Gerhard Ludwig Müller
Gerhard Ludwig Müller
|Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith|
|See||Sant'Agnese in Agone|
|Appointed||2 July 2012|
|Predecessor||William Joseph Cardinal Levada|
|Ordination||11 February 1978
by Hermann Volk
|Consecration||24 November 2002
by Friedrich Wetter
|Created Cardinal||22 February 2014
by Pope Francis
31 December 1947 |
|Previous post||Bishop of Regensburg (2002-2012)|
|Coat of arms|
Gerhard Ludwig Müller
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
Gerhard Ludwig Müller (born 31 December 1947) is a Catholic Cardinal and prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI, on 2 July 2012. He was elevated to the Cardinalate in a consistory on 22 February 2014. 
Archbishop Müller was born in Finthen, a borough of Mainz. After graduating from the Willigis Episcopal High School in Mainz, he studied philosophy and theology in Mainz, Munich, and Freiburg. In 1977, he received his Doctorate of Divinity under Karl Lehmann for his thesis on the Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
He was ordained a priest for the diocese of Mainz on 11 February 1978, just after his 30th birthday, by Cardinal Hermann Volk. After his presbyteral ordination, he worked as a chaplain in three parishes.
Pope John Paul II on 1 October 2002 appointed him Bishop of Regensburg. He was ordained and consecrated as a Bishop on 24 November 2002, with Cardinal Friedrich Wetter serving as Principal Consecrator. Among the Principal Co-Consecrators were Cardinal Karl Lehmann, Bishop Vinzenz Guggenberger, and Bishop Emeritus of Regensburg Manfred Müller. For his episcopal motto, Müller chose "Dominus Iesus" (Jesus is Lord, Romans 10:9).
On 20 December 2007, then-Bishop Müller was reappointed by Pope Benedict XVI for another five years as a Member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. On 17 January 2009, he was also appointed to serve as a Member of the Pontifical Council for Culture. On 12 June 2012 Bishop Müller was appointed a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education for a five year renewable term. On the same day he was also appointed a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
In the German Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Müller was Chairman of the Ecumenical Commission, Deputy Chairman of the Commission and member of Faith World Church of the Commission. He was also vice-chairman of the Association of Christian Churches in Germany and first president of the Society for the Promotion of Eastern Church Institute in Regensburg.
As a personal friend of Pope Benedict XVI, he was charged with preparing the publication of the “Opera Omnia”: a series of books that will collect, in a single edition, all Benedict's writings. Müller has written more than 400 works on dogmatic theology, ecumenism, revelation, hermeneutics, the priesthood and the diaconate.
On 2 July 2012 Bishop Müller was appointed prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope Benedict XVI. At the same time he was appointed Archbishop ad personam. As a result of his new role, he is also ex officio president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, the International Theological Commission, and the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.
Archbishop Müller succeeds Cardinal Levada who was appointed in May 2005 by the newly elected Pope Benedict. Archbishop Muller was informed of the decision of Pope Benedict on 16 May at the Vatican. He stressed the need for Church unity and aims to halt the "growing polarization between traditionalists and progressives [which] is threatening the unity of the Church and generating strong tensions among its members". He went on to say "Traditionalists against progressives or whatever you would call them. This must be overcome, we need to find a new and fundamental unity in the Church and individual countries. Unity in Christ, not a unity produced according to a program and later invoked by a partisan speaker. We are not a community of people aligned to a party program, or a community of scientific research, our unity is gifted to us. We believe in the one Church united in Christ". He was received for the first time for the usual Friday meeting on 21 September 2012. On 24 November 2012 he was appointed a member of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. In November 2012 Archbishop Muller said traditionalist and progressive camps that see the Second Vatican Council as breaking with the truth both espouse a "heretical interpretation" of the council and its aims, Muller said. What Pope Benedict XVI has termed "the hermeneutic of reform, of renewal in continuity" is the "only possible interpretation according to the principles of Catholic theology," Archbishop Muller said. On 6 December 2012 Pope Benedict named Rudolf Voderholzer as bishop of Regensburg, filling the vacancy left by Muller.
On 19 February 2014 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
July 2012 interview
On 25 July 2012 in an interview with L'Osservatore Romano Archbishop Muller was asked for his initial impressions in working in the Curia, he said that "As a member [of the CDF] I studied the documents prepared by the Congregation and participated in the consultations. Now, instead, I must carry out and guide the work every day with those who work in the dicastery, preparing and acting on the decisions correctly. I am grateful to the Holy Father for having given me his trust and for having entrusted this task to me". Speaking on his upbringing he said that "For almost 40 years my father was a simple worker of Opel at Russelsheim. We lived close by, at Mainz-Finthen, a small locality founded by the Romans and still today there are ruins of an aqueduct built by them. From this point of view, our fundamental stamp is Roman". On his role at the CDF Muller said, "The Church is first of all a community of faith; hence the revealed faith is the most important good, which we must transmit, proclaim and protect. Jesus entrusted to Peter and to his Successors the universal magisterium, and it is this that the dicastery must serve. Hence the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has the responsibility for what concerns the whole Church in profundity: the faith that leads us to salvation and to communion with God and among ourselves".
Archbishop Muller when questioned about liberation theology noted that "I believe that every good theology has to do with the freedom and glory of the children of God. However, certainly a mixture of the doctrine of Marxist self-redemption with the salvation given by God must be rejected. On the other hand we must ask ourselves sincerely: How can we speak of the love and mercy of God in face of the suffering of so many people who don't have food, water, health care, who don't know how to offer a future to their children, where human dignity is truly lacking, where human rights are ignored by the powerful? In the last analysis this is possible only if we are also willing to be with the people, to accept them as brothers and sisters, without paternalism from on high".
In an interview in the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Cardinal Müller said Pope Francis “is not so much a liberation theologian in the academic sense, but as far as pastoral work is concerned, he has close ties with liberation theology’s concerns. What we can learn from him is the insight that there is no pastoral work without profound theology and vice versa”. In the 1980s the CDF under then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger attacked liberation theology as borrowing “from various currents of Marxist thought“. But a visit to Peru in 1988, when the then Archbishop Müller met Fr Gustavo Gutiérrez OP, regarded as the father of the movement, convinced him of its orthodoxy. “Liberation theology wants to make God’s liberating actions visible in the Church’s religious and social practice ... It would stop being genuine theology if it were to confuse the Christian message with Marxist or other social analysis,” he explained. Asked by FAZ if liberation theology was meanwhile recognised as a form of thought on an equal footing with the other traditional forms of theology, Cardinal Müller explained that liberation theology’s basic concern was congruent with the Gospel for the Poor – “for those on the periphery”, as Pope Francis never tired of emphasising, he said.
Awards and honours
While a professor, Archbishop Müller was awarded the Grand Cross of Merit of the branch of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George headed by Infante Carlos, Duke of Calabria.
In September 2004, the Catholic University of Lublin awarded Archbishop Müller an honorary doctorate, in recognition of his outstanding scientific and didactic activities. And on 24 September 2008 the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú awarded him another honorary doctorate in view of his scientific work.
Peter Kramer controversy
Status of Protestant communities
In a speech he gave in October 2011, while quoting the Second Vatican Council's document on ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, he said that "the Catholic Magisterium is far from denying an ecclesial character or an ecclesial existence to ‘the separated Churches and ecclesial Communities of the West".
He was also a pupil and friend of Gustavo Gutiérrez, the “father” of Latin-American liberation theology. Commenting on Gutierrez, Archbishop Müller stated: "The theology of Gustavo Gutiérrez, independently of how you look at it, is orthodox because it is orthopractic and it teaches us the correct way of acting in a Christian fashion since it comes from true faith." Gutiérrez was not censored by the Holy See although he was asked to modify some of his writings.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gerhard Ludwig Müller.|
- Profile of Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller
- Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller on catholic-hierarchy.org
- Gerhard Ludwig Müller on the pages of the Diocese of Regensburg
- RINUNCE E NOMINE , 17.01.2009
- Vatican Insider: "A liberation theologian in the Holy Office?" 15 October 2011
- NOMINA DEL VESCOVO DI REGENSBURG
- New Vatican doctrinal chief talks about SSPX, LCWR discussions
- Archbishop Müller on Faith, the Curia and His Own Upbringing
- "Annuncio di Concistoro per la Creazione di Nuovi Cardinali" (in Italian). The Vatican Today. 12 January 2014. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
- Gerhard Ludwig Müller
- Speech by bishop Müller (in German)
|Catholic Church titles|
|Bishop of Regensburg
1 October 2002 – 2 July 2012
William Cardinal Levada
|Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
2 July 2012 – present
|President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei
2 July 2012–present