Conservative cardinal dismissed after reform clashes
VATICAN CITY: The Vatican announced Saturday that as Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s term as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith comes to an end, the Pope has not renewed it, but has appointed Jesuit Archbishop Luis Ladaria to take his place.
The decision was officially published in a July 1 communique from the Vatican, which stated the Pope’s thanks to Cardinal Müller of Germany for his term.
July 2 marks the end of the 69-year-old Müller’s five-year mandate as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which included the positions of president of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei,” the Pontifical Biblical Commission and the International Theological Commission.
Pope Francis named Jesuit Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, 73, titular archbishop of Thibica, as his successor in the same duties. The Spanish archbishop has been secretary, the second in command, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2008.
The Vatican did not specify what Cardinal Müller would be doing next.
Müller was tapped to head the congregation, the most important dicastery in the Roman Curia, by Benedict 16th before his resignation in 2012.
Pope Francis renewed Müller’s appointment to the CDF and to each of the commissions after his election, allowing the prelate to serve the entirety of his five-year term in each, which ends July 2.
Müller is known to have been a conservative voice within the Curia, and, contrary to other German prelates, backed more traditional interpretations of Chapter 8 of Pope Francis’ 2016 post-synodal apostolic exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia,” on the reception of communion for divorced and remarried couples, insisting that it does not breach Church teaching.
In addition to the announcement of Archbishop Ladaria as Müller’s replacement, the only other appointment announced July 1 was Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, archbishop of Florence, as a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.