Cardinal Müller: No Christian is Obliged to Follow Green Pope

Text: Giuseppe Nardi – Trans: Tancred – Monday, August 6, 2018

Cardinal Müller: No Christian is Obliged to Follow Green Pope

Cardinal Gerhard Müller criticizes a “left-green” agenda of Pope Francis and some bishops. No Christian is obliged to follow them.
(Canberra) The Australian newspaper The Australian published in its weekend edition (The Weekend Australian) from 28./29th of July a clear criticism of the administration of Pope Francis. The article was written by Tess Livingstone, who had a conversation with Cardinal Gerhard Müller. Headlines such as, “Green Pope is fallible” and “The Pope is not infallible in environmental matters, says a major cardinal,” was the direction of the story.
Livingstone’s key message from Cardinal Müller is:

“Christians are not obliged to follow the left-green agenda of Pope Francis”.

Specifically, by the climate change agenda is meant, Pope Francis of the Catholic Church, while his predecessors were anxious not to be hitched before a dubious, politically and ideologically motivated cart. But Cardinal Müller is not just talking about climate change.
According to the author, referring to Cardinal Müller, there is no obligation for Christians to fight fossil fuels or for compliance with international climate agreements such as the Paris Climate Agreement of December 2015, which is based on the claim that man is to blame for global warming.
As a reminder, this agreement was strongly supported by Pope Francis. He had a climate conference held in the Vatican in spring 2015 in cooperation with the United Nations, at which scientists who doubted the allegation of a human-induced global warming were summarily excluded. Then the Pope published an eco-encyclical, illuminated the façade of St. Peter’s Basilica with suggestive images at the High Feast of the Immaculate Conception, sent a message to the climate conference in Paris, tried to prevent the election of Donald Trump and warned against the climate agenda his election victory.
What Livingstone writes could also be said: Pope Francis takes on the role of a kind of supreme religious leader, who in the name of religions as a moral authority pressures to enforce and maintain a certain political direction. However, the Catholic church [maximum] leader is, and this is criticized, active not in his own, religious sphere – and certainly not in the sense of the truth. Rather, he fulfills the role of a global ecclesiastical civil servant, as envisioned by the enlightened state church, such as Josephinism.
“We are not a party of the Greens”
Cardinal Müller, who was in Australia for a priestly meeting, told Livingstone:

“We are not a party of the Greens”.

More and more Catholics are gaining the opposite impression when, with a shake of their heads and astonishment, they take note of Pope Francis’ statements and gestures.
Instead, Cardinal Müller warns of such powers, because these are the same forces that restrict the freedom of religion and want to force hospitals to perform abortions. These forces “are moving towards totalitarianism,” which is why Church leaders and citizens must confront them.
The separation of Church and state (God and Emperor) was vital, and environmental politics had nothing to do with either faith or morality. In other words, Pope Francis ought not interfere. This is not a topic of the Church, but, according to Cardinal Müller, the various parties and their constituents.
Just recently, Curial Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, a close associate of Pope Francis, called for environmental protection to be incorporated into canon law. The cardinal said this at a conference on the “energy transition” organized by a Catholic ecology movement in Rome.
Such a demand and positioning contradicts Cardinal Müller. Church leaders should focus on religion. Instead of such interference in day-political topics, a new evangelization of the youth is needed, especially in Germany. For this, the liturgy must be focused on Christ and should not degenerate into a “religious entertainment”.
Taboo Word “Schism” – “Fathers do not retreat”
Tess Livingstone threw another, hot button keyword in the round:

“There is one word that princes of the Church shun: the ‘schism'”.

Cardinal Müller also makes an exception when he emphasizes that it needs “clarity” based on “God’s Word” given by Jesus Christ. This “clarity” is needed by the Pope and the bishops. From them it was required to overcome the “schism” that already existed de facto, and which is generally described by the division into a “conservative” and a “progressive” wing in the Church.
Cardinal Müller also spoke with Livingstone about Benedict XVI, whose Collected Works the cardinal publishes. His Grace raised another question. He described the resignation of a pope as a “problem,” as well as the duty first introduced by Pope Paul VI. of the bishops to retire at the age of 75.
“These are fathers, and fathers do not retreat,” said the cardinal.
He also named another shortcoming. Many of the cardinals who will elect Pope Francis’ successor do not know each other. Francis replaced the previous practices in cardinal appointments and appointed numerous unknown bishops from unknown dioceses. According to Cardinal Müller, it is problematic that the pope conducted five consistories for the creation of the cardinals, but for four years he had no longer convened a single general assembly of the College of Cardinals. This lack also contradicts the alleged collegial and “synodal”, “modern style” of which Francis says he wishes to promote.
Finally, Cardinal Müller handed down another side blow. Pope Francis listens to “so-called friends” who did not always prove to be friends.
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7 comments on “Cardinal Müller: No Christian is Obliged to Follow Green Pope

  1. The hopes of Rex Mottram in Brideshead Revisited for extending the power and authority of the Pope to being able to make it rain spiritually on a sunny day aside, the authority of the Pope actually does NOT extend to predicting the weather, solar cycles, or climate shifts. This is an unfortunate part of the superstition of modernism. In modernism from the Spirit of Vatican II, the Pope chooses not to judge on matters of sexual morality revealed in the Ten Commandments and the Bible (something within his jurisdiction) but dares to make proclamations on debatable scientific controversies of meteorology and climatology (something on which he has no expert knowledge).

    Whether climate changes are caused by human activity, how severe they are, and what to do about that, are ALL scientific and political debates which fall under prudential judgment. The laity are free to participate in these debates. There is nothing in the Gospel, in divine revelation, in the catechism, canon law, or the magisterium which specifies a specific policy
    recommendation for weather changes, shifting solar cycles, or climate changes. The Pope is not a magician or sorcerer. If he believes that he is, it is past time for him to retire to a nice rest home for senile old priests. The sooner, the better.

    Someone should write a book on the modernist Ultramontanism of the Bergoglian pontificate. Bergoglio’s fantasies about papal authority (and those of his followers) need to be analyzed.

    • HowlinglyAbsurd says:

      Someone should write a book on the modernist Ultramontanism of the Bergoglian pontificate. Bergoglio’s fantasies about papal authority (and those of his followers) need to be analyzed.

      “Your wish is my command” – in a manner of speaking, although the “my” is not me (i.e., AQ Tom) but Walter Murphy in his novel The Vicar of Christ, quoted and explicated by Deacon James Toner in Imagine No Religion, Too:

      “We simply cannot,” said Pope Francis. His interlocutor was puzzled, wondering what it is that we cannot do. The answer came swiftly and inexorably.

      “Fight another war. The error came in the early Church when its fathers made a false peace with Rome and allowed Christians to serve in its legions. The only way to have peace is not have armed forces. The Quakers have been right all along on this. The Church must make pacifism an integral part of its moral teaching.”

      The Holy Father’s interlocutor was stunned, perhaps understanding the ramifications of this declaration by Pope Francis, who continued: “How can it be moral for mass armies to kill each other as well as innocent civilians? Or for Christians to join those armies? Christ was a pacifist. He preached pacifism, and he practiced it in the Garden of Gethsemane and on Calvary. There is simply no way you can love your neighbor and then go about preparing to murder him.”

      The interlocutor had to object. “Holiness,” he began, “what about our ancient Catholic moral and philosophical tradition of ‘just war’?”

      Pope Francis responded: “How can there be “just murder’?” After a moment, the Pope continued: “We must not only condemn war but categorically forbid all Catholics—yes, all humans—to participate.”

      But what would happen when the forces of evil saw all Catholics, and others, refuse military service? Would they then not conquer the world?

      Pope Francis responded: “This is not the important thing. The inner life of faith and morality can remain, while the outer political order changes. What matters is that we love one another and practice that love.” Such noble practice might well change the world, said Pope Francis.

      The conversation above, which is, of course, fiction, is taken from chapter 33 of Walter F. Murphy’s novel, The Vicar of Christ.

      If, in time we can abolish the death penalty, or at least forbid Catholics from approving it, the current pope, taking a cue from the fictional Francis, might well reason that, in time, we can also abolish war, or at least forbid Catholics from approving it or participating in it.

      Is it not now time to abolish capital punishment, life imprisonment—and war? One is reminded, after all, of the saying so often and fondly quoted by Senator Robert F. Kennedy: “Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not.”

      But in George Bernard Shaw’s play Back to Methuselah, the speaker of that line was the devil. The call to a man-made utopia is the ancient and perennial heresy (Gen. 3:5).

      The abolition of the death penalty and the exaltation of pacifism are signs of a quixotic mentality which Monsignor Ronald Knox knew as “Enthusiasm.”

      Saint Thomas More called it “Utopianism.” Joachim of Flora preached it as the “Third Age.” A host of modern philosophers are associated with various strains of secular chiliasm. If we can dream a sufficiently revolutionary dream and thus change the political or economic structure in a way that is sufficiently modernized—so goes the Panglossian pipedream—there will be peace. And progress. And prosperity. And paradise.

      What is always missing from the progressive agenda is the failure to recognize evil. “Without the knowledge Revelation gives of God we cannot recognize sin clearly and are tempted to explain it as merely a developmental flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the necessary consequence of an inadequate social structure” (CCC #387). As the French writer Charles Peguy put it: “It will never be known what acts of cowardice have been motivated by the fear of not looking progressive enough.” Moreover, the New American Bible offers this translation of 2 John 9: “Anyone who is so ‘progressive’ that he does not remain rooted in the teaching of Christ does not possess God.” Or perhaps such people possess a false god.

      Can it be that the death penalty deters murder and that its abolition will result in more violence? Edward Feser and Joseph Bessette, in By Man Shall His Blood be Shed, think so. Can it be that the U.S. armed forces help to deter terrorism and that pacifism may lead to more violence? The late Jean Bethke Elshtain argued affirmatively in Just War Against Terror?

      Can it be that the root of the problem is failure to perceive evil? In his novel The Apostle, Brad Thor quotes George Orwell: “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

      That the decision to “work with determination” to abolish the death penalty is a Micawberish foray into secular politics; that it is ultra vires, beyond papal authority as custodian of doctrine, not its progenitor; that it ignores the traditional properties of punishment (the medicinal and the vindictive [see CCC #2266]); that it ignores and traduces settled Church and biblical teaching; and that it creates a precedent with conspicuously dangerous probabilities—all these matters, and others, again suggest that the Church is altogether too eager to please the liberal, progressive, and secular society to which it is supposed to be witnessing and preaching (John 12:43; Gal. 1:10; 1 Thess. 2:4).

      As Feser and Bessette prophesy: The abolition of the death penalty “will tend to reflect, and to reinforce, a trajectory away from theological orthodoxy and traditional morality. Abolitionism thus inadvertently provides powerful ‘aid and comfort’ to ideas and movements that any Catholic must regard as morally and socially destructive” (207).

      The abolition of the death penalty is based upon a metaphysically mistaken notion of human dignity (CCC #1881), which places man at the center of all human institutions. “Dignity” provided by human customs can be repealed by human institutions. The Church has always insisted, despite the trendy liberalism of the past half-century, that human dignity is grounded in our ensoulment and in our reflection of God’s image. When that truth is twisted to mean human exaltation, liberty becomes license; moral freedom (which means sinlessness [cf. John 8:34]) becomes moral autonomy; and moral agency can be socially detached from objective and universal norms. We begin, in short, to worship the creature and to forget the Creator (aversio a Deo, conversio ad creaturam).

      It is, in short, not only heterodox theology—but it is also deranged politics—to mistake respect for the dignity of every human and the nature of our relationships with others as our highest duty and chief virtue, somehow more important than the duties and virtues which lead us and bind us to God. There is a reason, in short, that the First Commandment is first (Dt. 6:5).

      In pridefully exalting human dignity (cf. Jer. 17:5), we fallaciously conclude that there can be no such thing as just war; that the moral law against sodomy is somehow an assault upon our prized human dignity; that civil laws forbidding same-sex “marriage” are demeaning; and that the time and circumstances of our deaths are to be matters of personal choice and of private convenience.

      Considerations of space preclude lengthy rehearsal here of the many reasons which tell us clearly and cogently that pacifism and the abolition of the death penalty are more than merely Pollyannaish. We can, though, point out here that they are perilous, and they will result in moral and political catastrophe because they misjudge human nature. They are saccharine and sentimental, for they are, at heart, Pelagian, and they look forward to a time and place where no grace is necessary. They hope for peace and healing, but “terror came instead” (Jer. 8:15, 14:19). And when murderers and aggressors do come, the Pelagian progressives can’t beat them; so, too often, they join them. It’s all right, they think, for the prevailing ideology determines the boundaries of right and wrong, and dignity comes from allegiance to the morals of the day. Taste matters, it seems; truth doesn’t.

      The romance of the political left is always grounded in the belief that we can be as gods. If we have within us the seeds of our own magical flowering, surely we can dispense with reminders that we are inclined to evil thoughts and deeds. The days of the death penalty—for any offense—and the days of military service—and just war against aggressors—will finally be ended. We will have achieved harmony, and we will have done so ourselves. The Tower of Babel will finally be built, and there won’t be any need for police, soldiers, or weapons inside it for defense.

      Criminals of every sort and stripe will listen to sweet reason; international aggressors will be deterred by the reinstitution of the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact, in which nations pledged not to use force to resolve disputes; and the lion will lie down with the lamb—if only we imagine it, as John Lennon taught us so memorably:

      Imagine there’s no heaven
      It’s easy if you try
      No hell below us
      Above us only sky
      Imagine all the people living for today.

      Imagine there’s no countries [or borders]
      It isn’t hard to do
      Nothing to kill or die for
      And no religion too
      Imagine all the people living life in peace.

      You may say I’m a dreamer
      But I’m not the only one
      I hope someday you’ll join us
      And the world will be as one

      John Lennon was murdered on December 8, 1980. On that tragic night, when Lennon was shot in the back multiple times, there was present no rough man in a blue suit ready to do “violence,” if need be, to save the life of the singer/song writer. John Lennon would be 77 today if vigilant, and armed, police had been able to deter his murderer.

      Lennon’s woolly-headed imaginings clash, not only with historical knowledge and political experience; they deny—“and no religion too”—the biblical teaching which is at the heart of the ancient and ever-new faith, expressed most succinctly in Job: “I know that my Redeemer liveth” (19:25). I know I need a Redeemer, for I cannot save myself. As Jeremiah put it: “Who can understand the human heart? There is nothing else so deceitful; it is too sick to be healed” (17:9). The Catechism teaches that “Sin is present in human history; any attempt to ignore it or to give this dark reality other names would be futile” (#386).

      But the belief that we alone can conquer sin is more than “futile”; it is blasphemous and debauched. When we lose sight of the need for defense against criminals and aggressors or terrorists, abandoning the idea of protecting the innocent and of punishing the guilty, “the very idea of justice will go with it,” say Feser and Bessette, “[and it will be] replaced by a therapeutic or technocratic model that treats human beings as cases to be managed and socially engineered [rather] than as morally responsible persons.”

      Progressives—utopians—think that we stand at the threshold of a brave new world. We are dreaming dreams and asking why not. We are soaring! “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High” (Is. 14:14). Like Icarus, however, we crash and burn when we seek self-exaltation, denying the objective truth of sin and our personal and institutional need to always guard against it.

      The Church has always faithfully taught the need for repentance, for accountability, for daily conversion to Christ, and for working out our salvation in “fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). This is the call to redemption, not to social engineering. By the grace of God, it is not yet too late to restore our understanding of the divine mission of Holy Mother Church.

  2. Opus Dei to the rescue? Perhaps someone among the illuminated Escriva initiates can explain how the pope magically does have authority over weather changes. How 2+2=5.

    You know, there will be a return to the death penalty in Europe. It’s just that Christians will be on the receiving end of that policy. Not only is the Pope challenged on science. He is challenged in basic arithmetic. If keeps supporting non-Christian/anti-Christian migration to Europe, it is not going to matter what he thinks Christian doctrine should be on the death penalty. When Christians are outnumbered they won’t be determining policies in their own countries.

    • HowlinglyAbsurd says:

      Opus Dei to the rescue? Perhaps someone among the illuminated Escriva initiates can explain how the pope magically does have authority over weather changes. How 2+2=5.

      I can’t find any Opie Dopie to explain it, but here (according to the Skeptical Libertarian) is Bertrand Russell on the latter point:

      Bertrand Russell noted that when you introduce a contradiction into a closed system, anything is possible. On hearing this, a student exclaimed: “If 2 plus 2 equals 5, prove I’m the pope.” Russell fired back: “If 2 plus 2 is 5, then 4 is 5; if 4 is 5, then (subtracting three from each side) 1 is 2; you and the pope are two, therefore you and the pope are one.”

  3. John Lennon: “Imagine no religion…”

    God: “Imagine no John Lennon.”

  4. There is an issue about the Pope and changing the teaching on the death penalty that is being overlooked in most articles on the controversy. That has to do with the Pope’s crazy support for non-Christian migration to Europe, hence, the de-Christianization of Europe and civilization. It is not going to matter what the Pope wants the teaching on the death penalty to be. In Europe in the future the policy will be determined by non-Christians who support the death penalty. Now, either the Pope is really really BAD at arithmetic or he is insane. Or he is a secret anti-Christian initiate of some anti-Christian organization. When Christians are outnumbered, the Pope’s opinion on the death penalty will be irrelevant.

    Now, the last secular humanist Beatles’ fan to sing “Imagine” in Europe is going to be VERY VERY sorry that Christians became a minority.

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