(Rome) Since last September there have been rumors, now it has become reality. Pope Francis has removed the US Cardinal Raymond Burke as Cardinal Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura and appointed him Cardinal Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Thus, the cardinal is removed from Church leadership, to which he belonged as head of the Supreme Court.
The punitive action against the unpopular opponent by Pope Francis took place shortly before the start of Bishops' Synod about the family in the space following when Cardinal Burke emerged in the months previous as one of the leaders of the defense of the Church's marriage and morality against the "opening" mottos of Cardinal Kasper (see Malta Exile? Final Papal Purge of Cardinal Burke? ). The threat did not intimidate the Cardinal a but. Rather, he was the most visible opponent of the new course supported by Pope Francis at the Synod of Bishops. With sharp words the Cardinal Burke also criticized outside the Synod Hall, the procedure of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, but also of the pope (see Cardinal Burke: Pope has "Done a lot of Damage" - Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura Confirmed Impending Dismissal as Pope: "Who am I, to judge? "- Burke:" We need to judge acts " ).
Vindictive Retaliation by Pope
Only a few weeks after the completion of the Synod of Bishops the "sending away" of the cardinal appears as revenge and retaliation by Pope Francis. So the reigning pope seems to have acted in quite a hurry. On November 3, just 15 days after the end of the Synod, he approved a Rescriptum of the Cardinal Secretary of State, with the retirement provisions for bishops and cardinals eligible for papal nomination were tightened. It entered into force on 5 November, and the Rescriptum required all Cardinals over 75 (except Cardinal Prefects of the Roman Curia) to immediately offer their resignations.
This also affected the previous patron of the Order of Malta, Cardinal Paolo Sardi. The resignation offered by Cardinal Sardi was immediately accepted by the Pope, thus clearing a space, to which Cardinal Burke could be deported in an "elegant" way to a management function in the Roman Curia with an honorary function.
Praise of Benedict XVI. Did Not Help
The demonstrative praise of Benedict XVI. from his self-imposed exile in a greeting message to the International Pilgrimage of Tradition where the celebrant in St. Peter's Basilica in the Old Rite was Cardinal Burke on October 26, describing "great cardinals," did not help.
The dismissal of one of the most prominent and recent cardinals of the Catholic Church is an affront for a significant part of the universal Church, which is intended by the papal retaliation that Cardinal Burke will be punished.
The measure has confirmed some Argentine voices, which described Jorge Mario Bergoglio since his election as the head of the Church, as very resentful and would not to tolerate criticism of his person and opposition to his plans. They also confirmed that Pope Francis is the actual director behind the "new Mercy", which was represented by Cardinal Kasper as a spokesman.
By deposing Burke from his post as head of a dicastry, he can no longer participate ex officio at the Synod of Bishops on the family in the coming year. Pope Francis has silenced the Cardinal with his "reshuffle" in the Synod. It's a signal that the Argentine Church leader seems willing to make up for in 2015, that which has not been achieved at the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in 2014 and to push through his "new mercy". A "new Mercy", which can be very cruel.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
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