Only got a few minutes here so I’ll make it quick.
Pope Francis has removed the conservative US Cardinal Raymond L. Burke from the Congregation of Bishops in Rome.
Cardinal Burke was taken off the Congregation for Bishops, which is the group most responsible for deciding who becomes a bishop in the future. He is being replaced by the far more moderate Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington. With this move, it’s a clear sign that Pope Francis wants a change in the ideological base with which the church chooses its Bishops.
Burke was one of the Bishops that in the past had suggested that Catholic politicians who supported women’s rights to reproductive freedom should be prevented from taking Communion.
From the Milwaukee, WI Journal-Sentinal:
Burke and retired Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali were among more than a dozen members of the Vatican old guard who were removed from the 18-member congregation on Monday.
Among those appointed was Washington, D.C., Cardinal Donald Wuerl. While conservative, Wuerl is seen as a bridge-builder and less dogmatic than Burke, who has promoted the denial of communion to pro-abortion rights Catholic politicians and in recent interviews appeared to question the new pope’s plans to reshape the Vatican bureaucracy known as the curia.
Monday’s appointments are seen as the key to securing Francis’ legacy.
Burke was definitely in Francis’ way to doing whatever reforms he intends to do:
In a recent interview with EWTN, a U.S.-based Catholic cable network that spotlights conservative views, Burke questioned Francis’ ability to reform the Vatican bureaucracy.
“The service of the Roman Curia is part of the very nature of the church, and so that has to be respected,” Burke said.
“I can’t imagine that somehow the Roman Curia is going to take on a completely different figure. It just doesn’t make sense,” Burke said. The interview was broadcast Thursday as the centerpiece of a program that highlighted concerns about the direction of the church since Francis was elected in March.
Francis’ own top collaborators, namely a “kitchen cabinet” of eight cardinals he tapped to help him change the Vatican’s Byzantine and often scandal-ridden ways, have said that the old curial system “is over,” as one put it, and will be replaced by “something different.
So this is encouraging. I’m still a very long way from darkening the threshold of the church any time soon, but this is a badly needed start on returning the Catholic Church to its actual Christian roots and mission.
Also, too, open thread.