Pope Francis said that he does not see Cardinal Raymond Burke as an adversary, in an interview appearing in the German journal Die Zeit.
In the interview, which was recorded before he began his Lenten Retreat, the Pope said that Cardinal Burke remains the patron of the Knights of Malta, although the Pontiff saw the need to appoint another prelate to preside over the spiritual renewal of the order. He said that the American cardinal had encountered problems within the Knights of Malta that he was unable to resolve.
However, Pope Francis rejected the idea that Cardinal Burke had been sent to Guam as a form of punishment. That trip, he said, was connected with his work for a Vatican tribunal investigating charges against Arcbishop Anthony Apuron. “For that I’m very grateful to him; he’s an excellent lawyer,” the Pope said.
The Holy Father did tell Die Zeit that he sees a problem with “fundamentalist Catholics.” He remarked that when the self-assurance of these Catholics reminds him of St. Peter’s insistence that he would never deny Jesus. When he reads the Gospel account of how Jesus tells Peter that he will deny Him three times, the Pope said, “it makes me think of so many fundamentalist Catholics”.