LOGIN

Pope Penalizes Prominent Critic Cardinal Burke in Second Action Against Conservative American Church Leaders

by Andrew Wright
5 comments
Vatican disciplinary action

In a significant move, Pope Francis has chosen to discipline one of his most prominent critics, Cardinal Raymond Burke, by revoking his entitlement to a subsidized Vatican residence and salary. This marks the second such bold action taken against a conservative American prelate within the span of a month, as reported by sources familiar with the measures.

During a meeting of the heads of Vatican offices held last week, Pope Francis disclosed his decision to take action against Cardinal Burke, citing the cardinal’s role as a source of “disunity” within the church, as conveyed by an individual who attended the November 20 gathering. Due to the sensitive nature of the discussion, the source preferred to remain anonymous, as he was not authorized to disclose the details of the meeting.

Another person subsequently briefed on the pope’s measures also shared that Pope Francis had decided to withdraw Cardinal Burke’s privileges, including a subsidized Vatican residence and salary, which are typically accorded to retired cardinals. The pope’s reasoning was that Cardinal Burke had been utilizing these privileges in a manner that was contrary to the interests of the church. Similar to the first source, this individual also opted to remain anonymous due to a lack of authorization to divulge the specifics.

As of the time of reporting, Cardinal Burke had not received any official notification regarding the actions being taken against him, according to a message relayed by his secretary to The Big Big News.

Cardinal Burke, a 75-year-old canon lawyer who was removed from his position as the Vatican’s high court justice by Pope Francis in 2014, has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of the pope, particularly regarding his outreach to LGBTQ+ Catholics and his reform initiatives aimed at making the church more responsive to the needs of ordinary believers.

On two occasions, Cardinal Burke has joined other conservative cardinals in issuing formal inquiries to the pontiff, known as “dubia,” seeking clarification on matters of doctrine that have raised concerns among conservatives and traditionalists. In the first instance, they sought clarification on Francis’ stance toward divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, to which the pope did not respond. In the second instance, they sought guidance on whether same-sex couples could receive church blessings, receiving a conditional response from the pope.

In a noteworthy event preceding a major bishops’ meeting last month, referred to as a synod, Cardinal Burke presided over a counter-synod of sorts near St. Peter’s Square. During this gathering, he sharply criticized Pope Francis’ concept of “synodality” and his broader reform agenda for the church.

Cardinal Burke has consistently defended his actions as a cardinal and bishop, asserting that he is fulfilling his duty to uphold church teaching and rectify errors. He emphasized the importance of pastors protecting the faithful from confusion, error, and division.

Notably, Cardinal Burke is the second American prelate to face disciplinary measures during what appears to be a period of reform within Pope Francis’ papacy. This reform-oriented phase has seemingly gained momentum with the arrival of Francis’ chosen doctrine czar, Argentine Cardinal Victor Fernández, in September.

Earlier this month, Pope Francis took the unprecedented step of removing Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, another conservative prelate who had become a vocal critic of the pope. Bishop Strickland’s removal followed a Vatican investigation into the governance of his diocese.

In response to reports of Pope Francis’ actions, Bishop Strickland expressed shock on Twitter and called for opposition if the reports were accurate or correction if they were based on false information.

When questioned about the pope’s decision, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni declined to confirm or deny the reports and redirected inquiries to Cardinal Burke.

Pope Benedict XVI had elevated Cardinal Burke to the rank of cardinal in 2010, appointing him as the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s high court. However, Pope Francis removed him from this position in 2014 and assigned Cardinal Burke as the cardinal patron of the Knights of Malta, a prestigious yet limited role. This appointment also led to tensions between Cardinal Burke and Pope Francis, particularly in the context of a governance crisis within the chivalric order.

More recently, the two clashed over the issue of COVID-19 vaccines. While Pope Francis advocated strongly for vaccination and criticized vaccine skeptics, including some conservative Catholics, Cardinal Burke, who had contracted COVID-19 and required ventilator support, was perceived as one of the skeptics referenced by the pope during a 2021 airborne news conference.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Vatican disciplinary action

What led to Pope Francis’ decision to discipline Cardinal Burke?

Pope Francis decided to discipline Cardinal Burke due to his perceived role as a source of “disunity” within the church, as stated during a meeting of Vatican office heads. The pope believed that Cardinal Burke’s actions were working against the interests of the church.

What privileges were revoked from Cardinal Burke?

As part of the disciplinary measures, Pope Francis revoked Cardinal Burke’s entitlement to a subsidized Vatican residence and salary, which are typically provided to retired cardinals.

Why has Cardinal Burke been a vocal critic of Pope Francis?

Cardinal Burke has been a vocal critic of Pope Francis, particularly regarding the pope’s outreach to LGBTQ+ Catholics and his efforts to reform the church to be more responsive to the needs of ordinary believers. He has also joined other conservative cardinals in seeking clarification on matters of doctrine, which they believed were contentious.

Who is the second American prelate to face disciplinary action from Pope Francis?

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, is the second American prelate to face disciplinary action from Pope Francis. He was removed from his position following a Vatican investigation into the governance of his diocese.

How did Pope Francis and Cardinal Burke clash over COVID-19 vaccines?

Pope Francis had strongly advocated for COVID-19 vaccination and criticized vaccine skeptics, which included some conservative Catholics. Cardinal Burke, who had contracted the virus and required ventilator support, was perceived as one of the skeptics referenced by the pope during a 2021 news conference.

What was Cardinal Burke’s previous role in the Vatican?

Cardinal Burke served as the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s high court, before being removed from that position by Pope Francis in 2014. He was then assigned as the cardinal patron of the Knights of Malta, a prestigious but limited role, which also saw tensions arise between Cardinal Burke and Pope Francis during a governance crisis within the order.

More about Vatican disciplinary action

You may also like

5 comments

AutoEnthusiast November 29, 2023 - 3:25 am

vatican drama, burke lost privileges, pope francis flexing power!

Reply
FinanceGuru88 November 29, 2023 - 7:16 am

pope vs burke, drama in church, read here, juicy details.

Reply
CryptoInnovator November 29, 2023 - 9:30 am

so, burke’s out, francis said no more perks, wow, that’s harsh!

Reply
CatholicWatcher November 29, 2023 - 7:47 pm

cardinal burke, critic, pope don’t like, took away his stuff, big drama!

Reply
JohnDoe123 November 30, 2023 - 3:01 am

pope francis disciplined cardinal burke coz unity issue, yanked his privileges vatican apt n salary, like whoa!

Reply

Leave a Comment

logo-site-white

BNB – Big Big News is a news portal that offers the latest news from around the world. BNB – Big Big News focuses on providing readers with the most up-to-date information from the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, health, and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest News

© 2023 BBN – Big Big News

en_USEnglish