Vatican’s former “watchdog of orthodoxy”…
‘Cardinal’ Müller: The Son of God “is neither a Prophet nor the Founder of a Religion”
Yet another German Modernist: the supposedly conservative ‘Cardinal’ Müller
Gerhard Ludwig Müller (b. 1947) is a Vatican ‘cardinal’ who hasn’t had an assignment in over five years. Ever since ‘Pope’ Francis decided not to renew his expired 5-year term as head of what was then called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2017, Muller has been keeping himself busy writing books and giving lectures and interviews.
As the Vatican’s former “watchdog of orthodoxy”, Muller has been able to continually maintain a profile as a supposedly conservative crusader against the errors of our day, when nothing could be further from the truth. Although he is not as extreme in his deviations from Catholicism as other Modernists, this is but a matter of degree and not of kind. As we have demonstrated on this web site in the past, Muller knowingly rejects Catholic dogma:
- The Heresies of “Cardinal” Muller, Part 1: Denial of Transubstantiation
- The Heresies of “Cardinal” Muller, Part 2: Denial of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary
- Deniers of the Resurrection: Kasper, Muller, Ratzinger
In the fairly brief conversation, the former chief “defender of orthodoxy” dropped one heck of a bombshell, claiming that although Jesus Christ is the Son of God, He is not a prophet and did not establish a religion! Such a claim is as outrageous as it is astounding for someone who is supposedly a high-ranking member of the Catholic Church and the world’s foremost guardian of the integrity and purity of Catholic teaching.
For the sake of accuracy and transparency, we reproduce below Muller’s words in their full context. He was responding to the question what he thought of Bergoglio’s “pontificate”, now that ten years have passed. Muller said:
I am a theologian and my categories are theological and ecclesiological. So I consider that the most important thing for the Church is to proclaim the Gospel of God’s universal will to deliver all people from sin and death. In these times of secularization, what seems to me to be most important is to proclaim the fundamental importance of Jesus Christ as mediator between God and all humankind.
The mission of a pope – as the principle and visible center for the unity of the Church through faith in Christ, the Word of God made flesh, as we read in the Vatican II constitution Lumen gentium – is therefore on the theological level, more than on the sociological or social level.
Jesus is neither a prophet nor the founder of a religion. He is the son of God. This means that we must proclaim all the truths of the Christian faith: the Trinity, salvation for all the faithful. This is the measure for evaluating each pontificate.
Pope Francis is a preacher who uses simple words, and has this ability to address simple people, not just theologians and intellectuals. But it is also very necessary to be able to respond to our modern world, a post-Christian and anti-Christian world in which we live, especially in the West, by proclaiming Jesus Christ.
Ecology is an important theme, as well as climate and migration. But these themes should not make us forget that love of our neighbor is based on love of God. This transcendental, divine dimension must be emphasized and elaborated upon.
(‘Cardinal’ Gerhard Müller, in Loup Besmond de Senneville, “Cardinal Müller again criticizes Francis, but denies being an adversary”, La Croix International, Mar. 14, 2023; underlining added; bold print given.)
So there you have it. Muller said verbatim: “Jesus is neither a prophet nor the founder of a religion.”
Ah, but he did affirm that He is the Son of God, right?! Yes, he did, and that’s nice. But he denies that the Son of God is a prophet and that He founded a religion — that is the point.
We will now proceed to refute this latest nonsense from ‘Cardinal’ Muller.
First, that our Blessed Lord is, and claimed to be, a Prophet is clear from the testimony of Sacred Scripture. If St. John the Baptist alone was “a prophet … and more than a prophet” (Lk 7:26), what can we say of the Son of God Himself, “a greater [prophet] than Jonas” (Mt 12:41)? Let us look at Christ’s own testimony concerning Himself:
And they were scandalized in his regard. But Jesus said to them: A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he wrought not many miracles there, because of their unbelief. (Mt 13:57-58)
And he came to Nazareth, where he was brought up: and he went into the synagogue, according to his custom, on the sabbath day; and he rose up to read. And the book of Isaias the prophet was delivered unto him. And as he unfolded the book, he found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. Wherefore he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the contrite of heart, to preach deliverance to the captives, and sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of reward. And when he had folded the book, he restored it to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them: This day is fulfilled this scripture in your ears. And all gave testimony to him: and they wondered at the words of grace that proceeded from his mouth, and they said: Is not this the son of Joseph? And he said to them: Doubtless you will say to me this similitude: Physician, heal thyself: as great things as we have heard done in Capharnaum, do also here in thy own country. And he said: Amen I say to you, that no prophet is accepted in his own country. (Lk 4:16-24)
Nevertheless I must walk today and tomorrow, and the day following, because it cannot be that a prophet perish, out of Jerusalem. (Lk 13:33)
For Jesus himself gave testimony that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. (Jn 4:44)
That Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was a prophet was certainly understood by the people who believed in Him: “And there came a fear on them all: and they glorified God, saying: A great prophet is risen up among us: and, God hath visited his people” (Lk 7:16); “And the people said: This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth of Galilee” (Mt 21:11). After the Resurrection, Our Lord’s own disciples, on the road to Emmaus, spoke to Him about “Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet, mighty in work and word before God and all the people” (Lk 24:19).
How, then, could Gerhard Müller say something so foolish? Even his own lousy Novus Ordo Catechism teaches that Christ was a prophet: “Jesus fulfilled the messianic hope of Israel in his threefold office of priest, prophet, and king” (par. 436); and again: “Jesus Christ is the one whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and established as priest, prophet, and king” (par. 783).
Second, that our Blessed Lord is the Founder of a Religion is so obvious to a Catholic that to ask for proof borders on the absurd. Nevertheless, we will prove that that is what Catholics believe — not ‘Cardinal’ Muller, obviously, since he’s a Modernist, but Catholics do believe that.
In his encyclical letter of Apr. 8, 1862, Pope Pius IX taught very beautifully:
Our most beloved Redeemer, Christ the Lord, willed as you well know, venerable brothers, to deliver all men from the captivity of the devil, free them from the yoke of sin, call them from darkness into his wonderful light and be their salvation. When he had blotted out the handwriting of the decree against us, fastening it to the cross, he formed and established the Catholic Church, won by his blood, as the one “Church of the living God” [1 Tim 3:15], the one “kingdom of heaven” [Mt 13:45; passim.], “the city set on a hill” [Mt 5:14], “one flock” [Jn 10:16], and “one body” steadfast and alive with “one Spirit” [Eph 4:4; passim.], one faith, one hope, one love joined and firmly held together by the same bonds of sacraments, religion and doctrine. He further provided his Church with leaders whom he chose and called. In addition, he decreed that the Church will endure as long as the world, embrace all peoples and nations of the whole world, and that whoever accepts his divine religion and grace and perseveres to the end will attain the glory of eternal salvation.
(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Amantissimus, n. 1; underlining added.)
A few years later, the same Pius IX condemned the notion that “[t]he Church has not the power of defining dogmatically that the religion of the Catholic Church is the only true religion” (Syllabus of Errors, n. 21)
His immediate successor, Pope Leo XIII, taught clearly that all have an obligation to belong to that “religion which God enjoins, and which certain and most clear marks show to be the only one true religion”, namely, Catholicism:
Now, it cannot be difficult to find out which is the true religion, if only it be sought with an earnest and unbiased mind; for proofs are abundant and striking. We have, for example, the fulfillment of prophecies, miracles in great numbers, the rapid spread of the faith in the midst of enemies and in face of overwhelming obstacles, the witness of the martyrs, and the like. From all these it is evident that the only true religion is the one established by Jesus Christ Himself, and which He committed to His Church to protect and to propagate.
(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Immortale Dei, nn. 6, 7; underlining added.)
Further on in the same magisterial text, Pope Leo refers to “the religion instituted by Jesus Christ” (n. 21) and identifies it as “the Catholic religion” (n. 27), “the true religion” (n. 36). Apparently that’s news to ‘Cardinal’ Müller.
In a subsequent encyclical, the same Holy Father also taught:
In French Catholics the religious sentiment should be even deeper and more universal because they have the happiness of belonging to the true religion. If, indeed, religious beliefs were, always and everywhere, given as a basis of the morality of human actions and the existence of all well-ordained society, it is evident that the Catholic religion, by the mere fact that it is the true Church of Jesus Christ, possesses, more than any other, the efficacy required for the regulation of life in society and in the individual.
(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Au Milieu des Sollicitudes, n. 7; underlining added.)
This is not terribly difficult to grasp, but then Modernists do not believe in Catholicism.
Pope St. Pius X, who succeeded Pope Leo in 1903, referred to our Blessed Lord as “the Founder of the Faith” (Encyclical Ad Diem Illum, n. 6) and pointed out that “there is no true civilization without a moral civilization, and no true moral civilization without the true religion” (Apostolic Letter Notre Charge Apostolique).
Furthermore, anyone who claims “that Catholic teaching cannot really be reconciled with the true origins of the Christian religion” stands condemned by Pope Pius X’s Syllabus of Modernist Errors (Lamentabili Sane, n. 3).
Pope Pius XI referred to “the true religion of Christ” (Encyclical Casti Connubii, n. 115) and made clear that “there can be no true religion other than that which is founded on the revealed word of God: which revelation, begun from the beginning and continued under the Old Law, Christ Jesus Himself under the New Law perfected” (Mortalium Animos, n. 6)
Lastly, Pope Pius XII spoke of “the religion divinely revealed by Jesus Christ” (Encyclical Ad Sinarum Gentem, n. 4), and, in his encyclical condemning modern errors, underscored that “the many wonderful external signs God has given … are sufficient to prove with certitude by the natural light of reason alone the divine origin of the Christian religion” (Humani Generis, n. 4; underlining added).
Is that enough yet for ‘Cardinal’ Muller? No? Well, even the apostate ‘Pope’ Paul VI declared in his pseudo-encyclical Ecclesiam Suam that “there is but one true religion, the religion of Christianity” (n. 107)!
Oh, what a terrible scourge has befallen this world with the death of Pope Pius XII and the vitiated conclaves that followed!
The post-Catholic Vatican is infested with heretics and apostates. Whether we take ‘Abp.’ Georg Gänswein, who says that the existence of God cannot be proved, or ‘Cardinal’ Reinhard Marx, who claims that Christ did not mean to teach any doctrines, or the ‘Pope’ himself, who has said “there is no Catholic God” and that “being a Christian isn’t about adhering to a doctrine” — they’re all Modernists!
And the “great conservative” Gerhard Ludwig Muller is no exception.
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