11 April 2016

A Brief Word on Cardinal Burke's Response

I don't have time at the moment to give anything like my comprehensive thoughts on the statement given by Cardinal Burke in response to the sexhortation, but I did want to make sure I weighed in to this extent:

Cardinal Burke is catching some heat from some bloggers I do respect, and who have been admirably defending Catholic teaching in the face of the worst parts of this document.  I want to defend the Cardinal, mostly because I know him and am interpreting his statement in light of what I know of his character. 

His Eminence has chosen to focus on the nature of an exhortation-- according to Cardinal Burke, quoting the pope, it is "not an act of the magisterium"; it is a "personal" document.  Hence, nothing in it changes doctrine, and no pastoral practice that would change or defy doctrine can be divined from it.

That's it.  No, he is not "taking on the pope" and every form of mischief the document (not to mention this papacy) has and will bring.  You might be disappointed in that, but that is not his way.  He is saying to the faithful remnant out there not, "See, there's nothing wrong!", but rather, "Though things are definitely bad please take heart that the Church is indefectible and that this truth is untouched, even by this."

We are being scourged. We need to be faithful. The Cardinal has it right, as far as he states. If you want more from him, I understand it, but at least consider that his strategy has its own value. He is no coward; I know this from experience. He loves the Church and is trying to make sense of this like we all are.


Christophe said...

We need Aslan, not a canonist noting legal niceties.

chantgirl said...

Burke is the holder. I think Bishop Schneider or perhaps Cardinal Sarah will be along for the kick sooner or later.

Scott Woltze said...

Thank you. You nailed it.

Long-Skirts said...

Cardinal Burke said:

“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, nor to condemn those who insist on what he calls “a more rigorous pastoral care.”

Today the HF DID condemn (Vatican Insider) those who “insist on what he calls a ‘more rigorous pastoral care'”. In his homily today he excoriates the doctors of the law, of the letter. He goes on to bemoan their treatment of Judas:

“Pope Francis said: “It hurts when I read that small passage from the Gospel of Matthew, when Judas, who has repented, goes to the priests and says: ‘I have sinned’ and wants to give … and gives them the coins. ‘Who cares! – they say to him: it’s none of our business!’ They closed their hearts before this poor, repentant man, who did not know what to do. And he went and hanged himself. And what did they do when Judas hanged himself? They spoke amongst themselves and said: ‘Is he a poor man? No! These coins are the price of blood, they must not enter the temple… and they referred to this rule and to that… The doctors of the letter.” The life of a person did not matter to them, the Pope observed, they did not care about Judas’ repentance. The Gospel, he continued, says that Judas came back repentant. But all that mattered to them “were the laws, so many words and things they had built”. “

Let us pray!


Took away the bells
Took away the art
Took away the songs
Inspiring our heart.

Took away the missals
Took away the veil
Took away our right to kneel
At Communion rail.

Scourged us with indifference
Whipped with Worship, weak
Crowned us with their humble words,
“A more pastoral view we seek.”

Now with untuned strings you dance
Pass us on The Way
Carrying our crosses on the path
Of “long defeat”, we stay.

Try to kill us softly
With bashful, blushing, babble
Condescending degrader dogs
Then slap us as we scrabble.

The Way, the Truth and our life
“Is crux of all sedition.”
But we are merely branches
Rooted in Tradition.

Branches weak and branches strong
Branches propagate
Branches full of Sacred Sap
From Vine proliferate.

A branch can bend, a branch can break
Become dead wood to toss
But He Who makes the things all new
Made dead wood save…the Cross.

So take away the bells
Take away the art
Take away our Catholic name
Written in His Heart.

For “What is in a name?”, you ask
The rigorous rose you cheat ~
“By any other name” I say
Still, rigorous rose is sweet!

thetimman said...

Long skirts, to be fair, the cardinal only addressed the exhortation and its effect. The HF's latest screed hadn't yet been delivered as of then.
Of course I suspect we both think those words capture his intent more than all 1 google words of the exhortation. Cardinal Burke had a very specific point to make, and he's right. That being said, as one of the beleaguered remnant few Catholics left, did I hope for something more forceful? Sure. I'm not sugar coating it. But I know that if and when Burke thinks he can yield no more ground, he will stand strong.

We're looking for Fisher maybe, but Fisher and More both have their place.

Anonymous said...

I would completely agree with you, if it weren't for the opening paragraph, in which Cardinal Burke accuses "some Cathalic media" of causing scandal by misinterpreting Amoris Laetitia as contrary to Catholic teaching.


Long-Skirts said...

Cardinal Burke:

“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, up to now, regarding marriage and the family.
Such a view of the document is both a source of wonder and confusion to the faithful, and potentially **a source of scandal** not only for the faithful but for others of good will who look to Christ and his Church…”


Such names they call us
That's not what we are
We are Roman Catholics
At the front of the war.

Some just go AWOL
Others defect
Copying our stance
Then say we’re a sect.

A lot like in England
Saint John Fisher's day
When his brothers said, "yes"
This Saint replied, "nay".

All alone in the Fort
St. John Fisher stood
Preserving, defending
For the whole all that's good.

Not just for himself
Those attached to what's old
Or reformers reforming
Pretending they're bold.

We're simply preserving
Once again, the True Fort
While those with new orders
Relinquish support

And with promises made
To men hungry for power
They mock, stand and point
At us in the tower.

Hoping for all
When in fact a catastrophic

M. Prodigal said...

The so called 'doctors of the law' that the pope continually denigrates were not in the wrong so much as adhering to the law as to their lack of true faith and charity. It was more external. Our Lord said that if we love Him we must keep His Commandments. He did not say to condone people in sin with a false 'mercy'! He did not say to cause confusion. He said to let the yes mean yes and the no mean no. This pope is sort of a maybe, depending on situation ethics perhaps.

blue said...

How can you defend this mealy mouthed Burke? No wonder our church is in such trouble.

Anonymous said...

He is indeed taking on the pope. He's going to great lengths to devalue the document. I just thank God that most people have forgotten him.

JBJ said...

Thetimman, I think you are exactly right in comparing Cardinal Burke to St. Thomas More. When you read the writing of St. Thomas More, you can tell he truly loved Henry, and grieved Henry's actions, not just because of what it was doing to the Church and England (although clearly St. Thomas grieved that as well), but also because of what that meant for Henry's own soul. This, I think, is part of the reason why it seems that St. Thomas gave Henry every benefit of the doubt. Much more could be said on how St. Thomas dealt with Henry and the issues of his day, and how they could be an example for us now.

It is clear from my own experiences with him, that Cardinal Burke loves Jesus Christ and the Church. Furthermore, I believe Cardinal Burke loves Pope Francis, both as Pope and as a child of God, because Cardinal Burke has a heart like unto Christ's. I think Cardinal Burke is truly grieving and struggling with how to best respond to this terrible situation. I don't think he intended to throw anyone under the bus at all. I don't think he is looking for favor from Pope Francis or the world, and I would almost be willing to fight someone who claims he is a coward.

I would also point out that coupled with his humble and loving nature, he is also highly intelligent. He is a canon lawyer. You and I know both know, as legal professionals, how important it is to make a clear record and to obtain as much discovery as possible before the real fight begins in the courtroom. Perhaps not every blogger or reader realizes that though.

For those who think that Cardinal Burke accused Catholics of good will, who are criticizing the exhortation, of scandal, I submit that a careful reading of his words does not support that interpretation. When Cardinal Burke referred to "some Catholic media", he specifically qualified that he was talking about the media who are "describing the...exhortation...as a revolution in the Church." I really think he means that the media who want the Church to change her teachings, who want to dilute the faith, and who are now using the exhortation to support an idea that there has been change in Church teaching to support their own twisted agendas, are the ones guilty of scandal. Not the Catholic media who are appropriately criticizing the exhortation. Notice that Cardinal Burke did not say "some in the Catholic media are saying that this exhortation is heretical and that Pope Francis himself may hold heretical beliefs - voicing such ideas leads to scandal." No, rather, Cardinal Burke pointed out that we may criticize and critique the document "in fidelity to the Magisterium", albeit "with the profound respect owed to the Roman Pontiff as the Vicar of Christ." Of course , it can and should be discussed how that "profound respect" should manifest itself, but ultimately, I think Cardinal Burke errs on the side of an abundance of respect, not because of he is a papologist or seeks the Pope's favor, but because the Cardinal loves Christ, whose Vicar the Pope is, so very much.

Finally, I leave your readers with this final thought - how providential, how mysterious, is it that in the midst of one of the most confusing and darkest papacies, there is another "pope", dressed in white, still living in the Vatican walls. I have no authority or expertise to speak on issues of validity, but it sure seems that, at least for the time being, there is a built in trump card, that only God, in His knowledge and wisdom, could play. We don't know what role the lavender mafia, or some other fiend, may have played in the abdication of Pope Benedict, but God does.

TLMer said...

From Fr. Z's site:

c matt said...

Maybe Cdl. Burke and those criticizing his response are both talking past each other a bit. Burke is correct in saying that AL does not change teaching per se because it is not a magisterial document, but that is a bit of a non-sequitor, at least with respect to most of the critics. I am not aware of many critics who claim PF has changed Church teaching through AL, rather, they argue AL is against Church teaching in particular respects. And that is correct. Cdl. Burke pointing out AL is only a personal opinion is true, but basically unhelpful. Of course it's a personal opinion - a very destructive one, coming from someone at the pinnacle of authority. It is in this sense that AL is revolutionary - it presents a departure from the application of the rule even if it does not change the rule itself. Its effect is practically the same - as Steve Skojec pointed out, it's like having a speed limit that is never enforced. The practical effect is the same as though the speed limit never existed.

I am sure the Cardinals intentions are to provide comfort to those who are scandalized, but they are not scandalized about the magisterial weight of AL, but its practical effect. So, to some extent, Cdl. Burke's comments are "thanks, Captain Obvious."

traddadof4 said...

All I can say is, "What a mess".

Ooops I forgot .. Bishop Tobin says the Pope is fond of saying he wants to make a mess. So mission accomplished.