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Cardinal Raymond BurkeLifeSiteNews

VATICAN CITY, October 2, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis has reinstated Cardinal Burke as a member of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court.

Cardinal Burke, dismissed as Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura nearly three years ago, has been appointed to the court alongside Archbishop Frans Daneels, Bishop Willibrordus Maria Hendriks, Cardinal Edoardo Menichelli and Cardinal Agostino Vallini.

According to the Rorate Caeli blog, Cardinal Burke is taking  a comparatively minor role in the Signatura. As Prefect, he served for six years before his dismissal in 2014. Then in February of this year it was stated that he was also “suspended” as the cardinal patron of the Order of Malta.

Dr Joseph Shaw, the spokesman for the signers of the Filial Correction, believes that this appointment is a “small step in his [Cardinal Burke’s] rehabilitation as an active member of the Curia.” 

Shaw told LifeSiteNews that the importance of this appointment shouldn’t be exaggerated. However, the scholar said that it was “an indication of the common sense of Pope Francis and his advisors” not to let a churchman as skilled and experienced as Cardinal Burke “go to waste.” 

Shaw notes that the first and “smaller” step in this rehabilitation was when Burke was chosen to adjudicate the sexual misconduct case involving Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana in Guam.  “He’s a trusted person to do this sort of thing,” Shaw said. 

When asked if there may be some hidden agenda in this appointment, Shaw laughed. “Curial politics are terribly complicated,” he said. “It could be merely a matter of someone desperate to fill a position.”

A champion of doctrinal orthodoxy and traditional liturgy, Cardinal Burke has the highest profile of the critics of Pope Francis’ post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

The impact that this move might have on a possible imminent correction of Pope Francis by the two surviving Dubia cardinals may now become a major concern for supporters of the Dubia.

Rorate Caeli responded to the development, 

Why would the Pope appoint Burke as a minor member with an almost advisory role to the same Court from which he had been summarily dismissed by Francis himself from the position of Prefect (President, Chief Judge) just three years ago? The same Burke absolutely humiliated in his position as Prelate to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta?

It is a classic move. Not of Catholicity, but of Italian power politics.