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Breaking: Pope Ousts Top Vatican Judge Known For Incendiary Anti-Gay Comments

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In one of the more explosive shakeups in the recent history of the Catholic Church, the second-most powerful man in the Vatican has been ousted.

American Cardinal Raymond Burke, a darling of conservative Catholics who is virulently anti-gay, has confirmed to BuzzFeed what rumors from Rome have said for weeks. He will be demoted by Pope Francis from the head of the Roman Catholic Church’s version of the Supreme Court to a figurehead role as the Patron of the Knights of Malta, a chivalrous order known for its work among the sick.

This is not the first demotion for Burke, who was dropped by Francis almost a year ago from an important Vatican bureau that selects bishops around the world. Burke was replaced on The Congregation for Bishops by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., who, while also conservative, does not use the inflammatory rhetoric that has made Burke a favorite of the far-right in the Catholic Church.

Burke recently told an interviewer that legally-married gay and lesbian family members should be shunned from family celebrations during the upcoming holidays, asking “what would it mean to grandchildren to have present at a family gathering a family member who is living [in] a disordered relationship with another person?”

LOOK: Conservative Leaders Push Catholic Church To Backtrack On Gays

Burke’s strong criticism of a preliminary document that included more inclusive welcoming of LGBT community members in the life of the Church and his challenge to Francis, who is seen to have had a hand in the drafting of the document, were apparently the last straw for the Pope.

Francis recently replaced outspoken Chicago Cardinal Francis George with the more conciliatory Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, a major promotion for the 65-year-old native of Omaha, Nebraska. Admittedly, George was two-and-a-half years beyond the age of 75, when bishops and cardinals submit their resignations to the pope. However, some cardinals have been kept on the job until age 80 when they lose their right to vote in the conclave that selects a new pope after the death or resignation of the reigning pontiff.

These moves are thought by Vatican watchers to be signs that Francis wants to tone down the attacks on communities that are marginalized by the Catholic Church, including LGBT parishioners and divorced and pro-choice Catholics. Burke is a major proponent of the Latin Mass and is known for his fondness of clerical garb that went out of style following the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, which attempted to modernize the Church in worship and its relationship to Jews and to other Christian faiths. Burke opposes those reforms and his move to Rome from St. Louis, where he served as archbishop, was seen as a sign of favor by the ultra-conservative Pope Benedict XVI.

Burke’s influence on the Congregation for Bishops was seen in the naming of several controversial choices in major positions in the American Catholic Church, including Salvatore Cordileone, the Church’s leader in the successful Prop 8 movement that reversed marriage equality in California, from Oakland to San Francisco, an obvious thumb in the eye of the large LGBT community there.

In Chicago, Cupich will take over from George in November. While, for example, Cupich opposes marriage equality, in Spokane he is one of the rare U.S. Church leaders to speak out against attempts “to incite hostility towards homosexual persons or promote an agenda that is hateful and disrespectful of their human dignity.” Cupich wrote in a pastoral letter that was read in all Catholic parishes in the diocese, “It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs.”

The first major appointment of an American Archbishop tipped Francis’ hand as to how he wanted a change of tone among the hierarchy in the U.S. He named the affable Bishop Bernard Hebda, who had served as head of the diocese of Gaylord, Michigan for only four years, to be co-adjutor bishop with right of succession to the authoritarian and controversial Newark Archbishop John Myers, in 2016 when Myers turns 75.

How long Francis will have to change the leadership of the U.S. Catholic Church remains to be seen, as the vast majority of current ecclesial office-holders were appointed by conservatives John Paul II and Benedict XVI over a 35-year period. In his initial choices, Francis is veering slightly left in tenor. However, it is doubtful that any change in doctrine will be put in place during the remaining years of his pontificate.

 

Image via Wikimedia

 

Related At The New Civil Rights Movement:

Vatican Changes Actual Translation Of Draft That ‘Welcomed’ Gays

More Popular Than Jesus? Pope Francis Just Made The Cover Of Rolling Stone.

American Bishops Thwart Pope Francis’ Attempt To Survey Catholic Public Opinion

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Jesus Was Not a Socialist!’ Fox News Panel Explodes Over Jesus Christ’s Political Views

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Conservative religious pundits on Fox News recoiled in outrage on Sunday after a left-leaning guest suggested that Jesus Christ was “more of a socialist” than a capitalist.

During a Fox & Friends segment designed to cast doubt on the faith or Democratic presidential candidates, evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress argued that socialism is “antithetical to Christianity.”

But St. Paul Reverend Dee Dawkins-Haigler reminded the other panelists that scriptures seemed to point to what people now call socialism.

“We believe in things like, what did you do to the least of them?” Dawkins-Haigler explained. “You fed the hungry, you clothed the naked, you went to see those who are in prison.”

“You do not have to be a socialist to be a Christian!” Jeffress shot back. “Socialism is antithetical to Christianity and if they nominate Bernie Sanders, they are not going to be able to attract any faith voters.”

“I totally disagree,” Dawkins-Haigler retorted. “People would have said that Jesus was more of a socialist than anybody we’re talking about today.”

The remarks stopped Fox News host Pete Hegseth cold.

“Why was Jesus a socialist?” he exclaimed.

“Because Jesus did not sit with the establishment, he overturned tables of the tax collectors, he sat with people who were lepers,” Dawkins-Haigler explained. “He made sure he healed people who people thought should not have been healed.”

“So we have to be very careful how we use this language and try to take ownership of who God is,” she added.

“That’s a big claim,” Hegseth interrupted again, giving the floor to Jeffress.

“No! Jesus was not a socialist!” Jeffress opined. “He said render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar’s and to God the things that are God’s. He was compassionate. Church is to be compassionate, but you don’t have to believe in socialism, which is nothing but communism light and is absolutely is opposed to everything that is Christian.”

Watch the video below from Fox News.

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THIS IS WHAT FASCISM SOUNDS LIKE

Trump National Security Advisor Blasted for ‘Weaponizing’ Classified Intel Against Bernie Sanders as Nevada Caucuses

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President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor was blasted online on Saturday for a smear against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) while Nevada Democrats were caucusing to choose the DNC’s 2020 presidential nominee.

Josh Dawsey, White House reporter for The Washington Post, broke news on Saturday about what Robert O’Brien said in an interview to air on Sunday.

O’Brien was quickly criticized for his comments. Here is some of what people were saying:

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'WHAT REAL JOURNALISM LOOKS LIKE'

Internet Heaps Praise on CNN’s Anderson Cooper for His ‘Must Watch’ Destruction of Rod Blagojevich

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CNN’s Anderson Cooper received near-universal praise across the board for what one commenter called his “fiery rebuke” of recently paroled former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on Friday night that culminated in the CNN host telling him excuses for why he should not have been in prison were “bullsh*t.”

During the highly-contentious interview, Cooper came armed with facts and did not let Blagojevich get away with comparing himself to political prisoner Nelson Madel a which drew a smirk and rebuke from the CNN host.

Many on Twitter were quick to point to the interview as one all cable hosts should look at as a way to stop guests who go on shows to lie with no pushback.

As former President Bill Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich put it: “At a time when so many lies go unchecked and unaddressed by the media, @andersoncooper ‘s fiery rebuke of Blagojevich’s narrative could not have been more necessary. This is what real journalism looks like.”

You can see similar comments — as well as video — below:

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