|NOW ARCHBISHOP GERHARD LUDWIG MULLER OF REGENSBURG|
NEW PREFECT OF CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller of Regensburg, Germany, as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and as president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and of the International Theological Commission, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop.
He succeeds Cardinal William Joseph Levada, whose resignation from the same offices the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
The appointment will bring to Archbishop Muller responsibilities which will no doubt, have the Press calling him the "Pope's right hand man"at a very early stage, and they are indeed formidable.
The 64 yrs old Muller is a native of Mainz in Germany where he was ordained. He is said to be a long term personal friend of the Holy Father. He has held the Chair of Dogmatic Theology at a Munich University and is regarded as being theologically orthodox. He is the author of over 400 books, and has oversight of the publication of "Omnia Opera"a collection of all of the writings of the Holy Father.
In addition, the new Archbishop has a long history of ecumenical dealings in Germany, which will no doubt enhance his capacity in his new role to deal with Ordinariate matters and to deal with any approach from some Lutherans to seek a similar accommodation in the Catholic Church.
Whilst regarded as strictly orthodox, Archbishop Muller has had attributed to him some comments which are at least controversial.In addition he survived an attempt by a German newspaper to criticise him for the manner in which the case of allegations of pedophilia were handled concerning a particular Priest.
Just how his appointment might tend to entrench the hostility of Lefebvrists remains to be seen.
He would seem certain to be a likely recipient of a Cardinal's Red Hat in due course.