Here are some excerpts. Go on over to read the whole thing.
Müller: The Congregation is responsible for the promotion of the doctrine of the faith, and not only for its protection. The 1965 reorganisation of the agency has placed this positive aspect in its heart. It is about the promotion of theology and its basis in Revelation, to ensure its quality, and to consider the important intellectual developments on a global scale. We can’t simply and mechanically repeat the doctrine of the faith. It must always be associated with the intellectual developments of the time, the sociological changes, the thinking of people.
It is about a right understanding of the nature and mission of the Church; about finding the right balance between shutting out the world and adapting to it – so that we can truly serve the world in the name of Jesus Christ. -snip-
KNA: Another major topic in Rome is the anniversary of the Council. What do you expect from looking back?
Müller: We do not need a hermeneutic that is imposed upon the Council from outside. It is important to explore the hermeneutic that is included in the Council itself: the hermeneutic of reform in continuity, as the Holy Father has repeatedly underlined. A Council is the execution of the highest magisterium of the Church in the communion of the bishops with the Pope.
In this sense, the Second Vatican Council was a wonderful event, albeit from a somewhat different type than some previous councils. It was its legitimate intention to respond not only to certain errors and correct them, but to provide an overall view of the Catholic faith. It wanted not many individual elements, but the big picture, the great architecture of the present church with large rooms where you can feel at home and gladly live.
KNA: The Council, however, also created problems, for example for the SSPX.
Müller: Everyone who calls himself Catholic, will also have to keep the principles of the Catholic faith. These are not pre-formulated by the CDF or anyone else, but given to us in the Revelation of God in Jesus Christ, which has been entrusted to the Church. One can therefore not simply pick from it what fits in a given structure.
Rather, one must be open to the whole of the Christian faith, the whole profession of faith, the Church’s history and development of her teaching. One must be open to the living Tradition which does not end somewhere – say in 1950 – but goes on.
Some have noticed similarities with the thinking of Karl Rahner in Müller’s theological work (Lehmann had worked with Rahner). In the months when the Pope was considering Müller ‘s candidacy the latter’s link with one of the fathers of the Theology of Freedom, Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, whose texts were closely examined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (which at the time was headed by cardinal Ratzinger) with no sentence or sanction being imposed.The new Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith experienced Church life first hand, by going to Latin America and spending some time living with the farmers in a parish near Lake Titicaca, on the border with Bolivia.
Those who met him insist that Müller was never showed any excessive support for new movements. However, he did not express any particular fondness for the Society of St. Pius X. The new Prefect, formerly a member of the Congregation, kept track of developments in the dialogue with the Lefebvrians, which has now reached a critical point: Now that Müller is President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, he will be directly involved in negotiations with the Fraternity. The Bishop of Regensburg is also an expert on ecumenical matters: up until now he was President of the German Bishops Conference’s Ecumenism Commission. He is also the editor of Ratzinger’s Opera Omnia.
The new Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is quite a timid man, a personality trait which is sometimes mistaken for abruptness in his relations with collaborators. Müller chose “Dominus Jesus” (Jesus is the Lord) as the motto for his bishop’s coat of arms. The phrase comes from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans, which is also the title of the declaration on the saving unity of Christ promoted by John Paul II and fostered by the then cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, back in 2000.
Be sure to follow our Moderator at Eccentric Bliss, his personal blog!