In an exchange of letters, Cardinal Gerhard Müller thanked Pope Francis for having declared Saint Irenaeus of Lyon a Doctor of the Church and the Pontiff highlighted the German cardinal’s “correct and precise reflection, which corresponds to a teacher of faith and doctrine catholic”.
Cardinal Gerhard Müller wrote a letter to the Holy Father in February to thank him for having declared Saint Irenaeus of Lyon a Doctor of the Church.
In the letter, the Cardinal assured that with this gesture the pontificate of Pope Francis “will be bound forever in the most positive way in the history of the Church”.
“With his teaching of Catholic hermeneutics with the three principles of Holy Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Ecclesiastical Magisterium of bishops in apostolic succession, the holy Bishop of Lyon became the father of Catholic dogmatics,” he noted.
“In this order and sequence the ecclesiastical apostolic tradition has come down to us, and the proof is perfectly conclusive that it is the same life-giving faith that the Church received from the apostles, has preserved until now and has transmitted to us in truth (Adversus haereses III 3,3)”, continued Cardinal Müller.
Likewise, the Cardinal pointed out that “the most concrete criterion of full conformity with divine revelation in ecclesiastical tradition is the recognition of the Roman Church as the foundation of the apostolic princes Peter and Paul: ‘In effect, with the Roman Church, Because of its special primacy, all the churches must agree, that is, the faithful from all around, because in it the apostolic tradition is always preserved by those who come from everywhere’ (Adversus haereses III, 3, 2) ”.
Then the Cardinal, who was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for 5 years, said that “the new Doctor ecclesiae defeated Gnosticism, the mother of all heresies. Gnosticism -in its historical and modern variants- is the attempt to place the human mind above the reason of God (cf. Adversus haereses I, praefatio). And for this reason it is even more destructive than Pelagianism, which only believed it could make the human will the pattern of the divine will.
“On the contrary, God calls us to collaborate with our intelligence and will in building his kingdom of love in truth and freedom. I express my gratitude to him for his great initiative and promise him my daily prayers,” Cardinal Gerhard Müller concluded.
In his response to the Cardinal on February 6, Pope Francis thanked him for his words and highlighted his “correct and precise reflection, which corresponds to a teacher of the Catholic faith and doctrine.”
“Thank you also for your clear judgment on Gnosticism. It is true: it invades many areas of the life of the Church, especially the ‘schools’ of spirituality that say they urgently want to renew the Catholic classics”, continued the Holy Father.
Then the Pope made him a proposal: “Why don’t you write a book on the different expressions of Gnosticism? I assure you it will be very good.”
I pray for you and please don’t forget to pray for me too. Jesus bless you and the Virgin protect you”, Pope Francis concluded.