In a bombshell move, Pope Francis has removed conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke's salary and accommodations.
According to the Associated Press, Francis announced his action against Burke during a meeting of the heads of Vatican offices earlier this month.
The Associated Press cited an unnamed source who reportedly attended the meeting and said that Francis blamed Burke for "disunity" within the Catholic Church.
Another person who spoke on the condition of anonymity recalled how the pope complained that Burke was using his privileges against the church.
The Associated Press also noted that Francis fired Burke almost a decade ago from his position as Vatican High Court justice. Burke is known for his criticism of Francis previously joined other conservative cardinals in asking Francis to clarify his stance on several issues, including those related to divorce and homosexuality.
Burke and the pope have also clashed over the COVID-19 vaccine, with Francis saying in 2021 that "humanity has a history of friendship with vaccines."
What's more, Burke publicly criticized Francis in October as the pope met with bishops at the Vatican in what is known as a synod.
"It’s unfortunately very clear that the invocation of the Holy Spirit by some has the aim of bringing forward an agenda that is more political and human than ecclesial and divine," the Associated Press quoted Burke as saying.
"The sheep depend on the courage of pastors who must protect them from the poison of confusion, error and division," he added.
News of Burke's loss of salary and housing was met with outrage from conservative Catholics, some of whom called the pope "a Marxist."
The Pope’s a marxist.
Pope Francis punishes conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke | Blaze Media https://t.co/WWmQtsLOEV
— Michael Michelin (@MAMichelin59) November 30, 2023
Francis' targeting of Burke comes a month after he forcibly removed Bishop Joseph Strickland, another conservative critic.
Fox News noted that Strickland, who previously presided over the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, had accused Francis of "undermining" the Catholic faith.
Please allow me to clarify regarding, “Patrick Coffin has challenged the authenticity of the Pope Francis.” If this is accurate I disagree, I believe Pope Francis is the Pope but it is time for me to say that I reject his program of undermining the Deposit of Faith. Follow Jesus.
— Bishop J. Strickland (@BishStrickland) May 13, 2023