National Catholic Reporter bitter about CARDINAL Burke (I repeat … CARDINAL)

National Catholic FishwrapHis Holiness of Our Lord Pope Benedict XVI has seen fit to name Archbishop Raymond Burke a Cardinal of Holy Church.

The National Catholic Fishwrap is not very pleased.

They won’t take the swipe directly.  They use surrogates.

Tom Roberts reprints something from a priest Milwaukee, Fr. James Connell, who threw a little nutty about Burke’s appointment calling it “unfortunate and disconcerting.”

They have together, and I think you’ll agree, earned the WDTPRS Bitter Fruit Award.

Bitter Fruit

The attack on soon-to-be-CARDINAL Burke has to do with the Dallas Charter.

The Milwaukee priest thinks Burke did something wrong regarding those provisions, that Burke disregarded the Church’s laws.  Most people will simply scoff at that.  I will go so far as to suggest that Archbp. Burke probably understood the parameters of the Dallas Charter and his own role as diocesan bishop pretty well.

The Milwaukee priest also thinks that Burke was unreasonable in requiring that people who make an accusation against a priest should have to offer proof.

Furthermore, the Milwaukee priest notes that the laws Burke set down for the Diocese of LaCrosse way back when are still on the diocesan website today.  We might point out that Burke hasn’t been bishop there for a long time now.

We might also point out that this Milwaukee priest is actually criticizing his own ordinary in Milwaukee.  The present Archbishop of Milwaukee H.E. Most REv. Jerome Listecki, was Burke’s successor in LaCrosse.  Listecki chose to keep Burke’s norms.  Thus, Fr. James Connell is also attacking Archbp. Listecki.

The priest in Milwaukee didn’t think this through very well before sending his attack on Burke to the NCR.   NCR was nevertheless happy to use it to attack Archbp. Burke, thus instrumentalizing that priest in his naivete.

This should play well for subscribers of the National Catholic Fishwrap.


Check out Fr. Sotelo’s comment, below.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. jbas says:

    I love the “Bitter Fruit” photo!

  2. JMJ2in1 says:

    Does anyone read the Reporter any more? Last I heard their subscriptions were so low they stopped listing the number on their info and contact column.

  3. TJerome says:

    average age of NCR subscriber: 75 plus.

  4. Bryan Boyle says:

    Average actual religion of NCR subscriber: episcopalian

  5. Some cheap shots, to be sure. But does anyone actually know who reads the NCR?

  6. jmhj5 says:

    LORD, thank you for our new Cardinal Burke. I am sure Father John Harden SJ had much to do with this. Battle is rough…continue to pray for Cardinal Burke—-from heaven Father John.
    Mary wrap your mother’s arms around both of them…

  7. chcrix says:

    “But does anyone actually know who reads the NCR?”

    I wouldn’t even know who they are if it wasn’t for your blog. And I regularly get to Kansas City.

    Taking a swipe at soon to be Cardinal Burke seems silly – his move to that assignment in Rome pretty much assured him of a red hat, didn’t it?

    Also, the priest’s complaint about requiring evidence tells us about how much blood the feeding frenzy has left in the water. Decency and Justice to ANYONE requires proof of accusasations. Just Google “Fells Acre” and “Dorothy Rabinowitz” to see what happens when rational proof is not required.

  8. rakesvines says:

    I think I saw the NCR in my parish. I’ll double check before I disparage my community unfairly. But regardless, they should know that the good Cardinal Burke is also the Vatican Apostolic Signatura – i.e. the Supreme Court Judge of the Roman Catholic Church so when he slammed the liberal, pro-choice bishops O’Mally and Wuerl for their pastoral negligences last week i.e presiding at Kennedy’s funeral Mass or allowing Pelosi, Biden, Sebellius, Mikulsi et. al. to receive Holy Communion at the Arch. of Washington then that slam dunk came with the full weight and authority of the Roman Catholic Curia (and please correct me if I am wrong Fr. Z.). Here’s a secondary source video for that speech

  9. rakesvines says:

    re: “Some cheap shots, to be sure. But does anyone actually know who reads the NCR?”
    I see it in the racks of our parish here in the Arch. of Washington, DC. I don’t read that trash though. It just upsets me.

  10. rakesvines says:

    No matter what NCR opines, Card. Burke is still the Apostolic Signatura and when he slammed the negligent bishops here last week, it had the full force of the Curia – and correct me if I am wrong. Here is a video about that slam

    Re: my liberal archdiocese in Washington DC and their subscription to NCR among others is something I loathe. The Lord must have placed me here for some purpose – purification, penance, to move the archdiocese to fidelity, to learn patience and humility. Anyway, I have placed a comment in the ADW blog. I don’t know how open they are to criticism but this is what I wrote there.
    “Ricky Vines says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    October 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm
    To be honest, I would rather have Abp. Chaput become cardinal than Wuerl because he does not discipline the pro-abort pols with the excuse of having only a quasi-jurisdictional authority over them in DC. In my opinion, that is just plain legalistic evasion of responsibility – passing the buck. He is the local ordinary, the bishop of the place. So, he can enforce the Church law in his domain whether the other bishops have done so or not in their domain. So, I only hope that it is an up and out move i.e. that Wuerl will get reassigned elsewhere after so this, so that the church in DC can have a more faithful and courageous bishop. More on my opinion at

  11. Can anything good come from “The Vortex”?
    Just askin’!

  12. steven595 says:

    Reverend James E. Connell is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. He currently serves as the pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Parish and Saint Clement Parish, both in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Father Connell also is a canon lawyer and a member of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Review Board.

  13. ray from mn says:

    In 2009, under Archbishop Burke’s norms, there were six accusations against priests/employees in the entire U.S. Less than 100 since 2004.

    Right now, under Archbishop Burke’s norms, the Catholic Church is the safest place for children in the United States.

  14. JosephMary says:

    This “Distorter” was evident in my former parish to be sure. And it is also on the racks of the one “liberal” parish here in town along with the other usual suspects like America and Commonweal.

    Sad that one who is a canon lawyer and a member of a review board would go immediately public with such detractions.

  15. spock says:

    May God richly bless soon-to-be Cardinal Burke.
    It’s unfortunate that his recent statements on abortion/politicians didn’t get the media play that the “alleged Catholic Homer Simpson” did.
    Shame on the Fishwrap. No news there.

    Figures it has to be my old home Diocese that’s taking a swipe at him. I pray a rosary most days.
    It was blessed by Archbishop Burke.

  16. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Fr. Connell’s attack is not that the Review Board asks for proof before sending a case against a priest to the CDF. Rather, Fr. Connell’s attack is that the Review Board of LaCrosse seeks “moral certitude” about the allegation instead of the lesser standard that the “allegation seems to be true.”

    What Fr. Connell aims to demonstrate is that by not using the right standard, children in the LaCrosse diocese have been put in danger because perhaps there are priests or deacons serving there who should have been denounced to the CDF. This, of course, is patently absurd because: 1) Accusations of abuse are always investigated in LaCrosse. None are dismissed out of hand. 2) Allegations are reported to police and civil authorities, who also investigate along with the chancery. 3) Regardless of the “legalese” of the bishop’s guidelines, an allegation by itself cannot be reason to remove a cleric from the sacred ministry. There must be some proof which substantiates the allegation or makes it credible.

    Even the standard proposed by Connell, that an accusation can remove a cleric which only “seems to be true” can only seem that way if there is proof of some kind. That Bishop Burke set a higher standard of proof, that of “moral certitude” has not been demonstrated by Connell to have actually caused the law to be misapplied. Connell’s contention is that the law might have been misapplied, but how this “might have happened” is not backed up by Connell with any proof. In spite of Connell’s very public campaign against Burke and LaCrosse, not one family of that diocese has stepped forward to validate Connell’s attacks.

    Connell’s attacks utilize the language of law and the cry of justice for abuse victims as grounds for accusing Burke of being a negligent shepherd. But in the end not a shred of evidence is given that shows Burke harmed one, single person with his guidelines in LaCrosse.

  17. Fr. Sotelo: That was great.

  18. jflare says:

    nazareth priest:
    I’ve watched many of Voris’ videos, they seem to me pretty straightforward.
    Why does The Vortex bug you?

  19. Norah says:

    I used to like your sour grapes award.

  20. TJerome says:

    I hope Fr. Connell is never on the receiving end of his “standard.” Priests have rights too, something which is forgotten sometimes.

  21. pfreddys says:

    The content seems to be good…but the name, the name….

    BTW, that tree still freaks me out

  22. Iowa Mike says:

    O boy, O boy…..finally. Archbishop Burke should be the poster bishop for the United States and the rest of the world. He is outspoken, 100% faithful to Catholic teaching and I expect he will do much to reign in progressive lay people and clergy alike.

    I’m overjoyed……

  23. jflare: I was not referring to M. Voris. I like his videos very much.
    I was referring to what Fr. Z calls “The Vortex”…”ground zero” of dissent emanating from NCReporter…sorry for the confusion; I was just being stupid.

  24. jaykay says:


    Heh heh heh :) Nazareth Priest isn’t referring to Michael Voris but rather to… (scary music)…

    THE VORTEX!!!!!

    But be warned: best to brew yourself some Mystic Monk before you venture near…

  25. Fr. Sotelo: Yes, thank you very much. You speak with great clarity and understanding.
    We, in our Diocese of La Crosse, have recently had a most distressing and scandalous event re: a priest having child porn on his computer and allegations of his strange and questionable behavior in a public park around children. The Diocese acted, with what information they had, decisively and with integrity (but, unfortunately, not according to the “moral norms” of SNAP, ….whatever).
    Our new Bishop, William Callahan, right after his installation, celebrated Holy Mass at the Parish where the former pastor had resided and dealt directly with the problems, issues and scandal. He has been a true spiritual father and an advocate for any victims involved.
    This “smear” campaign is rooted in the desire of those like SNAP to jump to conclusions about any allegations (whether or not they are true or have any merit) in order to crucify priests, denigrate the priesthood and sue the Church till Kingdom come.
    Thank you, Father.
    Thank you.

  26. Supertradmum says:

    “But does anyone actually know who reads the NCR?”

    People and priests in my diocese read the fishwrap…

  27. Supertradmum says:

    PS, I have seen copies in the Chancery waiting area, with priests’ names on the labels.

  28. Fr_Sotelo says:

    nazareth priest: It’s great to see you posting again, brother. It seems like you took a little break. I appreciate your sense of humor (i.e. vortex LOL).

  29. Fr Sotelo: Thank you. I am most humbled.
    I feel like I shoot off my “red-headed Irish mouth” too often!! But I thank you for your most kind comment.
    I deeply appreciate all that you offer here; as well as Fr. Z. and all the commentators.
    A very good way for us all to be informed, corrected and feel that we’re not alone.
    It’s a vast desert; we need one another. My prayers, Fr. S. and all of you!

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