(IntegrityPress.org) – The Pope has inspired backlash after chastising conservative American Cardinal Raymond Burke and punishing him by taking away his salary and rights to an apartment in the Vatican.
During a meeting on November 20th, the Pope informed Vatican leadership of his intention to evict Burke from the apartment and stop payments on his retirement benefits due to his outspoken criticism of the Pope, according to reports by The Associated Press citing an anonymous person who was at the meeting. A separate official reported to the AP that Burke’s privileges were being revoked because he was weaponizing them against the church.
This would mark the second time recently when Pope Francis has punished an outspoken critic. Francis removed a bishop from his position in Tyler, Texas after he refused to resign following accusations of wrongdoing from the Vatican. Bishop Joseph Strickland was investigated by the Vatican and similarly had his housing and salary threatened by Francis a few weeks ago.
Strickland suggested that the rebuke of Burke “is an atrocity that must be opposed” in a post on X.
Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni didn’t deny the anonymous claims to reporters, telling them he lacked particular comments on the matter entirely.
Burke’s secretary has yet to have been informed of any punitive measures, according to the AP.
The report rapidly garnered sympathies for Burke, some commenters found the idea so incredulous that they initially questioned the veracity of the report.
Others approved of the move, suggesting Burke had been a divisive influence.
Burke’s been publicly critical of Francis and the general direction he’s been taking the church toward tolerance of sexual minorities. He’d previously challenged Francis, along with other conservative cardinals, to clarify his stance on issues like same-sex marriage.
Burke also organized a meeting of conservatives and criticized Francis for inciting “confusion, error, and division” within the church.
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