Burke’s Departure: Not Nefarious but Just…Normal?

Whatever you do, if you love conspiracies, DON’T READ THIS!

What is interesting is the case of Cardinal George Pell — who was also one of the authors of the pre-Synod book on marriage along with Cardinal Raymond Burke and is no one’s idea of a liberal or even a moderate, and made his feelings known loudly and clearly at the Synod and was moved from Sydney by Pope Francis — to serve as one of his closest collaborators, heading up the new Vatican Secretary of the Economy.

But nobody is talking about Pell, because he doesn’t fit the narrative of a covertly-dissenting Pope removing conservatives from power. Pope Francis does seem to be picking leadership on other grounds than the oh-too-familiar US cultural war divisions.

Francis also picked Bishop Anthony Fisher — sometimes referred to as “Boy George” in Australia because he is Pell’s long time protege and both brilliant and completely orthodox as well as highly personable — to become the new Archbishop of Sydney. And that doesn’t fit the narrative either.

I don’t know how each of these decisions were made — and neither do any of you — but they certainly aren’t fitting into a tidy conspiracy narrative.

And as another commenter shrewdly pointed out:

“Cardinal Burke served 6+ years at the Signatura.

His predecessor, Cdl. Vallini (4 years), was moved to “Great Chancellor of the Pontifical Lateran University”.

Vallini’s predecessor, Cdl. Pompedda (4.5 years), turned 75 and had his resignation accepted by St. JP II. No shift to another curial position.

Pompedda’s predecessor, Cdl. Grocholewski (1 year), was “shifted” to the all-important post of “Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education”. He’s been there since 1999.

Grocholewski’s predecessor, Cdl. Agustoni (just under 4 years), became Prefect Emeritus of the Signatura.

So Burke has served longer than any of his immediate four predecessors, only one of whom was “shifted to another curial position,” and that one not of earth-shaking significance.”

It could be that having a Prefect of the Signatura moving after more than 4 or 5 years is . . . normal.

Note: I am traveling and unable to moderate comments, so they will remain closed until I return. – SW

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