Pope Francis has reappointed Cardinal Raymond Burke to the Apostolic Signatura, nearly three years after removing him as prefect.
The Holy See announced that the American cardinal had been appointed as a member, or adviser, of the Vatican’s highest court. Its current prefect is Cardinal Dominique Mamberti.
The court, which has a role similar to that of a supreme court, aims to safeguard the administration of justice in the Church around the world. It is subject only to the Pope.
Cardinal Burke served as prefect of the court for six years before being removed in 2014 and appointed cardinal patron of the Order of Malta, a largely ceremonial post. It was highly unusual at the time to remove such a high-ranking cardinal without assigning him comparable responsibilities elsewhere.
Cardinal Burke was one of four cardinals who signed the dubia requesting clarification from Pope Francis of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Last month he told Catholic News Agency he was wrongly depicted as an “enemy” of Francis but that a response to the dubia was urgently needed because of the “harm done to souls by confusion and error”.
The urgency, he said, “weighs very heavily on my heart”. He has also proposed issuing a formal “correction” of the Pope. He told the National Catholic Register in August that a formal declaration on areas of doctrine that were no longer clear under Francis was “now necessary”.
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