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DC Cardinal picked by Pope for powerful Vatican committee

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Pope Francis promoted Washington, DC Cardinal Wuerl to the Congregation of Bishops Monday, replacing Cardinal Burke.

Cardinal Burke, a conservative who has been an outspoken critic of abortion and same-sex marriage, may have been seen as a disruptive force by the Pope on this power Vatican committee.

Last week, during an interview, Cardinal Burke stated his concerns about comments Pope Francis made about how the church should reduce the focus on these two issues.

The Cardinal was even forced to apologize to Cardinal Wuerl and other moderates for stating they were “weakening the faith” for their refusal to ban pro-choice lawmakers from receiving Holy Communion.

Burke also banished a nun who spoke out for the ordination of women and referred to President Obama as an "agent of death”.

Alberto Melloni, the director of the John XXIII Foundation for Religious Studies in Bologna, Italy, a liberal Catholic research institute says, “He is saying that you don’t need to be a conservative to become a bishop. He wants good bishops, regardless of how conservative or liberal they are.”

Wuerl, on the other hand has always opposed bans on the sacraments for lawmakers whose political views diverge from church teaching. He writes in his 2009 editorial, “Casting the First Stone”, that "Incrimination of others has become a hallmark among some groups and individuals in the Catholic Church in our country today,"

Now a member of the Congregation of Bishops, Cardinal Wuerl will have a say in which bishops lead the church into the future.

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