A top cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church charged Friday that two other cardinals behave as “members and representatives of the Democratic Party” as the Church considers whether to offer its sacraments to politicians who don’t share its opposition to abortion.
In an interview with the Catholic television network EWTN, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, a close associate of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, reacted to reports that U.S. Cardinals Blaise Cupich of Chicago and Joseph Tobin of Newark met with their church’s Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) days before he cautioned U.S. bishops to “preserve unity” on the contentious issue of abortion.
In a letter to Jose Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), on May 7, CDF Prefect Luis Ladaria wrote that “dialogue among the bishops be undertaken to preserve unity of the episcopal conference in the face of disagreements over this controversial topic.”
This position is not unlike that voiced by Cupich and Tobin, both of whom have offered the sacrament of Holy Communion to politicians who do not oppose abortion and who met with Ladaria days before he sent his letter.
“I think these two bishops came to Rome as members and representatives of the Democratic Party, but the bishops are [supposed to be] the representatives of Jesus Christ and his revealed truth,” Cardinal Mueller told EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo on Friday.
Mueller, former bishop of Regensburg, Germany, was himself Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope Benedict XVI.
Of the private nature of the meeting the American cardinals had with Cardinal Ladaria, Mueller emphasized to Arroyo that Catholic bishops “cannot play some games of power and diplomacy and play in the background…..we must be very open and real and respect the truth.”
He went on to warn that “what always was…very wrong during the 2000 years [of Church history] was when the bishops were too close to the political reasons and games and not in line with the truth.”
At its June meeting, the USCCB is expected to take up what Archbishop Gomez calls "the situation of Catholics in public office who support legislation allowing abortion, euthanasia and other moral evils."
The issue is particularly sensitive because of President Biden, himself a Catholic, is pro-choice on abortion. Although at least one priest denied Biden Holy Communion before he was president, this has not occurred since he took office in January. Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington D.C. has publicly said the president is entitled to the sacrament.
Considered Pope Benedict’s right-hand man, Mueller has been known to speak out when he feels the Catholic Church is going down the wrong path, In 2019, he denounced Pope Francis’ controversial support for the display of a Pan-Amazonian “Pachamama” wooden idol on a church altar at the Vatican.
“There isn’t any role for a statue of a pagan goddess on the altar,” declared Mueller.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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