Pope Francis continues to shake up the Vatican establishment. This time, in what observers are calling a major move, he reshuffled the membership of the Congregation for Bishops, one of the most important organizations in the Vatican.
In the biggest shakeup announced on Monday, Francis removed Cardinal Raymond L. Burke from the group and replaced him with another American, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C..
Burke is known as an outspoken critic of abortion and gay marriage. In fact, in an interview with EWTN on Dec. 12, Burke disagreed with Francis about how much the Catholic leadership should talk about the issues.
"One gets the impression, or it's interpreted this way in the media, that he thinks we're talking too much about abortion, too much about the integrity of marriage as between one man and one woman," Cardinal Burke said. "But we can never talk enough about that."
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Comments from Very Reverend Paul Beach, Judicial Vicar of the Archdiocese of Louisville concerning this article:
I would caution anyone who reads this article, that the presupposition is made to appear that the Holy Father acted singularly to "remove" Cardinal Burke from his role at the Congregation for Bishops. This is a bit misleading. Cardinal Burke, like the other cardinals who serve as consultors to this disastery, was appointed for a definite term. The non-renewal of that term should not necessarily be considered a vote of non-confidence in any of the cardinals, whether individually or as a group. The appointment of Cardinal Wuerl of Washington, DC - which NPR is doing its best to interpret as a political move representative of what they see as yet more evidence of rupture between Francis and his predecessors - is simply one of MANY appointments that has been made in the Roman Curia at the usual time and in the usual manner. To me there is nothing extraordinary about this, except that it provides yet another example of how the public media is taking this pontificate as an opportunity to foster rupture and division amongst Catholics who do not understand fully the interior functioning of the Church on a day-to-day basis. I provide below the FULL list of appointments made by Pope Francis for the Congregation for Bishops. I would point out that the Holy Father has made an equal number of appointments for members of many other congregations whose terms of service have expired in recent weeks...
Vatican City, 16 December 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father:
- confirmed Cardinal Marc Ouellet as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;
- appointed the following as members of the same dicastery:
Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico; Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, U.S.A.; Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez, archbishop of Bogota, Colombia; Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life; Archbishop Pietro Parolin, secretary of State; Archbishop Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy; Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops; Archbishop Vincent Gerard Nichols of Westminster, Great Britain; Archbishop Paolo Rabitti, emeritus of Ferrara-Comacchio, Italy; Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia-Citta della Pieve, Italy; Bishop Felix Genn of Munster, Germany;
- confirmed the following as members of the same dicastery:
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Cardinal George Pell, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, Cardinal Francesco Monterisi, Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, Cardinal Jose Octavio Ruiz Arenas, and Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski.