Paweł Lisicki: Your Eminence, after the publication of an article in the magazine Theologisches, the district court of Cologne filed against its author, priest-professor Dariusz Oko, a criminal warrant imposing a fine of 4,800 euros. The alternative is that he can serve 120 days in prison. He is not the only man condemned. On the same day, July 27, 2021, the court handed down a similar decision against the magazine‘s editor-in-chief, 90-year-old priest-professor Fr. Johannes Stöhr. […] Both are charged with inciting hatred. In Poland, the news was hard to believe at first, as it constitutes a direct attack on freedom of expression and a clear example of ideological censorship. What do you make of this decision, Your Eminence?
Card. Gerhard Ludwig Müller: As a German, I am ashamed that it is again possible in my homeland that a Polish scholar could be convicted of so-called “incitement to hatred” on the basis of a factual report. In connection with the Polish scholar from Krakow, alarm bells should sound immediately, especially for historically educated people, who will remember with horror a certain “lawyer” who, as a so-called “governor general,” sent all of Krakow’s professors to concentration camps.
Prof. Oko’s essay is a scientific documentation of serious crimes committed against young men and boys by high-ranking clerics including ex-Cardinal McCarrick. Either these judges have not read the essay, or they are incapable of judging it with scientific criteria, or they do not realize the criminal nature of certain acts committed by some individuals who live in the Church but hide themselves behind the shield of impunity afforded by their office and are leading numerous young men to their doom. To condemn these crimes with harsh words is not “incitement to hatred” but a courageous act that deserves the respect of all decent people.
The significance of the crimes mentioned in the essay must not be watered down under the pretext that the perpetrators were active homosexuals who might feel insulted if called child molesters everyday, but no court or press organ ever reacts to that. Have we come back to the point where the guilty are protected and the innocent punished? Especially considering that attacks against Catholic clergymen and even calls for violence against them are allowed to take place under the pretense of freedom of expression.
L: Some German journalists, for example at the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, support this decision. They believe that, in this way, the court protects society from hatred. What is your opinion on this, Your Eminence? Why does the German public seem to be so passive? Why are there no signs of resistance?
CM: Of course, so-called German journalists are happy when Poles are attacked. Instead of thanking the Poles and Hungarians for overthrowing totalitarian Soviet communism, European politicians and lawyers are bullying these people who have endured so much suffering for their love of freedom, because of the alleged threat to European values, but they give the worst kind of dictators a free pass in order to do business with them.
Usually, these opinion leaders don’t really value Christianity, but fortunately for us they are against “the grave sin of hatred.” Yet by making absurd accusations of hatred against the non-existent group of homosexuals, they only reveal their own hatred of Catholic Poland. These moralists should spend time studying the history of the four Polish partitions and the hatred of the Prussians and the Nazis against the Poles before acting as senior teachers of their Slavic neighbors.
L: In the article, Professor Oko referred to homosexual clergy as “a colony of parasites,” “a cancer,” and a “homosexual plague,” among other things. He spoke about “homo ideology” and “homo-heresy.” In his text, Father Oko also wrote that the Church should set up “a whole system for the protection of ‘defenseless adults’ who have become, or could become, victims of homosexual predators in cassocks.” Isn’t this language too strong? That is the most important accusation against him. Or do we have to clearly condemn the evil?
CM: A court cannot mandate the use of a watered down or benign language when it comes to the scientific analysis of the worst crimes and gravest sins. When ecclesiastical superiors corrupt young people, it warrants using the language of Christ, who threatens the corrupters of youth with damnation if they do not repent. Secular courts are there to bring criminals to justice, not those who call the misdeeds by their name.
L: After the publication of the article, Father Wolfgang F. Rothe from Munich, a priest committed to the rights of homosexuals in the church, reported Oko and Stöhr to the public prosecutor’s office in Cologne for incitement to hatred. This is quite shocking for Polish readers. Is homo-heresy then so strong in Germany?
CM: Anyone in St. Pölten who knows his history knows how the slogan goes: Stop the thief. How trained lawyers can let themselves be instrumentalized by such nonsense remains a mystery to every reasonable person. The aforementioned essay calls no one to hatred or violence against innocent people, but on the contrary, it calls for the protection of innocent young men from superiors who deliberately and skillfully abuse the trust of others in order to selfishly satisfy their wrong inclinations. Anyone who, under the pretext of the legal protection of minorities, trivializes crimes committed by certain individuals, is much worse than the ones dragged to court for denouncing said crimes.
L: Is it still allowed to criticize homosexuals in Germany? Or are we dealing with a gay cult?
CM: As long as the human right to freedom of religion and conscience is still recognized in Germany, we as Christians will defend the human dignity also of those with homoerotic feelings, and at the same time fearlessly proclaim the commandments of God: that the right to life is to be granted to all and under all circumstances including in the embryonic state, that active euthanasia is a mortal sin, that marriage consists of husband and wife, and that sexual union has its place only in a legitimate marriage alone. But even if we Catholics are persecuted again, as we once were during the Kulturkampf of Bismarck or during the struggle of the Church under the Third Reich, or if we are punished with fines and prison sentences under the disguise of the law, the truth remains the truth. No parliament or court can declare injustice a right or put the will to power above the natural moral law recognized by reason.
L: To what extent has the sexual revolution changed the Church and society in the West, especially in Germany?
CM: We’re dealing with an opposition between a nihilistic and a God-related image of man. According to the Catholic faith, marriage is of the highest moral and spiritual value. To pretend that the meaning of life is only money and power, or “sex”, where sexual drive is degraded and deprived of personal love, is a direct contradiction of the Christian image of man that has shaped the culture of Europe. Without Christianity, a Europe built solely on economic power and the consumption of material goods has no future.
As a German, I am ashamed that it is again possible in my homeland that a Polish scholar could be convicted of so-called “incitation to hatred” on the basis of a factual report.
L: What should happen now? The penalty order is not yet final, and the defendant’s lawyer has already filed an appeal. But how should Catholics behave? Do you believe that the German bishops will also take a stand, Your Eminence?
CM: One can wait a long time for the German bishops. But Prof. Oko’s work should quickly be translated into German. Even though only a few Germans can read Polish, there are still millions of decent German citizens of all Christian denominations and also of non-Christians who have not bowed their knees to Baal, the idol of perverse thought, who still have a moral discernment and who are ashamed of this grave injustice inflicted on a Polish scholar.
The above interview was published in “Do Rzeczy” magazine in August 2021.