The Most Reverend Gerhard Müller, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), made his way to Moreau Seminary earlier this month. It was the Archbishop’s first visit to the University of Notre Dame, and he was the highest-ranking prelate ever to visit Moreau Seminary.
Originally from Mainz, Germany, Müller was previously the Bishop of Regensburg until he was appointed to his new office by Pope Benedict XVI in July of last year. The Archbishop succeeds Cardinal Levada as the Prefect of the Congregation. The CDF is most well known for its production of the Catechism of the Catholic Church released in 1992 under the direction of Cardinal Ratzinger, who was then the Prefect.
Archbishop Müller’s visit to Moreau was part of a larger visit to the University of Notre Dame. On February 6, he addressed administrators, faculty, and members of the Congregation of Holy Cross in a private lecture stressing the importance of the right to life and the preservation of the family and of marriage. He especially praised the University of Notre Dame for its refusal to cooperate with any federal mandate contrary to the teaching of the Church.
Moreau Seminary hosted the Archbishop the following evening for Mass, dinner, a one-hour question and answer session with the Prefect, and sung night prayer. In his homily (now available on the CDF’s webpage), Archbishop Müller praised the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Blessed Basil Moreau. In particular he praised Moreau’s emphasis on the virtue of holy zeal in teaching, which flows from “intimate communion with Christ.”
During his question and answer session with the Moreau community, Müller discussed candidly the state of the Church throughout the world, even chuckling as he answered questions about what his typical day was like and about his frequent interactions with Pope Benedict. He praised the mission of Holy Cross as educators in the faith and expressed how glad he was to see “all the young faces” of a growing Holy Cross. “You are the Facebook page of the Church!” he joked as he looked out at the seminarians. After his talk, he relaxed and chatted with the seminarians until night prayer.
Speaking for myself, it was both surreal and thrilling to ask the head of the CDF anything. He was totally at our disposal for an hour. The community at Moreau saw this as a great honor. The answers he gave to our questions were very systematic, but delivered casually and with impressive English (although he asked for help to find the right word a few times). His love for the Church and his deep faith were evident to all. I am sure that he is welcome back any time here at Moreau Seminary.
Mr. Michael Thomas is a Postulant at Moreau Seminary. He and other seminarians at Moreau post twice each month for the Spes Unica Blog, sharing on their life and formation at Moreau. Meet our other men in formation, and learn more about seminary life in Holy Cross, and specifically about the Postulant Program at Moreau Seminary, which constitutes the first year of religious and priestly formation in Holy Cross for college graduates.