In May of 2015, it is likely that Müller also learned of Archbishop Fernàndez’ provocations. If he did know, he maintained a public silence – until now. Müller has just given an interview to the German Catholic journal, Herder Korrespondenz. This interview has already created a stir due to the CDF Prefect’s comments indicating surprisingly strong stipulations concerning reconciliation of the SSPX. What has mostly escaped notice was another segment of the interview, one in which Cardinal Gerhard Müller thoughtfully returns to the earlier statements of Archbishop Fernàndez, at least one of which was clearly directed against Müller, if not by name.
Müller labels as heretical the claim that the pope is not bound to live in Rome. When asked about Pope Francis’ “acts of relativizing the papal office” and whether “his style is changing the theological profile of the papal office,” the German cardinal said the following :
The teaching on the papacy as a Divine institution cannot be relativized by anybody – this would mean to want to correct God Himself. […] A while ago, there were people who were presented by certain tendentious media outlets as being the closest counselors of the pope, and specifically according to whom one could even well move the residence of the pope down to Medellin or distribute the offices of the Curia to the different local churches. This is fundamentally wrong and even heretical [“sogar häretisch”]. In this matter, one only has to once read the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Council in order to recognize the ecclesiological absurdity of such thought games. The residence of the pope is the Church of St. Peter in Rome. (my emphasis added)