Pope Francis confirms punishing conservative US cardinal: report

Burke has told media outlets that no official communication from the Vatican has been received regarding the punitive measures

Pope Francis allegedly confirmed with a papal biographer his decision to take punitive measures against U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke.

Biographer Austen Ivereigh claimed in an article for the Catholic blog "Where Peter Is" to have spoken with Pope Francis about the situation at his residence in the Vatican.

Francis allegedly told the biographer that he did indeed revoke Burke's pension and Vatican apartment because he was "using those privileges against the Church," according to Ivereigh.

The pontiff also apparently pushed back on previous reports claiming he called Burke "my enemy."


Raymond Burke

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke attends the consistory for the creation of new cardinals, led by Pope Francis, at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, Vatican. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

"I never used the word ‘enemy’ nor the pronoun ‘my.’ I simply announced the fact at the meeting of the dicastery heads, without giving specific explanations," Pope Francis told Ivereigh, according to the report.

Burke has become prominent in Catholic media over the past few years due to his consistent criticisms of decisions made under the current papacy.


Pope Francis speaks

Pope Francis delivers his speech during his weekly general audience in the Pope Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

His outspoken objections are always tempered, however, by affirmations that he is loyal to Pope Francis and that the pontiff is not his "enemy."

Burke claimed to The Wall Street Journal that he had not yet received any official communications from the Vatican concerning the highly-publicized punitive measures.

"People can draw their own conclusions about why the Holy Father told this to Austen Ivereigh and not the person concerned," Burke said. 

The Vatican shown on Palm Sunday 2022

A view of St. Peters Square at the Vatican as Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday Mass. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

"It’s my duty as a cardinal to remain in Rome," Burke added. He remains the cardinal protector of Sant'Agata dei Goti church.

Burke was named a cardinal in 2010 by Pope Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. 

Since 2016, Burke has been slowly stripped of multiple offices and honors, including his position in the Congregation for Divine Worship and his patronage of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

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