Pope Francis has removed some of the Vatican privileges of conservative US Cardinal Raymond Burke, including a large subsidized apartment and his salary, a senior Vatican official said on Tuesday.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, 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.
Burke has had no senior Vatican job for years. His is a consultant to one of its tribunals, as are numerous cardinals who live outside Rome, and spends most of his time in his native state of Wisconsin.
The official who was at the meeting denied media reports that Francis had called the 75-year-old Burke “an enemy.”
Burke is a hero to traditionalists in the Church, particularly in the US, where he is often a guest on conservative Catholic media outlets that have made criticism of the pope a mainstay of their operations.
The move by Francis was his second involving a conservative US prelate this month.
On Nov. 11, the pope dismissed another conservative critic, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, after Strickland refused to step down following a Vatican investigation.
In other papal news, the pope yesterday sounded wheezy and limited his speaking at a public event, a day after he canceled a trip to the COP28 climate summit in Dubai because of health issues.
“Dear brothers and sisters good morning and welcome,” the 86-year-old pontiff said at his weekly audience, held indoors in the Vatican’s Paul IV Audience Hall.
He said an aide would read his main text in his place, “since I am still not well with this flu and [my] voice is not nice.”
On Tuesday, the Vatican said Francis would no longer embark on his planned three-day trip to Dubai, which was to start on Friday, on doctor’s recommendations.
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