The negative reaction to Benedict's essay, he said, is evidence of his "diagnosis that a type of moral theology, which for a long time has not been Catholic, has collapsed."
Müller denounced those who, "on the backs of young victims of sexual crimes, [try] to substitute the Church's moral teaching, grounded in natural law and divine revelation, with a self-made sexual morality according to the egotistical pleasure principle from the 1970s."
Reflecting that many abusive priests "did not have a sense of guilt, and did not know or directly rejected the teaching according to which sexual acts with adolescents, or with adult persons outside marriage, are morally reprehensible," he asked: "Who deformed their conscience to such a degree that they no longer knew what the serious sins are by which 'neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals … will inherit the kingdom of God'?"
According to Müller the height of the scandal is "when the blame is not laid upon those breaking God's commandments, but instead the commandments themselves are made responsible for their transgression: The cause of sin becomes God, who is allegedly overtaxing us."
While it is not put like this directly, he said that "the Church is accused of interpreting God's commandments in an outdated fashion. Therefore, it is said, we now need to invent (or, as the euphemistic language puts it, 'develop further,' meaning 'falsify') a new sexual morality that agrees with the findings of modern human sciences, which morality 'philanthropically' leaves untouched the factual reality of people's lives."
But these proposals forget that "empirical science without any presuppositions does not exist, and that the underlying anthropology always influences how research data are interpreted."
"Morality is about distinguishing good and evil," he stated. "Can adultery be good only because a de-Christianized society thinks about it differently than the Sixth Commandment puts it?"
St. Paul's writings against sodomy must be taken at face value, Müller emphasized: "How do exegetes know that behind the obvious meaning of these words, something else, even the total opposite, is intended? In immoral acts, especially against matrimonial love and its fecundity, Paul detects a denial of God, because the will of the creator is not recognized as the measure of our doing good."
The consequence for the Church's life is that "we can only admit to ordination candidates who also possess the natural prerequisites, are intellectually and morally capable, and show the spiritual readiness to give themselves totally to the service of the Lord."
"We can only turn away from false ways if we understand male and female sexuality as God's gift, which does not serve narcissistic pleasure but has its true goal in the love between spouses and the responsibility for a family. Only in the wider context of Eros and Agape does sexuality have the power to build up the human person, the Church, and the state. Otherwise it brings about destruction."
Seeing celibacy as the cause of sexual crimes against adolescents can only arise from a "materialist and atheistic point of view," he said. "There is no proof for that; statistical data about sexual abuse say the opposite."
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Such an atheistic view is also found "in the arguments of those who blame abuse crimes on an invented 'clericalism' or on the sacramental structure of the Church." He said that clerics are not mere "officials", but are meant to minister to the people of God.
Seeing clerics as "power-fixated functionaries … is possible only in a secularized Church," Müller concluded.
"Instead of surrounding ourselves with media consultants, and seeking help for the Church's future from economic advisers, all of us … have to refocus on the origin and center of our faith: the triune God, the incarnation of Christ, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the closeness to God in the Holy Eucharist and in frequent Confession, daily prayer, and the readiness to be guided in our moral life by God's grace. Nothing else provides the way out of the present crisis of faith and morals into a good future."