In a lengthy interview published Sunday with the Argentine newspaper La Nacion, Pope Francis for the first time spoke publicly about his removal of Cardinal Raymond Burke from the Vatican Curia. In a rare move, the cardinal, relatively young at age 66, was removed from his high-ranking post and not even given a diocese to govern, but made chaplain to the Order of Malta. Some liken the group to the Knights of Columbus but it is actually one of the oldest lay religous orders of Western and Christian civilization, founded around the year 1050 and recognized as Sovereign by the Pope in 1113.
Although Cardinal Burke has in interviews expressed his disappointment about having to leave his post as head of the Vatican’s highest court, the pope suggested in the La Nacion interview that Burke appreciated the appointment to be chaplain of the Order of Malta.
The pope said that he told Burke he was considering him for chaplain of the Order of Malta prior to the October Synod of Bishops. “He thanked me in very good terms and accepted my offer, I even think he liked it,” related the pope in the interview. “Because he is a man that gets around a lot, he does a lot of travelling and would surely be busy there.”