Pope Francis on Saturday demoted a U.S. cardinal opposed to gay rights.

Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, former Archbishop of St. Louis, was removed as the head of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican's highest court. He will now serve as Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a largely ceremonial post.

Francis last year removed Burke from the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops, which holds great influence in appointing new bishops worldwide.

Last month, Burke led a successful campaign to strike out language welcoming gays to the Catholic faith in a draft document about the family.

(Related: Pope Francis after bishops drop welcome to gays: God's not afraid of new things.)

Burke recently called gay relationships “evil” and harmful to children.

“If homosexual relations are intrinsically disordered, which indeed they are – reason teaches us that and also our faith – then, what would it mean to grandchildren to have present at a family gathering a family member who is living [in] a disordered relationship with another person?” Burke asked.

“We wouldn't,” he answered. “If it were another kind of relationship – something that was profoundly disordered and harmful – we wouldn't expose our children to that relationship, to the direct experience of it. And neither should we do it in the context of a family member who not only suffers from same-sex attraction, but who has chosen to live out that attraction, to act upon it, committing acts which are always and everywhere wrong, evil.”