American Cardinal Burke, who led the charge to stop giving communion to U.S. politicians who supported a woman's right to choose was demoted by Pope Francis. You may remember how out front Catholic priests were in attacking democratic politicians running for office in the 2004 election, which the Bush reelection campaign used to its fullest extent. Pope Francis continues to be a positive influence for change in the Catholic church.
In a move that reflects the loosening posture of the Vatican on major social issues, conservative U.S. cardinal Raymond Burke was removed by Pope Francis from yet another top post.
Burke, who has long been vocal about denying communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion, was dismissed as head of the Holy See's highest court and given the post of Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a largely ceremonial job overseeing charity to the elderly.
At 66, Burke is considered young by church hierarchy standards. The dismissal is a set-back to his Vatican career as well as a clear message from Pope Francis to those not hewing to his progressive view of the Catholic Church.
The move was expected by Vatican watchers given that Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis, had openly criticized Francis' less doctrinaire approach to the faith. Last year, Francis had removed Burke from the Congregation for Bishops, a group tasked with the appointment of new bishops worldwide.
Hopefully, more hard liners are getting the message from Pope Francis.