Monday, November 27, 2023

Pope Francis To Take Away Cardinal Burke's Salary & Flat

Pope Francis takes away Cardinal Burke's apartment and salary

In a surprising move, Pope Francis has decided to punish one of his most vocal critics, Cardinal Raymond Burke, by revoking his right to a subsidized Vatican apartment and salary. This is the second time this month that the pope has taken such a drastic action against an American cardinal, after he removed Cardinal Wilton Gregory from his post as archbishop of Washington and sent him to a remote diocese in Alaska.

According to various sources, Pope Francis announced his decision at a meeting of the heads of Vatican offices on Nov. 20, where he accused Burke of being a source of "disunity" in the church and of using his privileges as a retired cardinal against the church. The pope reportedly said that Burke was his "enemy" and that he would take away his apartment and salary.

Burke, a 75-year-old canon lawyer who was once the head of the Vatican's highest court, has become one of the most outspoken opponents of Pope Francis' reforms and outreach to LGBTQ+ Catholics. He has repeatedly questioned the pope's teachings on divorce, remarriage, synodality, blessings for same-sex couples, women's ordination and sacramental absolution. He has also organized and participated in conferences and events that challenge the pope's vision and authority.

Burke has defended his actions as being loyal to the church and the papacy, saying that he had a duty as a cardinal and bishop to uphold the church's doctrine and correct errors. He has also claimed that he was not acting out of personal animosity or ambition, but out of love for the truth and the salvation of souls.

However, Pope Francis apparently did not see it that way. He has decided to strip Burke of his privileges as a retired cardinal, which include living in a Vatican-owned apartment near St. Peter's Square and receiving a monthly salary from the Holy See. These privileges are usually granted to cardinals who have served the church with distinction and honor, and who continue to assist the pope with their prayers and counsel.

By taking away these privileges, Pope Francis is sending a clear message that he does not tolerate dissent or division within the church, especially from those who hold high-ranking positions. He is also showing that he is willing to use his authority to discipline those who undermine his reform project and pastoral approach.

This is not the first time that Pope Francis has clashed with Burke. In 2014, he removed him from his post as prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and appointed him as patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a largely ceremonial role. In 2016, he restricted his involvement in the order after a dispute over a condom scandal. In 2020, he replaced him with another cardinal as patron of the order. And in June this year, he accepted his resignation as patron upon reaching the age limit of 75.

Burke has not received any official notification of the pope's measures against him, according to his secretary. The Vatican's spokesman did not confirm or deny the reports, but referred questions to Burke himself.

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