In recent developments, Pope Francis has curtailed the Vatican privileges previously afforded to Cardinal Raymond Burke, a prominent conservative figure, due to concerns over perceived actions against Church unity. Last week, during a routine Vatican meeting, the Pope conveyed his decision to key aides, citing Burke's alleged efforts working against the Church's interests and papal authority, leading to internal discord.
Burke, who hasn't held a significant Vatican role for years, currently serves as a consultant to a tribunal while residing mostly in Wisconsin. Contrary to some reports, the Pope did not explicitly label Burke as an "enemy," as confirmed by an anonymous official present at the meeting.
This move by Pope Francis is the second involving a conservative American church figure this month. Earlier in November, another outspoken critic, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Texas, was removed after refusing to step down following a Vatican investigation.
Despite being a minority within the Church, conservative factions, particularly in advanced nations like the United States, wield considerable influence. Burke has persistently opposed the Pope's reforms since Francis assumed office, resulting in his gradual distancing from prominent Vatican roles.
Most recently, Burke was among five cardinals openly challenging a global Vatican meeting, expressing concerns about what he termed as "the poison of confusion, error, and division" within the Church. While there's yet to be formal communication with Burke about the decision, its initial report emerged from the conservative Italian outlet, La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana.