Pope Francis has re-confirmed Cardinal Marc Ouellet PSS, 69, as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, an office he has headed since 2010.
But the Pope also significantly altered the congregation’s
membership by replacing three leading conservatives – including US
Cardinal Raymond Burke, 65.
Among the new faces is 68-year-old Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster.
The conservative Cardinal Burke is considered a leading “culture
warrior” and proponent of the pre-Vatican II Mass. After five years as
Archbishop of St Louis, he was appointed by Benedict XVI as head of the
Apostolic Signatura (the Church’s “supreme court”) in 2008.
later Benedict XVI gave him the red hat.
Pope Francis also terminated the services of two other cardinals
considered strong allies to Benedict XVI, both of whom are Italians –
Mauro Piacenza, 69, currently head of the Apostolic Penitentiary,
believed to be one of the former pope’s most conservative appointments
in the Roman Curia; and Angelo Bagnasco, 70, the man Benedict XVI named
as Archbishop of Genoa in 2006 and then president of the Italian
In addition to Archbishop Nichols, other new members at the
Congregation for Bishops include Cardinals Donald Wuerl, 73, of
Washington, Francisco Robles Ortega, 64, of Guadalajara in Mexico; and
Ruben Salazar Gomez, 71, of the Colombian capital, Bogota.