Cardinal Müller: correction of the Pope is unlikely

What happened?

The Vatican’s doctrinal chief, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, has said that the prospect of a correction of Pope Francis is “very remote”. Cardinal Burke, one of four cardinals who have asked the Pope to reaffirm Church teaching, has said they may issue such a correction this year. But Cardinal Müller said that, according to St Thomas Aquinas, a Pope should only be corrected if there is a “danger to the faith”. The cardinal said that previous papal teaching, on Communion, was still valid.

What the bishops are saying

Before Cardinal Müller’s intervention, several cardinals and bishops had spoken about the four cardinals’ request to the Pope. The request took the form of five questions, known as dubia.

According to the Italian journalist Sandro Magister, eight cardinals and bishops have publicly criticised the four cardinals. These included new cardinals Blase Cupich and Kevin Farrell, and Greek Bishop Fragkiskos Papamanolis, who said the four cardinals might be in a state of mortal sin.

Slightly more bishops and cardinals (10 or so) have said they share the four cardinals’ concerns. For instance, Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes praised the cardinals, and said “former statements of the Magisterium” were still valid. Others have said it is reasonable to raise the questions for discussion.

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