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Pope praises Cardinal Burke as a lawyer, criticizes fundamentalists

March 09, 2017

Pope Francis said that he does not see Cardinal Raymond Burke as an adversary, in an interview appearing in the German journal Die Zeit.

In the interview, which was recorded before he began his Lenten Retreat, the Pope said that Cardinal Burke remains the patron of the Knights of Malta, although the Pontiff saw the need to appoint another prelate to preside over the spiritual renewal of the order. He said that the American cardinal had encountered problems within the Knights of Malta that he was unable to resolve.

However, Pope Francis rejected the idea that Cardinal Burke had been sent to Guam as a form of punishment. That trip, he said, was connected with his work for a Vatican tribunal investigating charges against Arcbishop Anthony Apuron. “For that I’m very grateful to him; he’s an excellent lawyer,” the Pope said.

The Holy Father did tell Die Zeit that he sees a problem with “fundamentalist Catholics.” He remarked that when the self-assurance of these Catholics reminds him of St. Peter’s insistence that he would never deny Jesus. When he reads the Gospel account of how Jesus tells Peter that he will deny Him three times, the Pope said, “it makes me think of so many fundamentalist Catholics.”


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Show 7 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Mar. 10, 2017 3:44 PM ET USA

    The Pope's comment is bizarre. What is he saying? - That Peter's weakness, in the face of fear of a maid, no less, is equivalent to letting the rest of us do the same without guilt? That believing and persevering in the Gospel, treasured and preserved in the Catholic Church, can somehow be a fault - if you want to leave your wife and marry another? I am humbled and joyful that God has led me to be A fundamental Catholic and I will continue to pray for the Pope. He needs everyone's prayers.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Mar. 10, 2017 2:05 PM ET USA

    Here's a Bible verse for you: "But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth." That verse makes me think of so many leftist Catholics. But as the rich and famous are heard to exclaim, "Who am I to judge?" At least we know that Pope Francis thinks Cardinal Burke an excellent lawyer. But is the Pope inferring that Cardinal Burke (a "fundamentalist Catholic" if there ever was one), like the rest of us non-leftists, will deny Christ three times?

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Mar. 10, 2017 1:24 PM ET USA

    It is the fundamental Catholics who are holding his feet to fire which he dislikes. He would like to change a lot but that would require a lot of changes in doctrine. If he tried he would be called out by the fundamental Catholics he does not like. Sad that we have a leader that creates so much division. Sound familiar.

  • Posted by: Travelling - Mar. 10, 2017 6:45 AM ET USA

    Utter rubbish.

  • Posted by: space15796 - Mar. 09, 2017 10:54 PM ET USA

    The pope is not very skilled at veiling his verbal jabs. This is demoralizing.

  • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Mar. 09, 2017 6:50 PM ET USA

    Funny, isn't it, how some people will quote Jesus, while others will quote Ronald Reagan...

  • Posted by: ALC - Mar. 09, 2017 4:07 PM ET USA

    As Ronald Reagan would say, "There you go again!" Does he always have to criticize and name call people in the Church he disagrees with?