Cardinal Burke's head roundup

Or an alternate picture of the Cardinal here

Commonweal: Viva la revolucion! (desperately playing Burke as a "careerist" is asinine - funny how that charge flies around with the only evidence to the contrary.  But indeed a fitting response considering the source)

Elizabeth Scalia:
In fact, this seems like exactly the thing Francis would do: align an obedient, faithful Cardinal who enjoys a bit of ceremony from time to time with a well-organized Knighthood able to offer medical and emergency help, and who also rather like getting spiffed up from time to time, and put them to work, together, for the good of the countless numbers of people, and ultimately for the good of the church.
There's others along the same line, hoping to spin this in a different direction.  It's simply not the case, and I don't see a reason to sugar coat every action taken in the Vatican.

Pat Archbold:
But this move, if it happens, will be unspinnable. Some have already tried with embarrassing results. This is brutal Vatican politics carried out at the highest level for the crime of intransigent orthodoxy. This would be a blatant humiliation of a Curial Cardinal at a crucial moment to prevent him galvanizing opposition to the current zeitgeist going into the synod.

If this happens as rumored, there will be no spinning it or removing the Pope's fingerprints from the crime scene.
St. Peter's List

Some of my thoughts on the real reasons this has been done (I think it's pretty likely this happens soon- 1Peter5 even suggested Cardinal Burke leaked the story to Magister himself).

Reason 1: Canon 915 
Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.
Or in the Eastern Churches:
The publicly unworthy are to be kept from the reception of the Divine Eucharist.
Cardinal Burke is of the opinion that this canon applies to Catholic politicians or other public figures who support abortion rights.  His primary opponents in this regard are Cardinals Wuerl, O'Malley, and Dolan.  Supporters of +Burke's interpretation include (then) Cardinal Ratzinger, and Cardinal Arinze.  A recent LifeSite articles details the history well.  Noteworthy then is the fact that the only Americans advising Pope Francis now are +O'Malley and +Wuerl.

Rather than actually changing the Canon, which any pope has the right to do, opponents of applying this to politicians (particularly +Wuerl) have insisted that +Burke is interpreting the canon wrong - which with +Burke as Aposotlic Signatura puts the claim as bold at best.  The only way to make sure this does not have to apply to... well, at least Catholic abortion pushers would be to remove +Burke from his post and select someone who "interprets" this canon differently.

In +Wuerl's defense, in DC it seems particular difficult to implement, it would require extra staff just to keep tabs on everyone in town and send out alerts to priests.

Others like at Commonweal or the Fishwrap would oppose applying Canon 915 because they don't think there is anything wrong with abortion, or for that matter that "manifest grave sin" even exists.

Reason 2: Marriage and the Kasper effect

Probably the person who has most influenced the Cardinal's opinion on the matter is Fr. John Hardon, SJ who's position was such:
These two essential properties and they are two: unity and indissolubility are the clearest test of the Catholic Church in our day. By now I have told so many people that the Catholic Church will survive only where there are still people who believe that there are to be just two people faithful to one another until death, and their union is not dissolvable by any human authority.
Cardinal Kasper's suggestion that the Church could recognize a second marriage akin to the Orthodox practice of recognizing second marriages.  I assume Cardinal Burke is of the opinion the Church cannot survive with the Kasper proposal.  Father Z had a good post on the topic recently.  Cdl. Kasper's proposal could be seen as anti-women even, giving men the ability to just discard wives in favor of second marriages.

I haven't seen this talked about either, but obviously having some second class marriage recognized in the Church also would allow for a mechanism to recognize same-sex couples as well.  If it's not sacramental, why not?

The point is this, Cardinal Burke would fight for marriage probably more than any other issue, including Canon 915 and liturgy.  Pope Francis has already been reported to want to build bridges between the Orthodox and the Catholic Church and perhaps recognition of some of their practices (albeit, clearly a failed practice) would make Orthodox welcome some type of reunification.   If this is his desire to make legal structures for second marriages - he could only do it by first removing Cardinal Burke.

Reason 3: The Cappa Magna

Pope Francis and others like minded don't "like" this.  Although the comments from the pope have been somewhat ambiguous, I think it is fair to say that the use of at least some of the traditional vestments is bad for Catholicism - perhaps under the auspices of they don't "look" "poor" enough.  Obviously Cardinal Burke is not the only Cappa wearing prelate, but it makes for a convenient excuse to shun someone lacking pastoral sensitivities.

Reason 4: The +Burke "style"

Cardinal Burke is not "pastoral" in the eyes of his enemies.  He's a big meanie to too many American Catholics.  To the other side of the fence, he does this because he's just simply not sensitive enough or doesn't realize we are all sinners.  To his supporters, he's the model of "pastoral," ie, he is attempting to keep Christ's sheep in the fold.

Beyond that, his style also has let him be taken advantage.  When asked, he answers.  I can't find it now, but there was the case that an interviewer used Cdl. Burke's comments to bash Cardinal Wuerl publicly.  Cardinal Burke called him to apologize but the damage had been done.  I suspect the work to remove the Cardinal from the Signatura has been a long time coming.

These are some of my thoughts.  I do not think it's cause to find another True Church, but I'll touch on that in a later post.  


  1. I keep hoping when a large US See becomes vacant he will be appointed - like Chicago. If I was Pope that's what I would do. Cardinal Burke is a very humble man. Recall when he was called to Rome many in the US said it was to keep him out of American politics - sort of an effort to shut him up. Turns out that wasn't the case at all. So hopefully he will be given an influential appointment.

    Don't be discouraged.

    1. Maybe Pope Francis didn't like your Egg painting with the Cardinal and Michael Voris, LOL!

  2. "Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine [Ephesians 4:14], seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's ego and desires." --- Cardinal Ratzinger (before he became pope)

    George Orwell stated “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

    And finally, a LifeSiteNews reader sent us this excerpt from an address by Archbishop Fulton Sheen to the Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus in June 1972,
    "Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops, and your religious act like religious."

    A quote from Einstein: "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has limits."

    G. K. Chesterton quotes:

    “There are an infinite number of ways to fall, but there is only one way to stand.”

    "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried."

    “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”

    “Be careful not to be so open-minded that your brains fall out.”

    “I want a church that moves the world not one that moves with it”

    “Take away the supernatural and what remains is the unnatural”

    “Moral issues are always terribly complex for someone without principles.”

  3. From the approved Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Akita, Japan,
    to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa:

    "The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres...churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.

    "The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them"

  4. If this is true—and it seems entirely credible, especially because the of timing, which comes on the eve of the synod where the opinion of Cardinal Burke, had he remained the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, would have carried substantial weight before and after the synodal proceedings and would have directly contradicted the opinions of Pope Francis and Cardinal Kasper on the matter of Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried—we need to be significantly more concerned about the state of the hierarchy and the Church in our totally secularized culture than we have been until now.

    Should this come to pass, this 'decapitation,' as the essay aptly phrases it, would be particularly vindictive. Even opponents of Cardinal Burke acknowledge that he is eminently qualified to lead the Apostolic Signatura, not to mention that few, if any, who could be appointed to replace him will have anywhere near the experience he does.

    The demotion of Cardinal Burke to a ceremonial position can be seen both as a demotion of orthodoxy and the manifestation of a deep dislike of His Eminence and his fidelity to the teachings of the Church.


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