Though it has been only a rumor until now, and has not yet been announced by the Vatican, a close associate of Cardinal Raymond Burke has told Breitbart News that the rumors of his departure are true, and the announcement is expected soon.
The source said Burke has been told he is out as head of the Apostolic Signatura and that he will assume the position of chaplain to the Order of Malta, a do-gooding organization of wealthy and sometimes European-titled Catholics.
Burke is a darling of Catholic conservatives around the world, having taken strong positions against pro-abortion politicians receiving communion, holding firm on traditional liturgy, and even excommunicating women who have tried to become ordained priests.
The source also told Breitbart News that the Pope did not ask Cardinal Burke where he wanted to go, which would have been a friendly gesture to someone the Pope wanted out of the powerful position in what could be considered Chief Justice of the Vatican Supreme Court.
In recent weeks, Burke has been outspoken that the upcoming planning session for the Synod of Bishops cannot change Church teaching on marriage. He went so far as to co-author a book with other Cardinals making this clear, something that puts Burke at odds with some of the closer associates of Pope Francis.
The source added, “Cardinal Burke wasn’t even asked. He could have been given a diocese somewhere. As chaplain to Malta he has no role in the governance of the Church. This is just mean. He’s been given a ceremonial role that usually goes to an 80 year old in his retirement and not to a 66 year old man in his prime.”
Burke’s firing would come almost a year after Pope Francis removed Cardinal Burke from the powerful Vatican committee that chooses Bishops around the world. It was here that Burke had the strongest influence.