Cardinal Raymond Burke : Vatican removes Burke from key post

Cardinal Raymond Burke : Vatican removes Burke from key post

Cardinal Raymond Burke, who championed campaigns to deny Communion to Catholic politicians who support legalized abortion, was removed by Pope Francis from another top Vatican post on Saturday.

The removal of Burke as head of the Holy See’s supreme court was widely expected in church circles.

In an interview with a Spanish magazine last month, Burke, known for his unbending interpretation of doctrine, compared the Catholic Church under Francis to “a ship without a rudder”.

At a meeting of bishops from around the world last month, Burke was the flag-bearer for conservatives opposed to the Church adopting a more welcoming attitude towards homosexuals.

Burke has publicly clashed with the pope several times since the Argentine pontiff’s election in 2013 and Vatican sources have said the pope saw Burke’s outspokenness as part of the so-called “culture wars” among Catholics that he wants to avoid.

During the synod, Burke assailed German Cardinal Walter Kasper, who had argued that the Church should modify teachings that ban Catholics who have divorced and then remarried in civil services from receiving communion.

Burke was also highly critical of an interim synod document that had talked more positively of homosexuals than ever before in Church history.

Shocked by the language, Burke and other conservative bishops spearheaded a campaign that led to a much watered-down version in the gathering’s final statement.

It was the second time in less than a year that the pope had sidelined Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis. Last December he removed Burke from the board of the influential Vatican department that handles the appointment of bishops.

Burke said last month he would be disappointed to leave his post at the top Vatican court, which oversees the administration of justice in the Church and hears appeals from lower Church tribunals, but would obey the pope’s orders.