Pope Francis now seems determined to no longer leave the most virulent provocations coming from the American episcopate without answers. According to several Italian and American sources confirming information from the conservative media La Nuova Bussola, Francis would have withdrawn Cardinal Raymond Burke’s apartment as well as his salary, due to the numerous very critical speeches on the part of the conservative priest.
Several media and press agencies indicate that the Pope announced his decision on November 20, during a meeting with the various heads of dicasteries. According to a senior Roman official present at this meeting and quoted by the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera, the pope would be on the verge of imposing “economic measures and canonical sanctions” on the cardinal.
The American would notably have a 417 m2 apartment adjoining Saint Peter’s Square allocated by the Vatican and whose existence had been revealed by “VatiLeaks 2”. For the moment, the Vatican has neither denied nor confirmed this information. The Associated Press nevertheless reports that the pope would have acted in this way because of the “disunity” caused by the multiple publicized interventions of Cardinal Burke.
Praised by the “Rad Trads” across the Atlantic, these traditionalists angry with the current pontificate, the cardinal has been, since 2013, one of the first opponents of Francis. Recently he criticized the Synod in particular on synodality, assimilating the process to “a revolution (…) to radically change the understanding that the Church has of itself, in accordance with a contemporary ideology which denies much of what the Church has always taught and practiced.”
There are many reasons for tension between the pope and the former prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, close to the traditionalist institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest whose creation he supported, holding to a very conservative and doctrinal line. of a speech with conspiratorial overtones on Covid-19 vaccination…
This last office had also been withdrawn from him a year after the election of Francis, who had replaced him as cardinal patron of the Order of Malta… Responsibilities which were withdrawn from him three years later.
The American cardinal had also, with other prelates, directly challenged the pope through dubia which were subsequently made public. In 2016, he was among the signatories of a request for clarification after the publication of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia on the divorced and remarried. A few months ago, he still expressed his doubts about the Synod, demanding clear answers on the ordination of women or the blessing of homosexual couples.
The sanctions decided by Francis come less than three weeks after the dismissal of Mgr Joseph Strickland, bishop of Tyler (Texas) and close to Cardinal Burke. “If it is correct, it is an atrocity that must be opposed,” the conservative bishop and critic of the Pope published on X (formerly Twitter). The Roman disciplinary measures could make the existing gap between a right-wing fringe of the American episcopate and Pope Francis even more marked.