Gerhard Cardinal Müller on Monday called upon the Holy Father to intervene in the German situation to correct clerics who have attempted to bless same-sex unions, or encouraged such attempts.
“For the sake of the truth of the gospel and the unity of the Church, Rome must not watch in silence, hoping that things won’t turn out too badly, or that the Germans can be pacified with tactical finesse and small concessions. We need a clear statement of principle with practical consequences,” Cardinal Müller, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and himself a German, wrote in “Blessing and Blasphemy”, a May 24 essay for First Things.
“This is necessary so that after five hundred years of division, the remnant of the Catholic Church in Germany does not disintegrate, with devastating consequences for the universal Church,” he stated.
Cardinal Müller recalled that the Church of Rome has primacy not so much “because of the prerogatives of the Chair of Peter”, and certainly not as if its “occupant could do as he pleases,” but primarily “because of the pope’s grave duty, assigned to him by Christ, to guard the unity of the universal church in the revealed faith.”
Speaking of the protests orchestrated by priests and bishops in Germany May 10 to bless same-sex couples and the theological impetus behind it, he said that “what we are witnessing is the heretical denial of the Catholic faith in the sacrament of marriage and the denial of the anthropological truth that the difference between men and women expresses God’s will in creation.”
The former prefect of the CDF called the “staging of pseudo-blessings of homosexually active male or female couples … theologically speaking, blasphemy”, citing Pauline and Johannine epistles, Genesis, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Lumen gentium, Vatican II’s dogmatic constitution on the Church.
The nuptial blessing “cannot be separated from its specific connection to the sacrament of marriage and applied to unmarried partnerships or, worse, misused to justify sinful unions,” Cardinal Müller wrote.
“The statement of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on February 22 simply expressed what every Catholic Christian who has been instructed in the basics of our faith knows: The Church has no authority to bless unions of people of the same sex,” he said.