Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke has been reappointed to the Apostolic Signatura by Pope Francis, nearly three years after having not having his term renewed, in effect, removing, him from the position.
In an announcement from the Vatican, The Holy See announced that Cardinal Burke had been appointed to the position along with Cardinal Edoardo Menichelli, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Archbishop Frans Daneels, and Bishop Johannes Willibrordus Maria Hendriks.
Cardinal Burke served as prefect of the court for six years, after being appointed by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, before being removed in 2014. His removal by Pope Francis and subsequent (largely ceremonial) appointment as cardinal patron of the Order of Malta was seen as an unusual move at the time, leading many to speculate about a rift between the two. Both Pope Francis and Cardinal Burke have stressed that speculation of a rift between the two was overblown.
In a recent interview, Cardinal Burke described media reports of a division between himself and the pope as a “caricature.”
“It’s all a caricature. They depict Pope Francis as a wonderful, open person and there’s nothing wrong with that, but they depict me as just the opposite. It’s meant in a certain way to advance their own agenda, but the Pope is actually not in favor their agenda. They use this kind of technique to make it seem like he is and that’s fundamentally dishonest. They’re making a caricature of someone who’s asking for clarity about certain matters, they’re saying ‘well, he’s the enemy of the Pope’ and he’s trying to build up opposition to the Pope, which of course isn’t the case at all.”