Made known at recent interdicasterial meeting…

Francis Announces Retaliation against ‘Cardinal’ Raymond Burke: Away with his Apartment and Salary!

UPDATE 04-DEC-2023:

UPDATE 29-NOV-2023:


On Mar. 9, 2017, ‘Pope’ Francis said in one of his countless interviews that he does not see ‘Cardinal’ Raymond Burke as an enemy.

Since then, a lot of water has flowed down the Tiber.

At first it was just a rumor, but now it has been confirmed: Francis said at a Nov. 20 meeting with the heads of all the Vatican dicasteries that ‘Cardinal’ Burke is his “enemy” and that he will cancel his Vatican apartment and stop paying his salary.

This was reported by Riccardo Cascioli on Nov. 27 on the web site of the Daily Compass:

“Cardinal Burke is my enemy, so I am taking away his flat and salary”. This is what Pope Francis supposedly said at the meeting with the Heads of Dicasteries of the Roman Curia last 20 November, and which a Vatican source revealed to the Daily Compass. The indiscretion was later confirmed by other sources. As far as we are aware, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, currently in the United States, has not yet received a formal notice confirming the Pope’s words, but given the precedents – most recently the case of Monsignor Georg Ganswein, former personal secretary of Pope Benedict XVI – there is little doubt that words will be followed by deeds.

(Riccardo Cascioli, “The Pope: ‘Away with Cardinal Burke’s house and salary'”, Daily Compass, Nov. 27, 2023)

While one must be careful with reports by one single web site of what was allegedly said by the ‘Pope’, Robert Moynihan of Inside the Vatican was able to get confirmation of the reported words:

A highly-placed Vatican source has confirmed to Inside the Vatican that Pope Francis on November 20 did tell a gathering of leading cardinals in the Roman Curia that he is planning to take away Cardinal Raymond Burke‘s Vatican apartment and his monthly cardinal’s stipend.

    “It is true,” the Vatican source confirmed to me earlier today. “The Pope did say he would do that.”

    The Pope was chairing a meeting of all the heads of the various Vatican offices, called an “interdicasterial” meeting — a regular meeting held so everyone in the Vatican receives some general idea of what everyone else is doing.

    The Pope’s words were reported yesterday in La Nuova Bussola….

    But there remained some doubt about the report, because no source was named.

    Now a trusted source has confirmed the report.

    This does not mean the this will actually happen, but it does mean that the words were spoken, and we will now have to wait and see what does happen…

(Robert Moynihan, “Letter #163, 2023, Tuesday, November 28: Confirmed”, Inside the Vatican, Nov. 28, 2023; bold print and italics given.)

Moynihan goes on to explain how salaries and apartments work for ‘cardinals’ residing in Rome, and he concludes:

…the two measures that Pope Francis is evidently thinking of taking against Cardinal Burke might be characterized, in a rough estimate, as costing Cardinal Burke $52,600 in salary, and between $60,000 and $100,000+ per year in the value of a free apartment, so, a total loss to Burke of… between $112,000 and $152,000 per year.

The secular Associated Press has likewise confirmed the story through “two people briefed on the measures”:

The Pillar also has an interesting write-up on this:

According to the AP and Pillar reports, the reason Francis gave for taking these severe punitive measures against Burke is that he is creating “disunity” in the Church — an amusing accusation, considering that Francis has basically been doing nothing else for the last 10 years. In any case, Bergoglio believes that even Lutherans are part of the Mystical Body of Christ, so it is not clear just where the problem would be if Burke did create disunity in the Vatican II Church.

“Cardinal Burke currently has no official job in the Roman Curia”, Moynihan adds. However, according to the Vatican web site, Burke is still a member — though perhaps inactive or without practical significance — of the Secretariat of State, the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, and the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.

It is true that Burke, now 75, occasionally agitates against Francis. In 2014-2016, Burke tried to derail Bergoglio’s plans to permit Catholics in a permanent state of unrepented adultery to receive Communion, but ultimately failed. His threatened ‘formal correction’ of the ‘Pope’ in that regard, never materialized either. This past October, Burke participated in the Daily Compass-sponsored “Synodal Tower of Babel” conference in Rome, in which he spoke against Francis’ beloved Synod on Synodality. He was also a part of the recent Dubia drama that challenged both Francis and his doctrinal sidekick, ‘Cardinal’ Victor Fernandez.

It seems clear that Bergoglio is conducting a personnel purge of sorts, moving against one opponent after another. Looking at the more recent past, here is what we find: In 2020, Pedro Daniel Martínez Perea, the Novus Ordo bishop of San Luis, Argentina, was told by ‘Pope’ Francis to resign, and he complied. Just last year, Francis removed Daniel Fernández Torres from his diocese of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Benedict XVI’s and Francis’ long-time aide Georg Gänswein was unceremoniously shipped off to Germany without an assignment earlier this year. Joseph Strickland was removed from the diocese of Tyler, United States, without any due process. After being forbidden from conferring further ordinations in his diocese, Dominique Rey in France has now been assigned a coadjutor bishop to keep an eye on him, ready to take over the diocese whenever Rey retires. At present it is Raymond Burke‘s turn, and after him it appears that Nicolás Baisi will be next.

Truly, it is only his adversaries Francis is after, not ‘bad bishops’ in general. Notice, for example, that despite an occasional verbal finger-wagging, the more or less open apostates in the German episcopate never get disciplined in any meaningful way. There are no trials, no sanctions, no removals, even though the list of spiritual crimes committed by them is endless (here is just one example). One of the worst of them, ‘Cardinal’ Reinhard Marx of Munich, actually served as one of Francis’ closest advisors for a number of years.

One gets the feeling that Francis, sensing that his remaining time on earth is short, wants to neutralize anyone he sees as an obstacle to his revolutionary agenda, or even just as a speed bump to its smooth implementation. His most recent illness is probably only emboldening him further.

Interestingly enough, there is one Novus Ordo bishop in the conservative/traditionalist camp who is never threatened or disciplined by the Vatican in any way, even though he is constantly agitating against Francis and his agenda, and certainly more so than Burke. That man is Athanasius Schneider, the auxiliary of Maria Santissima in Astana, Kazakhstan. (Granted, ‘Abp.’ Carlo Maria Viganò is likewise never touched by Francis, but in contrast to Schneider, he is retired from active ministry and his physical location is a well-kept secret.)

Cascioli concludes his article on what Bergoglio told the heads of the Vatican dicasteries on Nov. 20, with an astute observation:

One may think that the real purpose is to remove Burke from Rome, weakening the camp of those who resist the revolution in progress, as a Conclave approaches, but it is also a warning to those who work in the Roman Curia. The fact is that the end of this pontificate increasingly resembles in its methods, a South American dictatorship.

To sum up: According to confirmed reports, Francis plans to take away from ‘Cardinal’ Burke his (not undeserved) retirement pay as well as his residence. In other words, Francis is effectively working to make an elderly man who depends on him poor and homeless, with the obvious aim of discarding or at least marginalizing him!

That’s the same ‘Pope’, by the way, who knows that not paying people their just wages is a mortal sin, and who has said that unconditional-welfare-for-all is an idea worth pondering:

…I believe it is time to explore concepts like the universal basic income (UBI)…: an unconditional flat payment to all citizens, which could be dispersed through the tax system.

The UBI could reshape relations in the labor market, guaranteeing people the dignity of refusing employment terms that trap them in poverty.

(‘Pope’ Francis with Austen Ivereigh, ed., Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future [New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2020], pp. 131-132)

But then, Burke’s retirement salary isn’t Universal Basic Income, it’s rather Universal Bergoglian Income.

And that definitely has conditions attached.

Image source: YouTube (screenshot)
License: fair use

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