The abuse investigation is in full swing. How to deal with bishops who covered up abuse is one of the questions. In any case, they cannot be judged within the church by laymen, says Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Muller.
Regarding the discussions about corresponding plans of the U.S. bishops, the former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said in an interview with the Canadian website LifeSite-News (Wednesday local time): "I don't see the solution in 'the' laity taking the reins now, because the bishops couldn't do it on their own – as one thinks."
Abuses could not be overcome by "turning the hierarchical-sacramental catch of the church upside down.".
Being held accountable by the pope
If a bishop does not live up to his responsibility, he can be held accountable by the pope within the church, Muller said.
"With lynch law and a general suspicion" of all bishops and Roms one does not come further. The U.S. bishops' conference must carry out its tasks independently, he said. Bishops are not employees of the pope who are bound by instructions. However, the German cardinal said, now is "the hour of good cooperation to overcome the crisis and not of polarization and compromising". At the moment, however, there is a lack of confidence-building measures, he said.
Did not know about McCarrick problem
Muller did not want to comment explicitly on the much-discussed case of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick; he does not know McCarrick personally. When he himself was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (2012- 2017), "no one told him anything about the whole problem".
That however McCarrick "with its clan and protected of a Homo lobby could mafia-like in the church its mischief drive", is connected with an underestimation of the moral reprehensibility of homosexual practice under adults , said Mueller.
Origin of the crisis in secularization of the church
The German cardinal therefore sees the origin of the entire crisis "in a secularization of the Church and in a reduction of the priest to a functionary". If bishops "no longer wanted to be seen as uncomfortable admonishers and people of yesterday," they would have to "as quickly as possible declare the truth of dogma and the principles of morality to be unattainable ideas and norms that no longer correspond to the reality of their lives.".
In this "un-spirit," the revelation is adapted in faith and morals "to the world without God" so that it no longer stands in the way of a life according to one's own lusts and needs.".