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Muller and Ladaria are both “conservatives”: IS THIS GETTING THROUGH YET?

Me watching all the dumb conservatives calling Muller a “conservative” & getting upset he was being replaced with… [wait for it…] A CONSERVATIVE!!

Me discovering one of them was John Henry Westen.

Me deciding not to go for a bike ride, but to stay in and school everyone instead.

Though I must say I enjoyed all the wailing from the “conservatives” who thought Mueller’s removal was some kind of disaster…

But I’m evil that way.

[Yes, nearly all this post has appeared in various forums elsewhere… because I JUST CAN’T BE ARSED TYPING IT ALL OUT AGAIN! Fricken pay attention this time.]

Here are my bullet points:

  • Muller is a liberation theologian who looked “conservative” only because as he was standing next to Marx/Kasper/Bergoglio. He waffled and politely equivocated through the entire crisis.
  • He’s being replaced with exactly the same man, only this one won’t be bothering with the equivocating.
  • If he does, he’ll be sacked.
  • Bergoglio doesn’t care what “side” you’re on in the useless and childish North American “conservative/liberal” political paradigm.
  • The CDF is irrelevant; it has not been able to fulfill its actual curial function since March 13, 2013. Its only purpose now is to create smoke.
  • “Conservatism” is meaningless because it is totally relativistic.


An hour after it was announced Ladaria was going to replace Muller at CDF, I wrote in a PM:

… and just think what the dumb conservatives are going to say. I can hear the screeching already: “See?!! See?!! You Trads are all scaremongering maniacs!! That new CDF guy is a conseeerrrrrvative!”

Hey they can even let him do things now and then. You know, things that don’t matter to the programme very much.

And I’ll bet he’ll be really good at manipulating language when it comes time to *explain things* to the public.

Yep, this is going to work out GRRRREAT!

Aaand right on cue:

Deacon Kandra, in case it’s too fuzzy, “Nothing to see here folks. Move along.”

And the erudite Robert George eruditely telling us esentially the same thing:

MMmmmmm… normalcy bias! So comfy!

I emailed a friend of mine who had studied at the Greg to find out what he knew, and this was the response in convenient point form:

He’s got a winning personality.
He’s very happy to criticise the excesses of modern theology (von Balthasar’s bizarre thought that the Father abandon’s the Son on the Cross).
He’s devout and pious.
He’s apparently fairly open to the SSPX
He’s not a careerist.
He is personally upright and ascetic.
He has a love for the Fathers of the Church and a genuine appreciation of St Thomas
He speaks fluent Latin (and German and English and French and Italian); he’s prepared to have theological disputes in the language of the Church.
If made a Cardinal (which is likely) I’d say that he’d naturally side with ‘Ratzingerians’


He’s Bergoglio’s choice (see below).
He’s a Jesuit (and we all know not to trust Jesuits)
He may be unwilling to say or do anything unless given express permission
He seems (from reading other writings of his than I was exposed to when I studied under him in Rome) to favour the empty-hell theory (or at least a theory approaching this).
He is not a strongly opposed to the ‘theology’ of Rahner (which necessarily rather vitiates his appreciation of St Thomas)
He turned 73 two months ago and will have to submit his resignation when he is 75 – could be that he’s simply a placeholder.

All of the above has to be read under the rubric of “he’s Bergoglio’s choice.

So, the “everything’s fine” conservatives have failed at the first lesson of the Vatican politics of the Current Year: the most important question is always “What does Bergoglio want?

And we know the answer: he wants submission. He only wants submission. Submission is all he wants. The only thing he wants is submission.

Is this getting through yet?

It doesn’t matter to him one lick what “side” of the “ideological fence” someone is on. This is the frustrating thing about trying to explain things to [North] Americans; the knee-jerk reaction of all “conservatives” in the US and Canada is to try to place everything within the left/right paradigm. When something simply will not be bludgeoned into that template, it is rejected and considered non-existent.

This is not helpful.

Imagining that there are two sides, the wicked “liberals” and the heroic good-guy “conservatives” is what has put us in this situation. This kind of simplistic StarWarsian, black hat/white hat paradigm has paralysed Catholics. It wasn’t true in 1990, no matter how hard George Weigel tried to sell it. All he created was this false mythology & it’s crippled us since. Mostly in this case because it fails to grasp Bergoglio’s driving motivation in everything he does. The paradigm’s inadequacy is the cause of confusion and anguish.

The. Only. Thing. He. Wants. is submission. That’s what Peronism means: submit. And Mueller failed to (adequately) submit. It’s that simple. He wasn’t going to save us. 4+ years of waffling equivocating have demonstrated that.

As Louie [facepalming hard] said:

In reality, far from being the voice of orthodoxy in Rome, Muller is, and always has been, just another modernist man-of-the-council. Consider, for example, his attachment to Liberation Theology.

In February of 2014, Mueller hosted an event in Rome to present his book “Poor for poor: The mission of the Church,” which is a collection of his writings on Liberation Theology as learned at the knee of its founding father, Gustavo Gutiérrez. Not only was the Prefect’s mentor present that day, he was honored at the event; a show of support from the head of the CDF that would not have taken place during the reign of Pope Benedict XVI; i.e., Muller’s true colors were being shown.

And then there is his approach to Amoris Laetitia… Let’s be honest, other than a handful of juicy soundbites offered in media interviews – something Muller will presumably continue doing going forward – his track record in defending the Faith against this blatant attack has been pathetic.

How quickly so many seem to forget that the dubia was addressed not only to Francis, but also to Cardinal Muller, who has also chosen not to answer. That Francis apparently ordered him not to answer in no way relieves Muller of his responsibility to do so before God.

And let us not forget as well that Muller was initially critical of the Dubia Brothers, voicing his displeasure over the fact that the dubia require a “yes or no” response.

He even went so far as to say that Amoris Laetitia does not represent a danger to the faith, and therefore, no fraternal correction is necessary!

Roberto de Mattei put it:

His choice reassures and displaces the Conservatives. What some of them do not understand is that what matters to Pope Francis is not the ideology of employees, but fidelity to his plan of “irreversible reform” of the Church.

More than Pope Francis victory should, however, speak of the defeat of the Conservatives. Cardinal Müller did not share the Pope Francesco line, and had been publicly tried to take a contrary position, but the current theory of the conservative group, was that it was better that he retained his place in silence, rather than lose him talking. The Prefect had chosen a line of “low profile.” In an interview with Il Timone, he had said that “The” Amoris laetitia “is clearly understood in the light of the whole doctrine of the Church. 

[…] I do not like, it is not correct that many bishops are interpreting “Amoris laetitia” according to their own understanding of the teaching of the pope, “but in another statement, he also expressed his opposition to” publicizing ” dubia of the four cardinal. This did not prevent his removal. [That old crocodile isn’t going to eat you last. HJMW]

The “low profile”, the strategy of some conservatives, is a lesser evil than the greater evil of a job loss, won by the opponents. This strategy of “containment” does not work with Pope Francis. What was in fact the outcome of the story? Cardinal Müller has lost a valuable opportunity to publicly criticize the Amoris laetitia and eventually was dismissed, even without due notice.

So, now we turn our attention to Ladaria; given what we have learned [yes? we’ve learned it now, right? right? I mean, I don’t have to keep doing this, right?] what can we expect from the new prefect of the CDF? What advantages to Bergoglio’s programme does this guy have?

There are a few options, but mostly the purpose is “conservative” cover, which, as we have seen above, is already working. Get a nominal “conservative” in as prefect, then put Schonborn (for example) in actual charge. Be polite to the puppet, put on the smiley-face, receive his reports and keep him in the dark. Not that hard to do in the Vatican where all information going in and coming out is controlled and reportedly no one gets an audience with his Huff’nPuff without going through Parolin. Ladaria clearly isn’t the kind who would spend any time on the internet, so he’ll be easy to manipulate.

He was a “conservative” too, remember?

So, he’s picked a nominally conservative, polite academic Jebbie who will be a cinch to keep quiet, while Cardinal Clappyballoons runs the show. Either way it means no more blocading of the German plans. The point of getting rid of Muller was getting rid of Muller because Muller wouldn’t recite the Bergoglian Shahada. As long as the next guy is moderately onside, averse to press conferences and interviews and willing to submit his monthly report to Parolin I think we’re all good.

Here’s another thing I want y’all to understand: CDF doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter at all who is or isn’t in CDF, as the last four years have demonstrated. Muller submitted two hundred corrections and queries on Amoris Laetitia which were ignored. He told the German bishops again and again, “No, you can’t just give Communion to adulterers.” And was ingored. And then Bergoglio put Marx on his little private toadies club list, and refused even to give Muller an audience when he was sacking his best men.

CDF doesn’t matter. The only thing it’s useful for now is duping “conservatives” (and we can see above that it’s still mighty useful for that.) It has long since ceased to perform it’s normal curial function because Begoglio doesn’t care. I’d enjoy watching Ladaria be a bur in his sock, but the sidelining of the CDF for the last 4+ years means, essentially, that that’s all he’s going to be if that’s what he does.

Muller or Ladaria… Thomas Aquinas or the Easter Bunny… it’s irrelevant who’s in the office because the office is irrelevant. Paco and the gang are going to do whatever they want. He just needed someone who could sit as the token “conservative” in the office that all the “conservatives” think is still important, because apparently for “conservatives” it’s 1998 forever.

The CDF has not been able to fulfill its actual curial function since March 13, 2013. Its only purpose now is to create smoke, and I’m sure Ladaria will be on board with the task of creating plausible deniability to the dumb neocons who still think CDF is a thing. Jebbies are very good at explaining things to plebes.

And here’s the last thing I want y’all to drill in there: “conservative” is meaningless.

This is why the label is useless: conservatism is always by its nature relativistic. You are or you aren’t only and exclusively depending on who is standing to either side of you. It is one of the most telling symptoms of these outrageous times that we have got to the point of applying the label “conservative” to Gerhard Muller. It is a testament, if nothing else, to the complete inutility of the term. We are at the point where anyone standing an inch to the right of Nancy Pelosi (to put it in American terms) is instantly (and rather desperately) labelled a “conservative”.

Muller is the Liberation theologian who waffled and equivocated his way through this appalling crisis; he was not a heroic “conservative”. The fact is that Francis will not tolerate dissent of even the most mild, polite and diffident kind. He’s a Stalinist/Peronist whose answer to everything is “submit”. He doesn’t care one whit which ideology a subordinate adheres to. The first, last and only criterion is absolute, abject submission.

Until Catholics start understanding this they will continue to grossly underestimate the threat.