Pope Take-No-Prisoners?

Cardinal Burke a thorn in Francis’ side. Francis moved him from important Vatican job to being cardinal-“patron” of the Knights of Malta, where he made more trouble, reportedly in regards to distribution of condoms as part of one or more of the Knights’ aid programs around the world. (Burke’s against condoms.)

Now Francis has “de facto” bounced him from that job, replacing him with someone else from the ranks of higher clergy. Francis had already sought and got the resignation of Burke’s man as Knights’ top executive.

Francis’ Year of Mercy past, he expends no mercy on Burke, who clearly annoys him no end — including publicly questioning the orthodoxy of a key part of Francis’ latest pastoral letter about married life, the part about receiving of Communion by the divorced and remarried.

Meanwhile, his appointee to do something about Vatican finances, an Australian cardinal, has not only been accused at home of mishandling clergy abuse, but has also lost the services of an outside auditing firm at the Vatican, in which case Francis joins the short line of popes losing to curia veterans, his predecessor Emeritus Pope Benedict being just ahead of him in that unhappy line.

It’s been a long time since we saw the like of all this.

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