CV NEWS FEED // The Vatican has reportedly given Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke an ultimatum: start paying rent on his Church-issued apartment or vacate the premises.
As The Pillar reported this weekend, “Burke received a letter from the Apostolic See dated Nov. 24.” The letter allegedly explained that the prelate “is expected to begin paying market rate rents for his Vatican apartment, effective Dec. 1, or … to surrender the apartment by Feb. 29, 2024.”
“The letter did not indicate what the market rate rent on the cardinal’s apartment actually would be,” The Pillar noted.
According to unspecified sources, “Burke is likely to vacate the apartment” and “to begin looking for other accommodations in Rome,” according to The Pillar.
The American cardinal is an outspoken critic of the pope.
The Pillar reported on March 1 that sometime during the previous month, Francis “ended the practice of giving cardinals and senior curial staff free or subsidized accommodation in Vatican-owned properties.”
It explained that this change was in response to a “serious financial crisis for the Vatican” and came “after salary cuts to Vatican officials and cardinals.”
Again from The Pillar’s March report:
Effective immediately, cardinals, prefects of dicasteries, presidents of Vatican bodies, as well as senior curial staffers will have to pay normal market rates for accommodation in Vatican-owned properties and rent of apartments in Vatican buildings.
However, the same source noted on Sunday that “Burke is believed to be the first cardinal publicly known to be informed that the changes would become effective with his own residence, and that he could be required to vacate his apartment.”
Last week, CatholicVote reported on the Vatican’s rumored decision to “punish” the senior cardinal. To justify the drastic move, the pope reportedly claimed during a Vatican meeting that Burke has stoked “disunity” within the Church.
“Burke has not been informed directly of the decision,” The Pillar’s JD Flynn wrote on November 28.
“Burke has clashed with the Holy Father on many issues regarding doctrine and Church Tradition,” Madalaine Elhabbal of CatholicVote explained the day before. “The controversial publication of the three dubia submitted to Pope Francis, which Burke co-authored, is the most recent example of conflict between the two.”
The Pillar elaborated that the 75-year-old cardinal “was one of four cardinals who submitted” the dubia to “Pope Francis concerning the interpretation of Amoris laetitia, a 2016 apostolic exhortation on the family.”
“The pope declined to answer the dubia,” the report added.
It went on to say that Burke
was also one of five cardinals who presented dubia to the pope this summer ahead of the synod on synodality’s first session. The pope responded swiftly, but the cardinals resubmitted their queries, which posed questions about doctrinal development, same-sex blessings, the status of the synod on synodality, women priests, and the conditions for sacramental absolution.
Burke has expressed deep reservations about the global synodal process that will conclude with the synod on synodality’s second and final session in October 2024.