Burke, a member of a group of American conservatives long opposed to the Pope’s plans to reform the Catholic Church, has not yet experienced the eviction, according to a Vatican source reported by The USA Herald.
The move, not intended as a personal punishment, is based on the belief that an individual should not enjoy cardinal privileges while criticizing the Church leader.
“It sets an unprecedented precedent,” said a Vatican observer. Traditionally, retired cardinals often remain in Rome, participating in papal liturgies and ceremonial duties. “Evicting someone from their residence in the Vatican sets a new precedent,” noted the observer, suggesting that the decision could trigger a significant reaction and deepen divisions between the Vatican and the American Church.
Cardinal Burke has not commented on the matter, and media outlets have sought comments unsuccessfully so far. The Pope revealed his intention to take action against the cardinal in a recent meeting with Vatican officials.
Tensions between Francis and his American critics, who hold a more traditional or conservative perspective, have reached their peak. Earlier this month, he dismissed conservative Bishop Joseph Strickland of Texas, who had criticized the Pope’s attempts to adopt more progressive positions on abortion, transgender rights, and same-sex marriage.
Months earlier, the Pope told members of the Jesuit religious order in Portugal that there was a “very strong, organized, and reactionary” attitude in the American Church, which he described as “backward.”
Tensions with Cardinal Burke, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI, have been simmering for almost a decade.
The situation appears to stem from Burke’s gradual estrangement from the Pope. Apparently, the Pope perceives that Burke promotes a personality cult centered on traditionalism or regressive ideas. His action seems aimed at limiting Burke’s influence by severing his ties with Rome.
Published by The Usa Herald, a news and information agency.