Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Spanish Jesuit succeeds “Cardinal” Muller

Francis appoints “Abp.” Luis Ladaria Ferrer as new Head of CDF


Well, that didn’t take long: A day after an unconfirmed report made the rounds according to which Francis had dismissed “Cardinal” Gerhard Ludwig Muller from his post as head of the so-called Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Vatican not only confirmed the report but also immediately named a successor to Mr. Muller: It is “Archbishop” Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer — a Jesuit!

The formal announcement came in today’s bollettino of the Vatican Press Office (Italian original here). Strictly speaking, Muller was not “fired” by Francis but simply did not have his expiring 5-year appointment (which began on July 2, 2012) renewed. Still, Francis’ refusal to give Muller another term can certainly be taken as a firing, as it is quite customary for first-year terms to be renewed, so much so that Muller himself says in an interview published today in the German regional Allgemeine Zeitung that the non-renewal came as a surprise to him. Muller had only found out about his dismissal from the Novus Ordo version of the Holy Office yesterday, June 30, in a private audience with the “Pope”.

Muller’s successor, “Abp.” Ladaria Ferrer, had served as secretary of the CDF since 2008, first under “Cardinal” William Levada, who was replaced by Muller in 2012. Ladaria is considered to be a “conservative moderate” who will not offer much if any resistance to the program of “Pope” Francis.

Here are some initial news reports and reactions on the big change in the CDF:

In his new role as head of the CDF, Ladaria is now also the head of the “Pontifical” Commission Ecclesia Dei, which deals exclusively with matters related to the Lefebvrian Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). His new position also makes him president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and the International Theological Commission.

A new position for 69-year-old “Cardinal” Muller has not yet been announced.