May 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Professor Felix Dirsch, a German theologian, philosopher, and political scientist, has published a response to the criticism on the part of German media with regard to the May 7 Viganò Appeal concerning the corona crisis and its consequent potential dangers for the various freedoms of our countries. He sees a suppression of dissident voices at work.
In his commentary published on the website of the journalist Boris Reitschuster, Dirsch regrets the “inquisitorial reflexes of the media” that suppress an objective debate of the matters at stake, and he speaks of “a rather ‘subtle dictatorship’ as a result of the tendentious orientation of the leading media of quality: the exclusion and discrediting of dissidents whose own concerns are rejected without examination of the facts, even if the statement finds many starting points in the current discourse.”
Furthermore, Professor Dirsch quotes a recent article published by the prominent globalist and entrepreneur Bill Gates, who explained that the current corona crisis will foster major changes in the world now, one being the promotion of international “institutions to prevent the next pandemic,” thus furthering a globalized society.
One of the protagonists in this field, the U.S. entrepreneur Bill Gates, who exerts great influence on the World Health Organization (WHO), comments on this in a guest article in the renowned Economist. He sees three major medical breakthroughs as a result of the corona crisis. It is obvious that the innovations will bring about fundamental global power shifts. It is no coincidence that Gates associates such research advances with the UN. In the translation of his article on Focus-Online it says: ‘Our progress will not only be seen in science. It will also be seen in our ability to ensure that everyone benefits from this science.’ I think we will learn from the years after 1945 in the years after 2021. With the end of the Second World War, leaders created international institutions like the UN to prevent further conflicts. After Covid-19, leaders will work on institutions to prevent the next pandemic.
Furthermore, Professor Dirsch supports the well reasoned interventions of Cardinal Gerhard Müller, who seems to have been especially singled out by critics in Germany, as well as of Bishop Athanasius Schneider. Both prelates have now published extensive defenses of their support of the Viganò Appeal and criticize an atmosphere in the public that suppresses a substantial debate and instead labels critics with derogatory names such as “conspiracy theorist.”
The author also regrets that there is a division even among Catholic conservatives with regard to this debate about the coronavirus and its dangers for our freedoms in society. He explicitly mentions here the criticism of Professor Roberto de Mattei, who had reproached the prelates signing the Viganò Appeal since they should keep to their theological and moral competencies.
PETITION: Tell politicians not to discriminate against churches when reopening society! Sign the petition here.
Speaking with the Tagespost, de Mattei argued that the bishops are leaving their field of expertise — which is that of theology and morality — when making statements on health matters and politics. For him, it is understandable when people criticize the interdiction of public Masses and of the administration of the sacraments during the pandemic. However, he is perplexed when “bishops make statements on the field of health measures taken by government, since this is beyond their field of expertise which is, after all, a theological and moral one.”
About this, Dirsch comments:
Even the historian Roberto de Mattei, known for his orthodoxy, questioned the competence of the bishops. He should have taken into account that Church dignitaries may very well express their opinion on questions concerning the common good. The magisterial authority is of course not as binding in such matters as in matters of faith.
The Catholic professor also addresses the fact that several German bishops and dignitaries had distanced themselves from the Viganò Appeal and especially criticized Cardinal Müller in person. “That state media such as ARD and ZDF [two German public-service television broadcasters] reject divergent views as a ‘conspiracy theory’ without defining this multifaceted concept,” Dirsch explains, “is anything but astonishing. But the fact that the German Bishops’ Conference dissociates itself from the appeal may be considered a bit much.” He especially shows himself astonished at the lack of charity toward fellow bishops, as well as at the eagerness of German bishops to please the spirit of the times, something that they just recently bemoaned with regard to their episcopal predecessors during the reign of Hitler.
In light of such regrettable conduct, Professor Dirsch also points out that indeed, there are serious researchers and experts who bring forth similar arguments to those of the Viganò Appeal, adding that there are taking place developments toward a world government — such as the World Bank, a World Court of Justice, and so on — which very well may be a cause of concern. He concludes by saying: “The danger cannot be dismissed that it is not the peoples who determine their own destinies, but a small elite. Also those who stigmatize all unpleasant opinions as conspiracy theories can hardly want such a trend.”
Translation of full statement by Professor Felix Dirsch: All Against Some
Instead of an objective discussion, the debate about the Viganò Appeal shows the usual inquisitorial reflexes of the media.
In our times characterized by the plurality of media, obsessed with clicks and gigabytes with which one can earn an enormous amount of money, it is not easy to bring it about that a topic is widely discussed. Often only excitement makes it into the leading media – and from there into countless secondary channels.
The appeal Veritas liberabit vos has achieved the feat of a controversial, if largely one-sided reception. The document was produced by some within the Vatican (in cooperation with various experts). Curial cardinals and curial archbishops such as Gerhard L. Müller, Joseph Zen Zen-kiun and Carlo M. Viganò were the first signatories. Numerous supporters, doctors, lawyers and others — mostly believers — put their name under the letter since its publication.
That such an appeal is not the last word of wisdom is self-evident. This text, too, which is addressed to all people of good will and does not contain any specifically dogmatic topics, can only vaguely hint at some things. More precise justifications of some theses are missing. So far, the objections are correct. Of course, such a paper is written to stimulate reflection. It is not intended to replace a comprehensive treatise.
He who is interested in contemporary events will detect numerous topics that are widely debated worldwide: These include the reference to the dangers of new tracking apps, which might make possible improved controls worldwide, the criticism of restrictions on freedom and of corona panic-mongering, which has been pointed out by a whole phalanx of [German] virologists and other experts (from Sucharit Bhakdi to Karin Mölling and Hendrik Streeck). The prohibitions of worship are justly being targeted. The reference to the dangers of a world government has provoked a particular rejection.
As in other debates in recent years, one particularly worrying fact stands out: Although dissenting opinions can certainly be expressed, one basic feature however dominates, which points to a rather ‘subtle dictatorship’ as a result of the tendentious orientation of the leading media of quality: the exclusion and discrediting of dissidents whose own concerns are rejected without any examination of the facts, even if the statement finds many reference points in the current discourse. One of the co-signatories, Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop in Astana (Kazakhstan), expressed his dismay at the omnipresent ‘demagogic and popular rhetoric.’ In a personal statement he refers among other things to the consequences of the compulsory vaccination which endanger freedom. Not only in the case of the so-called Viganò document, one can only shake one’s head over the deficits of the prevailing culture of debate.
That state media such as ARD and ZDF [two German public-service television broadcasters] reject divergent views as a ‘conspiracy theory’ without defining this multi-faceted concept is anything but astonishing. But the fact that the German Bishops’ Conference dissociates itself from the appeal may be considered a bit much. Even more worthy of criticism is the way of dealing with the fellow bishops. The usual speech bubbles (“right-wing populism”, “conspiracy theory” and so on) prove that the notorious left and left-liberal propaganda arsenal has been adopted. Not only the vicar general [Klaus] Pfeffer from Essen revealed himself as a follower of the zeitgeist [“Zeitgeistlicher”]. The conformist Church, it can be pointed out, has struck again. Quite a few may remember well-known Church statements on illegal mass immigration, which reached its peak in 2015/16. The fact that prominent Catholic laymen such as the ZdK [Central Committee of German Catholics] chairman Thomas Sternberg raised their voice with a pathetic commentary is really outrageous. As if it were self-evident, and without any content-related discussion, Mr. Professor sees the reputation of Cardinal Müller ruined, on whom the shitstorm focused. Aha, that is to say: Impulses to current debates that are not politically correct ruin the reputation of the contributor! And here, Müller himself did not even write a line of it. A journalist even labeled this steadfast churchman as “Hans-Georg Maaßen of the Catholic Church” [a German lawyer and former president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution]; Müller may well understand the comparison with this excellent lawyer as praise.
The actions of the clergymen who are part of the regime seem particularly embarrassing against the background of the bishops’ letter on occasion of the 75th anniversary of the end of the war [World War II]. In it connections of numerous Catholics to the National-Socialist tyrannical state are admitted, which are anyway relatively undisputed. In fact only few remained without guilt. For that reason alone the raised warning finger, which has long become customary, is not due to those born after the war! The many opponents among the Christians who raised their voices are not being discussed in detail because of the gesture of subservience to the spirit of the times. The fact that this circle was rather manageable can hardly surprise us also in light of today’s experiences. German Civil Service Catholicism – like large parts of the post-war society – presents itself as “executioner” (Walter Cardinal Brandmüller). One does not get the impression that today’s Church leaders are more critical of the state authorities than they were back then. While in the dark 12 years [under Hitler’s reign] the fear of reprisals by the rulers understandably prevailed with many, today it is the fear of the virus, which is admittedly often only advanced in order to reduce civil rights and liberties.
The author of these lines, who has also put his name under the document, regrets that the Catholic-conservative camp is also divided with regard to the [Viganò] appeal. At least, the weekly newspaper Die Tagespost let two well-known signatories, Müller and Schneider, speak for themselves [see here LifeSite’s reports]. Even the historian Roberto de Mattei, known for his orthodoxy, questioned the competence of the bishops. He should have taken into account that Church dignitaries may very well express their opinion on questions concerning the common good. The magisterial authority is of course not as binding in such matters as in matters of faith.
A word on the hot topic “world government” is appropriate here. No one will claim that it is just around the corner. Global-centralist tendencies are nevertheless frightening and should be debated beyond any speculations of conspiracy theories. Recently, the media reported extensively on the search for and financing of a new vaccine. One of the protagonists in this field, the US entrepreneur Bill Gates, who exerts great influence on the World Health Organization (WHO), comments on this in a guest article in the renowned Economist. He sees three major medical breakthroughs as a result of the corona crisis. It is obvious that the innovations will bring about fundamental global power shifts. It is no coincidence that Gates associates such research advances with the UN. In the translation of his article on Focus-Online [a German magazine] it says: “Our progress will not only be seen in science. It will also be seen in our ability to ensure that everyone benefits from this science. I think in the years after 2021, we will learn from the years after 1945. With the end of the Second World War, leaders created international institutions like the UN to prevent further conflicts. After Covid-19, leaders will work on institutions to prevent the next pandemic.”
The appeal by the dignitaries and the many lay people who support it can help to remain vigilant against an even greater increase of power by leading globalists who look for major crises to instrumentalize them for their own purposes. In 1994, David Rockefeller — among other things the initiator of the still influential Bilderberg Conference — made it perfectly clear before the U.S. Economic Committee: “We are at the beginning of a global upheaval. All we need is a really big crisis and the nations will accept the ‘New World Order’.” The cryptic sentence can also be understood as a lasting warning.
Such a quotation says little in itself. Of course, it is occasionally misused by wacky conspiracy theorists. But if one registers in the last decades the tendencies toward centralization worldwide, one can only call for vigilance. The globalism that has been institutionalized long since is manifold: World Parliament, World Court of Justice, World Bank, World Army and World Police. There is the danger of a successive accumulation of power, which Kant had already discussed in his study Perpetual Peace. Such developments, with their potential to endanger freedom and democracy, need no further discussion. The danger cannot be dismissed that it is not the peoples who determine their own destinies, but a small elite. Also those who stigmatize all unpleasant opinions as conspiracy theories can hardly want such a trend.
Professor Felix Dirsch is a Catholic theologian and political scientist. He is the author of various publications, including Nation, Europe, Christianity and Right Christianity. Dirsch criticizes the influence of the 1968 generation and “political correctness.”
Translation by LifeSite’s Dr. Maike Hickson. Professor Dirsch and Boris Reitschuster kindly gave LifeSite permission to publish this text.