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One of the most important sees in the United States, Chicago, has to be filled, after Cardinal Francis George declared his wish to resign on the grounds of age and ill-health
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Mgr Patrick Burke is understood to have been appointed vicar general of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh.
The former official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) is believed to have been appointed to the role by Archbishop Leo Cushley, who took over the archdiocese in September.
Since 2005, Mgr Burke, who is a priest of St Andrews and Edinburgh, has been working at the CDF in Rome.
Before Archbishop Cushley's appointment Mgr Burke had been tipped as a possible successor to Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who resigned as archbishop earlier this year. Mgr Burke is a former editor of the conservative Faith Magazine who has been critical of reform-minded Catholics.