Cardinal Brandmüller Once Again Criticizes the Synodal Path

Source: FSSPX News

Le cardinal Walter Brandmüller

In an article published on on March 3, 2022, Cardinal Walter Brandmüller has once again attacked the Synodal Path which is taking place in Germany and which was initiated in 2019. He notes that this new way has nothing Catholic about it and reduces the Church to being nothing more than a kind of NGO. The title is significant: Quo vadis, Germania? The following are extracts.

A Catastrophic Record

The Cardinal notes the heterodoxy of the texts voted on during the Synodal Assemblies and remarks that “all this was 'decided' by a large majority. The fact that not a few of these ‘yes’ votes came from bishops indicates the seriousness of the situation – and raises fundamental questions.”

“Reforms” such as “the abolition of priestly celibacy and the admission of remarried divorcees to Holy Communion. These have been lurking underground since the Würzburg Synod of 1971-1975.”

But “what is new is that practiced homosexuality is recognized as morally permissible.” Moreover there is “no  real difference between bishops, priests, deacons, and that ‘only’ the baptized and confirmed should be recognized, . . . a belief that corresponds completely to the teachings of Martin Luther.”

Finally “the Frankfurt assembly [the Synodal Path Assemblies take place in this city] asks that the sacrament of orders be conferred on women,” which, the cardinal points out, “has never been considered possible in two thousand years, because, as John Paul II has stated with infallible judgment, the Church has no authority” to ordain women.

The porporato then comes to “the frightening question that arises: did the bishops who co-decided on all this really not realize that they were openly contradicting the truths of the faith which they had repeatedly sworn to faithfully preserve and proclaim?” He concludes: “the question must be posed in all its rigor, and each bishop must answer it.”

The Modernist Crisis and the Nature of Religion

To understand the seriousness and scope of the issue “we must go back to the roots of the crisis that came to light in Frankfurt.” The question “what actually is religion? Was posed and the phenomenon of ‘modernism’ emerged at the end of the 19th century: what is at stake is the question of the nature of religion.”

St. Pius X coined the term “modernism” to designate attempts at a response. It is “a heterogeneous group of ideas and approaches that were—and still are—incompatible with the Catholic faith in various ways. Religion would be an attempt to illuminate the meaning of human existence, to cope with the experience of man’s finiteness, to experience the depths of the person or of the unconscious.”

One element characterizes these theories “evolution, which is derived from the 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and his “three-step process of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.” It means that what today “could be true, yesterday was false, and vice versa, in order to be questioned again in the next step, and so on.”

Religious consciousness “thus develops to an ever higher level in every age.” The consequence: “the contents of faith must be formulated according to their current development, as well as moral practice.”

The cardinal notes: “theologians should have urgently dealt with the movement in a serious and dispassionate, as Pope Pius X did with his encyclicals Pascendi Dominici Gregis and Lamentabili Sane.”

“But this is precisely what did not happen,” he said, the evolution of the Western world “made it sink into the catastrophe of the First World War. The old powers were replaced by communist and fascist dictatorships whose confrontation during the Second World War led to the almost total collapse of Europe.”

The Outbreak of the Crisis

The consequence was that “theology, in the first half of the 20th century, became less geared to the ‘fundamentals’ and more towards ‘contemporary movements.’” Thus, there was never a “thorough and comprehensive examination of the complex phenomenon of modernism” and the problem continued to smolder underground.

The crisis finally erupted in the 1950s: “it suffices to refer to the new theology to which Pius XII responded with his encyclical Humani generis. After [the Council], the now graying generation of [the cultural revolution of] 1968, which again set the tone in Frankfurt, attempted to change the course of events.”

But this attempt led to “the German Church being transformed into an NGO, with humanitarian and cultural objectives.” It is an effort “limited to the here and now, circling around itself, superfluous.”

The Real Solution Is Elsewhere

The cardinal then recalls that “religion is the way in which the man recognizes his Creator and meets him.” ‘Religion’ is not a monologue, but essentially a dialogue.”

This truth “is still at the level of natural religion, which stems from the recognition of finitude, of the created nature of man and which founds a relationship of adoration and devotion to the Creator.”

But, wonders the cardinal with astonishment: “have these evidences been lost for the fellow Frankfurt travelers? Do the ‘synodals’ not realize that they are on a wrong track that is lost in nothingness?”

And he draws the sad conclusion: “In the end, the result of the ‘Synodal Path’ enterprise is fatal: for a long time, there has been no mention in the Frankfurt texts of falsehood or heresy. In these texts, of course, little is said about God. But God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are simply no longer there.”