VATICAN CITY — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, a former top Vatican official, met privately with Pope Francis Dec. 29, about a month after reports that Pope 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, Pope Francis reportedly informed the Curia leaders of his plan. Various reports say Cardinal Burke is expected to find his own apartment in Rome and move out of the Vatican accommodations by the end of February.
Pope 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 Pope Francis told Catholic News Service.
Cardinal Burke, 75, is the former head of head 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, Cardinal 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, Cardinal 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.