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Cardinal Burke: never asked for resignation of Knights of Malta chancellor

February 20, 2017

Cardinal Raymond Burke has flatly denied a claim that he asked for the resignation of Albert von Boeselager as chancellor of the Knights of Malta.

The cardinal told the National Catholic Register that he was “stunned” by the claim, made last week by the acting head of the Order of Malta, Fra’ Ludwig Hoffman von Rumerstein. “I consider it a calumny,” he said.

Hoffman von Rumerstein had said that it was Cardinal Burke, not the former grand master of the Order, Fra’ Matthew Festing, who asked for Boeselager’s resignation. That account conflicts with other reports, which had consistently said that Festing sought the chancellor’s resignation, at a meeting at which Cardinal Burke was present in his capacity as patron of the Order.

“I had no authority to ask the grand chancellor to resign,” Cardinal Burke said. He told Edward Pentin of the Register:

I simply stated that the person who knowingly permitted the distribution of contraceptives in the Order’s works should take responsibility, and then the Grand Master once again asked the Grand Chancellor to resign which he refused to do. Then the Grand Master proceeded to his dismissal without my involvement at all.

Cardinal Burke also said that his trip to Guam, to take testimony in the canonical trial of Archbishop Anthony Apuron, should not be seen as an exile from Rome. He disclosed that he had been named to head a tribunal hearing the case last October, long before the controversy over the Knights of Malta erupted. He said that he traveled to Guam at the request of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is responsible for handling the case, and that Pope Francis has “never spoken to me about this task.”


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  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Feb. 20, 2017 9:56 PM ET USA

    Dear Cardinal Burke: you have my deepest sympathy as a victim of fake news.