Pope appoints controversial Cardinal Burke to new role

Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Raymond Burke to a Roman congregation, only days after abuse activists called for the US prelate to be investigated.

The Pontiff appointed Cardinal Burke and Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna as members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

The two prelates retain their respective positions as Archbishop of Bologna and Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

As members of the congregation, they will cast votes related to candidates for beatification and canonisation, including decrees on heroic virtue, miracles, and martyrdoms.

In mid-September, a US group called Catholic Whistleblowers called on Pope Francis to investigate Cardinal Burke and former Philadelphia archbishop Cardinal Justin Rigali.

Cardinal Burke led a diocese in Wisconsin and the St Louis archdiocese before leaving for Rome to lead the Vatican’s highest court in 2008.

Catholic Whistleblowers have accused him of insensitive treatment of victims and their families.

Fr James Connell, a canon lawyer and member of Catholic Whistleblowers, said that in La Crosse, Wisconsin, then-Bishop Burke used a very strict definition in canon law to evaluate abuse cases.

This was equivalent to guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, Fr Carroll said, instead of a lesser standard called for in the US bishops’ own policies, and therefore abusers were left in ministry.

Cardinal Burke refused to comment to media on the matter last month.

The cardinal is a prominent devotee of the traditional liturgy and is an outspoken defender of traditional doctrine on controversial moral issues.

In late 2014, Pope Francis finished Cardinal Burke’s appointment as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura and appointed him patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a largely ceremonial role.

This was seen by many as an effective demotion, but some said the cardinal had already served beyond his five year term.

In December 2013, Pope Francis did not reappoint him to his position on the Congregation for Bishops.


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , ,