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Gerhard Card. Müller
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Gerhard Ludwig Müller

Professor Gerhard Ludwig Müller
Professor Dr. honoris causa multiplex Gerhard Ludwig Müller
Bishop of Regensburg
Honorary Professor at the Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich


Table of Contents

1. Curriculum Vitae and Academic Career
2. Consecration as Bishop
3. Activities as Bishop
4. Founding of the Pope Benedict XVI Institute
5. Work with the Universal Church
6. International Recognition
7. Works


1. Curriculum Vitae and Academic Career

Gerhard Ludwig Müller is Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He serves as President of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, the Pontifical Biblical Commission and the International Theological Commission. He is Bishop Emeritus of Regensburg.

He was born on 31 December 1947, in Finthen, a suburb of Mainz to Martin Müller, an employee of a car-manufacturing firm, and his wife Lioba née Straub. He attended the local school, Willigis Gymnasium and studied philosophy and theology in Mainz, and later in Munich and Freiburg im Breisgau. He earned his doctorate in 1977 under Professor, later Cardinal, Karl Lehmann on the subject of "The Church and Sacraments in Religionless Christendom. Bonhoeffer’s Contribution to an Ecumenical Sacramental Theology" ("Kirche und Sakramente im religionslosen Christentum. Bonhoeffers Beitrag zu einer ökumenischen Sakramententheologie").

On 11 February 1978 he was ordained as a priest in Mainz-Finthen by Cardinal Volk. He subsequently served in three parishes (Klein-Krotzenburg, Bürstadt-St. Michael, Offenbach-St. Josef) and as religious education teacher at secondary schools in Büdingen and Nidda. He qualified as professor in 1985 in Freiburg im Breisgau and the following year took up the Chair of Dogmatic theology at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, where he continues to be an honorary professor.

During his career as a university professor (1986-2002) in the Capital of Bavaria–and a visiting professor in numerous other institutions–he provided pastoral assistance to the Parish of Leiden Christi in Munich. Since 1990, he has been a member of the Commission for Doctrine and Faith of the German Bishops’ Conference, and was also a member of the International Theological Commission from 1998 to 2003. In 1999 he was appointed as peritus (theological consultant) to the Vatican’s Synod of European Bishops. In 2001 he was a 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."

2. Consecration as Bishop

On 1 October 2002, Pope John Paul II nominated him Bishop of Regensburg.  He was consecrated Bishop by the then Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Cardinal Friedrich Wetter in Regensburg Cathedral on 24 November 2002, the Feast of Christ the King. The principal consecrator was the then Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Cardinal Friedrich Wetter. Also present was the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Bishop Müller chose "Dominus Jesus" as his episcopal motto.

3. Activities as Bishop

Preaching, the promotion of culture, sacred liturgy, and the charitable works of the Church have been amongst the priorities of his episcopal ministry. In November 2003, he set up a church school trust that has taken on the sponsorship of nine church schools to date. Between 2004 and 2005, he undertook the pastoral visitation of the eight regions of his diocese. In 2005, he reorganized the diocesan lay apostolate in order to make the structures more efficient and more in conformity with Canon Law. He also initiated and lent his support to the "Inner City Counselling" ("Innenstadtseelsorge") project in the centre of Regensburg in order to address the diverse counselling needs of residents of the city centre and tourists. On his initiative, between 2008 and 2009, the city parishes of Regensburg implemented a city mission involving over 1000 voluntary helpers, with the objective of stimulating dialogue and making the Christian faith a topic for discussion again. He also revived the 600 year old Kötzting Pentecostal Ride (Kötztinger Pfingstritt) establishing it as Eucharistic procession, which attracts 40,000 people every year.

During his episcopate in Regensburg, he participated in the 2005 Synod of Bishops, on the Eucharist, and welcomed Pope Benedict XVI during his apostolic visit in Bavaria in September 2006.

He has been entrusted with various responsibilities by the German Catholic Episcopal Conference. He is President of the Commission for Ecumenical Relations of the German Bishops’ Conference, Vice-President for the Doctrinal Commission, Catholic head of the Joint Commission of Orthodox Churches. He is also active within the Commission for International Church Affairs as a member of the Sub-Commission for Development Issues (particularly by means of the MISEREOR organisation) and is the first President of the Regensburg Association for the Promotion of the Institute of the Eastern Church

4. Founding of the Pope Benedict XVI Institute

Pope Benedict XVI personally entrusted him with the publication of his "Collected Writings" and asked him to oversee the publication of his "Complete Works" by Herder’s of Freiburg. In order to further this undertaking, which comprises 16 volumes, in 2008 the then Bishop Müller founded the Pope Benedict XVI Institute in Regensburg. The principle task of this institute is to collect and publish the works of Joseph Ratzinger in their entirety, including previously unedited writings.

5. Work with the Universal Church

On 12 June 2012 Pope Benedict nominated him a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. These nominations were reconfirmed in 2014 by Pope Francis. On 2 July 2012 Pope Benedict, following the retirement of Cardinal William Levada, nominated him Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and President of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, the International Theological Commission and the Pontifical Biblical Commission, raising him to the dignity of Archbishop.  The following 29 September, he became a member of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. On 21 September 2013, Pope Francis confirmed him as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the following year nominated him among the members of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and the Pontifical Council for Culture.

He was created Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 22 February 2014 and is Cardinal Deacon of the Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone, Rome.

6. International Recognition

He has received numerous international accolades. Amongst other honors, in 2001 he became a member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas and , in 2002, was made a correspondent member of the Theological section of the Real Accademia de doctores de España in Madrid. He has been granted the title Dottore Honoris Causa by three Polish Catholic universities (Lublin 2004, Varsavia 2007 and Breslavia 2015) and, for his collaboration with the theologian Gustavo Gutiérrez, the University of Lima in Peru also granted him an honorary doctorate.


7. Works

Cardinal Müller has published in many fields, including ecumenism, modern theology, the theology of revelation, theological hermeneutics and ecclesiology.  To date he has more than 500 academic publications. Amongst the most widely known are his Katholische Dogmatik Für Studium und Praxis der Theologie published by Herder (English translation forthcoming).

A short selection of his publications:

Bonhoeffers Theologie der Sakramente (= FTS 28), Frankfurt 1979
2. Für andere da. Christus - Kirche - Gott in Bonhoeffers Sicht der mündig gewordenen Welt (= KKTS 44), Paderborn 1980
3. Gemeinschaft und Verehrung der Heiligen. Geschichtlich-systematische Grundlegung der Hagiologie, Freiburg 1986
4. Was heißt: Geboren von der Jungfrau Maria? Eine theologische Deutung (= QD 119), Freiburg 1989
5. Laßt uns mit ihm gehen. Eucharistiefeier als Weggemeinschaft, Freiburg 1990
6. Was bedeutet Maria uns Christen? Die Antwort des Konzils. Überlegungen zum Marienkapitel der Kirchenkonstitution des Zweiten Vatikanischen Konzils, Vienna 1994
7. Christologie - Die Lehre von Jesus Christus, in: Beinert, W. (Hg.), Glaubenszugänge. Lehrbuch der Katholischen Dogmatik 2, Paderborn 1995, 1-297
8. Katholische Dogmatik. Für Studium und Praxis der Theologie, Freiburg 1995, 21996, 31998, 42001, 52003, 62005, 72007
9. John Henry Newman begegnen (= Zeugen des Glaubens), Augsburg 2000
10. Priestertum und Diakonat. Der Empfänger des Weihesakramentes in schöpfungstheologischer und christologischer Perspektive (= Sammlung Horizonte NF 33), Freiburg 2000 (Priesthood and the Diaconate: The Recipient of the Sacrament of Holy Orders from the Perspective of Creation Theology and Christology)
11. Mit der Kirche denken. Bausteine und Skizzen zu einer Ekklesiologie der Gegenwart, Würzburg 2001, 32007
12. Maria - die Frau im Heilsplan Gottes (= Mariologische Studien XV), Regensburg 2002
13. Die Messe. Quelle christlichen Lebens, Augsburg 2002
14. Gustavo Gutiérrez/Gerhard Ludwig Müller, An der Seite der Armen. Theologie der Befreiung, Augsburg 2004
15. An der Seite der Armen. Theologie der Befreiung, Augsburg 2004

16. Vom Vater gesandt. Impulse einer inkarnatorischen Christologie für Gottesfrage und Menschenbild, Regensburg 2005
17.Gott und seine Geschichte. Ein Gespräch über die Bibel, Freiburg 2005
18. The Hope of the Family. A dialogue with Gerhard Cardinal Müller, San Francisco 2014
19. Benedikt und Franziskus. Ihr Dienst in der Nachfolge Petri, Freiburg 2015