For the first time in a hundred years the Prefect of the CDF is not appointed to the Congregation for Bishops

For the first time in more than a hundred years a pope has not appointed the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as a member of the Congregation for Bishops.  In recent time, both Cardinal Levada and Cardinal Ratzinger were appointed to the Congregation for Bishops when serving as Prefects of the CDF. In fact, Cardinal Levada has been re-confirmed as a member of the Congregation for Bishops, but there is no sign of Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller on the list on new members of the Congregation for Bishops, which includes Archbishop Nichols.

The 12 new members are:

Cardinal Francis Robles Ortega of Guadalajara, Mexico;

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington (USA);

Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogota, Colombia;

Cardinal Kurt Koch of Switzerland, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity;

Cardinal João Braz de Aviz of Brazil, prefect of the Congregation for Religious;

Archbishop Pietro Parolin of Italy, the Secretary of state;

Archbishop Benjamin Stella of Italy, Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy;

Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri of Italy, Secretary General of the Synod for Bishops;

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, England;

Archbishop Paolo Rabitti , the retired archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio, Italy;

Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti, Perugia-Citta della Pieve (Italy);

Bishop Felix Genn of Münster, Germany.

Protect the Pope comment: Is the absence of Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig  Müller from this list of new members of the Congregation of Bishops another sign of the declining authority of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Church since the resignation of Pope Benedict and the reign of Pope Francis? With the watchdog of the Faith muzzled over the selection of bishops who will bark a warning about the presence of wolves on the ternas?

16 comments to For the first time in a hundred years the Prefect of the CDF is not appointed to the Congregation for Bishops

  • Wake Up England

    Oh Dear!

    Just as things seemed to be settling down again after the Second Vatican Council we appear to be heading further into unchartered and dangerous waters.

    I fear I find it very difficult to read all this news with joy.

    The Catholic Liberal experiment of the 1960s and 70s have been objectively a disaster. The dwindling vocations; the diminishing congregations; the numbers of self-declared atheists on the census returns; the divorce rate; the soring abortion numbers and the spread of pernicious secularism must SURELY prove the experiment to be a disaster?

    And now, with a gang of Magic Circle Liberals in full control of appointing our bishops, we will get yet more and more of the same. It’s impossible and unrealistic to suppose otherwise.

    What shape will The Church be in, in 100 years’ time?

    How the Muslims must laugh at us, and who can blame them?

  • BJC

    It’s been a bad week and it’s only Tuesday. There’s been a sudden shift and you have to say it’s not looking good. I guess someone like Fr Z will try to put the best face on it, but just wondering if we are going to get any good news this week.

  • Rifleman819

    Was it Asquith who said that all news- from whatever source…..was never as good or as bad as the recipients first imagined ?

  • peter

    I’ve been away for awhile and a bit out of sorts. For what its worth I’m not sure Müller’s absence says anything about anything. It’s just part of a more pastoral restructuring within the Curia.

    • Wake Up England


      Is it you? Dear Old Peterism who was in hospital?

      How are you?

      • peter

        Hi WuE
        Yes it is me! I am doing ok now after a bit of a scare. People kept telling me I didn’t look well and doing odd things and it appears they were right. Hope you are keeping well. I’ve missed you all and kept you in my prayers. I look forward to catching up with you – I haven’t kept up with recent church developments – I lost my ability to read for a while.
        Warmest regards

        • Wake Up England

          Dear Old Peter:

          I’m pleased you’re on the mend, and pleased you’re back amongst us (just in time for an upheaval in Rome, it seems).

          Doubtless we’ll be locked in combat again soon! meanstwhile, have a very happy Christmas.

          Love WUE

    • Nicolas Bellord

      I am told that someone proposed as a Bishop could be effectively blackballed by the CDF if they felt he was unsound on doctrine. This cheered me up being down South. However the removal of the head of the CDF from the Congregation of Bishops suggests that this may no longer be the case.

  • Amanda Peter

    This is very worrying. Also I notice Cardinal Burke’s name is not in that list either.

  • Lynda

    The Curia doesn’t have a “pastoral” role. This is all of a piece. Consistent with and complementary to everything else that’s been happening since last March.

    • peter

      I think you may have hit the nail on the head. In recent times the role of the Curia has been governance, administrative and doctrinal. What seems to be happening, though i ma not up to date, is that Francis is ensuring good governance is hand in hand with a more pastoral approach in the various diocese. There has always been a pastoral concern within the curia, in my opinion it is now given even greater priority.

      One story from Francis helps me understand his restructuring of the curia.
      A girl-mother goes to the parish to ask for Baptism for her child and hears “a Christian” say, “No, you can’t have it, you’re not married.”

      “Look at this girl who had had the courage to carry her pregnancy to term” and not to have an abortion. “What does she find? A closed door,” as do so many. “This is not good pastoral zeal, it distances people from the Lord and does not open doors. So when we take this path…we are not doing good to people, the People of God.” Jesus “instituted seven sacraments, and with this approach we institute the eighth, the sacrament of the pastoral customs office.”

  • Nicolas Bellord

    I have been told by someone who knows about these things that actually the Prefect of the CDF has never been a member of the Congregation of Bishops. However he does have the power to veto the appointment of a Bishop and if he does this he will attend the meeting of the Congregation to explain why.

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