Exclusive: Former Vatican Chief Says ‘Future of Democracy’ at Stake in U.S. Elections

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - NOVEMBER 19: German cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller attends Pope Francis' weekly audience in St. Peter's Square on November 19, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. During his speech Pontiff appealed for peace in the Middle East. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

ROME — The former head of the Vatican’s highest doctrinal office told Breitbart News Thursday that upcoming U.S. elections will have an enormous geopolitical impact for decades to come.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), gave an exclusive interview to Breitbart News in the prelude to U.S. presidential elections, in which he particularly underscored the importance of the abortion issue and China’s aspirations for world dominance.

“The outcome of the U.S. election will determine whether the U.S. remains the leading power in the world — for freedom and democracy — or whether a communist dictatorship will assume that role for the global community,” Cardinal Müller said.

“American Catholics, Christians of other denominations, and all people of faith must render an account to God over whom they make commander of the flagship of the free world,” the cardinal said. “The world is looking to America because this fateful election will determine the future of democracy and human rights for decades to come.”

“The rivalry between the U.S. and Communist China is not a sporting competition for the first or second place of superpowers,” the cardinal insisted. “It is about the irreconcilable alternatives of democracy or dictatorship.”

“China has no diversity of political parties, no free parliament, and no democratically elected and therefore legitimate government,” Müller said, before proceeding to catalog some of the more egregious human rights violations of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“No government has the right to arbitrarily arrest and even torture its citizens, to brainwash them, to hold them in concentration camps, to murder them, to harvest their organs like spare parts and sell them on the world market,” he said, in reference to well-documented CCP practices on Falun Gong practitioners, Uighur Muslims, and others.

The cardinal also said that Beijing’s accusation of interference in China’s internal affairs for those who call out its atrocities must “unequivocally rejected.”

“Human rights are universal and we are all brothers and sisters because of our common human nature,” Müller said, and “we must therefore denounce the crimes of the CCP in defense of the dignity of every Chinese person.”

Cardinal Müller went on to assert that the world looks to America today to be a beacon of truth, freedom, and justice as it has been historically.

“America secured human rights against the godless ideology of National Socialism/Fascism during World War II,” he recalled. “And then the Cold War against the atheist communism of the Soviet Union was won only with the help and under the leadership of the United States.”

“The free world owes the American people the salvation of Western civilization, which has its foundation in the freedom and dignity of every person,” he said, but this legacy is “now being challenged.”

“What China’s Communist leaders intend to withhold from their own people and to steal from the rest of the world is the freedom and dignity to which every single person is inherently entitled,” Müller said. “The wealth of China, the national pride of its youth, and the diligence of the people of this ancient high culture are being used and abused in order to achieve the goal of communist world domination — this time under the Chinese flag.”

“Dictators always think that their citizens are their property and that they can use them and even sacrifice them as pawns for their interests,” he said. “In China, the motto of Nazi Germany is repeated: You are nothing — the state is everything. And yet the truth is the other way around: people are everything and the state exists only to serve the common good.”

“The slogan ‘America first’ is justified and self-evident for every American,” the cardinal said. “The President and the Congress are elected to serve the common good of the citizens and the whole state.”

“But every American must also know that his country is the world’s number one power: militarily, scientifically and economically,” he said. “And because the U.S. is the first power in the free world, it must also put a stop to the imperialist grip of a communist superpower that seeks world domination and allow the Chinese people and other oppressed peoples to enter the community and solidarity of free peoples.”

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At this time, America must “repeat the story of the heroic resistance of free Greece against the great power of ancient Persia and Christian Europe’s defense against the brutalities of Ottoman rule,” he said.

“And as Christians, we must insist on the truth of the absolute value of every individual person, especially for the people of China,” he continued. “and freedom of religion must be guaranteed in theory and practice.”

“In this regard, the leaders of the Catholic Church must also see the deeper dimensions of what is at stake at this moment in world history,” he added, “rather than offering a judgment based on subjective sensibilities and ideological preferences.”

“On the domestic level, what is most at stake in the upcoming election is the lives of the unborn, as well as of the elderly and sick, in the fight against those who would promote abortion and euthanasia,” the cardinal declared.

“Certain issues can be legitimately debated, like the border wall with Mexico,” he said, “but not the lives of unborn children, without being complicit in their murder.”

“In a democracy, there are legitimately different political options and objectives and that is why several candidates are up for election,” he said. “But you can’t compare apples to oranges. The human right to life is so fundamental that it cannot be equated with other political issues.”

“The moral law declares a categorical ‘no’ to the killing of children in the womb, handicapped children after birth, and sick and elderly people,” he added.

“I am also opposed to the application of the death penalty for serious criminals, but the death penalty for murderers cannot be compared to the murder of innocent children,” he said. “Therefore, a candidate who does not clearly oppose abortion and euthanasia is unelectable for a person who believes in God, and especially for every Catholic, because abortion is a heinous crime against the life of the person and against God, the creator of every human life.”

“Anyone who subordinates the right to life to other objectives undermines democracy itself, which is not based on changing majority opinion, but on inalienable human rights,” he said.

In this election, Christians, people of all faiths, and all people of good will must unite in seeking the common good and the best leader to defend and promote it, the cardinal asserted.

“The presidency of the United States is a political office, not a religious one,” he said. “No one chooses a candidate simply because he or she belongs to the same religion, social status, profession, gender, or ethnic origin.”

“A candidate must be fundamentally assessed as to whether he or she fully recognizes and is prepared to uphold human rights, beginning with the right to life,” he said.

“In this crucial election, it is vital that voters evaluate the candidates based on their willingness to do the right thing while in office,” he said, “and according to Catholic teaching, not all issues have the same weight.”

“Three points are decisive in the upcoming elections,” the cardinal noted: “First, the ‘yes’ to life against abortion, second, freedom of religion against the mainstreaming of gender ideology, and third, the mission of the United States to defend democracy and human rights against dictatorships.”

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