Many have wondered what is going on with Cardinal Raymond Burke. Pope Francis has moved him from his duties as prefect of the supreme tribunal of the apostolic signatura, a prestigious and important post in the Vatican to take over duties as the Cardinal Patron of the Knights of Malta. Since Cardinal Patron of this order has largely been a symbolic post, it is being construed as a demotion by almost all observers – and some as a clearing out of those who were moved into power by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
I have no special insight into this, except to say the old order in the world has already almost entirely passed away. We are in the early stages of a great Storm, a period of terrible trial and upheaval that will usher in a new age of peace and brotherhood. What was important in the old order still holds some residual prestige, but much of what was important in the old order will seem trivial and contrived as it passes completely from the scene. Many things that seemed unimportant are going to rise to new heights and be very important, indeed.
The most important thing during the Storm is for the faithful to “Go forth,” to live their faith actively in daily life rather than just talk about or contemplate it. If Pope Francis is stuck in the old order then this surely is a demotion for Cardinal Burke. If, however, Francis is the Pope of the Storm as I firmly believe – the captain sent by heaven to steer the Barque of Peter safely through an unprecedented world crisis – then already he is not thinking of things in terms of what is useful in the old order, but manning critical positions for the battle and to lead us safely into the era of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. Like I say, I do not have any special insight into this, but if the Pope is looking ahead, what looks like a demotion for Cardinal Burke may turn out to be a critical promotion – from a desk job to an active station in preparation for the battle ahead of us.
There are many things that are going to be turned on their heads in this Storm. It will burn away the dross that most of the world – and each of us – count as meaningful. Elizabeth Scalia has an intriguing alternate view of what it all means at her Anchoress column today.
I don’t know what it all means, but I do know that it is not just the world that is going to be completely renewed: our very ways of assessing the import of actions is going to be completely renewed as well. This could be a demotion – or it could be something else entirely.