CreamCityCatholic: Fateful Choices, Resilient Hope

In a surprising move, Pope Francis dramatically changed the makeup of the Congregation for Bishops. This Congregation is responsible for advising the Holy Father on the appointment of bishops around the world, so you might say it’s kind of important. Given the power a bishop wields in his diocese, this is an extremely influential table of advisors. Cardinal Raymond Burke, the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, a tireless defender of the unborn, a major proponent of liturgical tradition and protege of Benedict XVI, was dropped from the Congregation and replaced by the moderate, and not particularly inspiring, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C. (One could argue whether or not this shake-up was all that “surprising”…)  Both men have, over the past several years, clashed politely and indirectly over the question of reception of Communion by pro-abortion politicians.

Cardinal Burke, the Church’s chief canon lawyer, arguing from Saint Paul, Canon Law and tradition, argues in favor of denying the Sacrament to public officials who are known to be complicit in grave sin. The integrity of the Sacrament should be protected from sacrilege, and the individual himself should be prevented from having that mortal blight on his soul. For his part, Cardinal Wuerl, apparently more concerned with being nice and liked by everyone (in other words “pastoral”) strongly disagrees with Burke, positing that Communion should not be withheld from politicians involved in scandal. It’s just mean, you see. All are welcome at the table of plenty. To clue in those in the dark, “pastoral” is one of the many bastardized words in our vocabulary. There is nothing wrong with being truly pastoral, but now, “pastoral” is simply code among many bishops for never saying or doing anything that might upset some easily offended special interest group living in Swaziland. If the interest group is left-of-center, that means never, ever offending it. If it’s a traditional group, then it’s open season. Fire away.

And if Burke’s departure wasn’t bad enough, also dropped from the Congregation was Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, another stellar protege of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The decision to deep-six two outstanding prelates and genuine liturgists in favor of someone like Cardinal Wuerl is a hard one-two punch to the gut. I pride myself on being able to read silver linings in bad news, but this development is bleak, all around. And I’m far from the only one expressing dismay.

There’s no other way to interpret this move, folks. I don’t know who was responsible for advising the Holy Father on this one, but it’s a huge mistake, in my opinion. Cardinal Burke represents a vision of the Church which has inspired large swaths of young men to enter seminaries and traditional religious orders.
continue at Cream City Catholic

Yep, go read.  I'd just add I'm not sure if this is a surprise move, more than it is a laying down of some of the cards that this papacy has as to this point been holding to his chest. 

.... The Reform.... of the Reform of the Reform......



  1. I have sorrrow and trepidation in my soul at the possible interpretations of these moves. I am more concerned for the future appointments of bishops in the USA who would have a more progressive (lets just come out and say it liberal agenda) Agendas that could lead to the eventual overturning of the Liturgical Reforms initiated by Benedict XVI. My concern is not so much for the Tridentine Mass but in the casual treatment of the Blessed Sacrament that our progressive brothers and sisters lean towards. The same disobedience that the liberasl use in the Novus Ordo can also be done in the Tridentine Mass. It is not the Mass but the obedience of the priests who say the Mass.

    We are in the mess we are in in the church and in the world because of how we Catholics treat the Blessed Sacrament. This was foretold at Fatima in 1916. How many ways can sacrileges be committed and tolerated. Taking Holy Communion while in a state of mortal sin is sacrilege. There is no other word to use to make it sound nice it should sound worse.

    Thank God Cardinal Burke is standing up to the doctrine the Church has always held and taught. He needs our prayers and we need other bishops and priests to witness to this in their life and preaching. Never mind liberal and conservative truth is truth. But many want to believe a lie.

    It is Gods Church and he will have the final say in this spiritual warfare within the church. In the meantime Let us follow the Fatima Message prayer and penance for the conversion of poor sinners.

    "Most Holy Trinity Father Son and Holy Spirit I adore you profoundly and I offer you the most precious Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Our Lard Jesus Christ present IN ALL THE TABERNACLES OF THE WORLD in Reparation for all the outrages sacrileges and indifference by which he is offended. through the intercession of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of all poor sinners."

    Please pass on this link to educate fellow Catholics this great need of Eucharistic Reform. I wish I was a better writer but God uses all the gifted and not so gifted to promote truth.
    All of us one day may have to give our witness for this truth!

    PS Nice reflective photo of the Cardinal Let us keep praying for God's Mercy!

  2. Umnnh....we don't have pudding from which to conclude about proof. Yes, I liked Cdl Burke in the job; we'll see what Cdl. Wuerl's input brings.

    THEN we can make a judgment, eh?

    1. Fair enough.

      But he does have enough record as a bishop himself to fairly discern what he thinks on certain matters in the Church.

    2. ....Go to this webiste. Do we really need more bishops in the vein of Weakland and Sklba?

  3. Many over simplify (and vilify) these two men; this reductionist attitude of Burke/Conservative = Good; Wuerl/Moderate = bad is really misses the complexity and particular talents of these two men. Cardinal Burke is an ardent defender of the faith; Cardinal Wuerl might have different pastoral gifts. If you read some of his quotes regarding communion reception, it is very clear that he does not approve of the decisions of certain politicians, but that addressing their public scandal should be the duty of their local bishop. Furthermore, while Cardinal Burke tries to defend the Eucharist from descecration through unworthy acceptance, Cardinal Wuerl seeks to prevent the Eucharist from being politicized. We have a beautiful tradition of being a both/and Church.

  4. The cardinal got where he got through papal patronage. The cardinal will get where he gets with the pope we got.


Please contact if you have issues commenting.