Cardinal Raymond Burke, who is better known to most as the controversial former archbishop of St. Louis, compared the Catholic Church to a “a ship without a rudder” under the leadership of Pope Francis.
During an interview, published by the Spanish Catholic weekly Vida Nueva, Burke claimed he wasn’t singling out the pope himself, but was speaking out against concerns he has about his leadership.
“Many have expressed their concerns to me. At this very critical moment, there is a strong sense that the church is like a ship without a rudder. Now, it is more important than ever to examine our faith, have a healthy spiritual leader and give powerful witness to the faith.”
It probably didn’t come as much of a surprise to Burke, when he was told that he was to be demoted from the Vatican’s highest court, known as the Apostolic Signatura, as rumors abound that he will be made patron of the Order of Malta, a mainly ceremonial post.
Nevertheless, according to Burke, he has nothing against Pope Francis personally.
“I have all the respect for the Petrine ministry and I do not want to seem like I am speaking out against the pope. I would like to be a master of the faith, with all my weaknesses, telling a truth that many currently perceive. They are feeling a bit seasick because they feel the church’s ship has lost its way.”
Most recently, Burke said that the church is a “the pillar of marriage” and challenged the pope’s revolutionary “Who am I to judge?” remark on gay people.
“The acts must be judged; I do not think that the pope thinks differently. They are sinful and unnatural. The pope never said we can find positive elements in them. It is impossible to find positive elements in an evil act,” he said.
It isn’t clear if the forthcoming demotion of Cardinal Burke from his high position in the Apostolic Signatura is connected in any way to his comments regarding the pope’s leadership of the Catholic Church, although many people are speculating that there’s no doubt it is.