Hey, remember when liberal Catholics used to argue that dissent was a high calling and that dissent was good for the Church?

Yeah, me too.

I guess Pope Francis didn’t get a harrumph from Cardinal Burke.

AP: Pope Francis has decided to punish one of his highest-ranking critics, Cardinal Raymond Burke, by revoking his right to a subsidized Vatican apartment and salary in the second such radical action against a conservative American prelate this month, according to two people briefed on the measures.

Francis told a meeting of the heads of Vatican offices last week that he was moving against Burke because he was a source of “disunity” in the church, said one of the participants at the Nov. 20 meeting. The participant spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to reveal the contents of the encounter.

Francis said he was removing Burke’s privileges of having a subsidized Vatican apartment and salary as a retired cardinal because he was using the privileges against the church, said another person who was subsequently briefed on the pope’s measures. That person also spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to reveal the details.

This is meant to silence critics. This is politics. In fact, this is head on a pike politics. Pope Francis is telling his critics that he will come for them if they persist. He is telling them that he will be ruthless. He speaks of unity but demands silence. And sadly, many many Catholics don’t find any problem with this. This is sad.