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What did Pope Francis do to Cardinal Burke?

In a bold and unprecedented move, Pope Francis has decided to evict Cardinal Raymond Burke from his Vatican apartment and revoke his salary, citing concerns of “disunity” within the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Burke, an outspoken critic of Pope Francis and a prominent member of a group of American conservatives opposing the Pope’s reform initiatives, finds himself at the center of a significant decision that underscores the tensions within the Church.

The decision, revealed during a meeting of Vatican officials on November 20, 2023, marks a notable development in the ongoing clashes between Pope Francis and his conservative detractors.

According to sources present at the meeting, Pope Francis explicitly mentioned Cardinal Burke as a source of “disunity” within the Church, signaling his determination to address internal conflicts and push forward with his reform agenda.

The measures taken against Cardinal Burke include the revocation of privileges, particularly his subsidized Vatican apartment and his salary as a retired cardinal. Pope Francis justified these actions by asserting that Burke was using these privileges against the Church itself, a sentiment that echoes the Pope’s commitment to fostering unity and implementing reforms.

Cardinal Burke, known for spending a significant portion of his time in the U.S. at the Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine he founded in Wisconsin, becomes the second American prelate to face disciplinary measures during this apparent new phase of Pope Francis’ pontificate.

The Pope’s efforts to streamline and reform the Church have seemingly intensified with the appointment of Argentine Cardinal Victor Fernández as the new doctrine czar in September 2023.