Pope Francis meets with US Cardinal Burke, about a month after stopping his Vatican salary

Pope Francis shakes the hand of an older white man wearing a red zucchetto and cardinal's cassock

Pope Francis and U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke shake hands as they meet in the library of the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican Dec. 29, 2023. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

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U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, a former top Vatican official, met privately with Pope Francis Dec. 29, about a month after reports that Francis wanted to stop giving him a monthly salary and would ask him to pay the market rate for his Vatican apartment.

The Vatican press office provided no information on the meeting other than to announce it had taken place.

Reached at the cardinal's apartment, his secretary told Catholic News Service, "His Eminence wishes to give no comment at this time."

During a meeting Nov. 20 with the heads of the offices of the Roman Curia, Francis reportedly informed the Curia leaders of his plan. Various reports say Burke is expected to find his own apartment in Rome and move out of the Vatican accommodations by the end of February.

Francis "didn't see why he should continue to subsidize Burke attacking him and the church," and the pope thought "he seemed to have plenty of money from America," a person who spoke to Francis told Catholic News Service.

Burke, 75, is the former head of the Apostolic Signatura, the church's highest court. Before Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to that role, he had served as archbishop of St. Louis.

In 2016, Burke and three other cardinals publicly released a critical set of questions, known as "dubia," that they had sent to Pope Francis about his teaching on the family. They published the questions after waiting in vain for two months for a response from the pope.

A few days before the Synod of Bishops on synodality opened in October, Burke and four other cardinals released another set of "dubia" that they had sent the pope seeking clarification on doctrinal and pastoral questions expected to be raised at the synod. They did not release the pope's responses to them, but the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith did later.

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