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Cardinal Gerhard Müller.Diane Montagna / LifeSiteNews

(LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Gerhard Müller has condemned the heterodox Synodal Path, calling its proponents a “German Synodal sect.” 

Müller, a former Prefect of the then-Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), made his remarks in an opinion piece published by, where he responded to heterodox statements made by Bishop Georg Bätzing during the World Synod meeting in Prague on February 8. 

“The homosexual and gender ideologies, which contradict every scientific, philosophical, and theological anthropology, have replaced the hermeneutics of the Catholic faith in the ‘being different’ Catholicism of the German Synodal sect,” Müller stated.  

Bätzing, the head of the German Bishops’ Conference and co-president of the German Synodal Way, said that there are “different states in the reception of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and also the deepened exercise in democratic processes and structures” between the Catholic Church in Eastern Europe and Western Europe. 

READ: Joint head of Germany’s Synodal Way: Reforms ‘must not stop at Church teaching’ 

Bätzing furthermore stated that he is “disturbed” by the talks about the “rules of the faith” and “fixation on sin:” 

From some statements I hear the call for clarity: What are the rules of faith in the Church? What belongs to the core of doctrine? And what is sin that can and must be named?

I am disturbed by this. The Christian faith is a religion of freedom and salvation — not of fixation on sin.

I can’t hide the impression that here possibly sin and being a sinner are insisted upon, in order to present the Church as unassailable and unchangeable and to insist on the existing criteria of exclusion of certain groups.

“This is not my faith, not my image of Christ and the Church,” Bätzing proclaimed. “We need to listen to people of the Church who have proven themselves loyal and faithful in life situations that have so far been morally judged as ‘disordered’.” 

READ: German bishop announces new guidelines forcing priests to accept homosexuality, transgenderism 

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In his critique, Cardinal Müller said that “the protagonists of German alternative Catholicism” used the Synodal meeting in Prague to “flaunt their felt, but unproven, moral-spiritual superiority over eastern [European] traditional Catholicism.” 

The German cardinal responded to Bätzing’s statement that he was “disturbed” by the insistence upon the traditional teaching of the Church, by saying that the following words of the apostle Paul also apply to Bätzing: 

“I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables (2 Timothy 4:1-4).”

“Wholeheartedly, the Christian faith is declared to be the ‘religion of freedom and salvation’ in contrast to the ‘fixation on sins,’ as if our ‘minister of the word and doctrine’ (Lk 1:2; 1 Tim 5:17) had passed over the apostolic primordial confession: ‘Christ died for our sins’ (1 Cor 15:3),” Müller wrote. 

“So we do know: ‘Our old self was crucified with Christ, that the body ruled by sin might be destroyed so that we might no longer be slaves to sin.’ (Rom 6:6). And the ‘call to freedom’ is connected with the exhortation ‘not to make freedom a pretext for sin, so that we, the baptized, may walk in the Spirit of God and not fulfill the desires of the flesh (e.g., fornication, impurity, factions, divisions)’ (cf. Gal 5:1, 13-25).”

“The homosexual and gender ideologies, which contradict every scientific, philosophical, and theological anthropology, have replaced the hermeneutics of the Catholic faith in the ‘being different’ Catholicism of the German Synodal sect,” Müller continued. “However, supernatural and salvific faith comes from hearing the Word of God and ‘not from the blood and will of the flesh’ (John 1:13) or the voice of the people and their tribunes.” 

READ: Cdl. Müller slams Synodal Way as ‘openly heretical and schismatic’ after German bishops visit Rome 

“Christ did not come to explain away and minimize sin by appealing to God’s love, but to draw its deadly sting from our mortal being and to enable us to live ‘in true righteousness and holiness’ following Christ (cf. Eph 4:24).” 

“A bishop who, contrary to the nature of his office, denies the God-estranging and self-destructive power of sin in order ‘to make the Church vulnerable and to present her as changeable (according to her nature and mission)’ has not understood the mystery of salvation from sin (and not to sin) and has failed in his vocation as a successor of the apostles, namely, to forgive people their sins in the Holy Spirit by virtue of Christ’s mission from the Father (cf. Jn 20:21).” 

READ: Cdl. Müller compares Synodal Way to pro-Nazi German Christians in the 1930s 

Müller noted that Bätzing’s statement “This is not my faith, not my image of Christ and the Church” confirms the Synodal Way co-president’s “opposition to the Catholic faith.” 

The German cardinal concluded, “In summary, the reasons for the ‘considerable tensions’ perceived by the co-chairman of the German Synodal Way in the Catholic Church are not rooted in cultural incongruities of [different] peoples, but in heretical contradiction to the Catholic doctrine of faith […]” to which the proponents of the Synodal Path adhere.