“A priest — and certainly a Bishop and a Cardinal — is never simply in retirement,” according to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, as reported by Vatican News.
His assertion appears in the greeting to the new book by Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller: “The Triune God. Christian Faith in the Secular Era.”
In the greeting Benedict notes that Paul VI had the thought of limiting the service of high Vatican officials to five years. But that doesn’t mean the person leaving office would not continue to serve.
The volume (published by Herder in German) was published to coincide with the Cardinal’s 70th birthday, December 31, 2017, and of the 40th anniversary of his priestly Ordination. The 700-word book has pieces by many leading members of the Catholic leadership including Cardinals Reinhard Marx, Angelo Scola, and Kurt Koch; Archbishops Rino Fisichella and Bruno Forte, and Muller’s successor, Monsignor Luis Ladaria.
Benedict has words of high admiration for Cardinal Mueller: “He defended the clear traditions of the faith, but, in the spirit of Pope Francis, he tried to understand how they can be lived today.”