Pope Francis has reportedly threatened to take away the apartment and salary of an American cardinal named Raymond Burke, who has been questioning the Pope’s statements regarding LGBT issues.
Francis said he was removing Burke’s privileges of having a subsidized Vatican apartment and salary as a retired cardinal because he was using the privileges against the church, said another person who was subsequently briefed on the pope’s measures. That person also spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to reveal the details.
The official, who spoke anonymously, participated in a regular Vatican meeting when the pope made the announcement to senior aides last week.
He quoted the pope as saying that Burke, one of his fiercest critics, was “working against the Church and against the papacy” and that he had sown “disunity” in the Church.
Cardinal Raymond Burke was ordained a priest by Pope Paul VI in 1975; in 1989, he was named the first American Defender of the Bond of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest ecclesiastical court in the Catholic Church, by Pope John Paul II.
In July 2006, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Burke to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura; in 2008 he was named its Prefect, thus making him the second-highest ranking American prelate at the Vatican after Cardinal Willam Levada, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Twice, Burke has joined other conservative cardinals in issuing formal questions to the pontiff, known as “dubia,” asking him to clarify questions of doctrine that upset conservatives and traditionalists.
In the first, they asked Francis to clarify his outreach to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, and Francis never replied.
In the second, they asked whether same-sex couples could receive church blessings — and received a conditional maybe in response.
Burke has not received any notification of measures being taken, his secretary said in a text message Tuesday to The Associated Press.
Pope Francis made a public appearance at the Vatican on Wednesday, his first since staff announced the pope would not be attending a three-day overseas trip to a U.N. climate conference, known as COP28, in Dubai.
Francis, who has lung inflammation causing breathing problems, presided with the public but said he was still unwell and asked an aide to read his remarks for him.
Francis, who had part of one lung removed as a young man, stood up only briefly at the start of the event. He made the sign of the cross and then returned to his seat.
The trip would have started Friday, with the pope returning to Rome on Sunday.