Conservative cardinal confirms Francis is to sack him

The conservative prefect of the Apostolic Signatura appears to have confirmed reports that Pope Francis is to assign him to a lesser role.

American Cardinal Raymond Burke confirmed to the National Catholic Reporter that he has been told he will be removed from his current role.

Asked who told him he would be removed, Cardinal Burke replied: “Who do you think?”

Late last year, Pope Francis removed Cardinal Burke from the Congregation for Bishops.

Cardinal Burke reportedly said he has enjoyed his role at the Apostolic Signatura, which he has held from 2008, and is disappointed to leave it.

“In the Church as priests, we always have to be ready to accept whatever assignment we’re given,” Cardinal Burke is reported to have said.

The cardinal has yet to receive formal notice of his move.

The Apostolic Signatura is the Catholic Church’s highest court.

Rumours have been circulating for weeks inside the Vatican that Cardinal Burke will be assigned as patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, which is a largely ceremonial role.

Cardinal Burke has made news frequently in recent days voicing disapproval with the direction of the synod on the family.

He voiced staunch disapproval of the relatio document released at the synod mid-point last week, saying that it would cause confusion among the laity.

This document called on the Church to listen more widely to people’s concerns and to apply mercy more generously.

Cardinal Burke said in interviews that the mid-point document was “not of the Church” and that Francis should issue a clarification reaffirming traditional Catholic doctrines.

The mid-point document was eventually superseded by a less liberal final document.

Last month, Cardinal Burke accused sections of the media of trying to hijack the synod.

In 2009, Cardinal Burke called on US bishops to withhold Communion from pro-choice Catholic politicians.


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