Cardinal says he’s not the Pope’s enemy

Cardinal Raymond Burke, a traditionalist American prelate who has worked in senior positions in Rome for most of the past decade and has consistently opposed the Pope’s reforms ever since Francis was elected in 2013, says he’s not the Pope’s enemy.

Francis eventually moved Burke out of key Vatican jobs and into a more ceremonial post as patron to the Knights of Malta, an apparent downgrade that both Burke and the pope insist wasn’t tied to the cardinal’s criticisms.

But Burke, a former archbishop of St. Louis who has a devoted following among conservatives, has continued to use his Roman platform to speak his mind.

He did that again most recently in a book-length interview in which he hits many of the themes that have drawn attention in the past: critiquing “radical feminism” and homosexuality (“a wounding of nature,” he calls it) as well as the “secularization” and moral relativism that he says have infected society and the Catholic Church.

The reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s are also a recurrent target, as he again champions a return to the old Latin Mass and voices nostalgia for the Catholicism of his boyhood (Burke says that he first felt a tug to the priesthood at the age of 8).

The cardinal also has a provocative new take on Islam, which he said “wants to govern the world.”

Notably absent from the book, however, and from direct criticism, is Francis himself.

Throughout the extended interview with French journalist Guillaume d’Alançon, which was published under the title, “Hope for the World: To Unite All Things in Christ,” Burke approvingly and frequently cites Saint John Paul II, the pope who named him a bishop back in 1995, and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who brought him to Rome in 2008 and made him a cardinal two years later.

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News category: World.

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