The former head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office has said sanctions against a Polish theologian who used anti-gay slurs are similar to practices used in Nazi Germany.
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, who was the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s prefect until 2017, criticized a German court’s ruling against Fr. Dariusz Oko.
Bondings 2.0 reported previously that Oko was fined by German officials after he an article he wrote contained references to gay priests as a “cancerous growth” and “colony of parasites” among other negative terms.
Now, Müller has given an interview, about which Katholisch.de reported (via Google Translate):
“[T]he cardinal drew a parallel to the time of National Socialism [Nazism]. The fact that Oko had been condemned should sound all alarm bells among historically educated people, said Müller. After all, ‘a certain lawyer’ as governor-general once sent all of Krakow’s professors to the concentration camp. With this statement, Müller was obviously referring to the lawyer and Nazi politician Hans Frank, who as governor general in Germany-occupied Poland had built up a reign of terror from the end of October 1939 and went down in history as the ‘butcher of Poland’.”
Müller likewise affirmed Oko’s points about gay priests being a danger to be condemned as the theologian did with his words. Katholisch.de’s report continued:
“[Müller stressed] This is not incitement to hatred, but a courageous act that deserves the respect of all decent people. ‘These crimes [of gay priests] must not be played down just because the perpetrators were active homosexuals who could be insulted if someone told them the truth in their faces,’ said Müller word for word, who also drew a comparison how the church’s dealing with the abuse scandal in Germany. Thousands of innocent priests are insulted there every day as pedophiles – but no court or press organ reacts to that. Nobody seems to mind the campaign against the Catholic clergy and the encouragement of violence against this group of people. All of this should supposedly move within the scope of freedom of expression.”
Responding to Müller was the priest who first filed the legal complaint against Oko, Fr. Wolfgang Rothe. The priest described the cardinal’s interview as “monstrous” and contradictory to German law and human rights generally.
“Monstrous” aside, one might also characterize Cardinal Müller’s opinions are quite callously flippant. It’s unconscionable to compare a fine of a few thousand euros for hate speech to the immense crimes the Nazis inflicted on Poland, regardless of whether one thinks Oko should have been fined. These are not equivalent in the least. Such a loose comparison is–or at least should be–far below someone who was among the church’s highest officials at one point.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, August 16, 2021