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Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig MüllerElke Wetzig / Wikimedia Commons

(LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), blasted the heretical German Synodal Way, saying it is worse than schism and calling it a variant of “materialistic and nihilistic woke culture” that has abandoned “the very essence of Christianity.”

In a recent interview with the conservative German magazine Tichys Einblicke, Müller was asked about his most recent book “In Buona Fede,” in which he stated that the situation of the Catholic Church in Germany is “worse than schism.”

Müller explained that while the schismatic orthodox churches kept their focus on Christ, the Synodal Way in Germany has abandoned “the very essence of Christianity […] in favor of its transformation into a variant of the materialistic and nihilistic woke culture of man’s self-redemption and self-creation.”

“Instead of the word of God in Holy Scripture and Church Tradition, one refers to the ‘authorities’ like Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Helmut Kentler, or Yuval Harari,” Müller continued.

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“One cannot cast out the devil with Beelzebub, that is, in the fight against pedophilia, one cannot deprive human sexuality of the demands of God’s commandments and the transforming power of his grace and reduce it to a private pleasure free of morals.”

“The Catholic Church, since Irenaeus of Lyons, has never let the Gnostics of all times get away with de-moralizing sexual promiscuity, polygamy, and the blurring of the distinction between man and woman by saying that God does not care about the material world and the corporeality of man (Against Heresies I, 28, 2).”

The German Cardinal furthermore said that “woke culture,” which is also represented in the Synodal Way, leads humanity further down the path of self-destruction. At the root of this problem, Müller identifies a “wrong anthropology, which makes the marriage of man and woman an arbitrary variant of self-centered libido.”

Commenting on the call for women ordinations, the German prelate said “[t]hat women cannot receive the sacrament of ordination at the levels of bishop, priest/presbyter, and deacon is not a historical-sociological (‘patriarchal’) or psychological (‘anti-women,’ which is folly even as a term) matter, but a matter of the sacramental (and precisely not functional) nature of this sacrament itself as representing Christ as Bridegroom of the Church in His relationship to her as His Bride.”

READ: German bishops vote 42-10 in favor of women deacons for entire Church

The interviewer asked Müller about the reproach by proponents of the Synodal Way that the enemies of the Synodal Path would not offer any good solutions. “We do not need to think of any solution at all because we live by the power of God’s redemption,” the former CDF head responded.

“It is enough if we bear witness with word and life to the Gospel of Christ, whose cross is more intelligent than all intellectuals and stronger than all the might of the powerful and rich of this world. Then we can answer everyone who asks us about the meaning and reason of the hope that sustains us in life and death (cf. 1 Pet 3:15).”

Müller was also asked why he thinks Germany is the center of this “Sonderweg” (special path) rather than Spain, France, or Italy.

“Unfortunately, there is still the Furor teutonicus, the indomitable tendency to always want to instruct and dominate the whole world,” he answered. “German Catholics still suffer from being second-class citizens (and scholars in theology and science) ever since the Kulturkampf [culture war] in the Bismarck Empire and the claims of superiority of the Prussian Protestant Leitkultur [dominant culture]. It is an irony of Church history that in the face of the challenge of an aggressive de-Christianization of the West, Catholics want to overcome their inferiority complex by referring to their common mediocrity.”

“What is your advice to the faithful Catholics in Germany who dislike the Synodal Way but no longer find the usual stability in Rome?” the interviewer asked Müller.

“A look at church history helps us to cope more easily with the ups and downs,” the German cardinal said. “After all, we Christians are not promised a success story like in a human enterprise, but the assistance of the Holy Spirit even in times of decline or even persecution. In the stock market, prices rise and fall. We live from the promise of Jesus that he will always be with us until the end of the world.”

“The rock on which Jesus builds his Church, even the gates of hell cannot overcome. But he who sits in the chair of Peter, like the namesake of this office, can personally fail. This is why Christ prays for Peter that his faith may not be extinguished (cf. Lk 22:32).”

“For all our fidelity to the Pope, which is natural for a Catholic, we must also always keep clearly in mind that we belong to Christ’s Church and that the Pope, bishop, and priest are only his servants — sometimes unfaithful — who are always in need of repentance and renewal,” Müller concluded.

The Synodal Way is a heterodox reform project started by the German bishops’ Conference and the Central Committee of German Catholics in December 2019. During its latest assembly in March, an overwhelming majority of the members of the Synodal Path, including more than two-thirds of the German bishops, voted in favor of heretical documents, calling for women deacons, “blessings” of same-sex unions and even “transgender” priests in a text replete with gender ideology.