Could a Heterodox or Heretical Bishop become CDF Prefect?

The Catholic blogosphere is complaining about German Bishop Heiner Wilmer, due to a circulating claim that he may soon become the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (now called a Dicastery). Here is one article at, citing statements from the Bishop called “heterodox”. I can’t be the judge of the soul of that Bishop, but multiple public statement by him are clearly heretical. Wilmer supports the most controversial of the German Synod’s, positions already rejected by the Holy See after the Synod voted on them. Some of these positions are material heresy, such as rejecting Catholic teaching on sexual ethics and instead approving of homosexual acts.

What if Wilmer is chosen by Pope Francis as the Prefect of the CDF? The Church remains indefectible, at all times, in all circumstances, due to the promise and prayer of Christ (Mt 16:18; Lk 22:32) and the effectiveness of the Holy Spirit. Neither free will nor sin can overcome the power of God in the Church. Recall that prevenient grace is God operating, not cooperating; such grace is always effective.

Pope Francis did not accept the heretical and/or heterodox proposals of the German Synod, regardless of the voting count. Neither will he accept any heresy or grave error from the CDF, no matter who may be its leader. For each and every Pope has the charism of truth and never-failing faith.

Also, I have faith in the work of God’s grace (prevenient and subsequent, habitual and actual) to guard the Church and guide the Church, including and exceeding the promise of Christ to keep the Church indefectible.

The false conclusion so often implied by those who attack Pope Francis is that the Church would go astray if not for THEM (rather than if not for Christ). They implicitly seek to replace Christ as the eternal head of the Church, His Body, with their own judgments and that of the subculture they represent. To the contrary, the Church depends for Her indefectibility on the charisms given to the Roman Pontiff and to the body of Bishops, appointed by Christ and the Holy Spirit to guide the Church. These papal accusers were never appointed by Christ at any time to teach or correct the true Shepherds of the Church.

God is the judge over individual Bishops who may have erred or gone astray to one extent or another. But I have no concerns over the appointment of any particular Bishop to one position or another in the Holy See.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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5 Responses to Could a Heterodox or Heretical Bishop become CDF Prefect?

  1. Robert Fastiggi says:

    Dear Ron,

    I fully agree that the Church will remain indefectible even if Bishop Wilmer is chosen to lead the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. I remember that in February of 2022 there were widespread rumors that Archbishop Scicluna would be apppointed as head of the CDF: . These rumors, of course, never materialized. Christ is aware of what is going on in his Church. The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church, the Virgin Mary is the Mother of the Church, and St. Joseph is the Patron of the Universal Church. We are in good hands. The Church is human and divine. Some people today seem to forget the divine aspect.

    • Ben says:

      I remember all the critics of cardinal Ratzinger at the time, especially why he forbade some false apparitions. It turned out we had a very erudite reasonable and saintly CDF prefect for 20 years, later pope. On the other side, cardinal Muller who could be seen by conservatives as a model, disobeyed pope Francis and was rightfully changed. A future liberal prefect cannot do more liberal acts than the pope himself, rather he would act the way the pope wants him to act. Also, the widespread demonization of liberal cardinals within the conservative circles is not something good. They constantly cry wolf how the Vatican disregards their conservative cardinals and bishops. But look how they treat any liberal who gets a high position. He is made darker than satan.

      If we rewind back the history, at the time of St Margaret Mary the liberal Jesuits supported the new devotion to the Sacred Heart. At that time, what would the current conservatives do?
      The liberal for his time cardinal Wojtyla decided to restore the Divine Mercy devotion then banned, and he did so when elected pope. Now we may think of St John Paul II as a conservative, but at the time of his election he wasn’t considered as such. Otherwise, frankly, he would never be elected. He opened the Church more to the world, including by his pastoral visits in pagan lands, and in communist then countries. If he didn’t seek that dialogue, maybe Poland would still be communist and the war instead of Ukraine would be inside the divided then Germany.

  2. guilhermefeitosa024 says:

    hello Ron, have a nice weekend, how to reconcile this teaching of Pope Eugene IV with the baptism of desire/blood: Pope Eugene IV, 1431 to 1447, in 1441 said:

    “No one, however much alms he may have given, and even if he has shed his blood for the name of Christ, can be saved if he does not remain in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”

    • Ron Conte says:

      The Church includes explicit members (baptized Christians) as well as implicit members (baptism of desire). A baptism of desire can be implicit. All such persons can be saved by the Church, even if they do not know She is saving them in Christ.

  3. Dylan King says:

    The font the Register uses is an Italian traditionalist blog, which in turn the font this blog uses comes from an “in a very high place”.

    And based on that alone, the Register, which is a widely viewed Catholic news outlet, does an article saying that the Holy Father will put a heterodox bishop as head of the CDF.

    The intention is quite clear. It is not communicating the truth, but wanting to denigrate and serve as a model for others to denigrate the magisterium of Pope Francis.

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