Pope demotes anti-gay Cardinal who thinks homophobia is ‘perfectly just’
The Pope has ousted notoriously homophobic US Cardinal Raymond Burke from his senior role, it has been confirmed.
The Cardinal, a former Archbishop of St Louis, is known as one of the most extreme anti-gay figures in the Catholic church – just last week calling for parents to keep their children away from gay relatives.
He was removed from the Vatican Committee last year in favour of the less outspoken Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, but continued to head the influential Apostolic Signatura within the church – effectively second in command on doctrine.
However, he has confirmed that he has now been ousted from that role as well, after rumours last month that he would leave after clashing with the Pope on reform issues.
He told Buzzfeed that he will be demoted to a ceremonial role, saying: “I very much have enjoyed and have been happy to give this service, so it is a disappointment to leave it.
“On the other hand, in the church as priests, we always have to be ready to accept whatever assignment we’re given. And so I trust, by accepting this assignment, I trust that God will bless me, and that’s what’s in the end most important.
“Even though I would have liked to have continued to work in the Apostolic Signatura, I’ll give myself to whatever is the new work that I’m assigned to.”
He warned: “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.”
Cardinal Burke, who believes gay people are “intrinsically evil”, previously claimed: “[Homophobia is] simply announcing the truth, helping people to discriminate right from wrong in terms of their own activities.”