31 October 2014

The Hit Job on Cardinal Burke in the Press is Ongoing

Hello all, back in the States at last. After a great trip with my lovely wife, back to the grind. As we finally made it past customs in the country formerly known as land of the free, I remarked to my wife that I felt like Gandalf being welcomed into Orthanc and hearing a click as the door closed.

But, to the point of the post: certainly the hit job on his Eminence isn't news to you. But, the duplicity of the "religious" press is especially nasty. Headlines are saying things Cardinal Burke didn't say. The headline at this article is particularly odious, and dangerously misleading:

Cardinal says church under Pope Francis is a ‘rudderless ship’

Now, it doesn't matter that the actual subject of the headline is accurate. We are like a rudderless ship. Or it seems so to actual Catholics. I think, on the contrary, that there is a strong hand on the rudder. And this hand is seemingly steering us over the falls.

But Cardinal Burke didn't say this. They are positioning Burke as a flagrant malcontent who is defying the humble Pope. That is not Cardinal Burke. He is a gentle and holy man who loves the Church and is trying to shepherd so many confused Catholics in the midst of constant attacks on the faith. These attacks are being made from low to high and inside and out.

But wait, you say! That's what the media does to Pope Francis, and you don't defend him. Well, Mark Shea, that is exactly wrong. It is certainly ironic that modernists are doing to Burke what the shills and water carriers of the neocatholics say is happening to the Pope. But saying ain't doing.

Francis is being reported accurately, more or less, as the press usually performs. The odd misquote perhaps, but accurate in sum. The attack on Burke is intentional. He is demonized, demoted, attacked, smeared-- with tactics no true Catholic should condone. He already had to explain the misquote about 'the Pope' having 'done a lot of damage.'

What does it matter whether Cardinal Burke said this or that, or whether there is a tone, context, or nuance he utilized instead? Well, all the difference in the world. His Eminence isn't some blogger or Church media wag, with the liberties of style and informality. He is a Cardinal, a Prince of the Church, a close advisor to the Successor to Peter. He is loyal to the Pope, and would not seek to embarrass him. It's a big deal. He knows his place. Only faithfulness to Christ is making him as outspoken as he has been in opposition to Francis' agenda.

Francis is allowing this. Think about that for a minute. Don't waste time wondering if he is behind it, or ordering it. He could stop it in a minute. One of those daily press conferences or speeches-- "Leave Cardinal Burke alone, I need him." Or "I am not demoting Cardinal Burke." Or maybe praise his serene theology. He could stop it instantly.

Things are bad, worldly-speaking, for the Cardinal.

But don't worry, there is surely worse in store for this hero of the faith.

They are lately trying to equate Burke with Lefebvre. They think that's an obviously bad thing. Not true, of course, but if it has a degree of truth, it's not exactly bad, is it? He is a stalwart, but there is no controversial, 'schismatic act' to cloud the waters. He has been praised for years for his faithfulness, promoted by the Pope. Gentle, loyal. Now he's evil?

Trying to stretch his promotion of the truth into rebellion against the Church is a bridge too far. There is no selling that dog. Yes, they did that with Lefebvre, before the Internet and before forty years' more destruction in the Church. And importantly, the understandable but wrong episcopal consecrations-- after twenty years of persecution-- don't figure into this calculus.

And I think the lessons of the past will help Cardinal Burke and us.

We shall see. As I said, above it all, there is a strong hand on the rudder. But above that hand is a stronger, unstoppable Hand.

Where are we headed and when will it end?


Hootiecootie said...

Please continue to post. I know it takes time but in this discombobulated world where we are scattered, some people are very grateful to read. :)

Anonymous said...

What Cardinal Burke is enduring is indeed so similar to what Archbishop Lefevbre had to endure ... in charity, more than you admit here.

And hadn't it been for his 'wrong consecrations', the Mass now known as Extraordinary would be well fading into memory when he died as there would be no Bishop or Cardinal to take his place. Unknown would be the Institute or any Indult community because there would have been no need for them to exist, nothing to counter what the Society had kept alive; a thorn in the side of the modernist body.

I would shudder to think what the alternative reality might have been had the Society failed. A veritable Pottersville.

Theo Philus

thetimman said...


You make some fair points, and I don't need charity to admit similar treatment, for justice suffices. I particularly like your Pottersville reference.

As for what I clumsily labelled the "wrong consecrations", you take the usual line taken by Catholics with SSPX sympathies. It is a line that assumes a logical progression of events if one discounts Divine assistance.

In other words, your position has the ring of probability if one were to discount the Divine assistance that may have followed had Lefebvre not consecrated the bishops. As I often say to my SSPX friends, there is simply no way of knowing what would have happened had Lefebvre refrained from consecrating bishops without papal mandate. Perhaps Ratzinger would have been able to work the now long-awaited reconciliation with faculties resolved. Perhaps not. You have your opinion on the likelihood, as have I. Neither of us can prove it.

So, though there is truth to the assertion that "but for the SSPX" the Ecclesia Dei communities would not have been allowed, and that they did a lot to preserve the Mass, it is also true that they made the case for the Mass more cloudy, but taking what had been an undeniable case of persecution (1976-88) and instead giving the modernists a plausible basis to oppose the SSPX as schismatic in any sense.

The case for the Mass, that the SSPX did much to preserve, was thus tied up with a political and ecclesiastical controversy that it did not deserve to be burdened with.

The Ecclesia Dei communities might have begun organically. Or maybe the impasse, being settled sooner, would have seen the TLM grow and be restored sooner. Perhaps we wouldn't be stuck with the 1962 Missal as the definitive "old" Missal, with its altered Holy Week liturgies, somewhat lessened calendar, and amended canon-- this decision was that of the Archbishop himself.

If, if. Maybe.

Of course, your version is not unlikely to be the true one, but it is not certain. We see throughout salvation history that small acts of trust and humility can evoke powerful help from heaven.

So, fast forward to today. The SSPX does much good still. They are that thorn in the modernist side you state, and maybe their existence provides still some cover for the other tradition friendly orders and societies. But they have a canonical situation that is not regular, and still generates controversy. My juxtaposition between Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Lefebvre was not to the point that one is better than the other, but that the Cardinal is not tarnished by any allegation of canonical irregularity or heresy or corruption or anything like.

He is at a unique place, standing in the gap. I think the lessons of 1988 will help him; we as faithful are blessed with a greater watchfulness, tough experience, and the means to fight for the truth more effectively. I don't know but that if the internet were around in 1976 this whole thing might have been averted, but we have it now.

Oremus pro invicem.

Anonymous said...

His Grace Cardinal Burke is indeed a holy man and true Prince of the Church, yes the heretics will continue the attacks on him and he will take the higher road as he always does. He is a man of class who only cares about the saving of souls and teaching the truth of The Roman Catholic Church. He is truly the real "humble" man in all of this mess we are in, and I do predict he will be our next Holy Father if the Holy Ghost wills it. As for the S.S.P.X. I hope and pray they can come home to Rome, they do much good and just think what they can achieve if they were inside the Church!!!! P.S. keep this blog going at full steam!!!

Barto of the Cross said...

Speaking of France, in the south of France is the city of Avignon, where the papacy was for 68 years. The buildings used by the Avignon popes & their advisers are still there.

I suggest that the best possible outcome of the current crisis would be for Cardinal Burke to go to Avignon with as many other faithful cardinals & bishops as he can collect, & there elect a pope.

They would declare Francis to be an anti-pope. Cardinal Pell recently hinted at this possibility when he said, "Pope Francis is the 266th pope and history has seen 37 false or antipopes." See: http://www.catholicsun.org/2014/10/27/cardinal-pell-calls-for-no-doctrinal-back-flips-at-next-family-synod/

(Cardinal Pell ACTUALLY said that—check it out, & his reason for saying this really can’t be a mystery.)

The election of a faithful pope, one who defends the Depositum Fidei, rather than being an aggressor against it, will give all the bishops & the faithful a clear choice: for the God of Truth or against God of Truth. With Satan the Deceiver or against Satan the Deceiver. With the Church, or against it.

I would hope that this new Avignon pope would go to the root of the crisis, & so declare the Vatican II mass & the Vatican II Council texts to be null & void, & all the canonizations since Vatican II to be null & void. The SSPX could instantly come into normalized standing with the pope & the Church.

In short, this would be a reboot back to before the Vatican II Council, which is the basis for everything done by Pope Francis, Cardinal Kasper, Cardinal Bernadin, Cardinal Roger Mahoney, & the inspiration for the infamous public kissing of the Koran by Pope (antipope) John Paul II.

Catholics can't function without a pope. That’s why faithful Catholics are in such distress under Pope (antipope) Francis. There really is no way for faithful Catholics to operate as a resistance movement against the pope—that’s so contrary to the whole concept of what it means to be a Catholic.

The election, by a group of legitimate and respected cardinals (Burke, Pell, Müller, etc.) of a new pope at Avignon would solve that problem.

Where would this situation leave the Church?

First of all, for the time being, it would simply mean that an antipope would occupy the Vatican City-State. That would NOT be the first time in history in which that was the state of affairs, as proved by the period of the Avignon Papacy & by the period of the so-called Western Schism. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Schism

Second, some antipope who follows Francis in the Vatican might agree to resign & allow the true pope at Avignon to return to the Vatican. That’s basically how the Western Schism was ended.

Third, faithful Catholics would have no need to fight the pope in order to remain Catholic. All the crazy things being done & said by Pope (antipope) Francis, Cardinal Kasper & others would not be occurring in the Catholic Church at all.

Fourth, a REAL new Evangelization could begin. Freed of the liberalizing effects off the Vatican II documents and the Vatican II mass, which essentially destroy entire reason for evangelization, the Church could at last resume its mission of saving souls.