Burke is back – Pope reappoints dubia cardinal

Pope Francis has reappointed Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke to the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court.

Burke had earlier served as a prefect of the court for six years. It is nearly three years since Francis removed him.

Over that time Francis has removed or failed to reappoint Burke as a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, which are responsible for liturgical policy.

Burke is often seen in the media criticising Francis on key points, especially in relation to the possibility (as expressed in Amoris Laetitia, the pope’s encyclical on family life) that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics might be able to receive holy communion.

Burke was also one of four cardinals who sent Francis a list of questions called dubia, asking for clarity on aspects of Amoris Laetitia to settle what they called “grave confusion”.

While there’s little indication the disagreement over Amoris Laetitia has subsided, both Francis and Burke say impressions of a rupture between them are overblown.

Burke recently described media depictions of conflict between himself and the pontiff as a “caricature.”

“They depict Pope Francis as a wonderful, open person and there’s nothing wrong with that, but they depict me as just the opposite,” he says.

“It’s meant in a certain way to advance their own agenda, but the pope is actually not in favour of their agenda.”

“They’re making a caricature of someone who’s asking for clarity about certain matters, they’re saying ‘well, he’s the enemy of the pope’ and he’s trying to build opposition to the pope, which of course isn’t the case at all,” Burke says.


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