Brietbart.com reports that Pope Francis plans to remove conservative, antigay Cardinal Raymond Burke from head of the Apostolic Signatura (said to be the Vatican's Supreme Court equivalent) and the Roman Curia (the group of Vatican Cardinals who are said to make all church rules and advise the Pope).
Burke once said, "Sexual acts between persons of the same sex are intrinsically evil, are against nature itself...its simply announcing the truth, helping people to discriminate right from wrong in terms of their own activities."
Wait, there's more good news for LGBT Catholics. Earlier today, Pope Francis named progressive leader Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Wash. as the next archbishop of Chicago.
David Gibson of Religion News Service said, "It is the pontiff's most important U.S. appointment to date and one that could upend decades of conservative dominance of the American hierarchy."
The 65-year-old Cupich (which is pronounced "Soup-itch") would succeed Cardinal Francis George, an arch conservative who previously likened LGBT activists to the Klan, made a strong effort to stop marriage equality in Ilinois, and who said that government supporting marriage equality made Catholics with morality live under something akin to "Sharia law."
Cupich would now be in succession to become a cardinal in the future, a big win for the Church's progressive wing who have been buoyed by the Pope's move toward more social justice work than debates over issues like sexual orientation.
Gibson reports that as head of the Spokane diocese, which covers the more conservative eastern half of Washington, "Cupich was known for reaching out to a largely unchurched population and for promoting the church's social justice teachings in a region suffering from the effects of the recession. Cupich also gained notice in 2012 by adopting a moderate line when Washington voters went to the polls to vote in a referendum to legalize same-sex marriage."
While he has had to defend the Church's position against same-sex marriage, he condemed the attempts of anyone within the Church "to incite hostility towards homosexual persons or promote an agenda that is hateful and disrespectful of their human dignity. It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastors wherever it occurs."