“It is a great honor for me to receive the lion, symbol of the evangelist St. Mark; peace is a fundamental dimension for all of us.”
Dressed in a simar with scarlet piping, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), came to Venice on October 13, 2021 to receive the Golden Lion for Peace, a prestigious award offered each year by the City of Venice to a public figure.
Alluding to the synodal process, the high prelate issues this warning: “The Church is not an NGO. It cannot become a religious and social organization on the way to an earthly paradise which must fail, but she is a living organism, the Body of Christ, who is her universal head and her Savior.”
He also added: “Men cannot reform or rebuild the Church as they please….Christ is the head, we, the bishops and also the bishop of Rome, are only His servants: this must be the maxim of the next Synod.”
On the role of the bishop, the German cardinal stands out from some of his colleagues, especially across the Rhine. “Truly Catholic bishops are not following public opinion, but, strengthened by the Holy Spirit, they are witnesses to the ‘sound doctrine’ of the Gospel of Christ.”
In addition, the successors of the apostles must be “able to enter into dialogue with the men of today, which requires a high intellectual level,” but above all they must not be “courtiers who flatter the prince.”
Finally, Cardinal Müller recalls that “the bishops are instituted by the Holy Spirit, and are not employees of the Holy See, which is why they have a responsibility as representatives of Christ and not as delegates of the Pope.”
Visiting Venice to receive the Golden Lion for Peace awarded to him, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller took the opportunity to reaffirm his vision of the Church.