Explaining Burke Derangement Syndrome

At Badger Catholic I saw something that helps to explain Burke Derangement Syndrome, or BDS.

You surely have seen dramatic, fainting couch worthy, episodes of BDS over at NSR (National Schismatic Reporter… to use just one possible “s” word, aka Fishwrap).

Certain of their writers simply hate Card. Burke.  They see His Eminence and they become silly, they vent, they swoon, they throw a spittle-flecked nutty.

Badger Catholic may have put the finger on the sore spot.

Cardinal Burke and the 1998 conversion of one of “Wisconsin’s most outspoken gay activists”

Recently we posted a story that has circulated on the internet about Cardinal Burke and the conversion of an active homosexualist.

Thanks to a gracious commenter, I found the true story of the gay activist’s conversion.

You can read the story “Coming Out of Sodom” by Eric Hess in Celebrate Life Magazine 2011-09-29 www.clmagazine.org/article/index/id/OTI2Mw/The story is from 2011 but the actual conversion happened in 1998 in the La Crosse Diocese.  There may be other stories like this one but this seems to match the details of the original.

I would recommend reading the whole thing, I’ll highlight a few details.


Read the rest there.

So, am I wrong?  Sure there are other reasons why catholics might dislike Card. Burke, but…. think about it.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Drill, Throwing a Nutty and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Makes sense. After all, what was Nixons’ real crime in the eyes of liberals? Was it Watergate? Or the fact that he went after Alger Hiss?

  2. Unwilling says:

    Mr Hess’ paragraph “Before we go any further…” gave a good contextualization.

    Context is not conspiracy; but here is a coincidence I noticed yesterday.

    “She wore an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini”.
    This song tells the “story” of a girl who is ashamed to expose her body immodestly. The song lets us understand that she is silly, and prudish, and ought to be happy to flaunt her flesh. The Wiki article notes that the song quickly overcame the then prevailing standards of modesty and sales of bikinis boomed and soon displaced one-piece swim wear. Women are encouraged to cooperate in their own sexual exploitation.

    “The Pill”.
    This pharmaceutical would be useful to women who were adopting the new style of immodesty recommended above. They could attract men to exploit them and then, by taking The Pill, suffer no consequences!

    Anyway, what do these partners in crime, the Bikini and The Pill, have in common?
    They were both launched onto their markets in June 1960.

  3. Cardinal Burke’s recent public appearances, including ones posted on this blog, have been public relations disasters for the Church. He is not media-friendly and unfortunately his personality turns people off.

    You might say: who cares about public relations? Truth is more important than getting people to like you. Better Burke than media-savvy smooth-talkin’ Tim Dolan.

    Maybe. Maybe Burke is setting himself up as the Bad Cop to Francis and other bishops’ Good Cops. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

  4. AvantiBev says:

    LOL I can tell I am my Daddy’s daughter. I saw the headline on this blog and thought: huh, political science students reading Edmund Burke’s writings are getting deranged? Or are we speaking about the President coming across a dog eared copy in the White House library and going berserk?

  5. ConstantlyConverting says:

    Great find! Cardinal Burke seems like an excellent priest.

  6. lsclerkin says:

    Now Burke.

  7. lsclerkin says:

    I think you hit it, Father.

  8. frjim4321 says:

    So the best we can do to rehabilitate the his reputation is a 16-year old news item?

    [Nice try. Animus for Card. Burke goes way back, as you well know. This may be one of the reasons.]

  9. oldcanon2257 says:

    Austin Catholics says:

    Cardinal Burke’s recent public appearances, including ones posted on this blog, have been public relations disasters for the Church. He is not media-friendly and unfortunately his personality turns people off.

    I would like to refer you to a post by Father Z on August 4, 2013 titled When you can’t receive Holy Communion: Go any way … or… with this photo of Cardinal Burke consoling a child:


    with the explanation: “Louis [the child] was so sad that he couldn’t receive 1st Communion; he was in tears. When he said hi to Cardinal Burke, I explained to the Cardinal why he was sad and Louis just leaned into him and cried. His Eminence embraced him so lovingly and told him, “don’t worry, your first Communion will come soon enough!”
    I love that Louis poured out his sorrow to him like the shepherd that Cardinal Burke is… so dear!

    How is that for “his personality turns people off“? How is that for both being a great defender of the faith and being pastoral at the same time (those 2 things aren’t mutually exclusive, as far as I can tell)?

    Also, look at a photo from the most recent post from Father Z about the Pontifical Mass celebrated by Cardinal Burke at the Altar of the Chair:


    with the caption “After Mass Card. Burke was pretty much mobbed.” (by young seminarians and young clergy, no less).

    How is that for “his personality turns people off“?

    For the time being, I pray that Our Lady Queen of Clergy, Saint Michael the Archangel and Saint Pius X protect him.

    If it is God’s will, may His Eminence be elected to the chair of Peter at some point down the road so that he could revise the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church and bring back Canon 2257 from the old 1917 Codex Iuris Canonicis (and start applying it to both heterodox and heretics). I could hardly wait for that day.

    All orthodox prelates are hated by this world and the prince of this world. Case in point: Those of you who are old enough will remember His Excellency The Most Reverend René Henry Gracida. He was the ordinary of the Diocese of Corpus Christi in the 1990’s. He had the guts to be truly pastoral and issued three decrees of excommunication (latae sententiae) to excommunicate some abortionists. After the good bishop did so, he pretty much became the pariah/leper at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

  10. Kerry says:

    At his Sense of Events blog, posted Sep. 2, Donald Sensing, writing about atheism includes this quote from the Blaise: “Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true. The cure for this is first to show that religion is not contrary to reason, but worthy of reverence and respect. Next make it attractive, make good men wish it were true, and then show that it is. ” (That’s Blaise Pascal.)
    Is Cardinal Burke’s personality “turns people off “, not the same as “Do not be surprised if the world hates you”…

  11. ncstevem says:

    I don’t believe Cardinal Burke’s reputation needs to be rehabilitated but I understand why the effete crowd might think it does.

  12. paladin says:

    [Animus for Card. Burke goes way back, as you well know. This may be one of the reasons.]

    It certainly does… and as a member of the Diocese of La Crosse, I can confirm that the heterodox have (in my hearing, anyway) never confined themselves to merely “disagreeing” (even strongly) with then-Bishop Burke*; they hated him, and wanted him gone. This definitely included (and includes) members of the clergy. From what I could tell, the main source of their animus was the fact that now-Cardinal Burke fought every advance of any agenda which violated the truth about sexual morality (e.g. homosexuality, abortion, contraception, etc.). Liberal laity and clergy alike simply do not forgive opposition to these things, I’ve found.

    I’ve recounted it before, but: an orthodox priest in the diocese described a sort of “town hall” meeting in which then-Bishop Burke* was confronted with the fact that several members of a diocesan “social justice” committee were publicly “pro-choice” (i.e. pro-legal abortion), and he was asked how the diocese could ever be taken seriously on these matters, accordingly. Then-Bishop Burke* paused for a few seconds, and then looked straight at the questioner and said, “Give me their names, and they’ll be off the committee by tomorrow.”

    Those who have embraced the culture of death chafe at anyone who even fails to EMBRACE their ideology; but they have a special, pro-active hatred for those who spinefully OPPOSE that ideology.

    * Yes, I know that Cardinal Burke is still a bishop! I was trying, however awkwardly, to make a distinction between his former and present titles.

  13. frjim4321 says:

    “I don’t believe Cardinal Burke’s reputation needs to be rehabilitated but I understand why the effete crowd might think it does.”


  14. Pingback: Religion News Service Pope Francis Blunder - BigPulpit.com

Comments are closed.