Editor’s Note: Cardinal Gerhard Müller appeared on EWTN’s The World Over with Raymond Arroyo on Oct. 6. Please find the interview transcript below, edited for length and clarity.
Your Eminence, thank you for being here. The last two years, the Church has been polling Catholics all over the world, and non-Catholics we might add, about their desires in the Church and from the Church. Now, these national reports have been sent to Rome. Internationally, an average of 1% to 10% of baptized Catholics have really taken part in these synodal discussion groups, for such a small representative group. Do these national surveys mean very much? Do they actually reflect what Catholics are most concerned about?
I think the approach is wrong. … We have to listen to the word of God. And then to put it into practice. …
The concerns of these reports are curious. In England, Ireland, France and others, they cite the need for a more welcoming Church, your Eminence. In particular, the synthesis identifies the “LGBTQ” community, divorced Catholics, women in the Church. Regarding the “LGBTQ“ community, the U.S. report states the following: “The hope for a welcoming Church expressed itself clearly with the desire to accompany, with authenticity, LGBTQ+ persons in their families. In order to be a more welcoming Church, there’s a deep need for ongoing discernment of the whole Church on how to best accompany our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters.” What do you make of this focus on the “LGBTQ” community? And how do you see the evolving synod taking up those concerns?
These reports, they all seem to tend in a direction of stronger leadership and more presence in decision-making for women. The Australians specifically request an ongoing discussion about the ordination of women and deacons. Now, hasn’t this question of female ordination been settled by the last several pontificates, including Pope Francis?
… In the Church, we have nothing to do with political power, and to self-representation, but we have to follow the will of God and to be responsible for the salvation of all mankind; and we have to cooperate with the will of God. We have the mission of Jesus Christ, to lead everybody towards a salvation, to Jesus Christ, who is the only Redeemer, not to self-creation, to self-redemption. It’s all manipulated [these ideas], of ideology, and that has nothing to do with the Gospel and the doctrine of the Catholic Church
You were head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. What must you think as you watch a system being created, where all of that doctrine seems to be up for grabs?
The basis of the Church is the word of God as a revelation … not our strange reflections. … This [agenda] is a system of self-revelation. This occupation of the Catholic Church is a hostile takeover of the Church of Jesus Christ…. And if you look at only one page, or read one page of the Gospel, you’ll see that it has nothing to do with Jesus Christ … and [in this agenda] they think that doctrine is only like a program of a political party, who can change it according to their votes….
I have to say, I am, I am shaken when I hear you say, and you were just at a consistory, which we’ll talk about in a moment, that you believe the synodal process is … shaping up into a hostile takeover of the Church, of an attempt to destroy the Church. Is that what you see here?
If they succeed, it will be the end of the Catholic Church. And we must resist it like the old heretics of the Arianism. When Arias thought, according to his ideas, what can God do and what can God not do? And it is irrationalism: human, the intellect to decide what is true and what is wrong.
All these national reports are being synthesized into a working document, known in Rome, as the instrumentum laborious. This document continues to be refined, but, ultimately, it will guide all these discussions for the synod in Rome. This is being drafted by the synod leadership and advisory committee and a group of approximately 20 so-called experts. These are laypeople, religious sisters, Catholic priests, an archbishop. Who are the these people, and why have they been chosen to put this working document together? Why not a group of cardinals to do this?
They are dreaming of another church that has nothing to do with the Catholic faith … and they want to abuse this process, for shifting the Catholic Church — and not only in other direction, but in the destruction of the Catholic Church. … Nobody can make an absolute shift and substitute the revealed doctrine of the Church, but they have these strange ideas, as doctrine as only a theory of some theologians….
The above comes from an Oct. 7 posting on the site of the National Catholic Register.