Cardinal Müller talks about the Primacy of Peter in Pope Benedict XVI’s Pontificate


(18/04/15) Every pontificate in the history of the Church is always the specific and personal fulfilment of the unique primacy of Peter, of the Petrine ministry, that was performed by people with a practical personality, who worked at the building of the house of God”. These words are part of the conference about “The Primacy of Peter in Pope Benedict XVI's Pontificate”, that was celebrated yesterday at the Campo Santo Teutonico, in the Vatican City, and organized by cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and editor of the Opera omnia of Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI, in the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the election of Benedict XVI. Our readers can read the entire text in the original language in the Presentations section of the website.

“Jesus Christ didn’t want to establish the Church as something abstract, supernatural and unattainable – Cardinal Müller said – He didn’t establish an ideal Church in the past, that was lost during the centuries, not even an ideal Church of a distant future. Today, in its sacramental holiness, the Church is the sign of the redemption that was already made by Christ; at the same time, it is the expression of our need of redemption, as we can see from the sins and the mistakes of its members.

When he chose Peter, Jesus didn’t want to have the “perfect” man – we cannot separate the most important words of the ecclesial vocation, that God addresses to the Apostle, from Peter’s personal attitude; it is impossible to disregard his human limits.

“As a professor of fundamental and dogmatic theology and as an expert of history of theology and dogmatic theology, Joseph Ratzinger wrote books that made him one of the most eminent theologians of the 20th and 21st centuries”, as cardinal Müller noticed. At the end of the conference he said: “Pope Ratzinger was successful in developing a very strong connection between listening to (auditus) and understanding (intellectus fidei): faith and reason are close to each other as man is close to God; God ‘caritas est’, as it is written in the important encyclical by Benedict XVI.

Among participants there were: the cardinals Paul Josef Cordes and Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, the archbishop Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Pontifical Household, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, brother of the Pope emeritus, Msgr. Giuseppe Antonio Scotti, President of the Ratzinger Foundation and Peter Seewald, Benedict’s biographer.