He added that the German spirit’s tendency to idealism, by which it believes “it is spiritually and morally above the limits of what is sacramental and visible,” is a pride that “leads back into a captivity of the body and its unredeemed instincts.”
An appeal to “lived experience” as against revelation is not new to Germany, he said: “This false dichotomy drives the Christian spirit toward a new paganization that is only thinly disguised under Christian liturgical clothing.”
He noted that in the 1930s, Nazi theorist Alfred Rosenberg considered the Confessing Church at fault for holding “law, revelation, church, and creed today as dogmatically higher than the vital necessities of the German people struggling for internal and external freedom.”
The attempt to bless same-sex unions calls into question both the Petrine primacy and “the authority of God’s revelation itself,” he said.
“What is new in this theology that returns to paganism is its impertinent insistence on calling itself Catholic, as if one can dismiss the Word of God in Holy Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition as mere pious opinion and time-bound expressions of religious feelings and ideals that need to evolve and develop in accord with new experiences, needs, and mentalities. Today we are told that reducing CO2 emissions is more important than avoiding the deadly sins that separate us from God forever.”
Cardinal Müller closed his essay with a quote from Leo I, one of Francis’ predecessors as Bishop of Rome.
“And yet the Lord is particularly concerned about Peter and prays especially for Peter's faith (Luke 22:32), just as if the others would be more steadfast if the leader's courage remained undaunted. In Peter's strength all are strengthened, for the assistance of divine grace is so regarded that the strength given to Peter passes through him to the apostles,” the earlier pope had preached on the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul in 443.
The cardinal’s warning came shortly before Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver penned an open letter to the bishops of the world on the “untenable” views of the Catholic Church put forward by the German bishops.
Archbishop Aquila warned that the first text of the Church in Germany’s synodal path downplays the Church as God’s instrument of salvation and ignores the tensions between the Church’s mission and worldly attitudes.
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