Archbishop Müller says members have often 'sacrificed a great deal to be true to their consciences'

Catholics in England and Wales should welcome members of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, the new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has said.

In an interview with Mary O’Regan, Archbishop Gerhard Müller said: “Many of those who have entered into full communion through the ordinariates have sacrificed a great deal in order to be true to their consciences. They should be welcomed wholeheartedly by the Catholic community – not as prodigals but as brothers and sisters in Christ who bring with them into the Church a worthy patrimony of worship and spirituality.”

Archbishop Müller, who was appointed prefect in July this year, oversees reconciliation talks with the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) in his new role. He told the Herald that “the SSPX must accept the fullness of the Catholic faith and its practice” as “disunity always damages the proclamation of the Gospel by darkening the testimony of Jesus Christ”.

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He said: “The SSPX need to distinguish between the true teaching of the Second Vatican Council and specific abuses that occurred after the Council, but which are not founded in the Council’s documents.”

He later continued: “Everyone who is Catholic must ask themselves if they are cherry-picking points from the Church’s teachings for the sake of supporting an ideology. Which is more important: an ideology or the faith? I want to say to people in extreme groups to put their ideology to one side and come to Jesus Christ.”

Archbishop Müller also said that he had been an admirer of the current Pope since he was in seminary and used to read the Pope’s book An Introduction to Christianity during his formation. He said: “It was a new book at the time and the concentrated theological insights are ever present in my mind today.”

In his new position as prefect for the CDF he has a weekly meeting with the Pope for an hour. He said: “In private, we speak in our mother tongue, German, but in an official context we must speak in Italian.”

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