Does Vatican Spokesman Consider Cardinal Burke a “Dissenter”?


Father Tom Rosica, frequent official voice of the Vatican and Pope Francis, has sent out a tweet that seems to suggest the Vatican considers American Cardinal Raymond Burke a dissenter from Church teaching.

“Dissenter” is a word loaded with negative meaning in the Catholic world. It implies the person disagrees with a fundamental teaching of the Church.

Rosica’s tweet was a link to an interview Cardinal Donald Wuerl gave to the Italian newspaper La Stampa that some think was a criticism of his fellow American Cardinal, who was recently demoted by Pope Francis from head of the Vatican Supreme Court to the largely ceremonial role as chaplain to the Order of Malta. Wuerl is Archbishop of Washington, D.C., and one of the most powerful men in the Church in America.

In the interview, Cardinal Wuerl used the word “dissenter” to describe those who have criticized some of the things Pope Francis said on issues such as the economy and the environment, among others. Though Cardinal Wuerl did not name Cardinal Burke, the headline writer did, and so did Father Rosica in his tweet.

It could very well be that Father Rosica did not mean to imply that Cardinal Burke is a dissenter from Church teaching.

Nonetheless, Catholics would probably like to know. Does the Vatican consider Cardinal Burke in any way a dissenter?


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