Cardinal Burke Gets A Mini Promotion
Yes, it’s a classic move.
First some years in the wilderness. Then, a partial compensation for the previous demotion, either because one showed he learned the lesson or because it is better not to have him as too bitter an enemy.
Save his face. Give him something. After the stick, it is wise to throw a carrot. It’s not good to have bitter enemies all around one.
I have learned to not trust Cardinal Burke, though even after all this shameless waiting I keep hoping that, at some point, he will still man up. As we enter October 2017, I must say this particular cardinal’s pair is extremely, and excruciatingly, slow in growing.
The appointment – of which it is very reasonable to assume that the Cardinal was informed beforehand, and approved beforehand – could mean one of two things: either it is the (very small) sign of approval given by Francis for Burke’s continued silence about Amoris Laetitia, (you might say in this case the compensation would have been bigger; but cowards aren’t much feared, and they will readily accept a small compensation; besides, the new appointment might give Burke a very small finger behind which to hide in explaining why the correction is now informally called “Godot”), or it is an acknowledgment that the anti Amoris Laetitia party is getting some traction, and the impatience against Francis’ Banana Republic methods is growing bigger; thus leading Francis to throw a small piece of meat to the dissatisfied kitten.
Just in case you are thinking Francis is now steering a more conservative path, wait some hours and the next off-the-cuff subversive homily will cure you of this dangerous fantasy.
For the avoidance of doubt, one thing I do not believe is that Burke sent Francis this message: “I want to let the correction matter drop, but give me something!”, and this appointment is the price for his bought silence. Whilst I think the man a kitten, I do not think him a person capable of selling his principles for an appointment. I think his personal tragedy is rather one of great weakness, and inability to find the courage to do what he full well knows he must do; and that Francis is throwing him some meat to encourage the man to keep schtum about AL.
Two of his kitten companions have died without doing their job.
The man should be terrified.