Cardinal Müller discusses President Biden, pro-abortion politicians, and the bishops

“Now the U.S., with its conglomerated political, media and economic power,” says Cardinal Müller in a kath.net interview, “stands at the head of the most subtly brutal campaign to de-Christianize Western culture in the last one hundred years.”

Cardinal Gerhard Muller is pictured in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in this Nov. 19, 2014, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Editor’s note: The following interview was given by Cardinal Müller to the kath.net and was originally posted on January 25, 2021. It has been translated for CWR from German by Michael J. Miller and reposted here with the permission of kath.net.

———

Washington, D.C. – Rome (kath.net/Petra Lorleberg): “Anyone who relativizes the clear acknowledgment of the sacredness of every human life with tactical games, sophistries and window dressing because of political preferences, publicly opposes the Catholic faith.” Gerhard Cardinal Müller explains this in an exclusive kath.net interview about the abortion advocacy of the new United States President Joe Biden, who is a member of the Catholic Church. The former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith goes on to say: “Now the U.S., with its conglomerated political, media and economic power, stands at the head of the most subtly brutal campaign to de-Christianize Western culture in the last one hundred years.”

Kath.net: Your Eminence, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has expressed strong criticism of the pro-abortion policies of the new U.S. President Joe Biden. On the other hand, a few U.S. bishops voiced their view that the USCCB’s critique of Biden was unwise. Blase Cardinal Cupich from Chicago writes on his personal Twitter account that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had issued “an ill-considered statement” on the occasion of the new President’s inauguration. Do you see the USCCB critique as justified, or are the bishops exaggerating?

Cardinal Müller:  A Catholic bishop is distinguished from power politicians and ideologues by his obedience to the revealed Word of God. He would be a false apostle if he relativized the natural moral law for the sake of his political preference or because he favored one party or the other. Every human being recognizes the demands of the natural law in his conscience because of his reason. When those who held political and religious power in the time of the apostles tried to forbid them to proclaim Christ’s teaching under threat of punishment, the latter replied: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

Anyone who relativizes the clear acknowledgment of the sacredness of every human life with tactical games, sophistries and window dressing because of political preferences, publicly opposes the Catholic faith. Vatican II and all the popes down to Francis have described the deliberate killing of a child before or after birth as a most grievous violation of God’s commandments.

Kath.net: The USCCB President, Archbishop Gomez, declares to President Joe Biden in his clear opinion: “As Pope Francis teaches, we cannot stay silent when nearly a million unborn lives are being cast aside in our country year after year through abortion.” What is the Church’s teaching on abortion?

Cardinal Müller: “God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.” (Vatican Council II, Gaudium et spes, n. 51).

Kath.net: President Joe Biden has presented himself—not only on the day of his inauguration—as a believing, practicing Catholic. How credible is that in your view, given his long series of pro-choice declarations and his official Statement on the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion: “In the past four years, reproductive health, including the right to choose, has been under relentless and extreme attack,” and also his announcement that his administration will massively support abortion in the United States and worldwide, even financially?

Cardinal Müller: There are good Catholics even in the highest Vatican positions who, in their blind anti-Trump sentiments, put up with everything or play down what is now being unleashed in the U.S.A. against Christians and all people of good will.

Now the United States, with its conglomerated political, media and economic power, stands at the head of the most subtly brutal campaign to de-Christianize Western culture in the last one hundred years. They play down the lives of millions of children, who now fall victim to the worldwide, organized abortion campaign under the euphemism of “right to reproductive health”, by referring to Trump’s character faults.

An otherwise highly respected confrere reproached me, saying that I must not fixate on abortion. For now that Trump has been voted out, this eliminates the much greater danger that that madman might push the nuclear button. I am convinced, however, that individual and social ethics has priority over politics. It crosses a line when faith and morals are reckoned by a political calculus. I cannot support a pro-abortion politician just because he builds public housing, as though I had to put up with what is absolutely evil on account of something relatively good.

Kath.net: In the U.S.A. there are bishops who say publicly that Biden, on account of his public statements and actions with regard to abortion, is not in full communion with the Catholic Church, for instance the Archbishop of Denver, Samuel J. Aquila, and the former Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput. Chaput supports the idea that at this time Biden should not receive Communion. In contrast, Wilton D. Cardinal Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., said that he would not deviate from the current practice of allowing Biden continued access to the reception of Communion. How do you evaluate this?

Cardinal Müller: Even among Catholics, the absurd opinion has crept in that faith is a private affair and that in public life you can tolerate, approve and promote something that is intrinsically evil.

Concretely, in practice the Christians in a legislature or a government might not always succeed in adopting the natural moral law on all points. But they must never participate in evil actively or passively. At least they must protest against it and—as far as they can—oppose it, even if they suffer discrimination as a result.

It is well known that a Christian who declares his opposition to the mainstream of LGBT-propaganda, abortion, legalized drug use and the abolition of male or female sexuality is called “extreme right-wing” or even a “Nazi”, although in fact the National Socialists with their biologistic-Darwinist ideology were diametrically opposed to Christian anthropology.

Those with a spiritual affinity (who disparage others with Nazi comparisons but at the same time are indignant when they are compared with Nazis) gather, instead, where people rebel against God, who created man in His image and likeness—as man and woman.

Kath.net: Can the U.S. bishops in principle count on Pope Francis to support their pro-life commitment across the board, so that any disagreements in dealing with a sitting President would be at most in a question of tact?

Cardinal Müller: The Holy Father has never failed to oppose in the clearest possible terms abortion as premeditated murder, and for this reason he has been slandered vilely by those who otherwise like to quote him and cannot emphasize loudly enough the contrast with the previous Pope Benedict XVI. I hope that no one comes up with the perverse idea of balancing abortion and euthanasia against the admission of immigrants and migrants at the Mexico border and thus of “silently” accepting crimes against humanity as part of the bargain.

Kath.net: Given the pro-abortion positions of the new President, can and should American Catholics simply and obligingly go along with his calls for “unity” and the healing of wounds?

Cardinal Müller: Reconciliation is the gift that God has given us through Jesus Christ. Precisely for Christians in politics this should also be a standard for their speech and actions. But an ideological rift in society is not overcome when one side marginalizes, criminalizes and destroys the other, so that in the end all institutions from the media to the international firms are now ruled only by representatives of the capital-socialist mainstream.

In the United States, as in Spain now, the Catholic schools, hospitals and other non-profit institutions supported with public funding are being compelled to implement immoral policies; if they refuse they are closed. Even the most naive must be able to tell by now whether the talk about reconciliation in society was meant seriously or was only a propaganda trick.

The very same ones who talk about it at the top of their lungs should examine themselves critically about their own contribution to the division. The slogan, “If you won’t be my pal, I’ll smash in your skull,” is not the right path to reconciliation and mutual respect.

Kath:net: Would such a strong reaction against pro-abortion policies be imaginable in Austria, Germany and German-speaking Switzerland?

Cardinal Müller: Since the eighteenth century, along with absolutism, we have even in Catholic France, Austria and Bavaria the unholy tradition of the official state church (Gallicanism, Febronianism, Josephinism).

[As a result] the Church no longer defines herself in terms of her divine mission for the salvation of all people, but rather in terms of the service that she can perform for society within the parameters of the common good and dependence on the State. Only once, during the Kulturkampf [German Culture War] against Prussian state absolutism and against the totalitarian ideology, was there practical opposition in the name of her higher mission (Pius XI, Encyclical Mit brennender Sorge, 1937).

Since then, [German-speaking] Catholics have obviously subordinated themselves to a great extent to secular governmental goals (so-called “system relevance”) and have grappled with the aggressive de-Christianization of society only in the private sphere. A bishop in Central Europe today faces the choice of surviving through conformity or being branded a fundamentalist by ignorant people.

Kath.net: Whereas in the United States the participation of great numbers of Catholic bishops in the largest pro-life event in the world, the March for Life, has become almost routine, in Germany you can count on one hand the few brave bishops who come to the March for Life.

Cardinal Müller: It is not my job to evaluate the conduct of individual bishops. I have always been impressed by Clemens August von Galen, who on October 18, 1933, was consecrated Bishop of Münster [Germany]. The motto on his episcopal coat of arms was: Nec laudibus – nec timore. “Neither the praise of men nor the fear of men should move us.”

Kath.net: In Poland, on the contrary, the bishops are decidedly and strikingly pro-life. Do you value their efforts?

Cardinal Müller: More than all other European nations, the Poles for 200 years have suffered and fought for constitutional democracy and the Catholic faith. Nevertheless, malicious prejudices against this country are circulating. Even in ecclesiastical circles these commonplaces and stereotypes are adopted uncritically. The advocacy of Polish bishops, priests and lay people are associated with a fundamental traditionalist sentiment of a nation which, after the National Socialist and Communist dictatorship and foreign rule, is not yet so ripe for democracy.

Offers of remedial instruction in matters of democracy and in dealing with a secularized society are coming from Germany and Austria, of all places. All things carefully considered, we should show more solidarity with our Catholic brothers and sisters. We could learn important things from each other and together accomplish much good for the Catholic Church in today’s world.

(Translated from German by Michael J. Miller with the permission of kath.net.)


If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


25 Comments

  1. At risk of being accused of bad form, I post an excerpted, revised comment I made Tuesday. Image is everything. “If you think you purchase the goods and services you do based upon rational thinking, think again. Have you ever wondered why ads feature beautiful models, adorable puppies?” (Psychology Today). Fr Pozza became well-known for going to bars to have discussions with young people over drinks, which won him the nickname Fr. Spritz (Andrea Gagliarducci CNA). Fr Spritz chaplain Padua Correctional Facility where inmates wrote the 2020 Stations for the Pope is candidate to lead the new Vatican communications Dicastery. A perfect Madison Ave find to gussy up Francis’ Janus image. Image is vital in our new world of instant global messaging. In the Biden scheme of things Jen Psaki Press secretary Kate Bedingfield Communications director are image experts, Bedingfield snapping back to reporters querying on Catholic teaching and Biden’s aggressive pro abortion policy, “The President is a faithful Catholic”. Campaign videos, election videos portray a man aligned with pics of a smiling Pope Francis. “Former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Cardinal Gerhard Müller has warned that the United States government under President Joe Biden, ‘with its concentrated political, media and economic power, is at the forefront of the most subtly brutal campaign in the last 100 years to de-Christianize Western culture”. How successful Fr Spritz or whoever assumes the post depends on how stupidly gullible we’ve become. That has been our tragic sin. Education of the faithful by presbyters, especially bishops is everything.

    • I cannot believe the judge mental and narrow minded remarks from you Father and the many on thiesethreads.Are you that ignorant of the “oath” pronounced by the present President of the USA? We did not vote for a Catholic president anymore than a Muslim or Jewish one.

      • Remember the story of the mote and the beam? That’s a good place to start. In any case, the USA is in a better position now because the heart of its President seems committed to principles of Christianity and is open about his beliefs and how he will act or step back on numerous issues. I don’t think anyone in high office finds humility an easy thing, but he’s on a stronger path than his predecessor in terms of moving toward a more Christ -like vision of the land. Maybe the fine robes and followers have fed your ego, rather than your faith; I cannot be sure. That judgement needs to be made by your Lord. However, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Your throwing stones was totally unacceptable. That needed discernment not judgemen. On the basis of cold facts, there have been many individuals such as Mao,Stalin and Hitler, who attempted to de-Christianize western culture; it is totally unreasonable, illogical and hurtful to suggest that dreadful surge sits at the door of the White house and “conglomerated political, media, and economic power”. I state this, in fairness and fact. Biden was elected as a person for office, not Hindu, Amish or Zoroastrian; the election was not a religious or faith tradition-bssed process. Of course, individuals have their belief systems, and Biden stated his. You’d think you’d be pleased for the most part. I am not an American, and am not aligned with any political party. I expect much more of the ‘elders’ of the church. I know that you are human, but, Cardinal Muller, oh dear, you need to go on a retreat or something that will help you think this through, pray, and sort out any of your political biases.

      • Jane. And Sue. We should have voted for a man we are confidence would uphold and promote justice. Biden is not that man. Biden is a man of injustice. Abortion is not simply a Catholic religious issue. Abortion, the taking of an innocent human life is precisely a justice issue. Biden boasted he will remove all restrictions to killing unborn life. He believes an underage girl,a child has the right to abortion without their parents consent. That’s a justice issue. He promised he would remove the religious rights of the Little Sisters of the Poor and enforce their provision of contraceptives and abortifacients. That’s a justice religious rights issue. He believes homosexuals have the right to indoctrinate children. That’s a moral issue that unjustly affects freedom of conscience. Not only are these policies anti Catholic, they’re inhuman and inherently evil. No one Catholic or otherwise has the right to promote them. I strongly urge you to examine your conscience before the Blessed Sacrament. Ask, beg Christ for his light. The State, a political party has absolutely no right to remove the legitimate rights of others, most of all the right to life. Return to Christ.

      • Jane. And Sue. We should have voted for a man we are confident would uphold and promote justice. Biden is not that man. Biden is a man of injustice. Abortion is not simply a Catholic religious issue. Abortion, the taking of an innocent human life is precisely a justice issue. Biden boasted he will remove all restrictions to killing unborn life. He believes an underage girl,a child has the right to abortion without their parents consent. That’s a justice issue. He promised he would remove the religious rights of the Little Sisters of the Poor and enforce their provision of contraceptives and abortifacients. That’s a justice religious rights issue. He believes homosexuals have the right to indoctrinate children. That’s a moral issue that unjustly affects freedom of conscience. Not only are these policies anti Catholic, they’re inhuman and inherently evil. No one Catholic or otherwise has the right to promote them. I strongly urge you to examine your conscience before the Blessed Sacrament. Ask, beg Christ for his light. The State, a political party has absolutely no right to remove the legitimate rights of others, most of all the right to life. Return to Christ.

  2. Education and Example in the our beloved Church , in Her teachings, Eucharistic reverence in our Masses, beauty in arts, music, building construction, daily and common close attention to details of worship…..all teaching by word and example laying strong foundation and support for Faith. And this Faith is supported and continues in family life. One leads the other. Then. Now… We are sorely abandoned of education , example. The beautiful stained windows teaching our littlest ones without words of God’s Glory have been taken from us. Along with much more of our heritage. We have been orphaned.

  3. “An otherwise highly respected confrere reproached me, saying that I must not fixate on abortion. For now that Trump has been voted out, this eliminates the much greater danger that that madman might push the nuclear button.”

    It’s astonishing how delusional the hatred for Trump has been that people persist in the fantasies that “we’ve toppled a dictator…saved the world from nuclear disaster….etc,” despite Trump being the only President in the last 40 years to not actually start any new wars. Dementia Joe has already escalated troop levels in Iraq and Syria, and no doubt drone strikes all over the middle east will escalate again soon as well…but hey, at least no mean Tweets from Trump now eh?

    • I thought the very same thing. Trump was concerned mainly with restoring America manufacturing and jobs, stemming the flow of illegal(not legal) immigration, avoiding war, and recovering the American dream for minorities. However, the media, celebrities, academia, and Big Tech worked tirelessly in an unholy alliance to package Trump as a racist, a pigeon for the Russians, a traitor, and then finally an insurrectionist. With very little to counter this message overseas, is it surprising that many from outside our country believed Trump to be a dictator, a war happy, nuclear triggered mad man?

    • Actually he was the first president since Hoover (1928-32) not to have sent US troops to any war. And he successfully wound up the US’s involvement in several wars which his predecessors had entangled it in.

    • Thw Cardinal said in an interview on EWTN before the election that ( for Catholics) ot was better to vote for a good protestant than for a bad Catholic.
      I thank Cardinal Muller for his strong, passionate and unwavering support for the unborn children. And dating the truth about Biden and his perverse abortion support which is nothing but mass murder of babies. In America and in poor countries dependent on US aid.
      It makes me mad to think of Biden stubbornly representing himself as a Catholic abs that there are some Bishops and Cardinals who support him. Their snobbish intellectualism and hatred- for that’s what it is! – has blinded them completely.
      ” The road to hell is paved by Bishops ” ( St Catherine of Siena).

    • Finally a reply with common sense. Dennis you got it right. It was not a matter of putting what was best for the USA first, it was just getting Trump out of the White House and because of that unfunded hatred against him, they destroyed the United States. Trump was a Christian, pro life, always putting US citizens first and working towards peace and a better world but the media and the lack of research made people believed the lies of the liberals and got him wrongfully out of the presidency he rightfully deserved. So good luck to you guys and God save us in latin America because when the US gets a cough, we get neumonia

  4. Religion in America has sadly become so politicised and commercialised by the extreme right and by the woke left, that it has effectively ceased to be a beautiful, good, or truthful expression of Christendom. It has forsaken its moral Christian compass for decades now, in the blind, self-fulfilling “pursuit of happiness”, be it in wealth, fame or power, and now finds itself adrift and lost in a very dark place. Indeed, this is a dangerous precipice that potentially may lead to a civil war. Our daily lives are already troubled by an unrelenting global pandemic. The moral integrity of our own beloved Mother Church is rife with sexual scandal, corruption and a shameful lack of accountability…and we faithful few struggling to carry on with prayers of hope can only wonder if Christendom is simply guttering out. Father Almighty hear our prayers!!

  5. Not only is Biden giving scandal to Catholics creating the illusion that abortion is OK but he doesn’t approve personally but at the same time he dismantles every pro-life initiative that he has the power to do so within a week of taking office, he is also dividing the Catholic Church as evidenced by the opposing stances being taken by several US bishops. Some of these bishops are so politicised that they are opposing very clear Papal teaching on the right to life of the unborn. Biden is now engaging in cultural colonisation of African nations.

  6. In response to the bishop who was afraid of a Trump nuclear war, he should be more afraid that at the present time someone in the world may decide that the US is not going to defend itself, and therefore they will launch an attack. This type of reasoning can go both ways. One can never know what for sure will start a nuclear conflagration other than sin. A bishop should be more concerned with the area of sin, as Our Lady of Fatima warned, War is a consequence of sin. God will look kindly on the nations if the nations Honor Him by living justly according to His ways. Abortion, Divorce, Adultery, Fornication, Masturbation, Homosexuality ( and Trans whateverism!?), Crushing Poverty, Pornography, Theft, Drugs, Racism, Blasphemy, Abortion, Contraception, and on and on, will not keep up us safe. (Why no homilies on these sins anymore?) If you want peace, let’s all get our lives in order. It’s a win, win. As Fulton Sheen said, the best defense in case of nuclear war is to stay in the state of Grace, go to Confession! We need to hear this more often from our Shepherds. Can’t say when the last time a bishop spoke out against all these sins, or even against sins, not politically, but for the spiritual welfare of the souls in his care.

    • “A bishop should be more concerned with the area of sin, as Our Lady of Fatima warned, War is a consequence of sin. God will look kindly on the nations if the nations Honor Him by living justly according to His ways. Abortion, Divorce, Adultery, Fornication, Masturbation, Homosexuality ( and Trans whateverism!?), Crushing Poverty, Pornography, Theft, Drugs, Racism, Blasphemy, Abortion, Contraception, and on and on, will not keep up us safe. (Why no homilies on these sins anymore?)”

      Listen to Bishop Barron @ Word on Fire.

  7. The time for the Bishops of the USA to speak out loudly, clearly and persistently about Biden’s and Harris’ views was BEFORE the election. What prevented them from doing this? Their deep-seated opposition to Trump in spite of all he achieved for the freedom of the Church and international peace, among other matters. Talking out now is OK but it’s ‘safe’ isn’t it? Nothing is going to happen. Biden was absolutely clear about what he intended doing in the very first days of his Presidency – and he did it. No point in crying over spilled milk now. The Bishops were extremely remiss in not instructing the faithful at the correct time and now their attitude should be one of penitence.

  8. I used to join in when other “true Catholics” would criticize our priests, bishops, cardinal, & even Popes. Especially when it was egregious, scandalous, involved abuse, & contradicted official Church Teaching. That changed when I started studying the Saints, especially Saint Terese of Lisuex. Rather than blog about everything that is wrong with the world – and the church – I came to believe we must also spell out what can be done. “Prayer & Sacrifice convert far more people than sermons”. Blessed Bishop Fulton Sheen penned a simple but powerful prayer to support the Culture of Life, which is as follows: “Jesus, Mary, & Joseph, I love you very much. I beg of you to spare the unborn life of ___, whom I have Spiritually adopted, & who is in danger of abortion. Amen.” I started this in 2015…adopting twins I’ll never know giving them names to make it more personal. You pray the prayer for 9 months, then finish with a prayer of thanksgiving, & adopt another child to start again. And as God likes to do, occasionally you get a sign that your prayer does indeed matter. I started out with twins, & after nine months, I was thinking about my next “Spiritual Adoption” when I remember seeing a story from Church Pop. It was about a woman who was told to abort her twins or that she herself could die, & she chose to reverse her original decision to abort after thinking & praying about it. Now I obviously know that many mothers still choose life, & my prayers might not have mattered in this instance, but sometimes you just feel God’s grace & smile, grateful for His “signs”. If we had 20 million Catholics praying this each day, we would see a seismic shift away from the “Culture of Death”. And because it does feel more personal over time, I found myself adding intentions for the mother, father, doctors, siblings, et al. Please consider trying this, & then spread the word. Thank-you. Viva Christo Rey!

  9. Sadly, the tone of this interview sounds more like that of a disgruntled, losing right wing candidate than a shepherd. Democracy requires that no one, or collective, religion or school of thought impose its views on other people. The church is free to teach morality as it wishes. People are free to accept, or not If the church finds herself unable to compete, it’s likely due to either the message, the messenger, or both. That doesn’t stop any of us from living the example we want others to follow.

    • “Democracy requires that no one, or collective, religion or school of thought impose its views on other people.”

      Of course, one has to impose that view on other people, which makes it an immediately suspect point.

5 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Globeinfolive
  2. Reversing Self-Secularization - RightWisconsin
  3. MONDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit
  4. The Revolution Of The Great Reset Begins – While The Remnant Of The Church Militant Stands | Traditional Catholics Emerge
  5. What deception is this! | scrapbookwithtony

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.


*