Hard-line US Cardinal loses another Vatican job

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VATICAN CITY (AP) _ American Cardinal Raymond Burke, a fervent opponent of abortion and gay marriage, has been removed by Pope Francis from another top Vatican post.

Burke’s removal as head of the Holy See’s supreme court was expected. Last year Francis took Burke off the Vatican’s powerful Congregation for Bishops. While previously leading the St. Louis diocese, Burke was a vocal hardliner in a campaign which included calls for Catholic politicians supporting legalized abortion to be denied Communion.

Francis on Saturday transferred Burke from the Vatican court job to the largely ceremonial post as patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a charity.

Burke helped lead a conservative backlash against any possible Vatican loosening of rules banning Communion for divorced, remarried Catholics. He also questioned Francis’ denunciation of excesses of capitalism.

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