Pope names Archbishop Luis Ladaria as Müller’s successor to head CDF

Pope names Archbishop Luis Ladaria as Müller’s successor to head CDF

[The no. 2 man becomes no. 1, and the former no. 1 man becomes …]

By Elise Harris

Vatican City, Jul 1, 2017 / (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican announced Saturday that as Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s term as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith comes to an end, the Pope has not renewed it, but has appointed Jesuit Archbishop Luis Ladaria to take his place.

The decision was officially published in a July 1 communique from the Vatican, which stated the Holy Father’s thanks to Cardinal Müller for his term.

July 2nd marks the end of Müller’s five-year mandate as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which included the positions of president of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei,” the Pontifical Biblical Commission and the International Theological Commission.

Pope Francis named Jesuit Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, archbishop of Thibica, as his successor in the same duties. Archbishop Ladaria has been secretary, the second in command, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2008.

The Vatican did not specify what Cardinal Müller will be doing next.

Müller was tapped to head the congregation, the most important dicastery in the Roman Curia, by Benedict XVI before his resignation in 2012.

Pope Francis renewed Müller’s appointment to the CDF and to each of the commissions after his election, allowing the prelate to serve the entirety of his 5-year term in each, which ends July 2.

Müller is known to have been a conservative voice within the Curia, and, contrary to other German prelates, backed more traditional interpretations of Chapter 8 of Pope Francis’ 2016 post-synodal apostolic exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia,” on the reception of communion for divorced and remarried couples, insisting that it does not breach Church teaching.

In addition to the announcement of Archbishop Ladaria as Müller’s replacement, the only other appointment announced July 1 was Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, archbishop of Florence, as a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

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7 comments on “Pope names Archbishop Luis Ladaria as Müller’s successor to head CDF

  1. Some more information from:

    en.news (gloria.tv): Ladaria Will Take Müller’s Place

    He is also the president of the commission instituted by Pope Francis in order to introduce female deacons. Ladaria is considered a “conservative”, but he is expected to go along with whatever he is ordered to do.

    America Magazine: Pope Francis appoints Ladaria to replace Müller at CDF

    John Paul II appointed him as a member of the International Theological Commission in 1992 and consultor of the C.D.F. in 1995. As secretary-general of the I.T.C., a post he held until 2009, he led its revision of the church’s understanding of limbo which concluded that children who die without baptism can enjoy the beatific vision in heaven.

    • Everybody is saved, except those who grow up to be rigid and hateful. You know who you are.

      • Posted by Oakes Spalding on SATURDAY, JULY 1, 2017

        Pope Francis Appoints a Universalist – All Men Will Be Saved – to Replace Müller as Head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

        The new head of the CDF, perhaps illustrating the possibility of hell

        To put things in simple common sense terms, everyone knows that the Catholic Church and the wider traditional Christian Church has always taught that there is a heaven and there is a hell. Ignoring the theological glosses – limbo and purgatory – Christian and Catholic teaching has been clear that upon death, some men will go to heaven, where they will dwell with God forever, and some men will go to hell, where they will dwell with Satan and the other damned, forever. This teaching is firmly based on the words of our Lord in the Bible. Open it up to any place where hell is mentioned, and you will find Jesus stating it, always in strong terms.

        Even at the time of the Christian Fathers, there were those who rejected this teaching. They came to be called universalists, or those who believe that salvation is universal – all men will go to heaven. Universalism was always considered a heresy in the Christian Church, and “officially” so in the Catholic Church. This has, of course, not prevented offshoot universalist Christian sects from forming – the Unitarian Universalists being the most aptly named modern example.

        The twentieth and twenty-first century has seen a growth in universalist sentiment within the Catholic Church. But, since it’s the Catholic Church, which contains a recognized body of Doctrine, an official catechism of teachings and all the rest, the tendency has always been couched in language that stops short of fully and explicitly endorsing universalist claims. So to use the claims of one of contemporary universalism’s most well-known spokesmen, Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles, riffing of the arguments of a few heterodox twentieth century Catholic theologians, while there might be a hell, that doesn’t mean that anyone is actually in it. Or to use his own well-known formulation, we have good reason to hope that everyone will be saved.

        From the point of view of logic, he may be right. But also from the point of view of logic, if he is right, then either the Gospels inaccurately recorded the words of our Lord, or our Lord is a liar.

        Today, Pope Francis appointed a new head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – the Catholic body entrusted with defending Catholic doctrine and teaching – replacing Cardinal Gerhard Müller, who had become a sort of enemy in his attempts to defend (albeit, often tepidly) Catholic doctrine from Begoglio’s predations.

        The new head of the CDF is a jesuit Archbishop by the name of Luis Ladaria Ferrer.

        Ladaria is a universalist.

        I’m not going to go into a long analytical discussion of Ladaria’s publicly expressed position, but it basically tracks Barron’s more well-known claims – there is a hell, but it’s possible, probable, or we have good reason to hope that no one actually goes there.

        Ladaria’s views were laid out in the appropriately titled, Jesus Christ: Salvation of All. Here are some relevant excerpts. These are not cherry-picked, but among other things, include passages that Ladaria himself chose to read out in public, now available (of course) on YouTube:


        The saving influence of Jesus and his Spirit know no bounds: Christ’s mediation is universal. Salvation in Christ is possible for all humanity, and on the horizon of theological reflection. The hope may arise that this salvation will indeed reach everyone. Salvation itself would become denaturalized if its absolute certainty would be affirmed and if we lost sight of the possibility of damnation [p. 12].
        [T]his universality includes more than it excludes, among other reasons because the unique mediation of Jesus cannot be separated from God’s will of universal salvation (1Tim 2:3–5) [p. 96].

        We are all called to place ourselves within the body of the [Catholic] Church, which will not reach its fullness until the whole human race and the entire universe has been completely renewed. Christian faith begins with the premise of the unity of humanity as a whole because of its origins in Adam, and above all, because of its destiny in Christ. It is inconceivable that salvation, as it is presented in the New Testament, is only for Christians and not for those who do not know Christ [p. 117].

        We may also add the early Christian conviction that hell is something neither wanted nor created by God. Maintaining the possibility [my emphasis] of eternal damnation is the only guarantee of the truth and reality of the salvation offered to us, which is nothing less than God’s love [pp. 130-131].

        Jesus includes everyone and excludes no one, and all of us have received his fullness (cfr. John 1:16). The universality of salvation and unity of Christ’s mediation mutually affirm each other [p. 144].

        Yet by dying, he gave us life, that is the life of his resurrection. Even those who do not know him are called to this divine vocation, that is, to the perfect sonship in and through Christ. Christians and non-Christians reach this goal by virtue of the gift of the Spirit that associates us with the unique paschal ministry of Christ even if it is through diverse paths known only to God [p. 148-149].

        Again, obviously, Ladaria always stops short of saying, “I’m a heretical universalist. Everyone is going to heaven.” But the meaning is clear. And of course, Ladaria would never claim that he is a heretic or even heterodox to in the least. Rather, he is simply more deeply describing the evolving understanding of doctrine.

        Or some such.

        And as always with these things, much of what he says is undeniably orthodox. Yes, God calls us all to Him. He wants us all to be saved. Jesus died so all of us could be saved. Is he denying hell? By no means, but we do not know who is in it. Perhaps (as a matter of logic) no one is. Shouldn’t we hope that to be the case? And so on and so forth.

        Well, according to what Jesus said, and is recorded to have done: there were people in hell, there are now, and there undoubtedly will be many more.

        No reasonable Catholic can affirm that that’s exactly a comforting thought. But there are many things that Jesus said that are not exactly comforting. He was sent to teach us – with soft words and hard ones, but always true ones, and always with our good in mind – by our Father, not our touchy-feely shrink.

        But here’s what Christ did say: trust in me and come to me, through (as the Church He founded would from the very beginning assert) the Church I created, and you will be saved. I will save you if you sincerely ask me to. And you will live with me forever in heaven.

        To me, that’s the most comforting thing in the world.

        The universalist version of that is a counterfeit. It’s un-Christian, un-Catholic and will inevitably lead to many more souls being permanently separated from God and damned forever. It’s a lie.

        And the current occupant of the throne of St. Peter is spreading it.

  2. Tom says:

    The no. 2 man becomes no. 1, and the former no. 1 man becomes …

    … nothing! From Pope Francis appoints Ladaria to replace Müller at CDF (America magazine, 7/1/17):

    … Pope Francis received Cardinal Müller in private audience in his library in the Vatican at noon on June 30 and informed him that he would not be reconfirmed as prefect when his five-year mandate, which was due to end on July 2, concluded. Informed sources told America that Francis offered him the possibility of re-assignment to another position in the Vatican after the summer holidays, but the German cardinal turned this down on the grounds that since he had been head of the “supreme” congregation (as the C.D.F. is called in Vatican parlance) it would be beneath his dignity to accept another post and so he preferred to go into retirement.

    Sources told America that the Vatican was scheduled to announce the change at the head of the C.D.F. on Monday, July 3, but after the audience with the pope, Cardinal Müller returned to the C.D.F. and informed his colleagues that he was no longer head of the congregation. That news was quickly passed to media close to the cardinal and became public some hours later. For this reason, the Vatican decided to make the announcement at noon today.

  3. The champagne corks are popping in liberal Catholics circles:

    America Magazine: Pope Francis appoints Ladaria to replace Müller at CDF

    It is destined to have far-reaching consequences, not the least of which is to ensure that the C.D.F. and its prefect are rowing with and not against the pope on key issues, including the interpretation of “Amoris Laetitia,” synodality and cooperation with the commission for the protection of minors.

    … a number of cardinals had asked Francis to remove Cardinal Müller from that post because he had on several occasions publicly disagreed with or distanced himself from the pope’s positions—in particular regarding “Amoris Laetitia”—and they felt this was undermining the papal office and magisterium.

    Call Me Jorge…: Francis names Luis Ladaria Ferrer as new head of the Congregation for the Destruction of the Faith

    Vatican watchers are predicting smooth sailing for Francis and his revolutionary agenda as he and Ladaria are reading from the same modernist playbook.

  4. C. Müller, C. Burke, and Fra Festing in their new assignments.

  5. Posted by Bruvver Eccles on Saturday, 1 July 2017

    I wasn’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition

    The scene – the Pope’s office in the Vatican. Pope Francis is sitting reading the names in his little black book and licking his lips. Spadaro is sitting in a corner of the room, eating peanuts, scratching himself and cackling over the new Stephen Walford humour column in the Vatican Insider.

    F: It’s going well. Burke is now an unperson, Pell has been framed, we’re sacking Müller today. Next on the list is Sarah – I wonder what we can do about him?


    “Poison his beer, O Infallible Master.”

    There is a knock on the door, and Spadaro goes to welcome Cardinal Müller to his morning audience. Müller enters, kisses the Pope’s ring, aims a kick at Spadaro, etc.

    F: Welcome, my son. What is ailing you?

    M: Holy Father, I think we must finally do something about Fr James Martin. The man’s heresies are so absurd that even the Lutherans say “I wouldn’t go that far!” Also, he is bringing the Church into disrepute by celebrating “gay” Masses dressed in a rainbow loincloth.


    The Pride of the Vatican.

    F: I have news for you my son. Guess who runs the Inquisition?

    M: The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith? I do, surely?

    F: No, you’re fired. I’m appointing your Deputy, Luis Ladaria. So from now on, we’ve got a Spanish Inquisition.

    M: I wasn’t expecting a Spanish Inquisition!

    Archbishop Ladaria bursts in, with two other cardinals, and they recite lines from the well-known Monty Python sketch.


    Nobody expects…

    L: Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our two main weapons are fear and surprise. Surprise and fear. And discernment. Three main weapons.

    F: All right, all right, you can finish this later. Don’t forget the bit about “Ruthless dedication to the new Magisterium of Amoris Laetitia”.

    L: I have to go, Holy Father: we are planning a midnight raid on a bunch of Catholic priest-bloggers who insist on pre-2013 teaching. Finigan, Blake, Zuhlsdorf, … all the usual suspects. (Exit.)

    F (mutters): “Discernment” is good. Little Austen Ivereigh says that only Jesuits can do discernment. The fact is, it just means “make it up as you go along”. Mind you, only Jesuits know that.

    Oh, by the way, Müller, you’ve lost your other jobs too – Pontifical Biblical Commission, Ecclesia Dei, International Theological Commission. Now get out!

    M: I’ll send you some Dubia, Holy Father! (Exit.)


    At least it wasn’t Schönborn. Balloons all round!

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