomas, accurately claim - that Müller is formally no heretic because he a) holds the dogma re its wording b) seems to be of good will and c) is also excused because after Mitterer and Rahner there was a debate about the content of the dogma.

    And yes, Obenauer is very cautious in his formulations (- don´t forget that he does not want to lose his job at the university of Bonn, does he?! - We should not overlook how theological incorrect and dangerous it is to attack a German bishop like Müller and to defend the sspx, if you are teaching at a German university!!)

    But re Ott and also re the status of the corporal aspects of virg. in p. and so material heresy you did not give an accurate picture of Obenauer´s claims. Yes, Obenauer says that after Mitterer also Ott seemed to be a bit influenced by this modern theory of the 50ies.

    But (were you get inaccurate by ommitting important nuances)
    1. Obenauer says that persons like Ott were only "precautious recepients" of Mitterer

    2. What he quotes from Ott shows that Ott was such precautious that his claims are totally different from what Mitterer or later Müller claimed.

    3. Obenauer further says that in 1960 there was a monitum from the Holy Office and from Gaudron ( we learn that then Ott was even more cautious and opressed all references to Mitterer´s work.

    4. Obenauer expressely says that Müller (like Mitterer) goes even further than Rahner and seems to exclude the physiological-corporal aspect totally and at all. (What not only Rahner, but al the more Ott does not do!)

    5. Obenauer says that you get the impression that in the discourse from the 50ies on the theoligians as Rhaner tried to "paralyse the obvious"
    and that those theologians were "under the illusion, that only now (after Heidegger) the catholic dogma got "substantial"" and he speaks of hairsplitting and sophims to paralyse the obvious and clear
    etc. etc.
    And he speaks of the modern trend of "hermeneutism", that is also found in Müller: upholding the old wording but reinterpreting it in a totally different way, so materialiter deviating from the old meaning.

    6. Obenauer´s result is (again very cautious formulated - don´t you see he is frightend?! But clear enough and exactly the opposite of what you, Thomas, claimed):

    "I dare to uphold the thesis ... that this younger dogma-hermeneutical way/course ... connected with... Rahner and Mitterer is simply illegitimate and said highest qualification ("de fide divina et catholica") thus accurate: so not only re the virginitas in partu, but also re the said concrete corporal understanding of it"

    And he accuses Müller of rejecting this concrete-corporal understanding via "hermeneutism" (as Mitterer did before), so therefore Obenauer accuses Müller of deviating materialiter from a de fide content and thus implicitely of holding materialiter a heresy.

    But expressly Obenauer is very cautious here again, so he formulates this last accusation in a milder wording, not using the word "heresy" expressly:

    "Müller holds materialiter an untenable position; and namely re some binding body of doctrine."

  56. Gratias7:47 PM

    Archbishop Müller has just explained that he has the same understanding of transubstantiation and Mary's virginity as all Catholics do. He will be at the Curia for many years. Our debate should be much more constructive. E.g.,

    Your Excellency Msgr. Müller:

    Concerning the Year of Faith called by the Holy Father a good step would be to promote the Traditional Latin Mass in every Diocese of the world. Faith grows strong with the Extraordinary Form of the liturgy restored by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of our Holy Father. The TLM would be a very effective component of the New Evangelization of previously Christian nations that would become once again be exposed to their religious roots. The Forma Extraordinaria could be a valuable component of the fight for the culture to reverse the effects of Kulturkampf.

    In Christ,

  57. The Remnant Newspaper's new article, entitled: "The Modernist Shuffle?
    Archbishop Müller Responds to Traditionalists' Criticisms" seems to put things into perspective - or perhaps caution to traditional Catholics?

  58. It is not at all clear to me that the "pride" repeatedly mentioned in this comment box is on the part of the Prefect.

  59. It´s getting annoying, maddening:

    The Remnant article has again the WRONG translation of Müller re virg. in birth (that was and obviously still is wide spread in English translations!).
    They write: " not so much concerned with..."

    But it must be even stronger: " not concerned with..."

    Well, the mistranslation is not in favour of the argument of the articel - but it is still not only a poor but a simply wrong translation. And it will give opponents ammunition, to say: Oh, Müller did not really deny or exclude the corporal aspect of virginity, he says only "it´s not so much about it...".

    But no, he said "it´s not about it"! ("Es geht nicht um...")

  60. But if you say "It is not about X but Y" it cannot be taken as denying the truth of X.

  61. Nicolas Bellord:

    You are right - logically correct we must say that Müller is not denying X here but denying that the dogma of v.i.p. is about X.

    But as the dogam of v.i.p. is in fact about X and he is denying that it is about X, we have the problem we have spoken of so far.

    But of course you are right, we should be careful that our language is correct.

    So correctly the problem is as follows:
    Müller excludes X from the content of the dogma. But according to the trad. meaning of the dogma (how the Church always and everywhere understood the dogma) X belongs to the content.

  62. Picard: Thank you for that and I understand the point you are making. I wonder though whether the Archbishop was just being a bit careless with language.

    If you have a case where somebody is "going as far as you can go" without actually losing their physical virginity you might say to them "You know it is not really about whether you physically lose your virginity but really about your whole attitude to chastity". That statement would suffer from the same criticism you make but one can see what was meant. Should we not give the Archbishop the benefit of the doubt in not being as clear as he should have been?

    It is important to be clear as only this morning I was reading a statement by a Bishop "Our faith is not first and foremost built on teachings or doctrines or rules and regulations but around the person of Jesus". I find that careless in that many will take it out of context and decide they do not need to follow the teachings etc. He fails to make the point that that a true following of Jesus surely means obeying his commandments etc.

  63. Yes, Nicolas Bellord, again I get also your point and it´s not wrong a priori - but I have read Müller in context, and also his work "Was heißt: Geboren von der Jungfrau Maria? Eine theologische Deutung. (Quaestiones Disputatae 119.) Freiburg: Herder 1989."

    And so a posterior (by this texts and context) it then becomes crystal-claer that he is really and totally excluding any physical-corporal aspect - and then, btw., reducing it not to the moral aspect, but to some very nebulous "spiritual", "theological" aspect.

    I pointed to all that above (and before).
    (And I gave also a quote of his foreword of his dogmatics above, that shows his modern basic approach.
    He is a master in re-interpreting things, according to modern time and its thinking!)

  64. Picard,

    See the update here regarding the translation correction:

  65. Picard,

    See the update here regarding the translation correction:


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!