Pope Francis vs conservative Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke

Pope Francis vs. conservative Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke

Vatican sources claim he was stripped of his house and salary because of his criticism of the papacy’s progressive policies

In recent days, Pope Francis has sanctioned an important, very conservative American cardinal, Raymond Leo Burke, because he criticized the Vatican’s actions and policies as too progressive. The news was reported by Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, a conservative Catholic newspaper, which said Burke had been deprived of his salary and the availability of an apartment in Rome.

On November 27, Nuova Bussola Quotidiana wrote that at a meeting with the heads of the Roman Curia’s dicasteries, the Vatican’s administrative bodies that resemble government ministries, Pope Francis said that Cardinal Burke “is my enemy, therefore I am.” take away his apartment and his salary. In the following days, the Vatican neither commented on nor denied the news, and in the meantime further confirmations arrived: first Il Messaggero wrote about it, citing “two authoritative Vatican sources,” and then the Portal news agency, which reported one quoted important Vatican officials who wished to remain anonymous.

The latter said he was present at the meeting on November 20. According to the Vatican official, the pope on that occasion accused Burke of “working against the church and against the papacy” and trying to cause a “split” within the Catholic Church. However, he also disputed what the New Daily Compass had written about the sentence the Pope said that called Burke an “enemy.”

Burke is 75 years old and currently does not hold any important positions within the Catholic Church: he is a member of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest judicial body of canon law of the Vatican, of which he was also prefect in the past, i.e. the head, and is Patron Emeritus of the Sovereign Order of Malta.

In the past he has often been very critical of Pope Francis and in 2016 he was among the signatories of a document in response to the 2016 Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, a kind of “open letter” published following the synod’s discussions on the family , in which the Pope had advocated a more open attitude towards remarried divorcees and homosexuals, although with many differences. Burke, along with three other cardinals, had highlighted dubia (in Latin: doubt) in relation to passages of the text that, in his opinion, contradicted the moral teaching of the Catholic Church.

Most recently, before the start of the general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which meets regularly to discuss issues related to the Catholic Church, Burke once again criticized Pope Francis’ openness on some issues that are particularly controversial among the most conservative Catholics and the Pope’s advice: The The Assembly’s first session took place in Rome from October 4th to 29th, 2023 and was historic in its own way, as lay people and women took part for the first time (a second session is planned for October 2024). .

The day before the gathering, Burke had attended a conference organized by the newspaper La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana and argued that the synod “hides an agenda that is more political than ecclesiastical and divine in nature” and “hides a desire to profoundly undermine the hierarchy change”. Constitution of the Church,” which, according to Burke, would result in “a weakening of teaching on questions of morality and discipline in the Church.” The Synod is held from time to time on various topics considered important, most recently on “synodality”, that is, the common path that the Church must take (synod comes from the Greek and means the act of “walking together”). .

In fact, this Synod has introduced important innovations, not so much in the structure of the Church, but in the methods of discussion in the Synod itself, which are much more open, inclusive and informal than in the past.

– Also read: The new synod of the church, with laypeople and women for the first time

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