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Pope takes action against leading critic Cardinal Raymond Burke

Burke has strong ties to Wisconsin, founded La Crosse shrine

Cardinal Raymond Burke
Cardinal Raymond Burke applauds during a news conference at the Italian Senate, in Rome, on Sept. 6, 2018. Alessandra Tarantino/AP Photo

Pope Francis has decided to take measures to punish Cardinal Raymond Burke, who is one of his highest-ranking critics.

Two people briefed on the measures say Francis has decided to revoke Burke’s right to a Vatican apartment and salary. Burke’s secretary says he hasn’t received any notification of the measures. One of the people briefed said Francis had reasoned that Burke was a source of “disunity” in the church.

Burke, 75, has strong ties to Wisconsin. He was born in Richland Center, and served as bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse for nine years beginning in 1995. He founded the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse and continues to serve as the president of the board of directors there.

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According to the Associated Press, Burke has been one of the most outspoken conservative critics of the pope’s outreach efforts to LGBTQ+ Catholics and to other initiatives to make the church more responsive to the needs of churchgoers.

Earlier this month, the pope ordered removal of the bishop of Tyler, Texas, another outspoken critic opposed to recent Vatican leadership. Bishop Joseph Strickland had accused Francis of “undermining the deposit of faith.”