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This essay by Fr. Joachim Heimerl was originally written in German. It has been translated and published with the permission of Fr. Heimerl.

(LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Robert Sarah recently caused a stir when he spoke of the “atheism” that is spreading in the Church. He was by no means referring to the neo-pagan periphery in “synodal” Germany but to the center of the Church: Rome.

Bishop Joseph Strickland, the prophetic voice from Texas, also held this position. In a letter to the faithful, he wrote that there were far too many forces in the Vatican that wanted to destroy the supernatural faith; he explicitly referred to a large number of high-ranking prelates.

None of this is new to insiders, and the majority of the faithful become increasingly aware of it the more often Rome attracts attention with questionable decisions and controversial documents.

Anyone who thinks that I am once again referring to “Fiducia supplicans” and the so-called “blessing” of so-called “irregular couples” is mistaken. The fact that Rome has left the ground of Christian faith and divine revelation here is so clear that there is no need to point it out again.

It becomes more interesting when you look at the latest document on human dignity, which is entitled “Dignitas infinita:” “unlimited dignity.”

It sounds nice, and no one will dare object to it, yet the title itself is as smooth and superficial as it is pleasing. A political text could have the same title, but it would certainly sound less grandiose.

After all, everyone knows that human dignity cannot be limited by anyone and that certain rights, such as fundamental rights, are “pre-state,” meaning that no one, not even the state, can take these rights away from anyone. All well and good, but let’s be honest: the Church is not needed for all this, even if “Dignitas infinita” deals with the violation of human dignity using numerous examples.

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Overall, the document offers “nothing new under the sun,” therefore, and most readers will carelessly put it aside. Basically, it is a superfluous text that shows that too many authors have tinkered with it. It is neither cast from a single mold nor is it a big hit, and, above all, it lacks the decisive element: the religious dimension. Although it flashes up almost bashfully from time to time, the big questions remain unanswered. What about human dignity and the reality of sin? And what role does God’s grace play in this?

There is no answer to this question, just as there is no answer to the question of whether human dignity can ultimately be squandered. How does it relate to eternal salvation, and what about those who fall short of this salvation? Is there human dignity in hell, and is it also “unlimited” there? And what about those who have trampled on the dignity of millions, such as Hitler and Stalin?

The document is deliberately silent about all this. One gets the impression that “infinite dignity” is just an empty rhetorical phrase that they did not want to fill with the most important things: with the Catholic faith and perhaps not even with the crucial questions of Christianity.

In this respect, this document is not only pretty and harmless but also an expression of a new lack of faith, in short, of what Cardinal Sarah called “atheism” in the Church. The fact that this is becoming more and more widespread can be observed everywhere, and not many have the words of Our Lady of La Salette (1846) in their ears: “Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist.”

Of course, this sounds outrageous, and for this reason alone, after the apparition was recognized by the Church, there was a rush to minimize this part of the message. However, it will be all the more interesting to observe that heaven is never wrong. The fact that the loss of faith has long since begun in Rome can no longer be denied.

We remember: Pope Francis – privately – holds the view that the ineffable Prefect of the Dicastery [for the Doctrine] of the Faith, Cardinal Fernandez, openly propagates, namely that hell is empty.

READ: Pope Francis: ‘I like to think of an empty hell’

Jesus Christ said the complete opposite, and this is precisely where the problem lies: if hell is empty, there is no need for a cross and redemption, no Church and no grace.

Even human dignity is then just a man-made vehicle, and despite its beautiful title, “Dignitas infinita” is basically just that: a faithless text for a faithless world; “nothing new under the sun.”