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Pope Francis continues to sanction critics: Cardinal Burke penalized for questioning his decisions

He is the second prelate to be penalized in less than a month for making public his disagreements with the Supreme Pontiff.

Cardinal Burke (John Briody / Flickr)

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Weeks after relieving Bishop Joseph Strickland of the diocese of Tyler (Texas), Pope Francis has decided to act again against another conservative American member of the Catholic Church. The Supreme Pontiff has penalized Cardinal Raymond Burke by terminating his right to reside in an apartment in Vatican City and taking away his salary.

Two anonymous people familiar with this case assured the Associated Press that Pope Francis' decision was due to criticism received from Burke, the same reason that led him to relieve Bishop Strickland of his duties. The specific argument used by the Holy Father is that the cardinal is a "source of disunity" in the Catholic Church, as he stated during a meeting held last week with senior Vatican officials.

At the moment, Cardinal Burke has not been notified of the sanctions that Pope Francis will impose against him, according to the Associated Press. Matteo Bruni, a Vatican spokesman, said, "I have nothing special to say about it" during a conversation with journalists.

Along with other conservative prelates, Cardinal Burke questioned certain decisions or suggestions by Pope Francis to bring the Catholic Church closer to the LGBT community, such as Catholic homosexual couples being blessed by priests in the future.

Another example is that the Supreme Pontiff has not made public what he thinks about Catholic divorcees remarrying civilly.

Strickland: "It's an atrocity"

The first 'victim' of Pope Francis, Bishop Strickland, described the sanction against Cardinal Burke as an "atrocity" if the news is confirmed: