Catholic Church leaders in Germany must be punished for walking out of the Vatican and approving blessings for same-sex marriages, say two cardinals.
Cardinal Raymond Burke of the United States and Cardinal Gerhard Müller of Germany spoke about the de facto schism going on in Germany during an interview with EWTN.
“Whether it is estrangement, heretical teaching and denial of one of the doctrines of the faith – or apostasy in the sense of simply turning away from Christ and His teaching in the Church to embrace some other form of religion – these are crimes.” Burke said.
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He continued: “I mean, these are sins against Christ himself and, obviously, then, of a more serious nature. And the Code of Canon Law provides for the appropriate sanctions.”
Burke accused “revolutionaries” within the church of ignoring Vatican authority and turning a blind eye to Pope Francis’ opposition to their changes.
Last year, Pope francesco he reminded faithful in the country that German bishops do not have the authority to propagate new theology or alter church governance.
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In the message, the pope expressed concern for Germany’s laity and clergy if their leaders break with established church teaching. The statement said Catholics would be adversely affected by the many proposed changes to the church promoted by Cardinal Reinhard Marx and other liberal German leaders in their “synodal path”.
“In order to protect the freedom of the People of God and the exercise of the episcopal ministry, it appears necessary to clarify that the ‘Synodal Path’ in Germany does not have the power to force the bishops and the faithful to adopt new ways of government and new approaches to doctrine and morals”, reads the communiqué of the Holy See.
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He continued: “Before an understanding agreed at the level of the universal Church, it would not be licit to initiate new official structures or doctrines in dioceses, which would represent a wound to ecclesial communion and a threat to the unity of the Church.”
Müller has taken an equally harsh tone, calling for German bishops to be tried within the church and removed from office if they fail to normalize their teachings.
“There has to be a trial, and they have to be convicted, and they have to be removed from office if they don’t convert and don’t accept Catholic doctrine,” Müller said.
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“[It] it is very sad that a majority of bishops explicitly voted against the revealed doctrine, and the revealed faith of the Catholic Church and of all our Christian thought, against the Bible, the word of God in Sacred Scripture and in the apostolic tradition and in defined doctrine of the Catholic Church”, said the German cardinal.
Last year, more than 100 bishops from around the world sent an open letter to German bishops urging them to cease the synod and refrain from making illegal changes.