Fatima Perspectives #1254
Life Site News has quite the scoop with its interview last week of Cardinal Gerhard Müller, ousted former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Once again Life Site demonstrates its key role in documenting and legitimately opposing the current unprecedented crisis in the Church.
That said, however, a careful examination of the text of the interview reveals that its explosive content has been disarmed by one, in my view, fatal implicit concession.
First of all, Müller, speaking of ex-Cardinal McCarrick, rightly observes that the fact that “McCarrick, together with his clan and a homosexual network, was able to wreak havoc in a mafia-like manner in the Church is connected with the underestimation of the moral depravity of homosexual acts among adults.” Taking direct aim at Pope Francis in light of the indictment levelled by Archbishop Viganò, Müller adds: “And when there even has already been paid some hush money – and with it, the admission of his sexual crimes with young men – then every reasonable person asks how such a person can be a counselor of the Pope with regard to episcopal appointments.”
Moreover, Müller is right over the target when he exposes the sham of harping on the sexual abuse of “minors” by clergy so as to hide the endemic corruption of homosexual activity between clergy and “consenting adults.” He rejects the claim that “the Congregation of Faith was merely responsible for the sexual abuse of minors, but not of adults – as if sexual offenses committed by a clergyman either with another clergyman or with a layperson would not also be a grave violation of the Faith and of the holiness of the Sacraments.” Before his summary removal by Francis with no explanation, he had “stressed again and again that also homosexual conduct of clergymen can in no case be tolerated; and that the Church’s sexual morality may not be relativized by the worldly acceptance of homosexuality.”
Müller scoffs at the argument that one must “differentiate” between “consensual sexual acts between adults and the abuse of minors, implying that a priest’s homosexual relations with another adult is not a major problem.” Says he in reply to that claim:
“One can differentiate everything – and then even consider oneself to be a great intellectual – but not a grave sin which excludes a person from the Kingdom of God, at least not as the bishop who is duty-bound not to exhibit the taste of the time [‘Zeitgeschmack’], but rather, to defend the truth of the Gospels. It seems the time has come ‘when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables’ (2 Tim 4:3ff).”
And then there is this devastating admission about the current state of a Church in crisis:
“The origin of this whole crisis lies in a secularization of the Church and the reduction of the priest to the role of a functionary. It is finally atheism that has spread within the Church. According to this evil spirit, the Revelation concerning Faith and morals is being adapted to the world without God so that it does not interfere anymore with a life according to one’s own lusts and needs. Only about 5% of the offenders are being assessed as pathologically pedophile, whereas the great mass of offenders have freely trampled upon the Sixth Commandment out of their own immorality and thus have defied, in a blaspheming way, the Holy Will of God.”
All good and praiseworthy, if too little too late from a prelate who should have said these things openly — all of them statements of the obvious truth — in his capacity as head of the CDF.
But then the bomb over the target is defused before its drops. Asked whether the Church should “not more directly deal with the problem of the presence of homosexual priests,” Müller replied in a way that leaves untouched the very origin of the crisis he laments:
“In my view, there do not exist homosexual men or even priests. God has created the human being as man and woman. But there can be men and women with disordered passions. Sexual communion has its place exclusively in the marriage between a man and a woman. Outside, there is only fornication and abuse of sexuality, both either with persons of the opposite sex, or in the unnatural intensification of sin with persons of the same sex. Only he who has learned to control himself fulfills also the moral precondition for the reception of priestly ordination (see 1 Tim 3:1-7).”
Notice what Müller has done here: he has (a) conflated homosexuality and normal heterosexuality under the concept of “disordered passions,” (b) reduced the concept of “disordered passions” to merely any sort of sexual activity outside of marriage, and then (c) minimized fitness for the priesthood as being merely a matter of the candidate learning to “control himself” no matter which way his passions incline.
Thus disappears from view the truth that the homosexual inclination in and of itself is an insuperable impediment to ordination because it is an “intrinsically disordered” condition that radically affects the very masculinity of a man who, as a priest, must be configured to Christ, who is Man par excellence. As the Vatican’s 1961 instruction on this matter provided:
“Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers.”
Müller therefore negates his own diagnosis of the homosexual priest crisis by implicitly conceding the continued ordination of those afflicted by “evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty” — that is, an intrinsically disordered psycho-sexual condition — so long as they “learn to control” their disorder. That this disorder is not in itself a sin, but rather an evil, meaning a deprivation of good in the person, is not the issue. The issue is the intrinsic unfitness of those afflicted by the disorder.
No one afflicted by any sort of grave personality disorder should be made a priest. Yet somehow an implicit exception is being made for the homosexual disorder. While condemning the symptoms of the disease in the clergy today, Müller declines to call for the total elimination of its cause: the ordination of men afflicted by the intrinsic disorder of the homosexual condition.
At this point, it seems, absolutely no one in the upper hierarchy is willing to state forthrightly that the homosexual inclination should be an absolute bar to priestly ordination. Quite the contrary, the hierarchical consensus now appears to be that it is no bar at all, so long as one “controls” the disorder. Thus a continuation of the homosexual corruption of the priesthood is assured.
Consider this capitulation yet another sign of the epochal collapse of faith and discipline that must be at the heart of the integral Third Secret of Fatima.