Pope Francis is sending a strong message against hate, stripping a Cardinal of his privileges for anti-LGBT preaching.
The Catholic Pope has taken a stand against Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, a prominent anti-LGBTQ+ figure in the United States. The Pope has revoked Cardinal Burke’s right to a subsidized Vatican apartment and retirement salary, citing concerns about the spread of “disunity” in the church.
Cardinal Burke, 75, has been critical against Pope Francis, especially the Pope’s inclusive approach towards the LGBTQ+ community. Burke was previously the high court justice at the Vatican but was dismissed from the position by Pope Francis in 2014.
Burke’s opposition to the Pope’s views includes signing letters questioning the stance on same-sex civil unions. Last month, during a meeting of bishops in Rome hosted by Pope Francis, Burke presided over a “counter-synod” near St Peter’s Square, once again expressing his disagreement with the Pope’s plans to reform the church.
In the past, Cardinal Burke has been straightforward in his denunciation of gay relationships. In 2014, he stated that same-sex relationships are “intrinsically disordered” and argued against exposing children to gay couples, explicitly calling them ‘evil.’
Upon the recent revocation of his Vatican apartment and salary, a representative for Burke stated that he was unaware of the decision, and the cardinal has not issued any comments. The Pope’s spokesperson declined to provide details, stating, “I don’t have anything particular to say about that.” Burke spends most of his time in Michigan, so the impact on him is low but meaningful.
Cardinal Burke is the second high-ranking US figure in the Catholic Church to face rebuke from Pope Francis in recent weeks. In November, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, was removed from his position for being a vocal critic of the Pope’s modernization efforts.
In a separate event on World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis hosted a pasta lunch at the Vatican, including several trans women, migrants, and sex workers. This gesture followed the Vatican’s decision to allow the baptism of trans individuals and their participation as godparents, a move appreciated by the transgender community in Italy.