WITNESS – Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (2017)

Cardinal Gerhard Müller,
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Gerhard Ludwig Müller was born in Mainz-Finthen, Germany in 1947. As the son of labourer, he grew up with his three siblings. Having completed secondary school in Mainz, he studied philosophy and theology in Mainz, Munich and Freiburg im Breisgau. He earned his doctorate in 1977 under Professor Karl Lehmann on the subject of “The Church and Sacraments in Religionless Christendom. He was ordained as a priest in Mainz-Finthen in 1978. He was then active in three parishes as chaplain and as religious education teacher at secondary schools in Büdingen and Nidda. He became professor in 1985 in Freiburg im Breisgau, again under Professor Karl Lehmann. One year later, he was appointed Professor of Catholic Dogmatics at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich where he remains honorary professor today. At the age of 38 in 1986 he was one of the youngest professors at Munich’s university.

Gerhard Müller has also been visiting professor at a number of other universities: in Cusco (Peru), Madrid (San Damaso), Philadelphia (USA), Kerala (India), Santiago de Compostela, Salamanca (Spain), The Lateran University (Rome), Lugano and Sao Paulo (Brazil). He has been active in the spread and preservation of the Catholic faith as a member of the Commission for Doctrine and Faith of the German Bishops’ Conference since 1990 and was also a member of the International Theological Commission from 1998 to 2002.

In 1999 he was appointed as peritus (theological consultant) to the Vatican’s Synod of European Bishops. In 2001 he was active as theological consultant to the International Bishops’ Synod in Rome on the subject of “The Bishop as Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for World Hope.” Following his appointment by Pope John Paul II as diocesan bishop on October 1, 2002, Professor Gerhard Ludwig Müller was consecrated as Bishop of Regensburg in the Regensburg Cathedral on November 24, 2002. In 2005 he participated in the International Bishops’ Synod on the Eucharist as a Synod Father.

The founding of the Pope Benedict XVI Institute is one of the highlights of his academic career. Bishop Müller has published more than 400 academic publications to date, the majority of which date from his 16 years as Professor of Dogmatics at the the University of Munich.

On July 2, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Müller as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and simultaneously was named Archbishop. As prefect of this important Vatican department, he became President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, the International Theological Commission, and the Pontifical Commission ”Ecclesia Dei”. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope Francis on February 22, 2014.


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