World News

Cardinal reappointed to top Vatican court

Cardinal Burke said he was no ‘enemy’ of the Pope but that the dubia needed to be answered (CNS)

Pope Francis has reappointed Cardinal Raymond Burke to the Apostolic Signatura, nearly three years after removing him as prefect.

The Holy See announced that the American cardinal had been appointed as a member, or adviser, of the Vatican’s highest court. Its current prefect is Cardinal Dominique Mamberti.

The court, which has a role similar to that of a supreme court, aims to safeguard the administration of justice in the Church around the world. It is subject only to the Pope.

Cardinal Burke served as prefect of the court for six years before being removed in 2014 and appointed cardinal patron of the Order of Malta, a largely ceremonial post. It was highly unusual at the time to remove such a high-ranking cardinal without assigning him comparable responsibilities elsewhere.

Cardinal Burke was one of four cardinals who signed the dubia requesting clarification from Pope Francis of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Last month he told Catholic News Agency he was wrongly depicted as an “enemy” of Francis but that a response to the dubia was urgently needed because of the “harm done to souls by confusion and error”.

The urgency, he said, “weighs very heavily on my heart”. He has also proposed issuing a formal “correction” of the Pope. He told the National Catholic Register in August that a formal declaration on areas of doctrine that were no longer clear under Francis was “now necessary”.

Other new members of the Apostolic Signatura are Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Cardinal Edoardo Menichelli, Archbishop Frans Daneels and Bishop Johannes Willibrordus Maria Hendriks.


Pope will issue message about tackling ‘fake news’

Pope Francis has chosen “fake news” and the importance of truth in journalism as the subject of his message for World Communications Day next year.

“‘The truth will set you free’: Fake news and journalism for peace” is the theme’s title. The Vatican Secretariat for Communications said it will relate “to ‘fake news’ – namely, baseless information that contributes to generating and nurturing a strong polarisation of opinions. It involves an often misleading distortion of facts, with possible repercussions at the level of individual and collective behaviour.” With so many major figures in politics and the world of the internet starting to face the phenomenon, the Vatican said, “the Church, too, wishes to offer a contribution”.

The Pope’s message will propose “a reflection on the causes, the logic and the consequences of disinformation in the media”, and try to help “promote professional journalism, which always seeks the truth, and therefore a journalism of peace that promotes understanding between people”.

The Pope’s message will be released for World Communications Day on January 24, the feast of St Francis de Sales.


Francis prays for Las Vegans

Pope Francis was “deeply saddened to learn of the shooting in Las Vegas” and “sends the assurance of his spiritual closeness to all those affected by this senseless tragedy”, according to a telegram sent to Bishop Joseph Pepe of Las Vegas on Monday. More than 50 died in the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo said: “We need to pray and take care of those who are suffering.”