FACT CHECK: Did Pope Francis Call Cardinal Raymond Burke His ‘Enemy?’

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on X, formerly Twitter, claims Pope Francis called Cardinal Raymond Burke his “enemy” during a meeting.

Verdict: Misleading

While one source has stated Pope Francis said this, other sources have pushed back on this. Pope Francis reportedly denied calling Burke an “enemy.”

Fact Check:

Pope Francis reportedly stated that he would revoke Burke’s subsidized flat in Vatican City and his salary during a Nov. 20 meeting with the heads of the Vatican offices, according to The Associated Press. Burke has been one of Pope Francis’ most outspoken critics, the outlet reported.

Social media users have been claiming that the pope called Burke his “enemy.” One user wrote,” ‘Cardinal Burke is my enemy, so I am taking away his flat and salary’…Numerous sources are reporting that Pope Francis said these words about Cardinal Burke recently.”

This claim, however, appears to be from a single source. The La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, a conservative Italian newspaper, reported that Vatican sources told the outlet that Pope Francis called Burke “my enemy” and that he was “taking away his flat and salary.”

Austen Ivereigh, a Catholic writer who has written two biographies on Pope Francis, wrote on the Catholic website Where is Peter that the pope said in a note to him that the claim was false.

“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,” Pope Francis reportedly said to Ivereigh. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Pope Francis Wearing An Oversized White Puffer Coat?)

Reuters also reported that a Vatican official denied that Pope Francis had used the word “enemy” during the meeting. Sources told the National Catholic Register that they were informed that Pope Francis said Burke was “working against the Church and against the unity of the Church.”

The Associated Press, the Pillar and Reuters reported that the pope said Burke was a source of “disunity” within the Catholic Church. Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that Pope Francis had informed the participants of the Nov. 20 meeting that he would take “measures of an economic nature and canonical penalties” against Burke.

Check Your Fact reached out to the Holy See’s press office for comment and will update this article if a response is provided.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
Follow Elias on Twitter Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected].