Close on the heels of Cardinal George Pell’s “leave of absence” to face sex abuse charges in Australia, Pope Francis has declined to renew the term of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith head, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, a fierce critic of Pope Francis.
Francis could have kept him on, but declined to do so. The Jesuit pope instead tapped the No. 2 in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Jesuit Monsignor Luis Ladaria Ferrer, to succeed Mueller.
This has created a huge power vacuum at the top of the Vatican hierarchy, particularly among the more conservative wing.