Pope Francis took action against one of his biggest critics. This is the second time this month that Pope Francis has punished an American prelate.
Pope Francis punished Cardinal Raymond Burke, a 75-year-old canon lawyer from Wisconsin. Francis revoked Burke’s salary and his subsidized Vatican apartment.
Burke, like other cardinals in Rome, lived in his apartment for free and received a monthly stipend of about $5,500.
During a meeting on Nov. 20, Pope Francis informed the heads of Vatican offices that he was taking action against Burke because he was a source of “disunity” in the church, according to an anonymous participant.
Another unnamed source said Francis punished Burke because he was using the privileges against the church.
Reports from earlier this week claimed that the pope said of Burke during the meeting, “Cardinal Burke is my enemy, so I take away his apartment and his salary.”
However, Francis has denied making the remarks.
Catholic website Where Peter Is spoke to Francis about the situation with Burke.
Pope Francis said, “I never used the word ‘enemy’ nor the pronoun ‘my.’ I simply announced the fact at the meeting of the dicastery heads, without giving specific explanations.”
Where Peter Is was founded by a “group of faithful Catholics who have become increasingly concerned about the attacks from within the Church on Pope Francis and his teachings.”
Burke is one of the most outspoken critics of Pope Francis. Burke has questioned the pope’s outreach to the LGBTQ community and other groups whose viewpoints don’t mesh with traditional beliefs.
In October, Burke and four other cardinals challenged Francis to respond “to questions related to the synod on synodality” and “were seeking reassurances about the ‘perennial truths’ taught by the church and not attacking the person of Pope Francis,” according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Burke said at a conference, “The five ‘dubia’ deal exclusively with the perennial doctrine and discipline of the church, not the agenda of the pope and certainly not the agenda of the five of us cardinals. They have nothing to do with the person of the Holy Father and, in fact, by their nature they are an expression of the veneration owed to the Petrine office and the successor of St. Peter.”
He added, “The sheep depend on the courage of pastors who must protect them from the poison of confusion, error, and division.”
Burke told the Wall Street Journal, “People can draw their own conclusions about why the Holy Father told this to Austen Ivereigh and not the person concerned,” Burke said.
A defiant Burke said he wouldn’t leave Rome.
“It’s my duty as a cardinal to remain in Rome,” he declared.
According to Burke’s website, Burke was ordained a bishop in 1995 by Pope Saint John Paul II and then named a cardinal in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI.
In 1989, Burke was appointed as the Defender of the Bond at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura — the Vatican’s high court in Rome, Italy.
In 2008, he founded the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The same year, Cardinal Burke was appointed as Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura.
Burke was appointed as the cardinal patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in 2014.
Francis fired Burke as the Vatican’s high court justice in 2014.
Burke is the second conservative American prelate to be punished by Pope Francis this month. As Blaze News previously reported, Pope Francis forcibly removed Bishop Joseph E. Strickland from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas.
Strickland — a self-described “red-pilled” bishop — has been a leading critic of Pope Francis and often challenged his leadership on social media.
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