Pope Francis told the prefects of Vatican dicasteries that he saw no reason for the Vatican to continue giving U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke a monthly salary and questioned why the Vatican should be providing him with a free apartment in Rome, various sources have confirmed.

"He 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 later told Catholic News Service.

Riccardo Cascioli, director of the Italian Catholic publication La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, reported Nov. 27 that Pope Francis announced the provisions regarding Cardinal Burke during a meeting Nov. 20 with the heads of the offices of the Roman Curia. Cascioli said the pope referred to the cardinal as "my enemy."

Austen Ivereigh said he wrote to Pope Francis about the "enemy" remark and the pope replied Nov. 28: "I never used the word 'enemy' nor the pronoun 'my.' I simply announced the fact at the meeting of the dicastery heads, without giving specific explanations."

He also authorized Ivereigh to share his comment.

A source who spoke to CNS said his understanding was that Pope Francis was not planning to evict Cardinal Burke from his Vatican-owned apartment but that he did plan to ask the cardinal to start paying rent.

"The meeting was clearly confidential," said a cardinal who refused to confirm any of the story. "It is sad, so sad, and the less said about it, the better."

Cardinals who work at the Vatican or retire from Vatican positions receive a monthly stipend of about 5,000 euros (about $5,500). The figure had been higher before the COVID-19 pandemic, but Pope Francis reduced the salaries of cardinals by 10% in March 2021 as part of a package of Vatican cost-cutting measures.

Cardinal Burke, 75, is a former Vatican official. A few days before the Synod of Bishops on synodality opened in October, he and four other cardinals released questions or "dubia" that they had sent the pope seeking clarification on doctrinal and pastoral questions expected to be raised at the synod. The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith later published Pope Francis' responses to the questions, which did not conform to the "yes or no" format that the cardinals had requested.

Earlier, a letter from the cardinal served as a forward to a book criticizing the synod.

"Synodality and its adjective, synodal, have become slogans behind which a revolution is at work to change radically the church's self-understanding, in accord with a contemporary ideology which denies much of what the church has always taught and practiced," said the cardinal's letter to José Antonio Ureta and Julio Loredo de Izcue, authors of "The Synodal Process Is a Pandora's Box."

Pope Benedict XVI tapped the former archbishop of St. Louis to head the Apostolic Signatura, a Vatican court, in 2008 and made him a cardinal in 2010. In 2014, Pope Francis removed him from the court and named him cardinal patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The pope appointed a special delegate to the Order of Malta in 2017, but Cardinal Burke continued to hold the title of patron until June 2023.