By EDWARD PENTIN
(National Catholic Register) In the second part of this interview with Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller (Part 1
can be read here), the new CDF prefect discusses the latest on efforts
to bring the Society of St. Pius X back into full communion with the
Church, the current situation regarding the Leadership Conference of
Women Religious, and responds to what some saw as controversies over
some of his previous writings on the perpetual virginity of the Blessed
Virgin Mary and on the Eucharist.
What stage have we reached in the dialogue between the Vatican and the Society of St. Pius X?
Part of the problem is that, after 30 or more years of separation from
the Church, some groups or persons can be very closed in their own
dynamic, in their own groups, and very fixed on these points. I believe
that these questions will be resolved in the long term.
Is it possible for reconciliation with Bishop Richard Williamson within the society?
They [SSPX] need to accept the complete doctrine of the Catholic
Church: the confession of faith, the Creed, and also accept the
magisterium of the Pope as it is authentically interpreted. That is
necessary. They also need to accept some forms of development in the
liturgy. The Holy Father recognized the perennial validity of the
extraordinary form of the liturgy, but they also must accept that the
new ordinary form of the liturgy, developed after the Council, is valid
Some argue the Second Vatican Council was merely pastoral and, therefore, not binding. How do you respond to this?
Some practical elements contained in the various documents could be
changed, but the body of the doctrine of the Council is binding for
In view of all this, are you nevertheless confident and optimistic there will be reconciliation with the Society of St. Pius X?
I’m always confident in our faith and optimistic. We have to pray for
goodwill and for unity in the Church. The SSPX is not the only breakaway
group in the Church. There are worse ones on the opposite side, too.
These movements are worse because they are often denying essentials of
Christianity. We must work for unity, and so it is also my task to
invite all to come back into full communion with the Catholic Church,
which is led by the supreme shepherd, the pope — who is the Vicar of
If they do come back, what positive aspects could they bring to the Church?
They could underline what Tradition is, but they also must become
broader in their perspective, because the apostolic Tradition of the
Church is not only about a few elements. The Tradition of the Church is
large and wide. On the other hand, there must also be a renewal in the
celebration of the liturgy, because we have had a lot of abuses of the
liturgy, which have damaged the faith of many people.
Could they perhaps help correct some of the abuses?
That is not their task, but ours. One extreme cannot be the equivalent
of the other. The extremes must be corrected by the center... (continued)