The divisive rise to power of former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke may soon end -- not with a criminal conviction, as some have hoped, but with a demotion from Pope Francis.
Wikimedia Commons Reverend Raymond Burke should probably start packing his bags for Malta.
A report from Vatican observer Sandro Magister appears to have broken open a rumor that's been bouncing among Catholic insiders form awhile -- namely, that Burke is about to go from Vatican power player to ceremonial figurehead. Magister describes Burke's imminent demotion from his current spot on the church's highest court to honorary head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta as an "eminent decapitation."
"He's removed from all power," says Frank Flinn, a retired adjunct professor of religious studies at Washington University, describing the difference between the two positions. Flinn argues that this move isn't the result of a simple clash of personalities between Burke and Pope Francis.
"It's much more than just a style thing that's going on here," Flynn says. "It's the direction of the church."More »