Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington was named by Pope Francis to the Vatican committee that selects new bishops. The Pope removed Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, a favorite among Conservatives, from the Congregation for Bishops.
The New York Times reports:
“He is saying that you don’t need to be a conservative to become a bishop,” said Alberto Melloni, the director of the John XXIII Foundation for Religious Studies in Bologna, Italy, a liberal Catholic research institute.
“He wants good bishops, regardless of how conservative or liberal they are.” Cardinal Burke, who came to the Vatican in 2008 after serving as archbishop of St. Louis, is a favorite of many conservative Catholics in the United States for his upholding of church rites and traditions favored by Pope Benedict XVI.
Cardinal Burke’s preference for the long train of billowing red silk known as cappa magna, and other such vestments, has, however, made him seem out of step with Francis, who has made it clear through example that he prefers more humble attire.
Last week, Cardinal Burke also seemed to create more substantive daylight between himself and the pope, giving an interview in which he raised concerns about comments by Francis that the church should reduce the focus on abortion and same-sex marriage.
Pope Francis is not afraid to shake things up in order to promote change in a system which has long failed the poor and downtrodden.
Image: The AP