In his recent interview with Raymond Arroyo of EWTN, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke fired two distinctive warning shots directly across the bow of the Good Ship Francis, even as most observers seem not to have noticed.
Much of the commentary concerning the interview seems to focus on two areas in particular, the first being Cardinal Burke’s insistence on the necessity of denying Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, a subject he has addressed any number of times in the past.
When news broke on Monday that the pope had not renewed Cardinal Burke’s membership in the Congregation for Bishops, and had newly appointed his polar opposite when it comes to placing Our Blessed Lord in the blood stained hands of pro-abortion politicians, Cardinal Wuerl of Washington, D.C., some posited that the interview had played a role in the move.
While I seriously doubt that this was the case as this decision was almost certainly made well before the interview, it is at one and the same time unsurprising and significant.
Secondly, a lot of attention has been given to Cardinal Burke’s reaction to the Holy Father’s statement that it’s not necessary to speak about issues such as abortion and homosexuality “all the time.”
“It’s a text that’s not altogether easy to interpret,” Burke said in the interview.
Now, let’s be clear, Cardinal Burke is not implying that there are issues regarding the way in which the comments were translated from Italian to English; rather, he is saying that it’s not easy to reconcile what the pope actually said with the concrete realities of the world in which we live when viewed in the light of Catholic teaching.
His Eminence explained:
“My response is what could be more essential than the natural moral law? In other words, these acts that are always and everywhere evil; they’re the first commands of our conscience, to respect human life, to respect the integrity of the family and to respect conscience. And so to me the pope can’t be saying… I can’t interpret that phrase of his as saying that these are not essentials,” he said.
“I’m not exactly sure why he mentioned it,” Cardinal Burke continued. “One gets the impression, or it’s interpreted in this way in the media, that he thinks we’re talking too much about abortion; too much about the integrity of marriage as between one man and one woman, but we can never talk enough about that.”
Even though many traditionalists were longing for Cardinal Burke to abandon all nuance in addressing the foibles of Francisco, one should appreciate the fact that, as far as “cardinal-speak” goes, these comments are about as close to a public rebuke of the pope as we’re going to get from the likes of Cardinal Burke, for the present moment anyway.
In time, I suspect, rebukes of this nature will become, by necessity, more plainly delivered, which brings me to the most significant, but largely overlooked, portions of the interview.
Warning shot number one:
When asked by Arroyo, “What has the ‘Francis Effect’ been from your vantage point, and what are you seeing among the Curia, particularly as he moves these reforms forward,” His Eminence took aim.
“I’ve made this statement, and I believe it is correct, I cannot imagine a reform of the Roman Curia that would not somehow be continuous with Pastor Bonus, the Apostolic Constitution which has governed the Roman Curia since I think 1988, when Blessed John Paul II reformed the Roman Curia,” he said.
“Because the Church is an organic Body, and the service of the Roman Curia is part of the very nature of the Church, and so that has to be respected. And so I cannot imagine that somehow the Roman Curia is going to take on a completely different figure. It just doesn’t make sense.”
This, my friends, is a pretty clear warning shot from Cardinal Burke in the face of the Holy Father’s “synodal” aspirations. He is reminding all concerned that the Church’s hierarchical structure is not an extension of any given pope’s personal preference; rather, it’s reflective of her very essence.
In a very concrete way, Cardinal Burke is confronting – again, about as directly as one can expect at the present moment – the notion put forth by the Holy Father’s handpicked head of the so-called “C-8,” Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, who said in a recent interview with Fr. Thomas Rosica, “[Pastor Bonus] is over, now it is something different. We need to write something different.”
Warning shot number two:
With regard to the possibility of Summorum Pontificum being overturned, Cardinal Burke said, “I don’t see it as a possibility on a couple of scores. Number one, it’s universal legislation, and to reverse it would be a very serious act on the part of the Holy Father, and would have to have the most serious of reasons.”
Make no mistake; in spite of deliberate nuance, His Eminence is firing yet another clear warning shot.
While one might understandably be perplexed by Cardinal Burke’s follow-up statement, “Pope Francis hasn’t shown any inclination to change anything with regard to the celebration of the Extraordinary Form,” especially in light of the situation with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI), which the cardinal failed to even mention, be neither fooled nor overly troubled by the subtlety.
As for the suggestion that Pope Francis’ “inclinations” with regard to the traditional Mass are pure, this is either pure delusion, or a deliberate effort to nudge the Holy Father in the right direction. To be sure, Cardinal Burke is not deluded.
Secondly, he failed to mention the FFI debacle specifically, not because its relevance is lost on him, but precisely because he recognizes just how gravely serious that situation truly is, and he did so, in part, perhaps for the very same reason a U.S. Supreme Court justice won’t speak about a case that is expected to come before the court.
Cardinal Burke went on to say, “In the Apostolic Exhortation [EG] he [the pope] makes a comment about people being too concerned about the sacred liturgy and so forth, but I don’t think that that could be interpreted as being a negative statement with regard to Summorum Pontificum…”
So, what is one to make of all of this?
What we have here, it seems to me, is the “Chief Justice” of the Church – importantly, even as the FFI situation is still unfolding – saying to a pope whose liturgical sensibilities couldn’t be further from his own, “Personal opinions about how much ‘concern’ for the sacred liturgy is appropriate are one thing, actions undertaken relative to Summorum Pontificum are quite another; the latter being a matter not of ‘ideology,’ but of universal legislation.” In other words, tread lightly, Holy Father.
To those who are disappointed by the degree to which Cardinal Burke’s statements were carefully worded, all I can say is be patient.
In time, barring a dramatic change in what appears to be the direction in which Pope Francis intends to lead (something for which we must pray and fast), these highly nuanced warning shots will eventually give way to more direct salvos in defense of the Church, her liturgy, and her venerable doctrines, and not just from Cardinal Burke.
I expected to see Cardinal Burke’s days numbered and so they are. When will this holy man of God be removed from the Signitura too? He well knows the situation with the FFI having conducted a number of their ordinations and also having them staff his Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Lacrosse. To say too much might further damage them, if that is possible.
The greatest ‘crime’ in the present atmosphere is to be ‘too traditional’ which is to say faithful, orthodox Roman Catholic who embraces all the teachings of the holy Church and still is faithful to the pontificate. Cardinal Burke is ‘too traditional’ so he must go and let the ‘pastoral’ (irony) come forward with more bishops like the ones we have had over the past decades that has caused such a shipwreck in the barque of Peter.
“As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by my Son. Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and the priests. The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, and bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their Confreres. The Church and altars will be vandalized. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.” – Our Lady of Akita October 13, 1973 (the events of Akita were determined and pronounced to be as supernatural by the Bishop Niigata.
Thank you, Louis, for this informative and insightful article. You are right on in your description of the ‘warning shots fired over the bow of the good ship Francis’ by Cardinal Burke. It is indeed now more than clear into what direction Bergoglio intends to lead the Church. That Churchmen such as Cardinal Burke will defend Her is comforting . Only prayer, fasting, and intimacy with the living Christ can assist those who fight on the front lines of this terrible and deadly interior conflict . Let us support them with prayer.
From which other cardinals can we expect a strong opposition to draconian crackdowns on tradition? I don’t mean to say we can rely on +Burke for much. God love him, but can we really hope for someone of his diminished prestige to make waves that crash? Less than a year ago nearly the whole Reform of the Reform camp of cemetery-whistlers were pining away half-expectantly for Rajinth or Burke or some fabled knight to capture the papal throne. Let’s get real, people. You cannot await marching orders from these quiet, reserved “champions” of the traditionalist movement! All together now, vocalize your disdain for the whole ecclesiological revolution to your pastor, then call the chancery, talk your family’s ear off, then blather about it on the internet, and get conspicuously active at your local Latin Mass. And never again drop a penny into the coffers of the establishment. I’m sorry, but the post-conciliar regime won’t even blink at anything less. You might get called an ideologue, but them’s the breaks. Our Church is listing heavily. Yes, pray, but don’t you dare shrink from acting!
Cardinal Burke will be heading to Chicago…he’s not with the new program, he’s gotta go.
Ben ….you`re on the money!
That Cardinal Burke is seen as a conservative today is a sign of catastrophic breakdown. The truth is that he’s fully on board with the Judas Council Revolution. The high position he’s attained is ample proof of this. He never would’ve risen to the heights had he been against the errors, novelties, and ambiguities of the Judas Council. The illusion that he’s conservative flows from his embrace of the desperate “hermeneutic of continuity.” Regarding the insane Orwellianism of this “hermeneutic,” google for the following:
The Oath of Modernism vs. the ‘Hermeneutic of Continuity’ by John Vennari
Related, also see the following essay by the same author:
The Secret of John Paul II’s Success
The first title above should, of course, read The Out Against Modernism
Oath, that is. This blasted Siri
There’s very little here of any real significance, I’m afraid.
Just more blah, blah.
Actions speak volumes, and the only real speakers thus far are those who have unwillingly placed themselves on ‘the fringe,’ so called, of the Church.
This interview reveals just about a shade lighter than zilch.
Louie, you’re grasping at straws.
But you’re well on the road.
A little while, and again a little while, and you will come to the realization of where you are ultimately to arrive.
Carry on, my brother.
Agreed, Leo. I don’t understand the continued hope placed in those firmly ensconced within the Conciliar structure.
….from SSPX…..”Burke gets bumped”……
As for His Eminence’s removal from the Congregation of Bishops — an
important office, as it involves the appointments of bishops and thus can help to positively or negatively influence the outcome of entire ecclesiastical regions, let alone dioceses — what are we to surmise from this development?
Was this done under pressure from more liberal elements in the Curia or episcopal conferences, or even the Pope himself? Or does Pope Francis envision a greater role for Cardinal Burke, but in a non-curial function? Only time will tell.
Correct me if I am wrong, but the Roman Curia, in itself, is not part of the very nature of the Church. Rather, the Roman Curia is a tool at the service of the Pope, who is part of the hierarchical nature of the Church. Have I got this right?
“Because the Church is an organic Body, and the service of the Roman Curia is part of the very nature of the Church, and so that has to be respected. And so I cannot imagine that somehow the Roman Curia is going to take on a completely different figure. It just doesn’t make sense.” – Card. Burke.
Anyhow, these sure are interesting times. God bless the good Cardinal. And God bless Pope Francis too.
Alphonsus said………’He never would’ve risen to the heights had he been against the errors, novelties, and ambiguities of the Judas Council’………YOU hit the nail on the head!
Archbishop Lefebvre, fearless Soldier of Christ, a true son of the holy Church, ora pro nobis!
How sweet are their fruits!!!………
John Paul II made Wuerl a bishop and it was Benedict XVI who put a red hat on him. What will Francis do to top that? I shudder to think about it.
Alphonsus, you are sooo spot on. Cardinal Burke is in the same mold as those Neo-Con Republicans who talk the talk of small government, pro -life , etc. But never actually do anything to accomplish those goals.
Burke is a smoke screen, he is sent out to talk a little tough, so that the few alarmed faithful think they have someone in their corner. But when push comes to shove, this guy is giving out Communion in the hand just like all the other Modernists.
Louie – agree with you 100%.
You have (eloquently, as per usual) elucidated what I had only a mere gut feeling about.
I fear the time is fast approaching when there will be major divisions and irreconcilable discord in the Church. There won’t be that many on the side of Truth and Justice, but I believe Card. Burke will be at the forefront when the time comes.
However, as I’ve said before, only time will tell.
In the meantime, I second your continual encouragement to pray much for the Holy Father. He sure needs it – and, to his credit, even often asks for it.
Problem is, methinks, that we are actually getting the leadership we deserve and that this all part of God’s Providential plan.
” the latter being a matter not of ‘ideology,’ but of universal legislation.” And we know how PF loves legalism and clericalism.
PF: ‘negative spirit of legalism…move beyond a spirit of legality’ He wishes.
I agree, Louie, maybe the blessed spirit of legality may just be the thing to bring him back from the peripheries (which means surface, by the way, all surface ‘appeal’) or if not, crowbar this carwreck out of the path of Truth. Is there there such a thing as a Papal impeachment?
p.s. check out the ‘birth pangs’ video from this sight – has anyone else heard about these astronomical anomalies over the passed month?
Burke: “My response is what could be more essential than the natural moral law?”
On this subject, in a homily of December 13, 2013, as reported by Vatican News, Francis made the following startling remark:
“The people of that time [i.e. the time of Matthew 11:16-19] preferred to take refuge in a more elaborate religion: in the moral precepts, such as the group of Pharisees; in political compromise, as the Sadducees; in social revolution, as the zealots; in gnostic spirituality, such as Essenes”.
My question is: What is “more elaborate” about the moral precepts?
Compare Aquinas, ST, II-I, Q.100 (“The moral precepts of the Old Law”),
“The moral precepts, distinct from the ceremonial and judicial precepts, are about things pertaining of their very nature to good morals. Now since human morals depend on their relation to reason, which is the proper principle of human acts, those morals are called good which accord with reason, and those are called bad which are discordant from reason”.
In Article 3, Aquinas goes on to argue that all of the moral precepts of the Old Law are reducible to the Ten Commandments, and in article 8, that “the precepts of the decalogue admit of no dispensation whatever”.
The hyperlink in my previous comment does not appear to be working. This is the URL:
I sure hope you’re right about Card. Burke, but my gut tells me otherwise. Besides his silence on such topics such as the FFI etc for me a clear red flag was when he uttered “Blessed” JP II.
God Bless and keep up the good work.
Dumb_Ox, the hyperlink – works fine.
oi – Fuhrer Frankenstein -you don-t preach Truth, you breach the Truth. This pretend pope with his black shoes and his hatred, this unhappy chico has a deep seated loathing of faithful Catholics. I’m reaching the conclusion that we do have a Pope, his title is Pope Emeritus Benedict. this Frankenstein would make a monster of the Church, if he could, ‘IT’S ALIVE!’ as if the Church was dead before the name-calling roman bishop placed his polluted paw on the podium. Time magazine’s man of the year, so was Hitler in the 30s, Stalin twice in the 40s. fuhrer-frankee would have gullible people believe he is a vehicle of the Third Person of the Trinity. fuhrer-frankee is at best, nothing but a vehicle for his own neurotic and confused anti-Christ theism. would that he join a silent order and leave the Poping to a Cardinal who actually has humility and intelligence and is open to the workings of the Holy Ghost. fuhrer frankee is open to the spirits of the world, and boy, are they having fun with him.
Pooh Bear, I agree with you. I don’t understand why Cardinal Burke said that the curia is essential to the Church.
@ Alphonsus Jr., Leo, Thumbs and Edu
I completely agree with you
My son purchased his book “Divine love made flesh” for my birthday. We sent it back because it seemed that Cardinal Burke couldn´t find many other sources than the Enzyclicals of Pope John Paul II to quote from. So we sent it back. This book really opened our eyes.
I find this interesting:
From St. Faustina’s Diary – December 17, 1936. “I have offered this day for priests. I have suffered more today than ever before, both interiorly and exteriorly. I did not know it was possible to suffer so much in one day. I tried to make a Holy Hour, in the course of which my spirit had a taste of the bitterness of the Garden of Gethsemane. I am fighting alone, supported by His arm, against all the difficulties that face me like unassailable walls. But I trust in the power of His name and I fear nothing.”
Who was born on December 17, 1936? Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis.
What is wrong with the Divine Mercy devotion?
First, when this devotion fell under the attention of Pius XII, he was concerned not with the prayers of the devotion, but with the circumstances of the so-called apparitions to Sr. Faustina and their content. That is, he was concerned with what Our Lord supposedly told Sr. Faustina and what he told her to make public.
Pius XII, then, placed this devotion, including the apparitions and the writings of Sr. Faustina on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books). That list no longer exists, since it was formally abolished on June 14, 1966, by Paul VI. On the one hand, it is unfortunate that it no longer exists. But on the other hand, if that list were to exist today it would be so vast that it would fill this room. Practically everything that is written today has something objectionable to the Catholic Faith.
So, Pius XII put the writings of Sr. Faustina on the Index of Prohibited Books. That meant that he considered that their content would lead Catholics astray or in the wrong direction.
Next, came other prohibitions made by Pope John XXIII. Twice in his pontificate, the Holy Office issued condemnations of the Divine Mercy writings.
JPII supported the thrice-condemned devotion.
Today the Holy Office is called Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. But before it was called the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Its name has changed over several years.
This Office – placed under the direct control of the Pope – is responsible for maintaining the purity of the doctrine and, therefore, it watches over the dissemination of different documents in the Church.
If the Pope wants to correct the faithful on a particular topic, he usually does this through the Holy Office. So, the proclamations, declarations and documents issued by the Holy Office may be seen as coming from the Pope himself.
Not once, but twice under Pope John XXIII, this particular devotion was condemned through the Holy Office. The first condemnation was in a plenary meeting held on November 19, 1958. The declaration from the Holy Office issued these three statements about this devotion:
1. There is no evidence of the supernatural origin of these revelations. This means that the members of the Holy Office examined the content and decided that there was nothing there to indicate the apparitions were supernatural. In an authentic apparition, Our Lady of Lourdes or Our Lady of Fatima, for example, you can look at the content and affirm it can not be definitively said they are of divine origin, but there is enough evidence to say that it is possibly so. On the other hand, in the Divine Mercy apparitions, they said definitively that there is no evidence whatsoever that they are supernatural. This translates, “We do not think that these apparitions come from God.”
2. No feast of Divine Mercy should be instituted. Why? Because if it is based on apparitions that are not clearly coming from God, then it would be rash and temerarious to institute a feast in the Church based on something that is a false apparition.
3. It is forbidden to disseminate the images and writings propagating this devotion under the form received by Sr. Faustina. So, it was forbidden to even publish the image of Our Lord as Divine Mercy.
….for more reading on this, please go to http://www.traditioninaction.org ‘Church Reasons to Condemn the
Divine Mercy Devotion’ by Msgr. Patrick Perez
…….I am sure, somebody will be ‘gnashing his teeth’…….so am I, for being constantly deceived by the ‘deceivers’…….Miserere!!
May God help us, there’s so much demonic disorientation, we will never know in this life, how EVIL is the EVIL. Let us remember our ‘true’ Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ……..let no one (not even Bp. Francis), tell us that Divine Mercy, was to replace the Rosary, nor our devotion to the Sacred Heart.
Halina, I would say there are bigger problems to deal
with than the Divine Mercy devotion and the associated Feast Day.
Yes, I have read a bit on the concerns on how it came about and what not, but seriously, there are bigger fish to fry.
I find the Litany of the Sacred Heart lifts my soul much, much more than the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, but think of it this way. Thousands, perhaps more, of souls start the three o’clock hour with the prayer that offers the Heavenly Father Our Lord’s passion and death on the cross, begging for mercy in return. Sort of an echo of the masses being offered all around the world. It can’t hurt for crying out loud.
As for the feast day, thousand of souls in novus ordo land who would otherwise not even thought about the sacrament of confession and found it through this “new” feast day.
There’s alot to be concerned about in the Church and the world today, but perhaps this shouldn’t be at the top of the list. For folks who don’t know about tradition, things like this may be all they’ve got to keep them in the Faith.
The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima is also on the new calendar, but we wouldn’t think of rejecting it simply because JP2 is the one who promulgated it.
My two cents.
Halina@ interesting. I had read somewhere that the divine mercy cult had all but wiped out devotion to the Sacred Heart.
Siobhan@ December 17, 1936; a coinkidink – I think not.
p.s. Halina the ‘ the Index Librorum Prohibitorum’ has returned after a manner. the publications of the Franciscans of the Immaculata are on a new ‘banned’ list.
The Rosary, The Divine Mercy Chaplet and numerous Novenas and Litanies prayed (especially with a genuine and pure heart) can only bring us closer to Jesus, as is their intent. Practicing the Sacraments and going to Masses to celebrate in and witness the true and mystical presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist is, of course, one of the most important thing we as Catholics can do. I have never met a person who prays the Rosary/ Chaplets, as enhancements to their faith, come across as disjointed from The Church or ridiculing of other prayers such as the Sacred Heart. In fact, it is the quite the opposite. The Rosary brings us into the fold through Mary reflecting on the various stages of Christ’s life. The Chaplet invites us into the ultimate sacrifice (of which was Christ’s whole purpose for coming) to join our own sufferings to his and to offer it up to GOD THE MOST HIGH for the mercy he may grant on us, our families or anyone that you offer the intent up for. For anyone to suggest that these prayers are of “demonic orientation” seems outlandish to me as different seers and prophets have told us through the ages that Satan detests these very prayers
It would also seem there’s a bit of JPII bashing coming off this blog. Many of us will be thirsting for his kind of Papacy in the nearing future as it would seem an agenda of humanism is well underway.
Show me one explicit paragraph, exact sentence, where you viewed one attack on the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary here in this blog.
If you wish to pray the Rosary in the manner in which Tradition has handed down over the centuries, join the SSPX Rosary Crusade upcoming 2014 on their site.
Further- to fail to point out , most especially to the youth in order to protect them, the liberal errors of Pope John Paul II, is an horrendous ommission. Traditionalists are very likely the only ones who pray for the souls of Pontiffs now deceased, because they know that this is part of being Catholic.
You sound like the National Catholic Register, who accused those who delve with a Catholic discernment into the teachings of post VII Popes, and Pope Francis, of being “Pope haters.”
Trads love the current Pontiff, and those in past. We pray, fast and do penance for them . Get that straight, for your own growth in the Faith.
Archbishop Lefebvre, pray for us.
It was the Divine Mercy Chaplet that was alluded to as being of demonic nature, and you are correct we need to love the past and current Pontiffs. But, if you wish to speak of grave errors, we need look no further than the current seat and speak out again the blasphemy and lies spewing about before our very eyes and ears starting with his opening on Holy Thursday.
Halina, I attached a link to a site where the person had expressed the same concerns as you. This presents the other side of the discussion.
The FFI of New York visited my parish this weekend. they handed out miraculous medals blest by Pope Francis…no mention of conflict in their order, just consecration to Jesus through Mary and obedience to the Magisterium
I am so glad Cardinal Burke is coming home to America. I was sad when he went to Rome. I believe God will use Cardinal Burke in America for a very holy and Divine purpose. Welcome back Your Eminence, we are going to blessed in our country to have you in our midst.
Pope Francis said that when he was elected Pope he first wanted to turn it down! Perhaps that was the Will of the Holy Spirit but Francis accepted anyways. What he might do to save the Holy Catholic Church is Retire since Pope Benedict XVI has set precedent!
I am so happy that Pope Francis is following in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi and not the old political climate of Rome. Simplicity is the foundation of the church of Jesus Christ. Cardinal Burke’s flamboyant old clerical mass vestments garb reminds me of an old out dated drag queen show. He was even told to tone it down by other Vatican prelates. As the old saying goes, those that live in glass houses should not throw stones. Or those that live in closets should not hide behind their dresses. I can see why mass attendance is way down in the US and Europe. It’s time to go back to the true teaching of the Gospels and be more welcoming instead of a church of nobility.