And so the shoe has dropped. From today’s Bolletino.
Nomina del Patrono del Sovrano Militare Ordine di Malta
Il Santo Padre ha nominato Patrono del Sovrano Militare Ordine di Malta l’Em.mo Card. Raymond Leo Burke, finora Prefetto del Supremo Tribunale della Segnatura Apostolica.
Nomina del Prefetto del Supremo Tribunale della Segnatura Apostolica
Il Papa ha nominato Prefetto del Supremo Tribunale della Segnatura Apostolica S.E. Mons. Dominique Mamberti, Arcivescovo titolare di Sagona, finora Segretario per i Rapporti con gli Stati.
His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke is now Patron of the Knights of Malta. This is not the usual way of doing things, as it has been pointed out before. First, the position is usually saved for a Cardinal who is in the twilight of his career… although during this pontificate this may still be true. Keep in mind that, since His Eminence is pretty young for a Cardinal, in the next pontificate, another Pope could snap his fingers and make Burke Prefect of a Congregation. Second, now that Card. Burke is no longer the Prefect of a Dicastery, he is far freer to act and to speak than he was before. So far as I know, the Cardinal has retained, for now, his appointments to certain Congregations.
As far as Card. Burke’s successor at the Signatura is concerned, I suspect that His Excellency Archbp. Mamberti hasn’t seen a marriage case, or any other canonical process, for a while. He has been working as a diplomat for quite some time. He comes to his new role from the Secretariat of State. He will no doubt bring a … fresh perspective to the role.
That said, at Aletheia Card. Burke has his best interview to date:
Cardinal Burke: “I Don’t Ever Put Myself in Opposition to the Successor of St. Peter”
He makes some clarifications about suggestions that he has made himself an opponent of Pope Francis. They go along the lines that you might imagine but with real clarity. I pass over those here. You can read them there. I found of much greater interest his comments about the Synod. My emphases:
At the Synod, when the interim report came out, some said it was a disaster.
It was a total disaster.
The final report noted the need for “sensitivity to the positive aspects” of civil marriages and, “with obvious differences, cohabitation.” The Church, it says, “needs to indicate the constructive elements in these situations.” The paragraph, number 41, passed the requisite two-thirds majority. Do you find it disturbing that this paragraph gained a two-thirds majority among the bishops?
The language is at best confused, and I’m afraid that some of the Synod Fathers may not have reflected sufficiently on the implications of that, or maybe because the language is confused, didn’t understand completely what was being said. But that is disturbing for me. And then the whole matter: that even though [certain] paragraphs were removed, and rightly so, although contrary to practice in the past the document was printed with those paragraphs included, and one had to go and look at the votation to see that certain paragraphs had been removed. It’s disturbing to me that even those sections which were voted to be removed still received a substantial number of votes.
Juridically, when those three paragraphs did not receive the two-thirds majority, were they to be removed from the document?
Absolutely. We couldn’t have any discussion on that text, but we voted paragraph by paragraph, and what’s the point of voting paragraph by paragraph except to either accept a paragraph of have it removed. This is just one more disturbing aspect about the way in which Synod of Bishops was conducted.
Do you see this agenda continuing through the coming year? They aren’t going to change course?
No, because the General Secretary [the former titular Archbp. of Diocletiana, Card. Baldisseri] has identified himself very strongly with the Kasper thesis, and he is not hesitant to say so and has gone around also giving talks in various places. He’s less outspoken than Cardinal Kasper but nevertheless it’s clear that he subscribes to that school. So no, this is going to go on and that’s why it’s important that we continue to speak up and to act as we are able to address the situation.
Now that Card. Burke is no longer the head of dicastery, it is doubtful that he will be appointed by Pope Francis to the next Synod in 2015.
That does not mean that he has been silenced.
I, for one, congratulate Card. Burke on his appointment and for the loosing of his leash.