Vatican City, Jul 2, 2017 / 08:40 am America/Denver (CNA).
In a brief interview given just hours after hearing that he would no longer be heading the Vatican's doctrine office, Cardinal Gerhard Müller said the decision was normal, and was not the result of conflict between him and Pope Francis.
“There were no differences between me and Pope Francis,” Cardinal Müller told Allgemeine Zeitung, a regional German paper from Mainz.
Müller spoke to the paper while in Mainz for his 50th high school reunion. He traveled to the city Friday after meeting with Pope Francis earlier that morning, receiving the news that his term as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith would not be renewed.
The cardinal, 69, said that while he doesn't know the specifics of why his 5-year term was not extended, the Pope informed him of his desire to move away from trend of renewing curial mandates.
Although it has until now been common for these 5-year terms to be renewed, Müller said that during their meeting, Pope Francis said he wants to progressively move toward a general practice of limiting mandates to just 5 years, “and I happened to be the first one to which this applied.”