Two Vatican insiders say Pope Francis has decided to punish conservative American Cardinal Raymond Burke for being a source of "disunity" within the church, marking the second such action against the dignitary.
During a meeting last week with the heads of Vatican offices, Francis said he was taking action against Burke because of his disunity, one of the Nov. 20 meeting participants told the Associated Press. The participant spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not in a position to reveal the details of the meeting.
The second participant who spoke out on condition of anonymity said the pontiff was revoking Burke’s salary as a retired cardinal, as well as his privilege of having a subsidized Vatican apartment because he used the resources against the Catholic church.
US Cardinal Raymond Burke attends the of funeral mass for late Cardinal William Joseph Levada at St. Peters Basilica in the Vatican. ((Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP) (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images))
According to the AP, Burke had not received notification of measures being taken against him.
The 75-year-old has become prominent in Catholic media over the past few years because of his consistent criticisms of decisions made under the current pope.
His outspoken objections are always tempered, however, by affirmations that he is loyal to Francis and that the pontiff is not his "enemy."
Pope Francis touches his forehead during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023. (Photo by Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto via Getty Images) (Getty Images)
Pope Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI named Burke as a cardinal in 2010.
Since 2016, Burke has been stripped of honors and multiple offices, including his position in the Congregation for Divine Worship and his patronage of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
While the demotions continue to be stripped away slowly, Burke has largely remained silent on the matter and refused to entertain characterizations of hostility toward the Holy See.
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JUNE 28: Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke attends the Consistory for the creation of new Cardinals lead by Pope Francis at the St. Peter's Basilica on June 28, 2018 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Francis named fourteen new cardinal from 11 countries during the Ordinary Public Consistory in RomeÕs St. PeterÕs Basilica Thursday evening. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Burke has twice joined other conservative cardinals to issue formal questions to Francis, seeing clarification on questions of doctrine that upset conservatives and traditionalists.
In one instance, the cardinals asked the pope to clarify his outreach to divorce and civilly remarried Catholics, but they never received a reply.
In the second instance, the cardinals asked Francis whether same-sex couples could receive church blessings, and they received a conditional maybe from the pontiff.
Last month, Burke gave a scathing response to Francis’ vision of "synodality" and reform project for the church.
"It’s unfortunately 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," Burke said at the meeting of bishops.
Earlier this month, Francis removed the bishop of Tyler, Texas, Joseph Strickland, who is another conservative who has become a staunch critic of Francis. Strickland has been removed from his post after an investigation conducted by the Vatican into the governance of his diocese.
On Tuesday, Strickland turned to the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to express shock about reports of Francis taking action against Burke.
"If this is inaccurate it is an atrocity that must be opposed," Strickland said. "If it is false information, it needs to be corrected immediately."
The AP added that Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni did not deny the reports about Francis’ decision but referred questions to Burke.
"I don’t have anything particular to say about that," Bruni told reporters.
Fox News Digital’s Timothy H.J. Nerozzi and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Greg Wehner is a breaking news reporter for Fox News Digital.