10 January 2017

Dear Cardinal Burke...

Your Eminence,

With respect, I think I can say that this little blog, from its inception ten years ago, and whatever its reach may be, has been an enthusiastic supporter of your ministry.  It has supported you in your reign in St. Louis, in your time in Rome, and will ever be eager to do so. 

I have known you for more than a decade, and your Catholic heart has always impressed me as that of a true shepherd. When some in the Catholic internet doubted whether you were going to defend the faith against the policies, winks, intentional confustion and secret encouragements of the Vatican apparatus, this blog defended you. Why? Because I know you have never shown yourself to shrink from your duty just because you may be unpopular or make enemies of those who would subjugate or compromise the faith. I had confidence that things were happening that we could not see. And as we now know, things indeed have been moving that we could not see.

Prudence and charity can often dictate a path that we internet-Peters-with-swords-in-hand would not immediately take.

In short, I had confidence in you, and I have confidence in you.

Therefore, please accept this little post--should you ever have occasion to read it-- as a humble plea from a Catholic who gives you credit for a better plan than I might devise. 

That being said, I really pray the dubia standoff is not allowed to fester too long. The board is set. We know the truth. The pope must either own it or declare himself a heretic. If he will not answer the dubia directly and manfully, then after he is informed of the errors by Your Eminence and/or others of the hierarchy, then he must be informed that the Church has declared him to be such a heretic. After typing that paragraph, I am hit with just how serious, and seriously bizarre, that is. But reality is reality.

Souls are at stake. This of course you know. The Church needs a Catholic pope. Schism and persecution are better than a Church that betrays her Spouse. We pray that the correction come not at all, but if it need come, may it come very soon. This tension is becoming unbearable.

As an aside, the Octave of the Epiphany will end this week...

With assurance of my prayers (and undoubtedly the prayers of millions more), 
In Christ,

Saint Louis Catholic


DJR said...

"As an aside, the Octave of the Epiphany will end this week..."

In other words, hurry up!


Fr. Brian Harrison said...

You say here: ". . . then after he [Pope Francis] is informed of the errors by Your Eminence and/or others of the hierarchy, then he must be informed that the Church has declared him to be such a heretic."

The trouble with this is that a small group of Cardinals cannot claim to be, or speak for, "the Church". If this small group declared him to be a "heretic" and elected a new "Pope" in a little conclave, THEY would be the ones in schism! Francis would remain the true Pope even if he were publicly teaching heresy!

The great theologians and doctors who have considered this grave question (e.g., Suarez,Bellarmine,Cajetan, John of St. Thomas)have taught that it would take whole Council of the world's Catholic bishops to declare validly that a Pope had become a formal heretic and so had lapsed from office. (Formal heresy involves more than just teaching heretical doctrine publicly: there has to be proof that the person in question KNOWS he is denying what the Church has proposed as a revealed truth [dogma]to be believed with "divine and Catholic faith".) Otherwise he is just a 'material heretic'.

Now, that clearly isn't going to happen in this pontificate,because Pope Francis has far too many supporters among the bishops and cardinals. So he is going to remain pope until he either dies, resigns (or possibly lapses into manifest dementia). We must just pray for a more doctrinally solid pope the next time round. I honestly don't see any other alternative.

Fr, Brian Harrison, O.S., S.T.D.
Oblates of Wisdom Study Center, St. Louis

thetimman said...

Fr. Harrison,

I am grateful for your response. I have great respect for your thoughts on this matter. However, if four, or forty, or however many Cardinals remain faithful, aren't they the 'college ' for this purpose? And thus eventually be able to hold a conclave? These are uncharted waters for me as for most. I've read Bellarmine's On the Roman Pontiff. But still. This is heady stuff. Think Arian crisis. Why couldn't four cardinals do the job?

Sam said...

Here's the reality. The Pope has spoken. Cardinal Burke, he of the massive ego and "I'm the smartest guy in the Church" mentality-- defies him. He's about to go over the cliff. Cardinal Burke is no Pied Piper. Don't be a rat and follow him over the edge.

Jane Chantal said...

Sam, your analogy is off. Cardinal Burke is standing steadfastly in the Truth of Christ; Francis & Co. are motoring resolutely away from it (maybe off a cliff, maybe someplace else). You may consider the former position a display of ego; I think it's a display of courage.

Jimmy said...

Sam is right. And nothing is festering as you say. CDF has said there's no reason for a response because the dubia is based on a misunderstanding of Amoris Laetitia and therefore a misunderstanding of church teaching. While your love letter to Burke might make him and you feel good, you're deluding yourselves by thinking there's some big next step that will occur. It's done. Burke revealed, once again, his true colors and, once again, he has proven himself rather inconsequential in the life of the church.

Jimmy said...

Prefect of CDF, incidentally, is Müller, an appointee of Benedict. Proposing that Burke knows church teaching better than Müller is rather laughable.

Unknown said...


The reality is that Christ has spoken. Pope Francis--defies Him who is the Word of God.

We should contemplate the reality of the situation and pray daily for the Pope. Our Lord said by their fruits we shall know them. What fruits has Pope Francis produced? Prayer and Penance, Our Lord is already so offended.

Take care and God bless.

Anonymous said...

Thetimman: The Church teaches: "Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith..." Pope Pius XII Mystici Corporis Christi #22

And as Father Ludwig Ott put it:"Public heretics,even those who err in good faith (material heretics),do not belong to the body of the Church..." Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma 1974 reprint page 311

1. Francis teaches heresy in Amoris Laetitia. He professes not the true faith.
2. By professing not the true faith,Francis puts himself outside the Church.
3.But one must be a member of the Church to hold office in the Church.
4.Thus Francis loses his office.
Tom Lozier

DJR said...

Sam, Pope Stephen VI and Pope Sergius III had both "spoken" when they declared Pope Formosus to be an antipope and annulled all his acts and ordinations.

Both were wrong.

Jimmy, you are in error if you think Cardinal Burke is "inconsequential" and, as a result, the issues surrounding Amoris Laetitia are somehow going to go away.

There are quite a few prelates, and many priests, who support him, including perhaps the entire episcopate of Poland, as well as Byzantine Rite clerics.

The hierarchy of Malta has just released a document which contradicts the clear teaching of Christ.

We are headed towards a conflagration.