VIENNA – Card. Burke calls on Catholics to “speak up and act”. Interview.

At Breitbart there is a new interview piece by Edward Pentin with His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke.  As you will recall, during the Synod, Pentin was the one who outed Card. Kasper’s attitude toward the African Church. That was a turning point.

Cardinal Raymond Burke has said he is at the service of Pope Francis, has no personal animosity towards him, and those who claim the American cardinal is an opponent of the Pontiff are trying to discredit him.

The head of the Vatican’s highest court also told Breitbart Tuesday the Catholic Church risks schism if bishops are seen to “go contrary” to the Church’s established and unchangeable dogmas in the months ahead.

Click to PRE-ORDER

The Vatican prelate was speaking in Vienna Tuesday, at the launch of the German translation of Remaining in the Truth of Christ, a book to which he contributed. The work is a response to Cardinal Walter Kasper’s proposal to allow some remarried divorcees to have access to holy Communion. The Catholic Church has always barred such a possibility, based on Christ’s teaching that remarrying after divorce constitutes adultery. [Hard to squirm out of that one.]“Certain media simply want to keep portraying me as living my life as an opponent to Pope Francis,” he said. “I am not at all. I’ve been serving him in the Apostolic Signatura and in other ways I continue to serve him.”

The Wisconsin-born prelate was responding to comments he made in an interview he gave the Spanish weekly Vida Nueva last week. The article misconstrued him as criticizing the Pope–despite his stressing in the interview that he was not at odds with Francis.

He told the Spanish publication there is a “strong sense” the Church is like a “ship without a helm, whatever the reason for this may be.” But he made it clear in the interview he was not “speaking out” against the Pontiff. He said the Pope is right to call on Catholics to “go out to the peripheries” but added “we cannot go to the peripheries empty-handed.” [and without clear teaching, a coherent message.]

“I wasn’t saying that the Holy Father’s idea is this,” he explained, “but I’ve seen other people using his words to justify a kind of ‘accommodation’ of the faith to the culture which can never be so.”

Burke told Breitbart his wish is “to present the Church’s teaching around which there’s been a great deal of confusion.” He pointed to last month’s synod on the family in Rome as partly to blame, and said those who identify with a “so-called reformist agenda” of Pope Francis are now trying “to discredit what I say by attributing it to some personal animosity toward the Holy Father, and that’s not right.[Sounds like Alinsky’s  RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.]

Asked about the singer Elton John’s recent praise of Pope Francis as a hero of gay rights, Burke said the Church needs to be “diligent” in explaining “very carefully” her teaching, making proper distinctions between the sinner and the sin. [However, a large sector in the Church now want to freeze and polarize anyone who makes distinctions. As we know, Qui bene distinguit bene docet.] He also reasserted the Pope’s concern for people with same-sex attraction, one which “understands that even though they have this attraction, it is an attraction to disordered acts” and that they need to seek God’s “healing and grace” to deal with their “very profound suffering.”

Burke has been one of the most outspoken opponents of Kasper’s proposal, saying it is not Catholic, threatens the indissolubility of marriage, and is therefore unacceptable. “The Church must do everything she can when, once again, the integrity of marriage is under attack,” he told the Viennese audience.

He said he “often heard” prelates at last month’s two-week Synod on the Family in Rome say that because the culture has changed “so radically,” the Church “cannot teach as we had in the past.” [FAIL!] But Burke responded by saying such a view betrays a “loss of hope in Jesus Christ, Who alone is the salvation of the world.” He acknowledged that the culture is “very corrupt” but added that doesn’t mean “we go chasing after it, but rather bring to the culture that which will save it and be full of hope.”

Talk of possible schism has increased in the Catholic Church after the recent synod appeared to be leading the Church in a more “progressive” direction on moral issues. [It is waaaay premature to talk about formal schism of any large portion of the Church or local Churches over what is going on.  After all, most Catholics today have to be pushed to admit that God is transcendent, that Christ is God, and that the Eucharist is Christ.  Formal schism?  De facto… that’s a different pot of bagna cauda.] A controversial document issued by bishops midway through the meeting (which Burke called a “total disaster”) pointed to radical changes in the area of homosexuals, divorce, and remarriage among other things, but the proposals were largely toned down or failed to reach a consensus in the final report.

Questioned about whether there is a genuine risk the Church might split, Burke said if, in the runup to a second synod on the family next October, bishops are seen to move “contrary to the constant teaching and practice of the Church, there is a risk because these are unchanging and unchangeable truths.” [If BISHOPS start denying openly the Church’s teaching, that’s another matter.] He also pointed out that the head of the synod of bishops, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, has “identified himself very strongly” with Kasper’s thesis and “subscribes to that school.”

Warning that this battle will continue, he called on Catholics to “speak up and act.”

I would like to add another thing.

In addition to speaking up and acting, even before speaking up and acting, examine your own conscience (not that of others) and …


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. LeeF says:

    This is the kind of stuff the media loves, and loves to pour gas on, i.e. talk of schism, and especially meaning the mean ‘ol conservatives will be the ones leaving the Church, when the liberals left long ago in conscience if not in fact.

    The Holy Father has taken no actions as yet contrary to sound doctrine. But I would hope he would come to realize that if he first nails doctrinal orthodoxy and sound liturgical practice the way his two predecessors did, then the issues he cares most about such as mercy and the poor, will then find a respectful hearing where he is given the benefit of the doubt. Orthodox doctrine and liturgy are the starting points from which to build on. Constant ambiguity though will mean even more internal conflict and that his agenda goes unrealized.

  2. More than ever, we need the prayers of Blessed Pope Paul VI. He went through this as well – this phase of the Modernist assault really kicked off with Humanae Vitae.

  3. Unwilling says:

    Luke 12:45: That servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk….”

    Schism would be a victory for the Evil One. He should not have it handed to him by those who love God. If the highest levels of those who exercise the Magisterium utter important errors denying the essence of the Gospel (including both the formal teachings from the 1st to the 21stC and the mainstream theological tradition synthesised by St Thomas Aquinas), then that will be very bad and painful. Then, faithful Catholics will have to speak up and assert the Good News as it has been given to us, even if they are excommunicated or worse for doing so. Then they will feel the full force of having nowhere else to go, for only the Church has the words of everlasting life. But ultimate victory goes to the faithful.

  4. McCall1981 says:

    As scary as this situation is, I’m glad Burke and others are making the implicit threat of schism now, rather than after the Synod. At least now the threat might actively help to prevent the change from happening.

  5. Charles E Flynn says:

    From Card. Burke addresses relationship with Pope Francis; says “the integrity of marriage is under attack”, by Carl E. Olson, for the Catholic World Report:

    In related news, on November 17th, Pope Francis will be giving an address at a colloquium, titled “Humanum”, in Vatican City, hosted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that will focus on the subject of the “Complementarity of Man and Woman in Marriage”. The opening remarks and welcome will be given by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who also happens to be one of the five Cardinals—including Burke—who contributed to the much discussed book, Remaining in the Truth of Christ.

  6. Cradle Catholic says:

    A couple of links if Fr. Z allows:
    1) Lifesite news has an electronic thank you card to Cardinal Burke for anyone to sign, those who wish to. Here it is:
    2) On Lifesite news this evening, Cardinal Marx says that Pope Francis ordered the rejected paragraph on homosexuality retained in the final SYNOD document:

    Pray, pray and pray some more. An

  7. Netmilsmom says:

    The press and modernists are screaming “Schism!” because that’s what they want. They want the troublesome people who stick to the laws, gone and forgotten. They are nearly gleeful in their obsession that we will schism. It’s wishful thinking.
    If those of us who love tradition didn’t schism in the 70s, we’re not going to now.
    If we didn’t schism in the 90s (oh those years of Happy Catholic) we’re not going to now.
    We’ve lived through this before and have been patient. Through the blessing of B16, we are a growing community within The Church and they are terrified of us. We are growing and breeding like no other part of the Catholic Church. We are strong and we are determined. We are going no where and that is what horrifies them.
    We will sit in the back of the mass, saying our rosaries or drive to a Retro Catholic parish. We’re not going anywhere and they can’t stand it.

  8. JARay says:

    I see that the noun “schism” has now been made into a verb! I always understood that the verb is “schismatise”.
    Well I have no intention of schismatising, nor have I any intention of sitting at the back of Mass saying a rosary. I intend sitting at the front of Mass and responding to the prayers in my usual, loud, clear voice.

  9. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Charles E Flynn links Mr. Olson article, quoting an interesting excerpt.
    Among the comments to Fr. Robert P. Imbelli’s post noting a striking discrepancy between Italian text and English translation in Relatio Synodi 3 –

    there is attention to this upcoming Vatican ecumenical and interreligious conference on 17-19 November on “Complementarity of Man and Woman”, including the following link provided by John Hayes:

    Mr. Olson’s article further revisits Edward Pentin’s attention to Cardinal Baldisseri’s interview with the Belgian weekly, Tertio, in May. From Mr. Pentin’s linked post, Mr. Olson quotes an excerpt from the Cardinal’s interview – which unfortunately is not a very good translation. Mr. Pentin acknowledges Chris Gillibrand’s help, and Mr. Gillibrand’s translation of part of the same excerpt in the post he links is not only different, but better – yet not, I think, accurate enough. For a fuller and much better translation, I recommend that of Mark de Vries (who periodically comments here!) in this blogpost of his:

    The Cardinal’s words take on a new interest after the Synod:

    “We now face two Synods to discuss this complex topic of the family, and I believe that this dynamic in two movements will allow us to give a more appropriate response to the expectations of the people.”

    If, as Cardinal Burke is reported as saying, “Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, has ‘identified himself very strongly’ with Kasper’s thesis and ‘subscribes to that school.’ “, then Cardinal Badisseri’s “We” might have a more specific sense than ‘We Synod Fathers altogether’ and that “dynamic in two movements” suggest a deliberate two-phase strategy on the part of “that school” to take advantage of the unusual two-Synod structure.

    Another excerpted question and answer from the Tertio interview which Mr. De Vries translates has not, I think, received wide attention in English in its fullness:

    [Tertio askes] “How can a greater balance be reached in the management of the Church, between the Curia and the world Church, between centralisation and local autonomy?”

    [ Cardinal Baldisseri asnwers] “That is the great question that Pope Francis knows himself to be confronted with, in the face of renewal and reform. According to him the bishops at the Conclave gave him that task. Synodality would have to guarantee decentralisation and more attention for the local churches, and also greater involvement of all bishops in the world with evangelisation. As head of the college of bishops the Pope must lead that process. The Council of eight cardinals is working towards a reform of the Curia and the central services of the Church.”

    This again gains in interest after the Synod, and the remarks about “that same school”. Cardinal Kasper’s remarks to Mr. Pentin about the Africans suggest that, for his “school”, all local churches and their bsihops are equal, but some are more equal than others. “Synodality” would presumably liberate, say, rich Germans, from too much ‘centralized’ meddling in their affairs (at the urging of orthodox Africans), while also allowing them to throw their weight around in a fashion not unlike that deplored in the first clause of paragraph 56 of the Relatio Synodi.

  10. LarryW2LJ says:

    There’s a more important goal here.

    “He said he “often heard” prelates at last month’s two-week Synod on the Family in Rome say that because the culture has changed “so radically,” the Church “cannot teach as we had in the past.””

    As much as some would like to deny it, there’s still a cultural war here that still needs to be won. Jesus was counter-cultural. We need to be also, and not try to blend in or accommodate the current Culture of Death.

    The Truth, which the Catholic Church was trusted with, is timeless and eternal. Preach it, teach it, live it.

  11. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Mr. Pentin says (without direct quotation), “The head of the Vatican’s highest court also told Breitbart Tuesday the Catholic Church risks schism”. In what appears more detailed reference to the same remark, he writes, “Questioned about whether there is a genuine risk the Church might split, Burke said if, in the runup to a second synod on the family next October, bishops are seen to move ‘contrary to the constant teaching and practice of the Church, there is a risk because these are unchanging and unchangeable truths.’ ” Here, Mr. Pentin seems to have asked him, not about “schism” but about a “risk the Church might split,”, and, in the directly quoted answer, Cardinal Burke does not use the word ‘schism’ but responds to whatever exactly Mr. Pentin asked, “there is a risk”.

    What of something that might be described as a ‘split’ which is not a ‘schism’? In the Orthodox Church(es) and the Anglican Communion, there is the phenomenon of one (Primatial arch)bishop breaking communion with another (who is perceived as in error), in a very specific way which does not include the erring (arch)bishop’s (arch)diocesan clergy or lay faithful (in the first instance).

    Is something of the sort a formal – or practical – possibility?

    If, for example, (Cardinal Arch)bishop Q should formally commit himself to ‘epicletically blessing’ civilly-united and insistently, publicly sexually active same-sex members of his archdiocese and warmly admitting them to communion (in the manner of the Dutch Old Catholic Synod), might (Cardinal Arch)bishop Z formally declare himself no longer in communion with Q, until he departed from the error(s) of his ways?

    Or could Z only do this in practice? And, if that is the case, would he risk formal proceedings against him for so doing?

  12. marcelus says:

    Fr. I know the meaning but what would be like or how do you imagine a de facto schism?

  13. Sonshine135 says:

    Truthfully, Cardinal Burke is up against a large group of malcontents that will us anything possible to discredit him. Pope Francis must realize this. Many of the problems that have been created and talk of schism have originated from the vagaries that have been uttered from the Holy See. Attempts to remain neutral and failure to clarify these comments have left Catholics without proper direction, confused, and many times, upset. The Synod only added to the chaotic mess. I foresee a day 50 years from now when we will be reading about the dithering that occurred behind the walls of the Vatican in attempts to make all people happy and pleasing no one in the process. The choice is clear- stay principled and have a smaller, stronger church (schism is a red herring, because the people that would leave were actively schismatic in any case, defying the church, and simply going through the motions), or create real schism by supporting mammon and people over the teachings of Jesus Christ. That decision, my friends, is up to the Vatican.

  14. JesusFreak84 says:

    Venerator Sti Lot asks an interesting question o.o At what point do Sacraments from Q, then, become invalid because he no longer intends to do what the Church does? What if people seek Confirmation from Q or to be married by him BECAUSE of his departure from the truth? Can the faithful go outside of Q’s See for these things? What of the priests under Q who disagree with him? Oh right, that was Chicago before Cardinal George…. Oi vej.

  15. Kathleen10 says:

    I was thinking about a similar question to JesusFreak’s after watching a Vortex video in which Michael Voris discusses the necessity of supporting church teaching. He said that one is spiritually dead if they do not, but what if down the line, the church teaches something that departs from traditional teaching? Then what.
    It is hard to imagine any reason for plunging the faithful into such confusion and keeping us there other than this is just the prelude. I hope I’m wrong.

  16. The Cobbler says:

    Was the good Cardinal suggesting that the orthodox Catholics might go into schism if the progressives attempted to force a change in the Church’s doctrine, or was he warning that it would require an act of schism on the part of the progressive Catholic bishops for them to attempt to force a change in the Church’s doctrine?

  17. Juergensen says:

    Just read on Catholic World News that it has been done. Cardinal Burke has been demoted and is now patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. A sad day for the Church.

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  19. teachermom24 says:

    Please, can someone explain what it means to “speak up and act” in a parish situation? I have been told the “parish belongs to the people” but don’t think this is true. It seems the parish belongs to the bishop, administered by the priest of his choice. Parishioners can write letters until they’re blue in the face, but when they are ignored by priest and bishop, what is left to do? How does a Catholic “speak up and act”?

  20. FrAnt says:

    Cardinal Burke is a good and holy man, faithful to the Church. I believe the Holy Spirit has something in mind for him. He’s not the first cardinal to get his hat handed to him. God will shame those who are haughty and he lift up the lowly. Soli Deo.

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