It's been in the news. Now it has been confirmed. As of this past weekend, Raymond Leo Burke, America's highest-ranking cardinal at the Vatican, was officially removed from the Vatican's Supreme Court, and demoted to chaplain of the Knights of Malta, where he will reign with much less responsibility. The ultra-Conservative and anti-gay cardinal, continuously challenges the jurisdiction of Pope Francis, and the Catholic Church's new receptive stance on homosexuality.
How ironic it is to find the demoted cardinal is from the United States. What does that say about America - that even the Catholic Church and a pope are ahead of so many anti-LGBT lawmakers and extremists in this country.
Weeks after taking office in 2013, Pope Francis asked, 'Who am I to judge?' speaking of the LGBT community. Since then, he has had great support for his progressive views, and of course, great opposition. Raymond Burke is one of the pope's strongest opponents. The 66 year-old Burke believes homosexuality is, 'always and everywhere wrong [and] evil,' and continuously questioned the authority of Pope Francis, now 77. Burke told Buzzfeed in October:
“The pope is not free to change the church’s teachings with regard to the immorality of homosexual acts or the insolubility of marriage or any other doctrine of the faith.”
Apparently the Pope is free, at minimum, to encourage change. This is one more reason why so many free-thinkers in America, and in other countries love Pope Francis.
Raymond Burke is also staunchly outspoken with his anti-choice views. He once protested well-known pro-choice advocate, Sheryl Crow, for performing at a benefit concert. Burke stated:
"A Catholic institution featuring a performer who promotes moral evil gives the impression that the church is somehow inconsistent in its teaching."
Many of us love these new Catholic Church 'inconsistencies,' Burke denounces. They represent the over-due distancing of archaic religious dogma that drove many people away from the church.
As a pro-choice Liberal woman, I cannot end this diary, in good conscience, without conveying my hope that Pope Francis will vocally extend his progressive efforts to defend the reproductive rights of women, as well as women's position in the church. One step at a time. Meanwhile, here's to a great pope and a great man, who continues to be a breath of fresh air for many, many people around the world.
h/t Karen H