At the “Holy Office,” It’s Müller Time -- Pope Taps Der Regensburger as “Grand Inquisitor”
Anticipated for months, it’s finally official — at Roman Noon this Monday, the Pope named Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller of Regensburg as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, accepting the retirement of Cardinal William Levada a year after the highest-ranking American in Vatican history reached the canonical age of 75.
With the appointment of the 64 year-old theologian — the editor of the still-in-production “Complete Works” of Joseph Ratzinger — Germans now occupy two of the Vatican’s top three posts: a level of dominance that, until now, has been enjoyed only by Italians.
Made an archbishop on the move, by seniority Müller will be the first cardinal created by Benedict at his next consistory, which could come in Spring 2013, barring one exception: namely, should the pontiff appoint a new Secretary of State before then who hasn’t already received the red hat.
Early last month, the most definitive sign of the impending appointment came when the Pope appointed Müller as a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity — a combination that, among the Curia’s senior members, has been held only by Levada. As early as January, however, German reports noted that the bishop had been taking refresher courses in Italian.
Once the “supreme” dicastery of the Roman Curia, the roots of the modern-day CDF date to 1542, when Pope Paul III established it as the Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition. In the post-Vatican II reforms of Paul VI, the “Holy Office” was given its current name, with a rebooted mandate to encourage and promote theological study beyond its traditional function as the global church’s lead guardian of orthodoxy…
Read on here. And,
Among CDF’s relatively new areas of jurisdiction are several matters of sizable import to the church in the English-speaking world, above all deciding final outcomes to the worldwide church’s clergy sex-abuse cases (a task entrusted to Ratzinger in 2001 after a Curial turf-fight), and the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus, the Pope’s 2009 initiative allowing for Anglican groups to enter the Catholic church as collective units, with their own liturgy and governing structures. In the space of just over a year, the latter development has arguably made for the Western church’s largest boon of married priests in the millennium since mandatory celibacy became universal policy…
With his ascent, the new prefect now likewise becomes president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, making him — at least officially — the prime overseer of the Vatican’s doctrine-centric reconciliation effort with the Society of St Pius X…
Note these Tweets out from the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham: