Pope Francis Evicts Conservative American Cardinal from His Vatican Home in ‘Vicious Act’: Report

Pope Francis Evicts Conservative American Cardinal from His Vatican Home in ‘Vicious Act’: Report

CORRECTION, Nov. 30, 2023: Pope Francis reportedly plans to evict Cardinal Raymond Burke from his Vatican-subsidized apartment. An earlier version of this article had different names for both men.

Pope Francis is planning to punish an American critic, according to published reports.

The pope plans to evict Cardinal Raymond Burke from his Vatican-subsidized apartment and also take away the salary provided for Burke as a retired cardinal, according to The New York Times.

“If he’s being evicted from his apartment, this is a vicious act,” said Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute, a conservative Catholic organization based in Virginia.

“Cardinal Burke is my enemy, so I take away his apartment and his salary,” the Italian newspaper La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana quoted the pope as saying in a recent meeting, according to Google translate.

“The alleged enmity of Cardinal Burke has recently become a real obsession for Pope Francis, but in reality the American cardinal has been in the crosshairs since the beginning of his pontificate, probably because he embodies some of the elements that annoy him most: he is American and represents a constant reminder of the doctrine and Tradition of the Church.”

Francis said during a Nov. 20 meeting that Burke had become a focal point of  “disunity” in the Roman Catholic Church, according to the Associated Press, which cited a participant in the meeting it did not name.

AP quoted a second source it did not name as quoting Francis as saying Burke was using benefits given to him by the church against it.

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, said Francis planned to invoke “measures of an economic nature and canonical penalties” against Burke, the Times reported.

The Vatican did not deny the report, although Vatican representative Matteo Bruni, told the media, “I don’t have anything particular to say about that.”

Francis recently removed Joseph Strickland, the bishop of Tyler, Texas, who was another conservative critic. Strickland responded to reports of Burke’s punishment with a post on X.

“If this is accurate, it is an atrocity that must be opposed,” Strickland said. “If it is false information it needs to be corrected immediately.”

The Times report noted that Burke has a major following in the American branch of the global church. He authored the preface to a book that said a major pope-sponsored gathering on the church’s future could lead to a schism.

“This is like accusing the president of sedition. They’re the most serious charges one can launch against the pope or any Catholic,” said David Gibson, director of the Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University.

Burke has sparred with the pope on LGBT issues and immigration. Burke has portrayed himself as opposing the  “confusion, error and division” Francis has caused.

During a recent forum, Burke said he opposed the “harmful goal” of altering the church to suit radical ideas.

“It’s unfortunately very clear that the invocation of the Holy Spirit on the part of some has as its aim to push forward an agenda that is more political and human than ecclesiastical and divine,” he said then.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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