Cdl. Müller doubles down on link between clerical abuse crisis and homosexuality
December 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In a new 27 November interview, Cardinal Gerhard Müller has restated his claim that homosexuality and clerical sexual abuse are clearly linked. He also says that, if there should be in fact a homosexual lobby in the Vatican, these persons' own “doings should be strictly prohibited,” due to the “immense damage” they cause.
Cardinal Müller, the former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), now proposes that the Church's canon law re-introduce penalties for priests who commit homosexual acts because such acts are “a grave offense against the priest's ethos.” Such priests need to be “sanctioned,” he said. With regard to the controversial German Jesuit Fr. Wucherpfennig, he calls his pro-homosexual position “heretical” and regrets that his case was apparently dealt with by way of private agreements with the Pope, rather than through the official Vatican channels.
Speaking with the German regional newspaper Passauer Neue Presse, Cardinal Müller re-stated several things he had recently told LifeSiteNews. In his new wide-ranging interview, the German prelate says that “it is a fact that a little more than 80% of the victims of abuse are male teenagers after puberty.” While he cautions against generalizations, the Cardinal also insists that the clerical sex abuse of adults older than 18 should not thereby be relativized because of civil laws. Here, the Church should not follow the propositions of the LGBT groups.
He explains: “The image of man of LGBT organizations cannot be decisive for us. It could only be imposed upon the whole of society with the help of violence in destroying the freedom of religion and conscience. We resist it, even if threatened with the penalty of social depreciation and wild media insults.”
Speaking about a possible “homosexual lobby” in the Vatican – which, according to Müller, has never revealed itself to him – the German cardinal says that “Pope Francis himself has once spoken about the actual existence of such a lobby.”
“But if they [such persons] exist,” Müller continues, “their doings should be strictly prohibited, because they cause immense damage.”
Importantly, Cardinal Müller returns to a topic he recently discussed with LifeSiteNews, namely the fact that the 1983 Code of Canon Law had removed any specific mention of homosexual acts as one of the priestly offenses against the 6th Commandment which therefore incur certain canonical penalties. Cardinal Müller had told LifeSiteNews that this change in canon law was “disastrous.” Now, in this new 27 November interview, the Cardinal says: “In the Church's law, one also once again has to present and sanction homosexual acts by priests as a grave offense against the priest's ethos.”
Cardinal Müller also uses some strong words about Father Ansgar Wucherpfennig – the pro-homosexual Jesuit who has just been re-instated by the Vatican as the rector of the Jesuit Graduate School in Frankfurt – saying that “the position of this man concerning homosexuality contradicts the Word of God in Holy Scripture and, in the context of the Church's binding doctrinal and moral teaching, is to be qualified as being heretical.”
His position, the prelate continues, “lies within the mainstream of the 'LGBT agenda' of those who call themselves lesbians, homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgenders – whom I myself would never designate in that way – and it finds support in that part of the Church that has been secularized.” Coming back to his earlier claim that he considers the Vatican's decision to reinstate Father Wucherpfennig without his recanting any of his controversial earlier remarks in favor of homosexuality and of female ordination as a “false compromise,” the German cardinal then went on to say: “with false compromises, the Magisterium only undercuts its own authority as given by Christ. The applause on the part of the progressivists does not compensate for the loss of authority that goes along with it; and that applause will only last as long as those in responsible positions still act in accordance with the Zeitgeist.”
Further commenting on the Wucherpfennig case and the Vatican's own conduct, Cardinal Müller says that “it is a weak point in the exercise of the papal primacy when one ignores the fixed procedures of the examination and decision-making process in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and, instead, private conversations with the Pope en passant [in passing] then tip the balance.”
Offering an additional example of such a neglect of rules and of those actions in favor of private solutions negotiated directly with the Pope, the prelate points to the recent conflict concerning the German pastoral handout, which allows some Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive Holy Communion on a regular basis. At the time, the CDF itself had cautioned against the publication of that “immature” handout, but it was then overruled by a little note summing up a private conversation between the Pope and Cardinal Reinhard Marx, saying that the handout could be published, after all. That note had been signed by Pope Francis with an “F,” indicating his approval.
Says Cardinal Müller: “For example, the reception of Holy Communion requires a full membership in the Catholic Church, but, nevertheless, someone has asked the Pope – so as to promote intercommunion – to sign a slip with theologically blurred assertions which contradict Catholic doctrine and the clear instruction of the Congregation for the Faith and which has lead to a chaotic practice, with a great damage to the Church.” That note had been written by Cardinal Marx himself.
With regard to the current clerical sex abuse crisis in the Church, Cardinal Müller does not shy away from pointing to some bishops who do not sufficiently cooperate in the clearing out of this problem. “Some bishops unsettle the faithful because, in their statements, they only follow the mainstream. They allow themselves to be placed into the straight jackets of political correctness, in which they can only move awkwardly and make a fool of themselves.” In this sense, the prelate says that bishops should not “foremost act and think politically,” but they are, rather, “servants of the Word of God, shepherds of their flock.” “We have to become more spiritual and theological, and less political and in accordance with the Zeitgeist,” he concludes.
“We should risk and venture the new evangelization,” the cardinal says earlier in his 27 November interview, “instead of jumping on the train of demoralization and de-Christianization of the Western societies.” Such a renewal would include a “renewal of the ethical conduct.”
Cardinal Müller has received sharp criticism from German Catholic progressivists for his recent LifeSiteNews interview. EWTN Rome Correspondent Paul Badde, in a new 29 November interview with Cardinal Müller, raises the question whether there exists now a “hunt on Cardinal Müller” in light of the intense reaction in German progressive circles against the cardinal's critique of homosexuality.
Badde states: “There barely passes one day without there appearing a new article sharply attacking you because of your interview with Maike Hickson, in which you once more presented and defended in a traditional manner the Catechism of the Church, fighting for the truth.”
Cardinal Müller comments on this matter, saying that “these are attacks against my person and not substantive contributions that are to be taken seriously. But this is always the case. When it is about power instead of truth, decency is being left behind.” He repeated his statement that, in his dealing with sex abuse cases at the CDF, “80% of the victims of clerical sexual abuse crimes are male."
"As we know, ideologues fear facts like the devil holy water. But I know these happenings and backgrounds from many [canonical] processes which we, by virtue of our office, have led at the Congregation for the Faith,” he added.
While Cardinal Müller restates that he does not know whether such a homosexual lobby exists at the Vatican – but for Pope Francis' own admission – he does say that such people exist within the hierarchy of the Church: “But there are high-ranking representatives of the Catholic Church who, beyond measure, defend and promote people with such a [pro-homosexual] tendency. But when it is about questioning aspects of the Catholic Faith, they are magnanimous and lack energy. He who follows their agenda, may do what he wants. [But] he who does not participate in assisted thinking [“assistiertes Denken”], is being mercilessly persecuted, currently according to the motto 'St. Paul goodbye – Wucherpfennig okay!' But I am not going to go along with it, and I will not be silent.”
Commenting on Paul Badde's insight that today, many Catholic theologians do not even believe anymore in the Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, the German Cardinal says: “He who denies the Incarnation is not a Catholic theologian, but at the most a professor with a nice salary. Here, one really should be at least so honest as to make his living somewhere else. To be a member of the Church by Baptism and Faith is something else than being a beneficiary of the Church's establishment,” he said.
“Unfaithful theology and faithful theology are as different as wooden and glowing iron,” the Cardinal added.
In concluding this fiery interview, Cardinal Müller shows little hope for the Catholic Church in Germany which “certainly has no great future when she acts and agitates like a political party.”
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