VATICAN CITY, September 28, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - Cardinal Raymond Burke is back in the Roman Curia, re-appointed to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
The Vatican announced Saturday that the Pope had assigned both Cdl. Burke and Cdl. Carlo Caffarra, the metropolitan archbishop of Bologna, to the Congregation. Cardinal Burke had been removed from the Congregation in December 2013, shortly after he'd been replaced by Cardinal Donald Wuerl at the Congregation for Bishops, spurring speculation that he had fallen out of favor with Pope Francis. This speculation re-emerged the following year after he was removed as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, taking him out of the Roman Curia entirely.
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints is responsible for overseeing the complex process that leads to canonization. It was instituted in 1588 by Pope Sixtus V under the name the Congregation of Rites and initially supervised the liturgy and sacraments in addition to managing the canonization process. In 1969, the Congregation of Rites was divided under Pope Paul VI, creating a congregation for Divine Worship and one for the Causes of Saints. The name was changed to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 1988 by Pope St. John Paul II.
The Congregation is known to be reserved in its communications with the media so as not to cause speculation or encourage sensationalism.
It currently has 34 members — consisting of cardinals, archbshops and bishops — in addition to one prelate theologian, five relators and 83 consultors.
Cardinal Burke is presently the patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. He was appointed to the largely ceremonial position late last year following his removal from the office of prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest non-papal judicial authority within the Church.
Cardinal Burke had been appointed to the Apostolic Signatura by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008; at the time of his removal he was the highest-ranking U.S. bishop in the Vatican.