Source: Before Dismissal of Cardinal Müller, Pope Asked Five Pointed QuestionsUPDATE: When this story was first issued, we had not yet received any response from Cardinal Müller, his secretary, or Greg Burke, Director of the Vatican Press office. Burke has since responded to say that the reconstruction of the events of the Müller as described below is “totally false”. We are checking with our sources and will update the story further as information comes in.
After Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, revealed that he had personally spoken by phone with the now-deceased Cardinal Joachim Meisner about his recent dismissal, and that this conversation had taken place the night before Meisner’s sudden death on the morning of 5 July, several well-informed sources in Europe in communication with me all used the same expression, namely, they speculated that perhaps Cardinal Meisner had “died of a broken heart.” In light of the following disclosures about the content of the 30 June meeting between Pope Francis and Cardinal Müller, we might be even more inclined to believe that this was the case – at least as a moral possibility.
The following information comes from the report of a trustworthy German source, who spoke to OnePeterFive on condition of anonymity. He quotes an eyewitness who recently sat with Cardinal Müller at lunch in Mainz, Germany. During that meal, Cardinal Müller is alleged to have disclosed in the presence of this eyewitness certain information about his final meeting with the pope, during which he was informed that his mandate as Prefect of the CDF would not be renewed.
According to this report, Cardinal Müller was called to the Apostolic Palace on 30 June, and he thus went there with his working files, assuming that this meeting would be a usual working session. The pope told him, however, that he only had five questions for him:
- Are you in favor of, or against, a female diaconate? “I am against it,” responded Cardinal Müller.
- Are you in favor of, or against, the repeal of celibacy? “Of course I am against it,” the cardinal responded.
- Are you in favor of, or against, female priests? “I am very decisively against it,” replied Cardinal Müller.
- Are you willing to defend Amoris Laetitia? “As far as it is possible for me,” the Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith replied: “there still exist ambiguities.”
- Are you willing to retract your complaint concerning the dismissal of three of your own employees? Cardinal Müller responded: “Holy Father, these were good, unblemished men whom I now lack, and it was not correct to dismiss them over my head, shortly before Christmas, so that they had to clear their offices by 28 December. I am missing them now.”