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Cardinal Muller: First Time in History that We Have Two Popes
December 03, 2016

Cardinal Muller: First Time in History We Have Two Legitimate Popes

Cardinal Muller: first time in history that we have two legitimate Popes In an explosive interview with the German version of Vatican Radio last October 26, 2016, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that “for the first time in the history of the Church we have the case of two legitimate living popes.”

This is the first time that a high-ranking Vatican official has publicly acknowledged the highly-unusual situation of the coexistence of two popes. Muller continued:

"Certainly only Pope Francis is THE Pope, but Benedict is the emeritus, so somehow he is still tied to the papacy. This unprecedented situation needs to be addressed theologically and spiritually. On how to do it, there are different opinions. I have shown that even with all the diversity that relate to the person and the character – which are given by nature – that the internal link must also be made visible."

When the journalist asked what this “internal link” or inner connection consists of, Muller said: “This is to profess [to proclaim the faith in] Jesus Christ, Who is the ‘ratio essendi’, the true foundation of the papacy, Who holds the Church together in the unity in Christ.…”

The journalist further asked: “What do two popes together offer the Church?” Müller responded:

"Both exercise an office that they didn’t give to themselves, nor are they able to define: an office that is already ‘defined’ by Christ Himself, as it has been understood by the believing conscience of the Church. And each man experiences within the papal office – as in every other ecclesial office – a weight that one can only bear with the help of grace."

Muller essentially says that Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI, “both exercise an office” that is the “Papal office”. And he says that this unprecedented situation, of “two legitimate living popes”, “needs to be addressed theologically and spiritually.”

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