He simply isn’t man enough to stand up in defense of the truth; plainly pointing out errors and condemning unequivocally the dangers that are threatening his entire family.
Right out of the gate, Cardinal Burke plays the neo-con’s favorite card by blaming the latest and greatest Franciscan scandal on, you guessed it, the media:
The secular media and even some Catholic media are describing the recently-issued post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, “On Love in the Family,” as a revolution in the Church, as a radical departure from the teaching and practice of the Church … Such a view of the document is both a source of wonder and confusion to the faithful, and potentially a source of scandal…
Once again, the Gospel reading from last Sunday’s Mass comes to mind:
But the hireling and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and flieth: and the wolf casteth and scattereth the sheep…
If nothing else, we can be thankful to Cardinal Burke for revealing his true identity to those who as yet may have fancied him a shepherd.
At this, let us recall what the document in question actually states:
Hence it can no longer simply be said that all those in any “irregular” situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace. (AL 301)
Let’s be clear: “Irregular situations” refers to relationships that are characterized by adultery and fornication. As such, the participants in these situations are in an objective state of mortal sin, the definition of which is the deprivation of sanctifying grace.
That’s not my assessment of the matter; it’s Divine Law and the dogmatic teaching of the Holy Catholic Church. (See Council of Trent, Session VI, Chapter XV)
There can be no doubt whatsoever that Cardinal Burke knows this.
Amoris Laetitia further declares:
It [conscience] can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God [the ‘irregular situation’], and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal. (AL 303)
To maintain that Almighty God Himself asks us to sin, by engaging in adultery or fornication no less, is nothing less serious than blasphemy!
Cardinal Burke knows this as well.
It is entirely beyond debate: Amoris Laetitia makes claims that do in fact constitute “a radical departure from the teaching and practice of the Church.” This is the source of the present scandal!
And yet, Cardinal Burke counsels his flock by saying that this garbage “should be received with the profound respect owed to the Roman Pontiff as the Vicar of Christ…”
The only persons who show profound respect for heresy and blasphemy are heretics and blasphemers!
According to Cardinal Burke, however, one of the biggest problems associated with Amoris Laetitia is that people like me haven’t properly employed the correct interpretive key to Francis’ love letter to Lucifer:
The only key to the correct interpretation of Amoris Laetitia is the constant teaching of the Church and her discipline that safeguards and fosters this teaching.
Cardinal Burke insists that the document must be “read in the light of … what the Church has always taught and practiced in accord with her teaching.”
This is rather like stating that Fifty Shades of Grey must be read and interpreted in the light of Canticle of Canticles.
That said, the reality is that when one does shine the light of “what the Church has always taught and practiced” on Amoris Laetitia, heresy and blasphemy are revealed plain as day!
No matter, according to Cardinal Burke:
Pope Francis makes clear, from the beginning, that the post-synodal apostolic exhortation is not an act of the magisterium (No. 3) … In other words, the Holy Father is proposing what he personally believes is the will of Christ for His Church, but he does not intend to impose his point of view…
Does Cardinal Burke not recognize the power of the Holy Father’s words in directing the affairs of men for either good or for evil? Does he not know that the exhortations of the popes represent the most powerful of forces on earth; whether or not they have binding magisterial weight?
Of course he does, and that’s what makes his claims so shameful. Cardinal Burke sees the wolf. He knows that it is capable of devouring the souls in his care, but when put to the test, the best he can muster is to advise the flock not to take the beast too seriously.
As if Cardinal Burke hadn’t already relinquished all claims to Catholic credibility, he goes on to say:
The Church has historically been sensitive to the erroneous tendency to interpret every word of the pope as binding in conscience, which, of course, is absurd.
Let’s talk about erroneous tendencies vis-à-vis the Church’s historical wisdom, shall we.
Holy Church has always understood that the words of the pope carry a great deal of weight given the tremendous impact they bear even when they are issued without the intent of binding the faithful in conscience.
Take, for example, the controversial case of Pope Honorius I.
As you may know, Honorius was posthumously condemned as a heretic and anathematized by the Third Council of Constantinople; a ruling that was later confirmed by two subsequent councils.
Without going into needless detail over matters still debated; let it be said that Honorius failed to adequately safeguard the doctrine of the faith against the Monothelites as evidenced in letters the pope had sent to Sergius, Patriarch of Constantinople, in response to queries the latter had sent to Rome.
Did you get that?
Honorius was condemned a heretic for the contents of his correspondence with the Patriarch, Sergius!
By contrast, the dreadful exhortation of Pope Francis (I refuse to call it “Apostolic”), Amoris Laetitia, is addressed to “Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, Consecrated Persons, Christian Married Couples, and all the Lay Faithful;” in other words, the entire Church! What’s more, it not only fails to defend the faith, it plainly contradicts it!
And yet, according to Cardinal Burke, in sounding the alarm, people like me are doing “a disservice to the nature of the document as the fruit of the Synod of Bishops.”
Don’t be fooled by Cardinal Burke’s posturing. He knows very well that Francis is practicing a false and dangerous brand of “pastoral” care.
Consider the following excerpt from an interview of Cardinal Burke conducted during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI:
I think that in latter years there has been a false sense of being pastoral, in the sense that priests and bishops can only talk about positive things. The whole notion about confronting the evils of society — especially those things that have become politically acceptable — became difficult, as if these subjects should not be raised. But the fact of the matter is that if we are true to the Holy Scriptures, priests and bishops have always been sentinels who alert people in their care about the evils that destroy individuals and society. (Cardinal Raymond Burke, Legatus Magazine, 5 Dec 2011)
Are these words concerning the duty of priests and bishops to alert the people in their care about certain evils not entirely applicable to the present situation?
If Cardinal Burke were a genuine shepherd, he would be taking his own advice this very day. As it is, however, he chooses instead to hide behind weak arguments concerning the weight, or lack thereof, of Amoris Laetitia:
While the Roman Pontiff has personal reflections which are interesting and can be inspiring, the Church must be ever attentive to point out that their publication is a personal act and not an exercise of the Papal Magisterium.
Cardinal Burke writes as if Amoris Laetitia presents no real danger since it is, in his estimation, of no more heft than Jorge Bergoglio’s diary, and in this he is being too clever by half.
He is engaging in a bit of Romanitas, playing the part of the obedient papal subject while insulting the pope’s exhortation as unworthy of serious consideration.
At this, please allow me to address Cardinal Burke directly:
We get it; you’re one sly old fox who knows how to play the Roman game. But guess what, Cardinal Burke? Game time is over and souls are at stake!
How dare you blame people like me for doing what you don’t have the spine to do yourself – taking on the task of the sentinel who is willing to endure persecution and ridicule for daring to alert God’s people to the evils that threaten to destroy individuals and society.
Pope Francis was right about you all along: You are merely a hireling, available for the price of a prestigious honorary position that affords you the luxury of international travel and the perks of global celebrity.
Enjoy it while you can, sir, for unless you change course, you can be rather certain that indeed you have received your reward.