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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Promoting the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the office of prefect, Pope Francis chose not to ask German Cardinal Gerhard Muller to serve a second five-year term in the post.
The Vatican announced July 1 that the pope chose as prefect Spanish Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, 73, a Jesuit theologian who had been appointed secretary of the congregation in 2008 by then-Pope Benedict XVI.
"The Holy Father Francis thanked His Eminence Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller at the conclusion of his quinquennial mandate," the Vatican announcement said. No new position was announced for Cardinal Muller, who at 69 is still more than five years away from the normal retirement age for a bishop.
Anticipating an announcement of the pope's decision June 30, both the English Rorate Caeli blog and the Italian Corrispondenza Romana blog presented the pope's move as a dismissal of the German cardinal, who originally was appointed to the post by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI.
Pope Francis had met that morning with Cardinal Muller, whose five-year term was to end July 2.