“But the rotten fruits of anthropological nihilism are also shown in the questioning of marriage between man and woman, which is seen as a variant among any number of possibilities of the orgiastic enjoyment of sexual satisfaction without the full surrender in love and without transcendending oneself to (form) a third person, namely, the child as the fruit of love and of the womb of its parents,” he continued.
Thus the relationship of marriage to fruitfulness is denied, “with which the Creator has blessed man and woman so that they transmit, preserve, and promote the life created by God.”
Cardinal Müller then addressed the issue of gender ideology, which makes a false distinction between biological sex and gender as a sociocultural construct.
“Apart from the biologically proven fact that a real sex change isn’t possible, the fiction of freely choosing one’s gender is a denial of God’s will for our person. Every human being exists in (his or her) bodily nature in either male or female expression,” he said.
“Gender ideology, which certainly also falls under the umbrella of anthropological nihilism, deprives both men and women of their own possibilities,” he pointed out.
“A man, by virtue of his spiritual and bodily disposition, has the possibility of becoming a loving husband to his wife and a faithful father to his children. But he cannot be a wife or mother to another person without betraying himself,” the cardinal said.
The prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that “no one can reform or modernize the teaching of Christ, ‘because he himself (by his Incarnation) brought with him all the newness and modernness to renew and vivify man,’” as St. Irenaeus of Lyons, who was recently declared a doctor of the church by Pope Francis, said.
Dangerous for the Church
“Anthropological nihilism becomes really dangerous for the Church when even Catholic theologians in key positions no longer assume the fact of the historically unique and insuperable revelation of God in Jesus Christ, but instead make a perverse compromise with post-humanism, just for the Church to ‘survive’ as a social organization in a modern world without God,” the cardinal said.
For this “theology without God,” then, “the creation and the covenant, the Incarnation and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and his bodily resurrection are only considered existential symbols of mythical quality.”
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
“If Christianity were just a collection of disparate views of the unknowable divine that spread over our theoretical understanding of the world and the practical way of coping with contingency, then it wouldn’t really be worth fighting, suffering, and dying for the truth of Christ,” Müller explained.
The German cardinal stressed that “our faith in the God and Father of Jesus Christ overcomes the culture of death and anthropological nihilism. Faith opens us to a culture of life in the love of the Triune God because we are freed from the ‘slavery of the transient to the freedom and glory of the children of God.’”
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.