The German Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller has severely criticized Pope Francis in a forthcoming book. In the tape of interviews, excerpts of which appeared in Italian media over the weekend, the curial archbishop accuses the pontiff of nepotism, among other things. Francis is in Vatican surrounded “by a kind of magic circle consisting of people who, in my opinion, are not theologically qualified,” judged Müller, such as the newspaper La Republica reported. He also accused the Pope of treating fellow priests who have been accused or convicted of abuse more leniently than others. Müller is one of three German cardinals who are allowed to elect a new pope at a conclave and was a confidant of Benedict XVI, who made him prefect of the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2012. Francis withdrew him from this post in 2017 after just one term.