Tags: Pope Francis | Burke | demotion | ceremonial | post

Pope Demotes Conservative Cardinal

By    |   Saturday, 18 Oct 2014 04:28 PM

Conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke, who has regularly clashed with Pope Francis over his liberal leanings, has confirmed longstanding rumors that he would soon be demoted from his position as head of the Vatican's Supreme Court.

Burke, 66, the former archbishop of St. Louis, told BuzzFeed News that Francis would soon move him to the minor position of patron to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Burke said he had not yet received official word of the change. He became chief justice of the Apostolic Signatura in June 2008.

The new position is largely ceremonial, according to The National Catholic Reporter.

"I very much have enjoyed and have been happy to give this service, so it is a disappointment to leave it," Burke told BuzzFeed. "On the other hand, in the church as priests, we always have to be ready to accept whatever assignment we’re given.

"And so I trust, by accepting this assignment, I trust that God will bless me, and that’s what’s in the end most important."

The Apostolic Signatura is the Vatican's highest court and is charged with ensuring the proper administration of justice in the Catholic church. The Knights of Malta is a lay religious order that seeks to aid those in need throughout the world, according to the Catholic Reporter.

In December, Francis removed Burke from the Vatican’s influential Congregation for Bishops, appointing instead Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington to the 18-member board. He had been appointed to the bishops' group by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.

Burke has frequently clashed with Pope Francis over a number of issues — and publicly attacked a draft document issued Monday by bishops outlining the Catholic church's position on gays, sex, marriage and divorce.

Bishops scrapped the document on Saturday, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by the pope to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families.

The bishops failed to approve even a watered-down section on ministering to homosexuals that stripped away the welcoming tone of acceptance contained in a draft document Burke had attacked.

Most recently, Burke slammed President Barack Obama for having policies that "have become progressively more hostile toward Christian civilization."

"He appears to be a totally secularized man who aggressively promotes anti-life and anti-family policies," he said in a March interview published in LifeSiteNews.com. "Now he wants to restrict the exercise of the freedom of religion to freedom of worship."

Burke has also contended that priests should deny communion to Catholic politicians who support such issues as abortion and same-sex marriage.

According to the BuzzFeed report, word leaked out last month that Burke would soon be demoted, signaling that Pope Francis would move broadly to reshape the church.

The rumors coincided with the selection of the Rev. Blase Cupich as archbishop of Chicago.

The choice was hailed by Catholic progressives because Cupich broke with U.S. Catholic leaders when they withheld support for Obamacare over questions about abortion and contraception, BuzzFeed reports.

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Conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke, who has regularly clashed with Pope Francis over his liberal leanings, has confirmed longstanding rumors that he would soon be demoted from his position as head of the Vatican's Supreme Court. Burke, 66, the former archbishop of St....
Burke, demotion, ceremonial, post
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2014-28-18
Saturday, 18 Oct 2014 04:28 PM
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