Card. Burke speaks to a Catholic Men’s Conference

A favorite Cardinal, His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke, was recently in Pendleton, OR at a the Northwest Catholic Men’s Conference.  A choir of students from one of my favorite small Catholic Colleges, Wyoming Catholic College, went to participate at the event.

Card. Burke celebrated Holy Mass and spoke at the conference.

I have been sent photos and the text of some of Card. Burke’s interventions.

His presentation at the conference is a fine piece.

Here is a taste from the beginning of his speech.

The culture in which we live is not easy for Catholic men. It calls into question the most basic truths about God, about us and about our world. In a particular way, by its open disregard and even hostility toward the moral law, written by God in every human heart, it presents a most difficult challenge for men. A godless culture necessarily calls into question the very notion of the distinct nature of man and of his vocation of fatherhood. As the Catholic psychologist Paul Vitz once observed, atheism is the religion of the fatherless.

At the same time, the state of our culture points to the critical importance of men recovering the understanding of their distinct gifts and their distinct vocation of fatherhood for the transformation of our culture from a culture of godlessness and death to a culture of faith and life. I commend you for all that you are doing to deepen your understanding of your life and vocation as men, and to fortify yourselves to live your manhood with integrity and, thereby, to be agents of the transformation of our homes and of society, in general.

In my presentation tonight, I want to reflect with you on our Christian vocation to be witnesses to Christ and, therefore, martyrs for the faith. First, I will set the context of the living of our Christian vocation in the present time, as presented to us by Pope Benedict XVI who urges us to study again the teaching of His saintly predecessor, the Venerable, soon to be Blessed, Pope John Paul II. Then, I will present briefly the teaching of Pope John Paul II on the new evangelization as witness to Christ. The third part of my presentation is a reflection on witness as martyrdom and the various forms which it takes. The final part of my presentation concerns conscience as the voice of God enlightening and guiding us on the way of witness and martyrdom.

The rest is wonderful, but too long for me to post here easily.  Maybe in the next days.

Three observations.

We do well to build up the Catholic identity of men at every age.

It is great to see Card. Burke… a Cardinal.

It is great to see that he is willing to participate in these conferences.  Pray for him and his health.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Brian K says:

    Thanks for posting this Fr. Z.

    There’s another chance to hear Cardinal Burke in the states this summer. According to the Catholic Key blog of the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph,

    “Bishop Finn announced that the two Kansas City dioceses would jointly sponsor a conference on Catholic teaching on end-of-life care on July 25 (2011). Cardinal Raymond Burke and St. Gianna’s daughter, Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla, will be among the participants.”

  2. Peggy R says:

    We do love our Cardinals in Red in St Louis!

  3. Supertradmum says:

    Father Z,

    Thank you for posting this. It is so timely. I was watching the BBC News yesterday and today on the revolt in Libya and what came to my mind was that the men in the mosques on Friday morning are the same ones who go out into the streets right after prayer. What struck me were these thoughts: one, the men are extreme and violent, prone to emotional outbursts; two, they are leaderless-there are no Washingtons or Jeffersons among them; three, they take their sons to pray with them and there are no women to tone down the hysteria of violence; four, the level of activity is based on irrationality, rather than rational discourse.

    These ideas led me to think that our Catholic men must, absolutely, must be able to come against this tide of irrational activity, which although based on some vague ideas of freedom, is a tide of hatred without focus, except for the immediate objects. Catholic men must be trained to deal with these other type of men, who represent the largest, active group of men in the world-the Islamic male population. If Catholics are to survive, our Catholic men must learn how to one, control their own emotions; two, engage in rational discourse, like our Pope; three, put aside adolescent activities which take time away from political leadership, community leadership, educational leadership; four, lead their sons in daily prayer to the Incarnate God, who eschewed violence, except to Himself-that is, a God Who teaches us how to suffer-that is, men who know how to sacrifice; five, men must take on more active roles in religion in the public square instead of leaving this to women-for example, the pro-life movement needs more men; six, men need to stop compromising and stop lying about Christianity in the workplace and at home-I am tired of hearing the compromise platform, such as “Well, one cannot do that in the world”, as if being in the world meant setting aside Catholic principals.

    God bless Cardinal Burke and give him plenty of opportunities to speak this message to the thousands of Catholic men who need to take leadership in our homes and in the country. Where are the Catholic male leaders?

  4. irishgirl says:

    OORAH for Cardinal Burke!
    I’m with you, Supertradmum-where are the Catholic male leaders?

  5. Supertradmum says:

    I do wonder how Catholic men react to the world news. No one likes the word “crusade”, but self-defense is not a sin. Are you actually in Ireland?

  6. BenedictXVIFan says:

    The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic men’s fraternity that is (1) vigorously pro-life, (2) staunchly supports the Pope, and (3) has a special devotion to Our Lady through the Holy Rosary. I am part of a younger wave that’s been recruited to help avoid the organization from falling off a demographic cliff. The older generation has wisely acted before it is too late.

  7. We do not have many men who are strong leaders in the Western world due to the popular trend of seeking to feminize men and replace male leaders with women. In the striving to do so society has intentionly demeaned and degraded what it means to be a man. No wonder we have so many men who don’t know what it means to be manly and so many women who don’t know what its like to be treated as a lady.

    Thats also why so many men cower before the feminists these days- its sort of like Stockholm syndrome. I had a friend from the Ukraine. They have a popular saying: In America the woman is first, then the children, next the dog (although it is debatable as there is evidence the dog is rated higher than children) and then the man. I suppose that is another reason we don’t have many sound male leaders. No one really thinks men are that important in general society. Then again there are men who say: who cares what everyone else thinks, what is right is right. Thankfully Cardinal Burke is one of them. God bless him and those like him.

  8. threej says:

    I was able to be at this conference and meet Cardinal Burke! I was surprised at just how humble and unassuming a man he is when he’s not speaking in the name of the Church.

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