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Cardinal Raymond Burke (left) and Cardinal Gerhard Müller LifeSiteNews

(LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke, former head of the Apostolic Signatura, and Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) spoke out against the German Synodal Way in interviews with Raymond Arroyo last week on EWTN. The interviews followed a meeting in which the Synodal Way voted overwhelmingly to approve “blessings” for same-sex “unions,” with both Churchmen stating that such a thing is impossible in the context of Church teaching. 

Speaking to Arroyo, Burke stated that “It simply needs to be said clearly that the question of God’s plan for man and woman, His plan for the sexual union, His plan for marriage, could be a topic of discussion and debate is absurd.”  

“A synod exists to ponder the teaching of the Faith, sound doctrine, the discipline of the Church, to see how it can be more effectively proclaimed and examined in a particular period of time, not to invent some new teaching,” he continued. 

“If this is what’s going to go on at the Synod, then this poison, this defection from Catholic teaching and practice, will affect the whole Church. It’s an impossible situation. This has to stop.” 

Burke also stated that he believes the Church is being used to push an agenda or ideology that is contrary to the Catholic Faith.  

In response to a question from Arroyo with regard to the possibility that “progressives” in the Church are using the Synod on Synodality to push Pope Francis to question issues that are “already settled,” Burke noted, “What I see is that the Church is being used, because the pope sometimes says things that are very, very clear and in accord with the Church’s teaching with regard to these matters. And what the agents of the revolution do is simply ignore these statements and take other statements in which he seems to be favorable.” 

“These are human inventions, human ideologies that are being pushed and the Church is being used,” Burke said. “And what it does is it renders the Church then into some kind of a human agency, almost like a government agency that’s being manipulated to foster certain programs and certain agenda. And so we need to wake up to what is happening.” 

“You will notice that in a lot of this talk, you never hear the name of Our Lord,” Burke added. “You never hear talk about what Our Lord Jesus Christ is teaching us, what he’s asking of us. So this is a very serious situation.” 

“It is an atmosphere of confusion which has really entered in a strong way into the Church, which permits this kind of thing,” Burke further noted. “People have the idea ‘Well, the Church really doesn’t know what She truly thinks.’ This is also a tragedy in itself and causes tremendous suffering, and of course danger for the salvation of souls, of losing souls who are led into error and confusion.” 

Burke also stated that to combat attempted “reforms” is not to contradict Francis, but to love him.  

According to Burke, “Those of us who are addressing as best we can, with our limitations, the teaching of the Faith, the living presence of Christ in the Church, are called the enemies of the pope, but we’re the ones who really love the pope! We realize that he has a tremendous burden on his shoulders. He’s the successor of St. Peter, the Vicar of Christ on earth. He is the principle of unity in the Church, and as Our Lord said to St. Peter, ‘You are the rock and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ and this is the office of St. Peter.” 

“And so we are the ones who love the pope and are trying to help him to carry out his mission, whereas these people who simply ignore what Rome is saying to them, what the See of Peter is saying to them, show that they have no respect for him whatsoever,” continued Burke. “They are indeed the enemies of the pope, and I think it’s clear! Any reasonable person can see that.” 

Burke also pointed out that to break with the Church’s teaching on anything is a canonical crime. In response to a question from Arroyo on the subject, Burke responded that “Whether it’s a departure, heretical teaching and denial of one of the doctrines of the faith—or apostasy in the sense of simply walking away from Christ and from His teaching in the Church to embrace some other form of religion—these are crimes. These are sins against Christ Himself.”  

Also speaking with Arroyo, Cardinal Müller said that the Synodal Way is “not respecting the Christian anthropology, that everybody is created according to the image and likeness of God, but they are occupied and influenced by the LGBT and woke ideology, that is meta-realistic and nihilistic, and therefore they have these strange ideas for the ‘blessing’ of same-sex unions.” 

Müller also stated that to bless any sexual relationship that is not in accord with God’s plan for human sexuality is “blasphemic,” telling Arroyo that “it is absolutely blasphemic to make a blessing about those forms of life which is according to the biblical and ecclesial doctrine a sin, because all forms of sexuality outside of a valid matrimony is a sin and cannot be blessed.” 

When asked how he would advise Pope Francis to respond to the Synodal Way, Müller said “If they are acting or going absolutely, directly against the Catholic doctrine, the definitions of the dogma, of the Catholic doctrine, there must be a trial, and they must be sentenced, and they must be removed from their office, if they are not converting themselves and they are not accepting the Catholic doctrine.” 

Müller also said that the Synodal Way hopes to “drive” the Synod of Synodality, saying “They see themselves as avante garde of the Catholic Church. They were taught to separate themselves from the Church, but they want to [move] the makers and promoters of the development of the Catholic Church in this direction, because they are Modernists.” 

“They think the traditional doctrine of the Church is wrong, is belonging to the Middle Ages, and they are more intelligent than the Word of God, like the Gnostics in the second century when Irenaeus of Lyons said they want to be more intelligent than God, our Creator and our Redeemer,” Müller continued. “And we must absolutely resist this strange and wrong doctrine.” 

Earlier this month, the Synodal Way held three votes at a meeting in which both bishops and laypeople voted, with all three votes contradicting Church teaching. In addition to the allowance of “blessings” for same-sex couples, the Synodal Way voted in favor of female deacons and also approved a declaration saying that “transsexuals” should not be “excluded” from the priesthood. Both were approved the day following the approval of same-sex “blessings,” and in all three an overwhelming majority of the German bishops voted in favor of the measures. 

Müller, in addition to speaking with Arroyo about the Synodal Way’s vote, spoke to conservative German magazine Tichys Einblicke, telling the outlet that the situation for the Catholic Church in Germany is “worse than schism” and that the Synodal Way 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.”  

Müller further stated that “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.”  

In 2021, the CDF responded to a dubium as to whether or not the Church could issue “blessings” for same-sex unions in the negative. Last April, over 70 bishops, including Cardinal Burke and the late Cardinal George Pell, signed a letter addressed to the German hierarchy warning that the Synodal Way could lead to schism.