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 Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews

February 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In an interview this month, Cardinal Gerhard Müller expresses displeasure with the fact that the Freemasons recently praised Pope Francis for his use of the expression “fraternity.”

“A universal religion does not exist,” said Müller, who also opposes a Protestantization and an Islamization of the Catholic Church.

On February 3, the Italian newspaper La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana published an interview in English with Cardinal Müller, the former head of the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). (A longer Italian version of that interview can be viewed here.)

In the interview, Riccardo Cascioli asks the German prelate to comment on the fact that Pope Francis “constantly emphasizes the concept of universal fraternity.”

“I was not happy at all when the Masons praised the Pope,” Cardinal Müller responds.

The Grand Lodge of Spain had published a January 7 statement declaring, “All the Freemasons of the world join the Pope’s request for ‘fraternity between people of different religions.’”

Speaking about the Freemasons’ concept of fraternity, the German cardinal says: “Their fraternity is not the brotherhood of Christians in Jesus Christ, it is much less.” While “we all have a father in Heaven,” the cardinal makes it clear that God revealed himself first “to Moses, the prophets and finally in Jesus Christ.” In his eyes, fraternity cannot be reduced to “avoid wars, to avoid quarrels between peoples.”

“A universal religion does not exist,” he adds.

Cardinal Müller rejects the idea of Pope Francis being the “head of a universal religion” when he says: “Sometimes absurd ideas circulate, describing the Pope as head of a left-wing international or…universal religion, but this is absolutely against the establishment of the papacy of Jesus Christ.” The papacy, according to the former prefect of the CDF, is centered around Jesus Christ: “Jesus instituted Peter as the first and principle of his succession in the papacy because of his confession or profession of faith: ‘You are the Christ, the son of the living God.’ This is the substance of the papacy, it is the voice of the confession of the faith of the Church and not the head of the UN.”

Müller goes on to discuss the 800th anniversary of the meeting between St. Francis and the Sultan and the fact that different parishes now offer courses on Islam and Imams are invited to explain their idea of Jesus to parishioners.

Cardinal Müller states that “for us, it is an offense to say that Jesus is only a man, that He is not the son of God. How can you invite someone to come to church to offend you? There is a bad conscience present today in Catholicism towards one’s own faith and instead we kneel before others.”

“First Luther’s jubilee, now that of St. Francis: it is just a way to bring protestantism in and Islamise the Church,” he said. “This is not true dialogue, some of us have lost our faith and want to become slaves to others to be loved.” Thus, “relativization of the faith” is the most serious problem of the Church today.

“It seems too complicated to announce the Catholic faith in its entirety and with an upright conscience,” he explains. “Yet the world today deserves the truth and the truth is the truth of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

“False compromises do not help people in today's world,” the German prelate adds. One should, instead of relativizing the Catholic faith, present it and educate people, but “we tend to relativise, we always say a little less, less, less, less…Christianity has become concerned with the world.”

“It is reduced to please everyone today and consequently people are deceived.”

This interview was published just before Pope Francis signed a “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” on February 4 with Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Cairo’s al-Azhar Mosque, during an interreligious meeting in Abu Dhabi. In this document, as the title indicates, the Pope once more highlights the idea of a fraternity for the sake of peace and even states that “the pluralism and the diversity of religions” are “willed by God in His wisdom.”

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Dr. Maike Hickson was born and raised in Germany. She holds a PhD from the University of Hannover, Germany, after having written in Switzerland her doctoral dissertation on the history of Swiss intellectuals before and during World War II. She now lives in the U.S. and is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.

Dr. Hickson published in 2014 a Festschrift, a collection of some thirty essays written by thoughtful authors in honor of her husband upon his 70th birthday, which is entitled A Catholic Witness in Our Time.

Hickson has closely followed the papacy of Pope Francis and the developments in the Catholic Church in Germany, and she has been writing articles on religion and politics for U.S. and European publications and websites such as LifeSiteNews, OnePeterFive, The Wanderer, Rorate Caeli,, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Notizie Pro-Vita, Corrispondenza Romana,, Der Dreizehnte,  Zeit-Fragen, and Westfalen-Blatt.


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