His appointment comes three years after he was removed as prefect

Pope Francis has reappointed Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke to the Apostolic Signatura, nearly three years after removing him as prefect.

The Holy See announced Saturday morning that the American cardinal had been appointed to the Vatican’s highest court along with Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Cardinal Edoardo Menichelli, Archbishop Frans Daneels and Bishop Johannes Willibrordus Maria Hendriks.

Cardinal Burke served as prefect of the court for six years before being removed in 2014 and appointed cardinal patron of the Order of Malta, a largely ceremonial post. It was highly unusual at the time to remove such a high-ranking cardinal without assigning him comparable responsibilities elsewhere.

He has since become a strong defender of traditional Church teaching and was one of the four cardinals who signed the ‘dubia’ requesting clarification on Amoris Laetitia.