This book offers an introduction to the theological and historical aspects of the papacy, an office and institution that is unique in this world. Throughout its history up to our present time, the Petrine ministry is both fascinating and challenging to people, both inside and outside the Catholic Church.
Gerhard Cardinal Müller speaks from a particular and personal viewpoint, including his experience of working closely with the pope every day as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He addresses, in particular, those dimensions of the papal office which are crucial for understanding more deeply the pope as a visible principle of the church’s unity.
500 years after the Protestant reformation, the book offers insights into the ecumenical controversies about the papacy throughout the centuries, in their historical context. The book also exposes prejudices and cliches, and points to the authentic foundation of the Petrine ministry.
"The best study available in this area. Eminently ecumenically sensitive and relevant. No future ecumenical dialogue on the papacy can ignore Müller’s contribution. He familiarizes the reader with quite a number of authors whose contributions have never been translated into English."~Emery de Gaal, Mundelein Seminary
"Cardinal Müller powerfully combines personal witness and theological acumen in testifying to the enduring rock of the Petrine ministry. This book, the fruit of long service and study, truly provides a gift to the Church, illuminating the essential service of the pope in shepherding God's people in the truth."~Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, Archbishop of Denver
"A nuanced and persuasive account of the primacy of Peter, couched in the proclamation of Jesus Christ that is the sine qua non of the apostolic ministry. At once biblical and theological, personal and pastoral, Cardinal Müller's learned exposition both educates and efifies. This highly accessible version of Der Papst has put Christians in the Anglosphere very much in his debt."~Douglas Farrow, McGill University
"There has probably never been a generation more in need than ours to learn about the theology of the papacy. Müller wisely and passionately rejects widespread theological disfigurations that either exalt or minimize papal authority, and instead develops a refreshingly down-to-earth vision of the Petrine office grounded in Scripture and Tradition."~Ulrich L. Lehner, University of Notre Dame