Thursday, 2 April 2015

Italian Interview with Cardinal Burke - Has Crux given you the full story?

Rarely, and only if necessary, do I read Crux. This is one of those times. I consider it in the same category as the National Catholic Reporter and now even the National Catholic Register owned by EWTN and having sacked blogger Pat Archbold.  Crux and the mainstream Catholic media are very good at manipulating the story for their advantage and that of those who prop them up. They and many clerics are also very good at bullying those who stand up for the truth and bloggers are easy targets. I should know.

Ines St. Martin wrote yesterday about Cardinal Burke wherein she quotes an interview His Eminence gave to the Italian online journal, La Nuova Bussola QuotidianIt is unfortunate that she did not print more of the actual interview and instead chose selectively to continue what is a scandalous attempt to discredit Cardinal Burke as evident in the combox there. The Cardinals answers are detailed and clear and easy to understand. The readers at Crux would have benefited from the full interview, but when you have an agenda, what does truth matter?

This is not new. 

Salt+ Light Television, Alicia Ambrosio undertook the same smearing and scandalous attempt to discredit the Cardinal stating that he lived in an "Ivory Tower" - the evidence is out there (so come and sue me, if you dare). We can put Crux, the National Catholic Reporter in this same category with the absolute distortion of the recent interview at LifeSiteNews where Cardinal Burke was alleged to have said that adulterers and gays were no better than murderers. Headlines can say many things to the non-thinking, non-reading masses and can do much damage to the truth to Catholics and non-Catholic alike. That is not what the Cardinal said as the interview makes clear. However, mortal sin is mortal sin. Some are worse than others. No good work by a murderer, an adulterer or a sodomite will make up for it, only repentance through the Sacrament of Penance and amendment of life will.

I have taken the interview in La Nuova Bussola Quotidian and translated it using Google Translate and have tidied it up a little. It is well worth reading in its entirety. Once again, Cardinal Burke speaks with clarity and truth and remains an inspiration to Catholics everywhere.

la nuova bussola quotidiana

In recent months Raymond Cardinal Burke has been portrayed as a fanatic, an ultra- conservative, an anti-conciliarist and a conspirator against Pope Francis, even ready to a schism if the upcoming Ordinary Synod on the Family opens unwelcome changes to Church teaching. The campaign against the Cardinal is so strong that even in Italy several bishops have refused to accommodate his lectures in their dioceses. And when somewhere he is allowed to hold a meeting - as recently in some cities of northern Italy - invariably some of the priests have contested it, accusing him of spreading propaganda against the Pope. 

"They are all nonsense, I just do not understand this attitude. I never said a word against the Pope, I strive only to serve the truth, a task that we all have. I've always seen my work, my activities as a support to the Petrine ministry. People who know me can testify that I'm not a Pope. On the contrary I have always been very loyal and I've always wanted to serve the Holy Father, which I do even now. "

In fact, meeting him in his apartment around the corner from St. Peter's Square, he is affable and very spontaneous and appears as a thousand miles away from the image of dour defender of "cold doctrine", as described by the mainstream press.

In the debate that preceded and followed the first Synod on the family some of Cardinal Burke’s statements are actually played as a criticism of Pope Francis, or so they have been interpreted. For example, recently there was made by the media lot of noise that his "I will resist, resist" as a possible response to the Pope's decision to grant communion to divorced and remarried.

“But it was a sentence misrepresented, there was no reference to Pope Francis. I believe, that because I have always spoken very clearly on the issue of marriage and the family, some want to portray and neutralize me as an enemy of the Pope, or even ready to schism, just using that answer I gave in an interview with a French television station.”

So how then should that answer be interpreted?

“It is very simple. The journalist asked me what I would do, if hypothetically, - not referring to Pope Francis - a pontiff was to make decisions against the doctrine and practice of the Church. I said that I should resist, because we are all in the service of truth, starting with the Pope. The Church is not a political body in the sense of power. The power is Jesus Christ and his gospel. To this, I replied that I will resist and would not be the first time that this happens in the Church. There were several moments in history where someone had to stand up to the Pope, beginning with St. Paul against St. Peter, who wanted to impose circumcision to the converted Greek. But in my case I'm not at all undertaking any resistance to Pope Francis, because he has done nothing against the doctrine, nor do I see myself at all in the fight against the Pope, as they want to paint me. I'm not pursuing the interests of a group or a party; I just try to be as Cardinal, a teacher of the faith.”

Another "count of indictment" against him is his alleged passion for "lace," as it is said in a demeaning way and something that the Pope cannot stand.

“The Pope has never made me doubt the way I dress, which however, is still within the norm of the Church. I also celebrate the liturgy in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and there are for this vestments that do not exist for the celebration in the Ordinary Form, but I always wear what the rule is for the ritual that I am celebrating. I do not engage in politics against the way of dressing of the Pope. We have to also say that every Pope has his own style, but that does not then impose this style to all other bishops. I do not understand why this should be a cause for controversy.”

But the newspapers often used a photo in which he has worn a Cardinals galero a headdress definitely out of time.

Ah, that; but it's amazing. I can explain. It is a picture that has spread after a newspaper had used it to publish an interview with me during the Synod. The interview was done well, but unfortunately they used a photo that was taken out of context, and I'm sorry for it, because by doing this they gave the wrong impression of a person living in the past. What happened, in fact, was that, after being appointed cardinal, I was invited to a diocese in the south of Italy for a conference on the liturgy. For the occasion, the organizers wanted to give me the gift of a former cardinal's hat - they did not know who’s it had been. Obviously it is in my hand and I had no intention of wearing it regularly, but he asked me if I would put it on to be able to do at least one photo with the hat, so I wore it. This was the only time I put that hat on my head, but unfortunately that picture has been all over the world and someone used it to give the impression that I go around like that. But I've never worn it again, not even in a ceremony.”

He was also listed as the inspiration, if not the promoter, of the "Petition to Pope Francis on the family", which was released for collecting signatures on a few sites amongst the world’s traditionalists.

“I signed that document, but it was not my initiative or my idea. Nor did I write or co-write the text. Those who have said otherwise stated falsely. For all I know it is an initiative of lay people, I was shown the text and I signed it, as have many other cardinals.”

Another of the charges put to him is to be anti-conciliarist, against the Second Vatican Council.

“Labels are easy to apply, but there is no basis in reality. All my theological education in the major seminary was based on the documents of Vatican II, and I am still trying today to study more deeply these documents. I'm not at all opposed to the council, and if one reads my writings will find that many times I quote the documents of Vatican II. One on which however do not agree is the "Spirit of the Council", this realization of the council who is not faithful to the text of the documents but that purports to create something totally new, a new church that has nothing to do with all the so called aberrations of the past. In this, I follow fully the bright presentation that made Benedict XVI in his address to the Roman Curia for Christmas 2005. It is the famous speech in which he explains that the correct interpretation is that of reform in continuity, as opposed to hermeneutics of rupture in the discontinuity that many sectors carry on. The intervention of Benedict XVI is brilliant and explains everything. Many things that happened after the Council and attributed to the council have nothing to do with the council. This is the simple truth.”

But the fact remains that Pope Francis has "punished" him by removing him from the Apostolic Signatura and entrusting the patronage of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

“The Pope gave an interview with Argentine newspaper La Nacion that has already answered this question by explaining the reasons for this choice. This says it all, and not for me to comment. I can only say, without violating any secret, I was never told by the Pope or given the impression that he wanted to punish me for something.”

What is certain is that this "bad image" has to do with what Cardinal Kasper also, in recent days, called the "synodal battle". That seems to grow in intensity as you get closer to the Ordinary Synod next October. Where are we?

“I would say that there is now a much more extensive discussion on the topics covered by the Synod and that's good. There is a greater number of cardinals, bishops and lay people who are intervening and this is very positive. I do not understand why all the noise that was created last year around the book "Remaining in the Truth of Christ," to which I have contributed along with four other cardinals and four specialists on marriage.”

That book is where was born the theory of a plot against the Pope, a view echoed recently by Alberto Melloni in the Corriere della Sera, and that cost him a lawsuit by the publisher Italian Cantagalli.

“It is simply absurd. How you can be accused of conspiracy against the Pope with what the Church has always taught and practiced on marriage and communion? It is certain that the book was written as an aid for the Synod to answer the thesis of Cardinal Kasper. But it is not controversial, is a presentation faithful to the tradition, and is also the highest scientific quality possible. I am totally available to receive criticism about the content, but to say that we have taken part in a plot against the Pope is unacceptable.”

But who is fomenting this witch hunt?

“I do not have any direct information but surely there is a group that wants to impose on the Church not only this thesis of Cardinal Kasper on communion for divorced and remarried, or for people in irregular situations, but also other positions on issues related to the themes of the Synod. I refer to the idea of ​​finding the positive elements in sexual relations outside of marriage or homosexuality. It is evident that there are forces pushing in this direction, and for that they want to discredit us who are trying to defend the Church's teaching. I have nothing personal against Cardinal Kasper, but for me, the question is only to present the Church's teaching, which in this case is related to words spoken by the Lord.”

Looking at some of the themes that emerged strongly in the Synod, the about a gay lobby is common.

“Without being able to pinpoint, I do see more and more that there is a force that goes in this direction. I see people who, consciously or unconsciously, are carrying out a homosexual agenda. How this is organized I do not know, but it is evident that there is a force of this kind. At the Synod we have said that talking about homosexuality had nothing to do with the family, rather it would have been better to convene a special Synod if you wanted to talk about this issue. But we found in the Relatio post disceptationem this issue that had not been discussed by the fathers.”

One of the theological justifications in support of Cardinal Kasper that today is very often repeated is that of the "development of doctrine;" -- not a change, but a depth which can lead to a new practice.

“Here, there is a big misunderstanding. The development of the doctrine, as it has for example presented by Blessed Cardinal Newman or other good theologians, means a deepening in appreciation, knowledge of a doctrine, not the change of doctrine. The development in any case leads to change. One example is that of the Post-Synodal written by Pope Benedict XVI on the Eucharist, is "Sacramentum Caritatis;" - in it is presented the development of the knowledge of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, also expressed in Eucharistic adoration. There were some in fact contrary and opposed to Eucharistic adoration, because the Eucharist is to be received within. But Benedict XVI explained - also citing St. Augustine - that if it is true that the Lord gives us himself in the Eucharist to be consumed, it is also true that you cannot recognize this reality of Jesus' presence under the Eucharistic species without worshiping these species. This is an example of the development of doctrine, but it is not that the doctrine on the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist has changed.”

One reason for the controversy on the Synod is the alleged opposition between doctrine and practice, doctrine and mercy. Even the pope insists that the often self-righteous attitude of those who use the doctrine create a distance and prevent love.

“I think you have to distinguish between what the Pope said on a few occasions and those who claim a contrast between doctrine and practice. You can never admit in the Church a contrast between doctrine and practice because we live the truth that Christ tells us in his holy Church and the truth is never a cool thing. It is the truth that opens to us the space for love, to really love you must respect the truth of the person, and the person in the particular situations in which he or she finds themselves. So to establish a kind of contrast between doctrine and practice does not reflect the reality of our faith. Whoever supports the thesis of Cardinal Kasper - change of discipline that does not touch the doctrine - should explain how it is possible. If the Church admits to communion a person who is related in a marriage but is living with another person in another marriage relationship, that is in a state of adultery how can one believe at the same time that marriage is indissoluble? The relationship between doctrine and practice is a false contrast that we must reject.”

But it is true that you can use the doctrine without love.

“Sure, and that's what the pope is denouncing, use of the law or doctrine to advance a personal agenda, to dominate people. But that does not mean there is a problem with the doctrine and discipline; only there are people of ill will commit abuses that may for example by interpreting the law in a way that harms people. Or applying the law without love, insisting on the truth of the situation of the person but without love. Even when a person is in serious sin we must love the person and help as the Lord has made example to us with the adulteress and the Samaritan woman. He was very clear in announcing the state of sin in which they were, but at the same time showed a great love by inviting them to come out of this situation. What did not the Pharisees, which instead showed a cruel legalism: denouncing the violation of the law, but without giving any help to the person to exit from sin, so as to find peace in his life.”


Anonymous said...

This is a bit of a minor point in your article, but it is accurate to now include the NCRegister in the class of NCReporter and Crux. If Mother Angelica could speak, she would likely never have purchased the Register but rather started from scratch. Right now she would likely get rid of all of the Register reporters. I just wonder what she would say about the current pope.

Except, the Register still has Pentin, and he does some good work.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, Vox. I have certain individuals on my social media, including some priests with heterodox views, who have been posting articles and opinion pieces about how Cardinal Burke is wrong about morality. It hurts my heart, because there is nothing actually wrong with the moral and doctrinal concepts he mentioned.

I'm so tired of seeing the Cardinal maligned for communicating orthodox Church teaching. Perhaps people may not like the way he communicates. Perhaps they find him too blunt, or too frank. Regardless, he isn't wrong.

It gets exhausting being out in the world, surrounded by people who think the Church can and should change completely. People who think that have obviously misunderstood the fundamental character of Catholicism.

Dorota said...

Anonymous 4:19, there is nothing wrong with the way Cardinal Burke communicates.On the contrary - he communicates precisely, honestly and beautifully. Not beating around the bush, especially now, when the Church is under attack from within, is necessary for the sake of souls. Let our "yes" be simply "yes", and our "no" be a clear and uncomplicated "no". Let us not adopt the post-modernist fashion, where it is acceptable for a president to state: "It depends on what "is" is. This is not sophistication, but... (it is so obvious) blatant disregard for all that is good and sound. We must refuse to play their abhorrent games. This is not progress of humanity, nor progress of reason, not of peace or love. This is regression, a love for duplicity and lies.

TLM said...

Yes, Anonymous, the Register still has Pentin.......for now. We will see how things turn out in that department. All is still unfolding. I wonder how many readers they will loose because of their current caving in to the wolves? Poor Mother Angelica, she would NEVER stand for this....NEVER! This you can take to the bank. I have seen her take Bishops apart limb by limb for their dissent, showing not much mercy. And on more than one occasion. In her healthier day, you just didn't mess with Mother, by dissenting from the truth of Christ in His Church. She was a fireball. And we all know how that turned out with the network, but we also know who will win this war in the end, and it won't be the false Church.