Interview with Dr. Michael Hesemann
Rome/ Neuss/ Cologne. He is known worldwide as a meticulously researching historian, spent some time visiting the barren hut of Pope Francis‘ sister in Argentina for one of his many books, and discusses God and the world with the Pope and his predecessor Benedict: Dr. h.c. Michael Hesemann. ZDF puts his research results on TV, Frank Elstner gets him on his TV talk show. RHEINTODAY has many questions for him:
Dr. Hesemann, the world seems to be breaking up: pandemics, volcanic eruptions, wars and the floods in the Ahr valley are just some of the forces that scare us. I am surprised that a small place called „Schuld“, of all places, is extremely destroyed. Does all this have something to do with the guilt that humanity has brought upon itself?
In earlier times it was quite clear: catastrophes were considered God’s punishments for people’s sins. Today, we don’t want to know anything about God or sins and, accordingly, we don’t want to know anything about punishments. We think we can get away with anything. Meanwhile, a new explanatory model comes from behind the scenes, in which man causes climate change and thus all evil, in which car drivers and meat eaters are the new sinners. Then at least we can do without God altogether. But this anthropocentric way of thinking is not the last word, because it makes man the measure of all things, which he is not. In fact, he is almost helpless in the face of the great forces of nature. I think all the catastrophes of the last few years at least show our helplessness. Maybe we should consider again that there could be a God. That His creation has laws and that it leads to chaos if we ignore or deliberately break them.
If all these events lead to us becoming more humble and turning back to God, then at least they have also brought about something good.
There are prophecies that have predicted the events. How do you evaluate these phenomena?
Yes, there are. For example, the flood disaster in July was predicted weeks beforehand by the apparitions of Christ and Mary in Sievernich near Erftstadt, in the middle of the disaster area. We can argue about this as much as we like, or even laugh arrogantly, but there are witnesses to this, especially since everything was published early on. Perhaps we should put aside our arrogance for once, question our rationalistic view of the world and at least consider the possibility that there is a God who warns us.
Why has the so-called Christian Union of Germany effectively been wiped out after the Bundestag elections?
Because the CDU under Merkel has lost its profile. It no longer stands for anything, which I very much regret. I feel sorry for Armin Laschet, I like him, he is, like me, a Rhenish Catholic and a decent guy. But he, too, did not dare to be outspoken, to show profile and edge and to convince the voters. Because it was simply not clear what he stood for. For „business as usual“ a la Merkel? For that, one could have also voted for the Green Party or the SPD, which preach flawless Merkelianism. Unfortunately, many traditional CDU voters then migrated to the FDP or the AfD – precisely the ten percent that Laschet so urgently needed.
Does the devil exist? Cardinal Woelki is the bishop who, of all his confreres, has most intensively exposed the guilt of abuse. Is it Satan who turns people against him?
Of course there is the devil. His greatest victory is the mistaken belief that he does not exist. He is the divider, the confounder! He wants to destroy the Church of Jesus Christ by tempting to trivialise it, to profane it, to desacralise it. 94 to 95 votes for the abolition of the priesthood, that is the synodal way! A Church without priests is a Church without sacraments, without the Eucharist, without the Real Presence of the Lord, a Church of the void without salvation instead of the doctrine of salvation. It is also a church without confession, that is, without forgiveness and mercy. This is what Woelki’s opponents want, who do not accuse him of his actions in the abuse crisis, but of his criticism of the synodal aberration, because this is where the smear campaign against him began. We should be grateful that in him we have a shepherd who protects us from the wolves, even those in sheep’s clothing!
Back to the Marian apparitions. An inconceivable need is predicted for us humans. Something that no one expects, say the visionaries. They see a huge crown of thorns spanning the earth. Could it be volcanic eruptions around the earth? Does this „crown of thorns“ run parallel to the equator or does it connect the poles, does it also touch Germany?
We are told that a tribulation, a judgement, is imminent if we continue as we have been, if we continue to live as if God does not exist. But we are also told how we can prevent all this: Through repentance, through prayer, through making amends! Therefore, these are not threatening messages, but messages of hope!
Do Muslims believe in their God more than we Catholics do? Their mosques are packed on Fridays, while our priests rule Corona and for many the church doors remain closed. Here in Stürzelberg, they even lock the doors during the service so that no one can get in when a few people are sitting in the pews….
The failure of the Church in Germany during the Corona pandemic is a disgrace! In earlier times, St. Charles Borromeo went to the plague patients to bring them Holy Communion, in our country the churches were locked. In former times there were petition processions, today Corpus Christi is cancelled.
The Passion Plays in Oberammergau go back to a vow, they asked God to spare the village from the plague. Today they are cancelled because of Corona. All this shows our unbelief, our lack of trust in God. From the Muslims, for all the errors of the Qur’an, we can at least learn how enriching and gratifying it can be to know God as the goal and centre of our lives.
Is renouncing the Holy Mass more dangerous in the long run than the risk of being carried away by Corona?
That’s such a slogan, it’s very exaggerated. But of course the reception of the sacraments is more important than the fear of illness. Because we have to die one day anyway. What is decisive is that we are then reconciled with God. During the whole Corona period, I went to Holy Mass every Sunday as soon as it was possible again. What should I be afraid of? Of death? Jesus rose from the dead, he conquered death. Whoever believes in him does not need to be afraid of death, because death does not have the last word. It is followed by eternity and, in the best case, heaven!
Back to the Muslims, who are becoming stronger and stronger in Europe. Have we not benefited greatly from them. Also in mathematics, medicine and science in general?
No. That is such a legend from the time of the Enlightenment that is simply not true. We owe mathematics, medicine, science to ancient Egypt and Sumer, whose heritage is Babylon, where Pythagoras & Co studied it and brought it to Europe. Much of this ancient knowledge survived the turmoil of the migration of peoples in European monasteries, but also among the Christians and Jews of the Middle East, who provided the doctors and scientists in Islamic countries. Islam initially despised science. Muslims destroyed the Library of Alexandria, used the precious scrolls as heating material. Only slowly did they learn how much Christian and Jewish doctors and scientists could also benefit them. Even today, most doctors, pharmacists and scientists in Egypt, for example, are Christians! Didn’t we Christians bring a lot of suffering on the Muslims when the Crusaders smashed the skulls of the Arabs in Jerusalem? Another lie of history. The Muslims have subjugated half the Christian world since the 7th century, sword in hand: North Africa, Spain, in France they were first beaten back at PoItiers, Syria, Mesopotamia, finally, from the 11th century onwards, Asia Minor, until Constantinople, the Rome of the East, also fell in 1453.
How many Christians had their skulls „crushed in the process“, to quote your phrase?
The Crusades served to secure the pilgrimage routes to the Holy Places. They wanted to create a „humanitarian corridor“ to the Christians of the Middle East, who had to be protected. All this was legitimate under international law. Before that, the Seljuks, like the Islamic State today, had invaded the Middle East and massacred Christians, Jews and peaceful, moderate Muslims; Jerusalem had to be freed from these bloodthirsty fanatics
What do you think of the fact that a mayor of Cologne supported by the CDU is now promoting the muezzin call, although apparently the Muslim citizens have not even requested it?
A catastrophically wrong decision, but you can’t expect sensible politics from Henriette Reker, who is „an arm’s length away“. She kowtows to DITIB, which is not a religious but a political organisation loyal to the dogma. Voluntary submission: the „most faithful daughter of the Roman Church“, as Cologne once proudly called itself, becomes Little Ankara, where the muezzin dominates the city’s soundscape and proclaims for all to hear that „Allah is greater“ and that there is no God but Allah! The Magi have to turn around in their shrine as well as the saintly Cardinal Meisner in his tomb under the Cologne Cathedral, which will probably soon also become a mosque, as the Hagia Sophia Cathedral of Constantinople is one today.
Is Allah the same God as the God of Christians?
No. We Christians believe in the Triune God who became man in Jesus of Nazareth and redeemed us through His death on the cross. Allah is the product of a syncretism of Jewish, Christian, Gnostic and pagan elements; elements of Islam go back to pre-Christian times, when the last Babylonian king Naramsin went into exile in Arabia and brought the sacred stone of the moon god of Harran to Mecca, where he founded the Kaaba. Hence the Islamic idea that Abraham founded the sanctuary of Islam.
Are we all going to heaven, have hell and purgatory been abolished?
It would be nice, but, let’s be honest: do we all deserve heaven?
Despite your knowledge of the terrible things, you seem ever and cheerful. Why is that?
Because I feel safe in the hands of God. Because I know that He is with me, no matter what happens. With me and with all others who believe in Him, so with you too! One can only ever fall into His hands. And in the end, heaven awaits those who strive to live according to God’s laws and serve Him. And heaven is so much more beautiful than anything we know or even imagine! A Christian who always looks gloomy lacks trust in God and the joy of faith. He is actually a tragic figure!
Thank you for the interview, Dr. Hesemann!
The interview was conducted by REINTODAY editor-in-chief Frank Möll, who regularly meets the scientist Hesemann in the Vatican.