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German Cardinal Gerhard Müller outside St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican CityPhoto by Franco Origlia/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) – As rumors continue to fuel speculation that Pope Francis might soon resign the papacy, Cardinal Gerhard Müller has expressed concern for the meaning of a Catholic Church with “two Popes Emeriti,” stating that it “is not good for the Church.”

Speaking recently in an interview with LifeSiteNews editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen, Müller said that while speculation intensifies around Francis’ resignation – especially in light of his declining health and the “very strange” timing of the August Consistory – “nobody knows what is happening. All is in God’s hand.”

The former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith recalled the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, stating that the move sent a “shockwave” throughout the Church. Doubt has subsequently been cast on Francis serving the Petrine office until his death, Müller noted, adding that should Francis resign, there will be “repercussions, implications for the Church.”

“Pope Benedict is still alive, and it will be a big problem to have two Popes Emeriti. That is not good for the Church,” he said.

Although raising concerns about the nature of a Church with two retired pontiffs, Müller has thrown his full weight behind the legitimacy of Francis’ pontificate, stating earlier this month that “[t]here is legitimately only one pope and his name is Francis. Whoever was pope, living or dead, is no more, even if he is entitled to all gratitude and personal veneration.”

The respected prelate recognized that many in the Church disagree about papal retirement, but argued that “as a theologian, I am fundamentally against the resignation of the popes.”

READ: ‘Nobody can understand this’: Cdl. Müller criticizes promotion of ‘politician’ Bishop McElroy

“Only in extreme cases we can understand it, but in normal situations we must always accept that the Pope is a human who becomes older,” Müller said, adding that while age brings its own “problems … we have to give witness also in our sufferings, in our becoming old and old-aged.”

The day will come that everyone has to die, and the Pope is a human being, a man like us, is a pilgrim on this earth, and we have to pray for him because he is a successor of Saint Peter, the first pope and the shepherd of the universal Church, and also a human being with all his lights and shadows.

If a pope does continue to serve his office until his death, “in every case, God is with us,” Müller contended, since “the government of the universal Church is another understanding to the government of a political state like the United States or the world powers.”

The Church, he said, “is more important. The testimony you are giving is Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord and the hope we have for us all after this earthly life.”