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updated: 12/17/2013 1:27 PM

Burke not reconfirmed to Congregation for Bishops

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LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Wisconsin native Cardinal Raymond Burke is losing his influential role in the appointment of bishops in the United States.

The former La Crosse bishop was not reconfirmed to the Congregation for Bishops by Pope Francis. The former St. Louis archbishop had been a member for several years.

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Burke served as La Crosse bishop from 1994 to 2003 and went to the Vatican in 2008 after serving in St. Louis. He's popular with conservative Catholics in the U.S. for upholding church rites and traditions favored by Pope Benedict. He drew attention in the U.S. in 2004 when he said he would deny Communion to Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, a Roman Catholic who supports abortion rights.

Burke retains his position as the head of the Vatican high court, the Apostolic Signatura.

Burke drew attention in the U.S. in 2004 when he said he would deny Communion to Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, a Roman Catholic who supports abortion rights.

Pope Francis announced this and other changes Monday in the influential Vatican office that evaluates and nominates candidates for bishop around the world.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington was appointed to the Congregation for Bishops to replace Burke. The pope also reconfirmed Cardinal William Levada, the former archbishop of San Francisco and former head of the Vatican's orthodoxy watchdog office.

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