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By Deacon Keith Fournier

1/17/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Only truth can save humanity - not propaganda.

The Prefect of this office is a chief guardian of the deposit of the Catholic faith for the whole Church.   In an age struggling under the boot of what was properly called by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger a dictatorship of relativism, this office takes on extraordinary importance. The Church is the guardian of the only truth which will bring authentic liberation.

Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller

Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller


By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (

1/17/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Faith, Reason, Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Müller, magisterium, CDF Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, orthodoxy, orthopraxy, Regensburg, Deacon Keith Fournier

VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - On Tuesday, July 3, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI made an extremely important appointment. He chose the man who would occupy the position he occupied for nearly 25 years as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The significance of this position is expressed in the description of the function of the office. Here is the description from the apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus, "The proper duty of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is to promote and safeguard the doctrine on faith and morals in the whole Catholic world; so it has competence in things that touch this matter in any way."

The history of the name given to this Office underscores the significant role it plays in the universal church. It was erected in 1542 as the Congregation for the Universal Inquisition. Given the difficulty that title held for a while, the name was changed to Congregation for the Holy Office in 1908. In 1965 it was changed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Prefect of this office is a chief guardian of the deposit of the Catholic faith for the whole Church.   In an age struggling under the boot of what was properly called by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger a dictatorship of relativism, this office takes on extraordinary importance. The Church is the guardian of the only truth which will bring authentic liberation.

The Pope chose a long time friend, ally and collaborator, the Bishop of Regensburg, Germany, Gerhard Ludwig Müller. The Bishop hosted the Holy Father back in 2006 when Benedict XVI delivered his extraordinary "Regensburg lecture" at the University there. By virtue of this appointment, Bishop Müller was raised to the rank of Archbishop.

Along with holding the office of Prefect, the Archbishop leads the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the Pontifical Biblical Commission and the International Theological Commission. He is charged with ensuring the protection of both orthodoxy (right doctrine) and orthopraxy (right practice) within the global Catholic Church. 

Archbishop Müller not only has the confidence of - but truly knows the thinking of Pope Benedict XVI. He most certainly understands the theological positions of Pope Benedict XVI. On that front, it is important to note that he is also the official editor of the "Collected Writings of Joseph Ratzinger", a sixteen volume set.

The Vicar of Christ prayerfully made this appointment at a critical time in Church history. There is no doubt that Archbishop Müller is both faithful to the Magisterium and trusted by Pope Benedict XVI. He knows that Benedict is a superb theologian and a man of profound prayer. He further knows that this Pope is playing a very significant role in Church history.

As an example of the vital role he plays, among his responsibilities Archbishop Müller is responsible for the implementation of Benedict's historic apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus which provides for Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church.

Those who read me regularly know the high opinion I hold concerning the historic significance of the Papacy of Benedict XVI. I believe we can gain insights into where the Magisterium of Benedict XVI is headed by considering what Archbishop Müller is saying. On Tuesday January 15, 2013, Archbishop Müller gave an interview to Vatican Radio which is entitled on their site "Pope is man of wide horizons". It concerns a book being released on the thought of Pope Benedict XVI called "Expanding the Horizon of Reason."

I present the interview, conducted by Alessandro De Carolis, below. The introductory comments are from Vatican Radio:


"I've known a few people in life with such a breadth of vision and intellectual preparation" says Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, speaking about Joseph Ratzinger - now Pope Benedict XVI - and his teaching both before and after his election to the Chair of Peter.

Archbishop Müller, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, recently presented the book "Expanding the Horizon of Reason" which aims at presenting a "reading" of the teaching of the theologian Pope.

In an interview with Alessandro De Carolis, Archbishop Müller speaks about Pope Benedict and his works:

Abp. Müller: [Pope Benedict] has come a long way in his life and in his reflections. He began at age 15; he is now 85. So he has over seventy years of deep reflection and meditation. He has had many experiences in his life: as a young man, he experienced Nazism and fascism, war, various events of human life.

For this reason, he has never been an intellectual who lives in an ivory tower, but is present in the life of all people, deeply embedded in the history of the twentieth century, but also in the current moment. He is one of the few men to have such wide horizons: he knows the development of philosophy in Europe, starting with the Greeks and Romans, and ending with the modern philosophers. He knows, too, the history of the Church, the questions and challenges posed by the natural sciences today. I know few people with this depth of thought, which is so necessary today.

De Carolis: In his years of service as the Pope, Benedict XVI has shown that even a great theologian can speak the language of the common people, finding new expressions for the ancient truths of the faith. What is striking about this?

Müller: We say: Jesus Christ is the Word of God, but when he came to this world, He spoke in a very simple way, to the hearts of all. He did speak to the Pharisees, to the great intellectuals of the world of his time, but always witnessed to the great respect that God has for all people. For this reason, it is necessary and very important that all theologians should be pastors who reach out to all, because God loves not only intellectuals and geniuses, but all people.

De Carolis: In a paragraph from the book you address the issue of the language of new media. What is particularly relevant in the specific Magisterium of Benedict XVI?

Müller: Faith and Revelation are means that God uses to communicate with us. Through these media we are able to communicate, not in an ideological fashion - that is, wanting to influence people against their reason - but in an open dialogue with the truth, because only truth can save humanity - not propaganda.


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