Card. Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Archbishop-bishop emeritus of Regensburg, was born in Mainz-Finthen, the Federal Republic of Germany on 31 December 1947.
He studied philosophy and theology in Mainz, Munich and Freiburg im Breisgau and earned his doctorate in 1977 under Prof. Dr. Karl Lehmann, with a thesis entitled "Kirche und im Sakramente religionslosen Christentum. Bonhoeffers Beitrag zu einer Ökumenischen Sakramententheologie" (The Church and Sacraments in Religionless Christendom. Bonhoeffer’s Contribution to an Ecumenical Sacrament Theology).
He was ordained a priest on 11 February 1978 for the diocese of Mainz. He served as parochial vicar at Klein Krotzenburg, Bürstadt-St. Michael and Offenbach-St. Joseph (1978-1982). He also taught religion at secondary schools in Büdingen and Nidda. He qualified as professor in 1985 in Freiburg im Breisgau, again under Professor Karl Lehmann, on the subject of "Community and Veneration of the Saints.
From 1986 to 2002, he was professor of dogmatic theology at the Catholic Theological Faculty of the "Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität" in Munich of Bavaria.
At the same time, he attended a number of universities as visiting professor: Cusco (Peru), Madrid (San Damaso), Philadelphia (USA), Kerala (India), Santiago de Compostela, Salamanca (Spain), the Pontifical Lateran University (Rome), Lugano (Switzerland) and San Paulo (Brazil).
He has been active since 1990 in the spread and preservation of the Catholic faith as member of the Commission for Doctrine and Faith of the German Bishops' Conference, and from 1998 to 2003, as a member of the International Theological Commission.
In 1999 he was appointed as peritus (theological consultant) of the Special Synod for Europe and as a theological advisor to the Synod of Bishops, held in Rome in 2001 on the theme: "The Servant Bishop of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the hope of the World". In 2005, he took part as a Synod Father to the Synod of Bishops on the theme "The Eucharist, source and summit of the life and mission of the Church".
On 1 October 2002 Pope John Paul II appointed him as bishop of Regensburg. He received Episcopal consecration on 24 November of the same year. He played a key role in preparations for Pope Benedict’s visit to Regensburg in 2006.
He served as president of the Commission for Ecumenical Relations of the German Bishops’ Conference and resumed theological discussions between the German Bishops’ Conference and the Moscow Patriarchate. In 2005, he carried out a reform of the diocesan lay apostolates from both a canon law and pastoral perspective. Then in December 2008 he was appointed as Catholic head to the International Lutheran/Roman Catholic Commission on Unity for the fourth dialogue phase. He also founded the Pope Benedict XVI institute, responsible for publishing the complete works of Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI.
On 2 July 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", the Pontifical Biblical Commission and the International Theological Commission, elevating him to the dignity of archbishop.
On 23 September 2013 he was confirmed prefect of the congregation by Pope Francis.
From July 2nd 2012 to July 1st 2017, he was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and of the International Theological Commission.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 22 February 2014, of the Deaconry of Sant’Agnese in Agone.
- Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
A biography with the detailed list of the scientific work of Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller is available on the Vatican website.