Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup Cardinal Gerhard Müller
Former Church watchdog challenges papal dismissal

Cardinal Gerhard Müller has criticised as “unacceptable” how Pope Francis dismissed him as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF).

Speaking to the German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse, the cardinal said it was only on the last working day of his five-year term as head of the CDF that the Pope informed him – in under a minute – that he would not be extending his mandate.

“He did not give a reason, just as he gave no reason for dismissing three highly competent members of the CDF a few months earlier,” Cardinal Müller said, adding, “I cannot accept this way of doing things. As a bishop, one cannot treat people in this way. I have said this before – the Church’s social teaching must also be applied to the way employees are treated here in the Vatican.”

He also claimed that he subsequently spoke by telephone with Cardinal Joachim Meisner about the dismissal, with the former Archbishop of Berlin and then Cologne saying he was personally moved and hurt by the decision, which he believed would hurt the Church.

The conversation took place just hours before Cardinal Meisner died in his sleep in the early hours of July 5, Cardinal Müller said.

Welcome for step towards restored Christian unity

The Vatican has welcomed the acceptance by representatives of one of the world’s main branches of Protestantism of an attempt by the Catholic and Lutheran Churches to resolve one of the major conflicts in the Reformation.

Representatives of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), holding their once-in-seven-years worldwide General Council, have endorsed the 1999 Catholic-Lutheran agreement on how Christians might be worthy of salvation in the eyes of God. The agreement, formally known as the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, was backed by the World Methodist Council in 2006, and is expected to be endorsed by the Anglican Communion later this year.

Pope Francis, who last October attended an ecumenical ceremony in Sweden launching the Lutherans’ yearlong commemoration of the Reformation, said he hoped this development would “mark a new stage of fellowship and cooperation in the service of justice and peace in our human family”.


Columban martyrs set for beatification by Pope

The Pope will beatify two martyred Columbian clergy when he visits the country this September, the Vatican has confirmed.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke has confirmed that Pope Francis will beatify Auauca’s Bishop Jesus Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve and Fr Pedro Ramirez Ramos in a September 8 Mass at Catama field in Villavicencio.

The announcement comes following a July 7 meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, when the Pontiff signed decrees acknowledging the martyrdoms of Fr Ramirez,  ‘the martyr of Armero’, who was killed in 1948 at the start of the Colombian civil war, and of Bishop Jaramillo, who was murdered by Colombian Marxist guerrillas in 1989.

The bishop had been kidnapped, along with a priest who was later freed, by members of the so-called ‘National Liberation Army’, because of his criticism of the group’s violent actions; he was shot twice in the head, his body being found near the Venezuelan border by local peasants.