Congratulations Archbp. Burke!

I was sadly happy to read this morning that Archbp. Burke has been, as I suspected he would be, named by His Holiness as Prefect of the Signatura.

Sadly happy, I say, because the loss of Archbishop Burke as an ordinary in the USA will be the Universal Church’s gain.

I am also happy because now Archbishop Burke will be made, God willing and soon, a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church.  Being fairly young yet, he will perhaps have a say in the next conclave – though I hope that that will be many years from now.

Also, I suspect he may show up from time to time to pontificate at Ss. Trinta dei Pellegrini!

Congratulations, Archbishop Burke!  Ad multos annos!

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  1. Graham says:

    An excellent appointment, well deserved – a loss to the local church in the United States but I gain to the Universal Church.

  2. The Pledger says:

    Pope Raymond I!!

  3. RichR says:

    Burke is one of my heroes. May God grace him in this new duty.

  4. Paul Haley says:

    Even though I congratulate Archbishop Burke on his appointment, I shudder to think what it might mean to the archdiocese here in the US. Hopefully, the holy father will find a suitable candidate to carry on in the footsteps of the good archbishop for such an important see.

  5. Paul Murnane says:

    “Sadly happy” gets it about right. He will be of great service to the universal Church. It does leave a large hole in the US episcopate; he was one of the few who would truly lead in a very public way. May his example inspire his successor as well as all of the US bishops.

  6. Craigmaddie says:

    What will his duties be as Prefect of the Signatura?

  7. Pater, OSB says:

    Fr. Z,
    Have there been any rumblings of when the next consistory might be held for the creation of cardinals?

  8. Mary Jane says:

    Okay, I’ll ask. What’s the Prefect of the Signatura?

  9. KK says:

    Are you planning on starting a separate post for speculation on his replacement or should we do it here? :-)

  10. KK says:

    Mary Jane: I think it’s akin to being named Chief Justice of the Supreme Court without having to worry about it being derailed in the Senate.

  11. Papabile says:

    The most interesting thing is that H.E. Burke published a Decree of Interdict today.

  12. Wm. Christopher Hoag says:

    May our Lady shower Archbishop Burke with graces as he moves on to his new appointment!

    However, as a Marian Catechist, I am very sorry to see our National Director depart us. I am certain that Fr. John Hardon, may he rest in peace, is pleased with this development.

  13. Patrick says:

    Rest assured the archdiocese of St. Louis will be handed to a very capable bishop. I am sure that Archbishop Burke has provided a “short list” of good candidates. Bishop Finn might be a likely candidate. He grew up in St. Louis, was ordained a priest there and left 3 years ago to head Kansas City. Bishop Morlino in Wisconsin is also “up and coming”. He won’t be in Madison forever.

    Archbishop Burke will certainly get a red hat at the first consistory.

    Let us pray that the red hat might be followed someday by a white one!

  14. RBrown says:

    Rest assured the archdiocese of St. Louis will be handed to a very capable bishop. I am sure that Archbishop Burke has provided a “short list” of good candidates. Bishop Finn might be a likely candidate. He grew up in St. Louis, was ordained a priest there and left 3 years ago to head Kansas City. Bishop Morlino in Wisconsin is also “up and coming”. He won’t be in Madison forever.

    I doubt that Abp Burke has provided any list of candidates. And Bp Finn is an unlikely candidate because he is from St Louis. Because of the current mess, usually Rome doesn’t want home grown bishops.

    Cardinal Rigali will have a lot to say about the new man in St Louis.

    Let us pray that the red hat might be followed someday by a white one!
    Comment by Patrick


  15. Scott W. says:

    First American Pope? Dare we think it?

  16. Fr. A says:

    Can we please stop the talk of the “next” pope while the current occupant of the See of Peter is still gloriously reigning.

  17. Hidden One says:

    May Abp. Burke’s replacement in St. Louis be no less a blessing to the Church as Abp. Burke.

  18. William of the Old says:

    FYI——–Next Thursday, July 3rd, two seminarians will be ordained as ICKSP priests by His Grace, Archbishop Burke, at the Institute’s seminary in Griciliano.

  19. Emilio III says:

    From the Archdiocese website:

    Today, at noon in Rome (5 a.m. CDT), it was announced that His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, has named me prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, effective immediately. With the announcement, I ceased to be the Archbishop of St. Louis.

    I am deeply humbled by the trust which His Holiness has placed in me, and, in priestly obedience, I have pledged to serve our Holy Father to the best of my abilities. Although you will no longer pray for me as your archbishop, especially during the celebration of the Holy Mass, I ask your prayers for me, that I may faithfully and generously cooperate with God’s grace in fulfilling my new responsibilities.

    Leaving the service of the Church in the Archdiocese of St. Louis is most sad for me. It has been an honor and gift for me to serve the archdiocese over the past four years and five months. It had been my hope to serve here for a long time, but, as the bishop who called me to priestly ordination often remarked, “Man proposes, but God disposes.” I trust that doing what our Holy Father has asked me to do will bring blessings to the Archdiocese of St. Louis and to me. St. Louis is a great archdiocese which will always have a treasured place in my heart.

    In a particular way, I am saddened to leave my fellow priests, whom I have so much grown to esteem and love. Often, I have spoken about the remarkable unity and loyalty of our presbyterate. For me, it has been a special grace to work with them in the service of God’s flock in the archdiocese. I thank them for the priestly fraternity which they have always shown me, and for the generous obedience with which they have responded to my pastoral care and governance of our beloved archdiocese.

    With regard to the governance of the archdiocese, the College of Consultors will meet to elect an archdiocesan administrator who, with the help of the consultors, will govern the archdiocese, until the new archbishop is appointed and installed. Please pray for the College of Consultors and for the archdiocesan administrator whom they will elect.

    Again, I ask your prayers. You can count upon my daily prayers for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, always.

  20. Louis E. says:

    The next consistory will likely be some time between July 2009 and February 2011…forecasting based on when sitting Cardinals will age out of the electorate.

  21. Patrick says:


    The Pope wears a white “hat”.

  22. LCB says:

    Concerning the possible “White Hat” of His Awesomeness Abp. Burke (that’s my title for him), I am counting on Benedict to gloriously reign for 20 more years, and as such Abp. Burke never serving as a Cardinal Elector.

    “What will his duties be as Prefect of the Signatura?
    Comment by Craigmaddie — 27 June 2008 @ 10:16 am”

    Kicking butt and taking names, but with a pastoral concern for the salvation of souls.

    As for who will replace him– that will certainly be interesting to watch. St. Louis, in many senses, is a premier see. It’s seminary is overflowing, vocations are up, financially it is stable, Church attendance is solid, the population of the area is growing, and then there is St. Louis University. Burke has largely cleared out any problems in recent years (making liberal use of excommunication!), has tempered the troublesome University, and has finished the good works begun many years ago by Cdl. Rigali. All that in less than 5 years… yikes.

    If anyone is rejoicing without sadness, it is almost surely the folks at SLU. Out of all the bishops likely to revoke the Catholicity of a Jesuit University, there can be little doubt that Abp. Burke wouldn’t hesitate to do so if he felt it necessary. Especially after they successful argued in court (in a storied lawsuit from… the freemasons!) that they were not actually a Catholic University, and as such could receive extensive state funding for building a basketball arena.

    IMHO, Ft. Wayne-South Bend was just replace as the most-watched appointment hotspot. I just wonder who Kingmaker Rigali has in mind for his old home.

  23. Cerimoniere says:

    It has often been remarked that episcopal appointments in the present pontificate have shown considerable deference to the opinions of the sees’ previous occupants. Naturally, Cardinal Rigali’s voice will be heard strongly, given his connection to the diocese and his position on the Congregation for Bishops. However, it can hardly be imagined that Archbishop Burke’s opinion will be ignored; especially not by him in his hands the final decision lies.

    Two other tangential thoughts: (1) With this appointment, the Holy Roman Church will gain in due course another ceremonially-competent Cardinal Deacon, as well as wise, orthodox and fearless head for the Signatura. (2) The See of Palestrina has been vacant for over six weeks. Frascati was filled by the obvious appointment of Cardinal Bertone within about three weeks after Cardinal Lopez Trujillo died. Does anyone else think it’s noteworthy that Cardinal Levada wasn’t named rather quickly, given that he’s obviously the senior curial head not already a Cardinal Bishop?

  24. Andrew says:

    This is great news!!! May the Triune God ever more make him holy and sanctify Abp. Burke and the Blessed Mother Mary and St. Joseph protect him from any harm. Ditto for the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

    Fr. Z…any chance (however remote) Bishop Bruskewitz will head to St. Louise?

  25. RBrown says:

    The Pope wears a white “hat”.
    Comment by Patrick

    I spent 8 years in Rome–I know the pope wears white.

    The “Huh?” was directed at you wanting Abp Burke to be pope and expecting others to agree with you.

  26. RBrown says:

    It has often been remarked that episcopal appointments in the present pontificate have shown considerable deference to the opinions of the sees’ previous occupants.
    Comment by Cerimoniere

    For example, who?

  27. Thurifer says:

    If I got to submit the terna (in Roccoesque): Your Fluffiness, please consider the dorsal, or perhaps parry the liberals with this appointment, or finally the heart of a lion might be in order.

  28. Adam says:

    I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if the suburbican see of Palestrina was given to Cardinal Ruini as a retirement present. There is certinly precedence for the Cardinal Vicar of Rome (and archpriest of the Lateran Basilica) to join the rank of cardinal bishops – Cardinal Micara comes to mind.

  29. Rob says:

    With the impending suppression of Boston’s Holy Trinty Church, next Monday (6/30/08) and the recent response from the Apostolic Signatura regarding the appeals of eight closed Boston area parishes as “clearly lacking any basis”, many in the Boston area have questioned whether the Apostolic Signatura seriously looked at the merit of any of the eight individual appeals.
    It was the impression of many in Boston that these appeals were simply “rubber stamped” by the Apostolic Signatura to facilitate Cardinal O’Malley’s sad policy of “reconfiguration” that has followed in the closure of 65 parishes since May 2004. With Archbishop Burke’s appointment positive change may likely occur.
    As you well know, Holy Trinity Church remains and important icon of both the historic and cultural patrimony for the Church in Boston and New England, yet all proposals to preserve this venerable House of God continue to be dismissed by Archdiocese of Boston. Ironically, his unfortunate suppression will occur the very year the Archdiocese of Boston celebrates its Bicentennial.
    The parishioners of Holy Trinity will likely appeal to the Apostolic Signatura, as was the case of other closed parishes. Much of our case may focus on the importance of Holy Trinity’s historic and continued role with regard to Church’s cultural patrimony in New England. Assistance may be requested from the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church. If such a case is properly presented, it could clearly demonstrate how Holy Trinity’s preservation transcends any parochialist argument. I understand one of the Apostolic Signatura’s criticisms of the eight recently rejected appeals was that those parishes generally put parochial interest before the universal mission of the Church.
    Perhaps, with Archbishop Burke’s keen interest in the Benedictine reform, he may be encouraged to look a little closer at Holy Trinity’s case and how it could benefit the whole. It is ready to go for not only continued celebration of the Extraordinary Form, but an entire parish life centered around its spirituality. With Archbishop Burke’s direction, may he fairly evaluate the merit of several potential proposals we have already presented to the Archdiocese. This ultimately could ensure Holy Trinity’s presence for future generations.
    Let’s pray for His Excellency’s effectiveness in his new assignment, despite the sad loss for the folks in St. Louis. St. Robert Bellermine pray for us.

  30. Patrick says:


    Re: Bruskewitz

    Probably 0% chance. Bishop Bruskewitz is almost 73. He would have to resign in 2 years. It’s probably very likely that he’ll finish oput in Lincoln…but who knows?

  31. Patrick says:


    Sorry. I wasn’t clear on what you meant by “Huh?”

    Perhaps I’m misreading you, but it seems that you are critical of and/or annoyed by my statement. Yes, I think Archbishop Burke would be a good Pope. And yes, I would hope others would agree with me in that. It was not meant as a serious proposal, but a light-hearted remark. Lighten-up a little.

  32. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Bp. David Ricken of Cheyenne would be a fitting replacement in St. Louis. So far in his tenure both the new Wyoming Catholic College and a new Carmelite monastery have begun new ministries. Bp. Ricken is only 55 years old.

  33. Cerimoniere says:

    Mr. Brown: For example, I’ve seen it suggested that Cardinal Levada’s suggestion in favour of Archbishop Niederauer carried much weight. With what level of truth, of course, I have no idea.

    Adam: Cardinal Micara remained as Vicar of Rome till his death; it was hardly a retirement post. Is there any precedent for a retired cardinal to be named to a suburbicarian see? Also, it would be a good idea if a situation didn’t develop whereby all the Cardinal Bishops were likely to be over 80 at any given time.

  34. a blessing for the Church at large. Let us pray for Abp. Burke in his new position.

  35. PMcGrath says:

    I’m sorry, but this is very disappointing. Why? Because we needed him to shake up another one of the American archdioceses the way he shook up St. Louis!

    Cardinal Egan should have been made Prefect of the Signatura, and Burke should have succeeded him at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Imagine Burke’s patient faith and adherence to tradition, plus his media savvy, in the media capital of the world!

    Or, imagine him undoing the mess in Los Angeles!

    And now — poof! I’m sorry, but this was a missed opportunity.

  36. Adam says:

    Cardinal Etchegaray was appointed cardinal bishop of Porto-Santa Rufina after he retired from the Roman Curia. Besides, does it matter if most of the cardinal bishops are over 80?

  37. Louis E. says:

    If ALL the cardinal-bishops are over 80 no one qualifies to preside over the conclave.”Most” is no problem.

  38. Cerimoniere says:

    Adam: I hadn’t realised that; thank you. That’s interesting.

    The problem with the age of the Cardinal Bishops is as Louis notes. The Dean and Subdean must be Cardinal Bishops. The Dean presides over the Conclave, or the Subdean in his absence. Otherwise, the presidency descends by seniority through the Cardinals. If no Cardinal Bishops qualify at all, then presumably the senior Cardinal Priest present would preside.

    While this doesn’t create any practical problem, as far as I know, it does rather make a mockery of the office of Dean, if none of those eligible to hold the office is eligible to perform one of its most important functions. Given that the office is very ancient and current law continues to preserve it, it may be good for appointments of new Cardinal Bishops to take account of how many of the incumbents are already approaching (or over) 80, and how close they are to that age.

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