Cardinal Müller tells heterodox interviewer: ‘It is sacramentally impossible’ to ordain women – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Gerhard Müller affirmed perennial Catholic teaching in an interview with a heterodox media outlet, declaring that “it is sacramentally impossible” to ordain women to the priesthood and that it is a “mistake” for women to think that they could be “called” to Holy Orders.

The prelate also rebuked exaggerated notions of papal obedience and the interviewer’s claim that sex abuse in the Church is linked to the all-male priesthood, which he dismissed as an “ideology based on anti-Church prejudices” and Marxism.

In an interview with the pro-abortion, nominally Catholic Swiss outlet, Cardinal Müller was asked about the idea of ordaining women to the priesthood. The former head of the Congregation (now Dicastery) for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) explained that the question of “female priests” is not dependent on “emancipative and sociological aspects.”

Instead, it is contingent on the way in which Jesus Christ implemented the sacrament of Holy Orders and the question of “what belongs to this sacrament of priestly ordination.”

“Just as it is part of the sacrament of marriage as the indissoluble union of a man and a woman that men cannot marry men. For sexual purpose has been instilled into the nature of man by the Creator.”

“Jesus called the apostles, and the office of bishop, presbyter, and deacon emerged from the apostolic ministry,” Cardinal Müller said. “And this is symbolically linked to manhood.”

“In His manhood, the priest represents Christ, the bridegroom of the Church, which is His bride,” the prelate explained. “He has an invisible relationship with the bride, the Church. The Church cannot be represented by a man because it is female and Mary, the Mother of God, is its archetype. It is in the nature of the sacrament that only a man can represent Christ in relation to the Church.”

“The image of bridegroom and bride comes from the Old Testament and testifies to subordination,” journalist Jacqueline Straub claimed in response. “The Second Vatican Council speaks of the equality of the sexes.”

“The image does not argue against the fundamental equality of all people in their personal relationship with God,” Cardinal Müller replied. “However, it shows that a man cannot become a mother and a woman cannot become a father – even if there is a tendency to relativize the creation-based foundation of human sexual existence. The vocation comes from God. One would have to complain to God Himself that He created human beings as man and woman.”

“The vocation comes from God. One would have to complain to God Himself that He created human beings as man and woman.” – Cardinal Gerhard Müller

Asked whether women could be called to the priesthood, the German prelate replied, “If Christ Himself is the founder of this sacrament, then He cannot contradict Himself.”

“He will not define the nature of the sacrament in this way and then at the same time arbitrarily call women to what actually contradicts the symbolism of this sacrament.”

“After all, we cannot use our considerations of possibility to convict God of a lack of logic,” he continued. “Human reason would place itself above divine reason if we were in a position to prove inconsistencies or even injustices to God.”

When asked what happens if women say they are called to the priesthood, Cardinal Müller said, “That must be a mistake. Women cannot be called to this office. That is pure subjectivism.”

“In 2002, several women were ordained as ‘priestesses’ on the Danube. What do you think about that?” Straub asked.

“It was a provocation unworthy of the sacrament of Holy Orders. The ordination to the priesthood was invalid because the inner requirements were unmet. A woman cannot be ordained a priest. That is sacramentally impossible.”

Addressing the clerical abuse crisis in the Church, Straub claimed that “one factor in the extent of the abuse scandals is the male-centered and closed hierarchy,” despite the fact that the abuse crisis in the Protestant community in Germany, which has female and married pastors, was arguably worse than in the Catholic Church during the same time frame.

READ: Protestant church in Germany has had over 9,000 sex abuse victims since 1946: report

“This is an ideology based on anti-Church prejudices,” Cardinal Müller replied. “Statistically speaking, 95 percent of child abuse occurs in the family and youth education sector, which has nothing to do with the hierarchical-sacramental constitution of the Church and the celibacy of priests.”

“Priests are generally under suspicion. It is typical of the old and new Marxist ideologies that it is not the individual who is guilty for his actions, but the collective to which he belongs,” he stated.

“That probably sounds derisive to the ears of those affected [by abuse],” Straub said.

“That is the famous trick used to undermine the disclosure of the above-mentioned anti-clerical ideology by appealing to emotions,” Cardinal Müller replied. “Every decent person suffers with the victims of any atrocity. But neither can we remain insensitive to those who have been innocently accused and caught up in the mills of justice.”

Asked about the heterodox global “Synodal process,” the former head of the CDF said that “[i]t must not – as Pope Francis himself says – be misunderstood as a kind of church parliament that wants to impose a man-made constitution on the Church of Christ according to the spirit of the age. Or as a kind of discussion group of a non-binding nature, and then the Pope ultimately decides purely arbitrarily.”

“This is incompatible with the Catholic understanding of the Church,” he argued.

“The current opinion is that one must only be obedient to the Pope, without the Pope justifying his statements in the Holy Scriptures, the Apostolic Tradition and the binding decisions of the Magisterium, purely based on his formal authority,” Cardinal Müller continued. “This is an exaggerated, indeed false, understanding of primacy. There is no absolutist understanding of ecclesiastical authority. Nor can the Pope be instrumentalized for his own ‘conservative’ or ‘modernist’ agenda, which bypasses the essence of the Church as a sacrament instituted by God for the salvation of the world.”

Cardinal Müller’s unambiguous affirmation of perennial Church teaching starkly contrasts with recent statements by Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich made in an interview with the same outlet. Hollerich – a close ally of Pope Francis whom the pontiff appointed to his personal council of cardinal advisors, known as the C9, last year – falsely claimed that the Church’s rejection of female ordinations “is not an infallible doctrinal decision” and could, therefore, be changed.

READ: Cardinal Hollerich again falsely claims Catholic teaching on male-only priesthood ‘can be changed’

The impossibility of female ordinations

Pope John Paul II declared in his 1994 apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis that it is ontologically impossible for women to be ordained.

In 1995, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, responded to a dubium by affirming that John Paul II’s teaching in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is to be held definitively and to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith as it “has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.”

In 2019, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), spoke with LifeSite’s Dr. Maike Hickson about the issue of “female ordination,” issuing a categorical clarification about the Catholic prohibition on the matter of women as priests or deacons:

It is certain without doubt, however, that this definitive decision from Pope John Paul II is indeed a dogma of the Faith of the Catholic Church and that this was of course the case already before this Pope defined this truth as contained in Revelation in the year 1994. The impossibility that a woman validly receives the Sacrament of Holy Orders in each of the three degrees is a truth contained in Revelation and it is thus infallibly confirmed by the Church’s Magisterium and presented as to be believed.

Indeed, in 2018, then-prefect of the CDF Cardinal Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., defended the teaching of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis as bearing the mark of “infallibility,” with John Paul II having “formally confirmed and made explicit, so as to remove all doubt, that which the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium has long considered throughout history as belonging to the deposit of faith.”

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