Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Pope called Cardinal Burke his ‘enemy’ and threatened to strip him of privileges, reports claim

Reports Say Pope Francis Is Removing Cardinal Burke's Vatican Home and  Salary - The New York Times

Pope Francis has referred to an outspoken American cardinal as his “enemy” and threatened to strip him of his privileges, according to reports from Italy.

The New Daily Compass, which first reported the rumour in the English-speaking media, claimed that the Pope was overheard saying: “Cardinal Burke is my enemy, so I am taking away his flat and salary.”

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, 75, is a former patron of the Order of Malta who also served on the Roman Curia until his removal in 2017. He has been a consistent critic of the papacy of Pope Francis.

Earlier this year, he was one of five cardinals to sign a dubia questioning aspects of the Synod on Synodality and in 2016 he also signed a dubia which raised doubts about the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia on family life, which critics say opened the door to the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried Catholics.

Journalist Riccardo Cascioli, who broke the story about the Pope’s remarks, claimed such punitive measures by Francis would not be without precedent in the present pontificate. 

German Archbishop Georg Gänswein, personal secretary to Pope Benedict XVI, for example, was dismissed from the prefecture of the papal household and ordered to leave Rome in 2023 after he revealed that Francis’s restrictions on the celebration of the Old Latin Mass left the Emeritus Pope heart-broken.

US Bishop Joseph Strickland, who was fired by Pope Francis as Bishop of Tyler, Texas, earlier this month, said: “If this is accurate it is an atrocity that must be opposed. If it is false information it needs to be corrected immediately.”

According to the Associated Press, the news that Cardinal Burke will be stripped of his salary and residency has been confirmed by sources within the Vatican.