First things first: in your charity, say an “eternal rest” for the soul of Cardinal Meisner, one of the “Dubia” ones, who just died suddenly at the age of 83. Every soul has infinite value. His Guardian Angel must have suffered a lot.
After that, allow me to be, as always, brutally frank.
Either the confusion engendered by Amoris Laetitia is not a matter of great importance – and in that case the entire sanely Catholic world is obsessing in vain and Francis is right: these are just squabbles for theologians – or it is pretty much the gravest crisis in the history of the Church.
In the first case we are all idiots. In the second case, I wouldn't want to be in the shoes of the late Cardinal Meisner. Because his day of reckoning has just arrived, and if he wasn't prepared I shudder to think where he is, very probably, now.
If you think that faint meowing is enough to save a Cardinal from the accusation of dereliction of duty and betrayal of the sheep entitled to him, Christ and Catholicism must be kindergarten trifles to you; matters of little importance, warranting some remarks perhaps, but never to the point of becoming loud or, quod Deus avertat, unkind.
If, however, you think that there is nothing more important than Truth; that this Truth has been trampled, insulted and disfigured for now seventeen months; and that no one, not even one of the very Princes of the Church had the nerve to denounce the document, then you understand in what danger of damnation the Cardinal has put himself, and what has very probably happened to him if he was not prepared. Which, for the avoidance of doubt, I wish him with all my heart no matter what a coward and traitor he was.
The fact that this little, afraid little kitten, who at 83 was more concerned with his earthly comfort for the short rest of his life than with his eternal salvation and the horrible judgment of posterity, might even be considered anything approaching a brave man or a defender of Catholicism really says it all about the state of extreme decay in which we have descended – and in which prelates like Meisner have plunged us with decades of cowardice and accommodation -. I do not say the first generation of Christians, but every generation of Catholics before ours would have considered such a man a great shame, a counterfeit of a Cardinal and utterly unworthy of the priestly habit.
Spare me your sanctimonious mercy. Have mercy, instead, for one billion Catholics abandoned by pampered hirelings like this one; living a life of privilege, comfort and prestige every day they betrayed our Lord in the most shameful way. And the greatest shame should be the one of those who wanted to be the heroes when they thought there was no danger in it, and caved in the most embarrassingly spectacular way when this turned out not to be the case.
There was only one Apostle at the foot of the cross. But all others died as martyrs in the end. Cardinal Meisner died on his holiday.
Say another “eternal rest” for the poor useful idiot of the Evil Clown.
Whilst my readers are, generally speaking, a pretty intelligent bunch, there are always people lurking here who seem to lack the ability to connect the dots and think long-term. For their benefit, and for the instruction of the (sadly) non-Catholic, it is fitting to reiterate why the correction is so important.
Truth cannot be changed. Doctrine, properly intended, cannot be changed either. Catholics will always be held to Truth, no matter what Francis says, because Francis cannot dispose of what is not his. There has never been, and there will never be, the possibility for the faithful to follow a doctrine they must know is wrong merely because the priest, the bishop, the cardinal or the pope say so.
However, the job of the clergy is to help the faithful to properly instruct themselves and their conscience, and to be good shepherds of the sheep entrusted to them. They have, therefore, the grave responsibility of denouncing heresy wherever it may come from. Not, mind, in order to avoid that the faithful are justified in being heretical (they never are) but in order to help them to stay out of trouble.
Now, doctrine will not change whether the correction comes or not, and no one will be justified in thinking that truth has suddenly changed. However, if no correction comes all future generations will be witness of the greatest betrayal of the sheep ever perpetrated by their own shepherds, and the latter's silence will shame them for all centuries to come. If, on the other hand, the correction does come, this will make it far more difficult for those seeking excuses to hide behind the finger of Francis' satanical “mercy”, and the posterity will record with at least a modicum of satisfaction that when the crisis was at its top, at least some Cardinals (and those who will follow them if they take the lead) had some Catholicism left in them.
The Church's existence is not at stake because the Church is indefectible. Truth is also not at stake because Truth is unchangeable. Souls are – ultimately – also not at stake because – ultimately – God does not allow Francis and his troops of atheists, heretics, perverts and cowards to decide who goes to hell.
What is at stake is the reputation of this disgraceful generation of our clergy, and the way it will be seen by God above and by all the generations after us: as an absolutely total disgrace without any hint of redemption and any extenuating circumstances, or as an almost total disgrace with a minority of voices ready and willing to fight for Christ. In our lifetime, the correction would deal a mortal blow to Francis' reputation, absolutely blowing his papacy in the air and shaming its the incinerated rests for all millennia to come.
If I were any one of the four Cardinals I would have very, very uneasy nights, knowing that whilst the Catholic world and all Catholic posterity are waiting for me to do my job I have been pathetically meowing for more than a year. Which, in the age of instant information, is a very long time indeed. And I am not sure that, if these four refuse to do their job, their punishment in hell will not be worse than the one meted to the silent cowards; then in my book, a silent coward is still not as bad as a grandstanding one.
I read around other blogs comments which ask what would be the use of the correction, seen that Francis will not change his mind or his policy afterwards.
This is tantamount to asking what good it was to condemn Luther's heresies, seen that Luther did not change his mind or policy afterwards.
Truth must be defended irrespective of immediate consequences. It must be defended to encourage the faithful of this generation, and to serve as a witness to faithful of all generations to come.
In the present times, countless good Catholic will feel a great consolation in knowing that they have not been left entirely alone by their clergy. In future centuries, it will be known that, when the rot within the Church was so deep that even Popes were not ashamed to support – if not openly proclaim – heresy, at least some of the Princes of the Church had the guts to stand up for Truth.
There is in the history of the Church a period that is given little attention, but in my opinion was absolutely devastating at the time: the period between Pope Honorius' heretical statement and his death first, and the condemnation of his heresies second. Honorius had given support to the heresy of Monothelitism in 635, with a letter clearly intended to be circulated and to end a controversy. Heresy was, at this point, openly defended. A materially heretical Pope was, at that time, sitting on the throne of Peter.
To my knowledge there was, at the time, not only no convocation of a council to depose the Pope, but also no open confrontation with him and refusal to accept his authority in everything pertaining to his heresy. There was, in short, not only no ecumenical council, but even no Athanasius willing to go against the flow of acquiescence to papal heresy. This went on for three years.
This situation (of a heretical Pope not officially censured) did not end in 638, when the Pope died unchallenged und en-deposed. In fact, the official condemnation of the man as heretic only came more than four decades later, in 680. However, between 638 and 680 we know of continued confrontations between the promoters of the heresy and Rome, with all Popes after Honorius firmly on the side of truth.
Still, the fact remains: a Pope intervenes in a controversy openly supporting a heretical position, and he neither deposed nor (for what I know) denounced as heretic. What a stunning challenge to the faith, what shockingly turbulent times, and without an Athanasius to challenge his Pope Liberius!
We need our Athanasius. We need witnesses for Truth among our Bishops and Cardinals. It does not matter much (though I would love it) if Francis is or is not deposed by an ecumenical council in the end. But it matters that all faithful of this and all future generations know that when the going got tough, tough bishops and cardinals got going.
Today, we cannot mention Liberius without remembering Athanasius. Athanasius stands tall as the man who exposed error not forty years later, but whilst it was happening. As the heresy reared its ugly head, the hero arose to challenge it. But we have no Athanasius for the time of Honorius. Honorius lived three years after his letter, and I have no knowledge of any Athanasius. What a shame.
We are now repeating the situation in the times of Honorius: a Pope (at least materially) promotes heretical positions and we have no more than rumblings, rumblings which must certainly have existed also in the time of Honorius because they aren't dangerous. But those willing to stand up and openly proclaim the faith against papal sponsored heresy, we do not have them.
Cardinal Burke & Co. are in front of a choice: to be the Athanasius of our time or to remain silent in a time of heresy openly proclaimed and shamelessly spread. They have failed all of us up to now. They actually give the impression that they would have liked to be like Athanasius if it could have been done without risk, but have decided to revert to the behaviour of Honorius' bishops when it became clear they do not have the support they thought they had. Paper tigers, the four of them.
Athanasius did not wonder how many would follow him. His famous contra mundum statement is the most glorious example of faith defended no matter what the consequences. Athanasius was a giant.
Do we live in times of Giants or Dwarves?
I fear I know the answer, but I would love to be proved wrong.
The Catholic Blogosphere seems very excited about Cardinal Burke now (suddenly) advocating for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
If memory serves, this is the same Cardinal who announced a correction of Amoris Laetitia (or of Pope Francis directly) now around eight months ago, for the case that the Pope does not answer the Dubia posed to him.
You can make a baby in eight months. In the same time frame, Cardinal Burke has not managed – together with his paper tiger colleagues – to write three or four well-written sentences of condemnation of, at the very least, Amoris Laetitia and in fact, logically, of Francis' own pontificate and mindset.
I can't say I am impressed by this man. The entire planet is waiting for him to show some balls, and he reacts by doing nothing on the matter and… opening another front instead.
If he thinks we will forget what he has to do, he is sadly mistaken.
Cardinal Burke's dereliction of duty is ongoing. It becomes more scandalous every day that passes. No amount of deflections will let us forget that this here is one who can (almost) bark, but can't bite at all.
And please spare me the elaborate excuses for this man's and his confreres' utter lack of action. This is not the XVI Century anymore. In the age of Twitter, eight months are the equivalent of a geological era of the past. Also, it is clear that the four Cardinals were told in no uncertain terms that Francis will not answer the Dubia. There is no reason at all to wait one minute longer. Actually, at this point there would not be even if Francis had stated he intends to answer.
The man should just do his job, instead of trying to invent more ways to get an easy approval for his sheer dereliction of duty.
The Rome Life Forum that is about to begin will be centred not only on the protection of the unborn life, but on the current crisis in the Church. This is good, as there can never be too much discussion about a Church that seems to have forgotten Her role and mission.
However, it gives one pause when one reads that among the participants will be some of those of whom concrete actions has been awaited for many months now, and who seem intentioned to renounce to it in favour of … more words. These two are, to wit, Cardinals Burke and Caffarra: two of those who, after announcing that they would defend the faith, have preferred to just wait for… no one knows exactly what reason.
A Cardinal's (and bishop's) job is not to participate to discussions about generic church problems, but to denounce them loud and clear with all the necessary consequences.
To see Cardinals who not only should have acted months ago, but who have announced that they would so just limit themselves to discussion rounds as if they were journalists or activists is extremely saddening, and gives you a clear picture of the scale of the crisis currently plaguing the Church.
It reminds me of “Life of Brian”, where the members of the revolutionary committee issue a resolution protesting the arrest of their member. However, in that case there was at least a resolution. In this case, the resolution was announced but never put in place.
Cardinal Caffarra and Cardinal Burke are gravely in arrears. More words will not wash. They must now do the right thing and openly condemn the heresies in Amoris Laetitia, accusing the Pope of dereliction of duty and promotion of heresy for refusing to answer the Dubia.
This and only this, not more abstract words of dissatisfaction and diffused clerical whining, is what is required of them. It is required of all bishops and Cardinals of course; but it is required of the Four Cardinals in the first place, as they have made themselves beautiful with the faithful announcing a vigorous defence of Church teaching whose concrete exercise we are still awaiting.
It's like someone announcing he would challenge the school bully and then doing nothing about it. He will probably be despised more than those who shut up from the start.
The time to participate to fora has now passed, at least for the Cardinals. They should remember why they dress in red and act accordingly.
Perhaps we will hear something about when the Cardinals are planning to act, but I will not hold my breath. At this point, I think the plan is to let the matter of the Dubia be quietly forgotten, with some lame excuse about the Pope not answering them, or the like.
Pray for the Cardinals, that they should not flee in front of the wolves.
As they have most certainly been doing up to now.
If you visit the page of Canon212 (something which you should do every day, as I do) you will see, scrolling down on the left hand side column, the
“number of days since Francis received the Cardinal’s Dubia on Amoris Laetitia”.
As I write this, the count is 188.
I will not, on this occasion, be silent about another fact: that even the Dubia came after an extremely long, certainly gravely culpable silence from the clergy en masse. Amoris Laetitia was published on 8 April 2016. Heck, it’s almost a year, and we are still awaiting for the first (cough) blessed Cardinal to openly say that the encyclical is rubbish.
Now, the Church is normally slow. She is slow because she is prudent, and she is slow because in many situations slowness is a good course of action. But you see, slowness must then be prudent and/or a good course of action. Slowness isn’t good in itself.
The Church is also traditionally slow because, traditionally, information used to travel very slowly. When the one or other heretic started to get notoriety in some more or less obscure part of Europe it would take months (or years) before the thing got to the ears of Rome. Then it would get an awful lot of time only to reliably confirm the information and get more details. Then there might be other distant bishops and cardinals to consult with. In short, the slowness wasn’t there because people just slept one year at a time on well-known facts. The slowness was there because that was the way the entire world was.
Today is different. A published encyclical will be read all over the planet in a matter of hours. A papal tweet (boy, what has the world come to!) is spread worldwide instantly. Information is exchanged with extreme rapidity.
The Cardinals knew as a fact, when they decided to make the Dubia public, that they had been told that Francis would not answer them. How does waiting six months change any of this? They were told. They got the memo. The decision was made.
If a private correction was to be made, the time was very fast after getting the news that the Pope had decided not to answer. There was no need for the crème de la crème of Catholic theology to assemble at the Sorbonne, after consulting with who knows how many others. There was no need to visit the King of France and procure his support (financial, if needed) for the planned action.
The correction should have been officially made a week or two after being informed the man does not want to do his job, and a very public rebuke and accusation of promoting heresy should have come a week or two after that. All the rest is meowing of scared kitten.
What it would seem it might happen now is that the mountain will give birth to a country mouse: a shame for the church as a whole and something that makes the Four Cardinals look, if possible, even worse than those who have shut up from the beginning; then the latter have at least not tried to make themselves beautiful with faithful Catholics and smuggle themselves as the defenders of Catholic orthodoxy.
Francis must be laughing all the way to the porta potty at seeing that his opponents are such little boys, so fearful and so scared of him that they will not dare to do anything after showing a very, very, very big mouth. To add insult to injury, we are made to wait even for the country mouse, as if a banal reassertion of Catholic doctrine (something I have heard in church, and even in V II churches, in no uncertain terms at least a dozen times since the publication of Amoris Laetitia) were such a momentous event showing anything but the monumental cowardice of these supposed Princes.
I might still be wrong, of course. The kitten might still wake up lions one day. But what I keep hearing is only the most disgraceful meowing.
Let the Cardinals speak and be done with this farce. If they speak plainly, then let the serious battle begin. If they limit themselves to the meowing the longer the wait, the worse the shame.
This one here was on the twitter account of Canon 212.
You will forgive this native Italian for not understanding exactly what the Cardinal says, but what I could acoustically get is this:
- If there is no response the Cardinals will “correct the situation”, in a “respectful way”.
- they will, in this case, “draw the response to the question from the constant teaching of the Church”
This means, to put it plainly, that there will be no correction.
What there will be is only a sort or reminder, or integration. Something every Bishop can do every day. “The Pope has not answered the Dubia, so we will do it for him”. No demand that the Pope speaks himself. No ultimatums. No warning that the Pope is, by refusing to answer the Dubia, promoting heresy. Merely a faint meowing.
This will open the floodgates for more heresies and more perverted encyclicals letters, in which Francis implies all sorts of abominations and shuts up when asked to correct them. After which, a handful of kitten will tell us what we already know without the slightest need for them to remind us of the obvious. In the meantime, the heretical Pope will go on spreading heresies, and these people will seriously try to make us believe that they have fulfilled their duty.
Mind, it might come out differently in the end. It might be that the Cardinal does not want to show his hand right now.
However, if this were to be the situation it seems to me that Fra’ Cristoforo is absolutely right: no correction at all; with the addition of some blabla so that the Cardinals may try to save face.
These here are supposed to be Princes of the Church. In what miserable state we are.
I had to smile when I read about the Chilean Bishops reporting that Francis has expressed himself, oh so clearly, about his being against the very same abomination and sacrilege he has relentlessly pushed during his disgraceful Pontificate.
Mind, I do not doubt for a second that Francis has really spoken in the way indicated by the Bishops. What is also certain, though, is the following:
Firstly, even my cat knows that Francis is a damn Jesuit who says everything he thinks may profit him for the moment.
Secondly, this one here is a cunning rascal and a liar on steroids. Remember: “Soon, soon!”??
Thirdly, when a Pope is asked to officially answer some Dubia the only thing he has to do is to officially answer them, or have them answered by someone to whom he has given authority to do so. Rumours, reported speeches and “my cousin heard him say” are absolutely nowhere.
So no, if Francis thinks he can pull himself out of a difficult situation by trying to let us believe that he answered the Dubia without doing it he had better think again.
Liar. Coward. Jesuit.
Will, then, the famous correction come?
I quote the Bible:
Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
I will be very glad if the correction comes. I will be moderately sad if it doesn’t. But one way or the other my faith will not be shaken, my days will go on exactly in the same way and my salvation will not be directly influenced by it.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty. I do not believe in four Cardinals. As far as I am concerned, these Cardinals can decide to send themselves to hell together with the others and it’s their decision, not mine. Or they might decide to finally, finally, finally take a stand against Francis’ abomination and denounce at least his heresies, and bully for them. But no, my faith will not move one micron whether they speak or not.
Too many people think of the Church as a wonderful apparatus that never misses a bit. They lack historic depth and basic understanding of human nature. Several times in history the Church was plunged into chaos, and this chaos went on, at times, for many decades.
The Church has a supernatural and a human aspect. The supernatural aspect lies in her ultimate nature and function, and in the protection she enjoys. The human aspect is the way humans run her here on earth.
If Jesus had wanted the Church to be the Most Wonderful Perfect Institution He would have chosen angels, not men, to run her. The very first man he picked for the job denied him. Out of the very first twelve bishops one betrayed him, and other ten had no guts to show up at the foot of the cross. If your faith is shaken because we live in The Age Of The Kitten Cardinal you haven’t been paying attention both at doctrine and in history class.
I wish the Cardinals salvation. I hope that at least four of them will make a decisive step in that direction. But I wouldn’t be shocked at all in knowing, one day, that all of them went to hell, with no exception. Bishops and Cardinals do not decide about the validity of the Only Church. They can only decide about their eternal destiny vis-à-vis their duties towards her.
Hope that the Cardinals decidee to speak, but do not be discouraged if they don’t. Keep praying your rosary. Keep deepening your faith. Keep looking to heaven, where the saints are on your side, rather than in the gutter of cowardice and convenience , where you will find most bishops and cardinals.
One day we will die, and on that day whether Burke & Co. have found the nerve to finally, finally, finally do their damn job will not play any role in your salvation.
But pray your rosary, deepen your faith, resolve to be unshakable in your determination to die in the one true faith. And let any Cardinal who wants to send himself to hell.
Hell will be packed with kitten priests, kitten bishops and kitten cardinals.
Antonio Socci wrote it first, and the English-speaking press echoed it everywhere: it appears a number of Cardinals (a dozen, at least) have contracted a bad case of “buyer’s remorse”. They hope to persuade the Evil Clown to step down and go Obama himself somewhere very far, where he cannot cause any more damage. Not, mind, because they have suddenly discovered orthodoxy. Rather, because even they cannot ignore the huge amount of devastation the stellar incompetence of this man is causing at all levels of Church life.
Well, dear girls, this is what happens when you make Pope a South-American dictator with all the marks of his breed: arrogant, ignorant, fairly stupid, absolutely incompetent, but fully persuaded of his own greatness.
The fact that Socci wrote this, and many outlets were ready to echo the news, seems to show the rumour is considered credible. However, it does not need a genius to understand that a number of the less corrupted Cardinals have been thinking “what have we done” for a long while now, nor is the lower number floated around (a mere dozen according to the London The Times, whilst the original article of Socci in Italian has the far more robust “gran parte”, “a great part”. This indicates a majority within the original Bergoglio voter block, and also shows The Times might have their own sources) the indication of a major earthquake happening. Truth does not depend on numbers, but I doubt Francis will be much impressed by a dozen of kitten meowing. He might, however, be far more impressed by thirty, or forty, or fifty Cardinals, because they could hurt him badly.
If they were men, that is, instead of kitten.
Men act. Kitten whisper some meowing in the ear of journalists, because they know they will never have the guts to do anything else. I hope to be proven wrong. I believe I will be proven right.
Anyway, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and the proof of the Cardinals’ worry for their own salvation and the good of the Church can only be a very public denunciation of both Amoris Laetitia and Pope Francis’ silence about the Dubia. The best indication of how weak and emasculated these people are is exactly the fact that they have all the possibilities to completely destroy Francis’ papacy, and choose to meow with some journalist instead.
More than five months have passed since Francis received the original letter with the Dubia. The silence of the Cardinals is deafening. Whispering bitchy things in the ears of journalists is no substitute for doing one’s job. The time to act is now.
I notice here en passant that at least eight of these twelve (very probably more, assuming either that the Four Cardinals have not voted for Bergoglio or that Socci is right and they are way more than a dozen) have not dared to come out publicly in defence of the Dubia. No John Wayne among these, for sure.
We will see if, by some half-miracle, the Cardinals find the guts to do what absolutely needs to be done. I remain skeptical, and think that things will get much worse (perhaps, for decades) before they get better. For the time being, I would be happy enough if not forty, but four Cardinals found the guts to speak out plainly; but I very much doubt that, too. If they ever speak, my pint is on some more meowing that does not give Francis more than an itch.
I can picture a dozen of Cardinals very vividly, all dressed in red, hidden like little boys behind one of the huge columns in St Peter as Francis passes by, and whispering to each other that at least one of them should come out and confront the Pope; each one of them explaining to the others in hushed tones why it is not prudent that it should be him; letting Francis go by unchallenged as they whisper; and finally deciding, all together, to go bitch with a journalist instead.
I have this picture vividly in front of my eyes, and I do not know whether to laugh or cry.
The Church will survive this bunch of cowards.
Whether their soul survives this test is a different matter altogether.
Cardinal Coccopalmerio (a FrancisCardinal with the t-shirt) has, bizarrely, deserted his own press conference on occasion of the launch of a heretical booklet ‘splainin’ why the Church was wrong for 2,000 years, but heretics like himself and the Evil Clown are right. This is bizarre, but still understandable in view of the barrage of questions the heretical Cardinal clearly did not want to answer.
Even more bizarre, and outright absurd, is the rumour circulated by gay operatives of the Vatican that Coccopalmerio’s press conference would be the way the Pope answers the Dubia.
The Dubia are made exactly so, that either the Pope himself or someone who officially claims to speak for him with his authorisation (say: the head of the CDF stating “the Pope authorises me to answer in the following way”) can be considered a valid answer. What gay operatives in the Vatican allege the statements of a Cardinal should be considered counts exactly zero point zero. If Coccopalmerio is the signatory of an answer explicitly, officially authorised by Francis, then Francis (not Coccopalmerio) has answered. If the man is just spreading heretical statements, his statement cannot count as the Pope’s answer more than any other statement of any other Cardinal not officially qualified by the Pope as the answer to the Dubia.
We should never allow Francis’ gay Troops to state that (cough) hey, in a way, I mean, you might say, pretty clearly, that Francis has answered (in their sense, of course) when he hasn’t. Nor can Francis call himself out by just not answering. An answer is due and expected, and this answer must come from him. If the Pope refuses to answer, then clearly this silence condemns him and as such he must be condemned by whatever Bishops and Cardinals are still afraid of hell (not many, I gather). But really, what must not happen is that Francis is allowed to get away with having his own faggots stating he has answered without taking the responsibility and doing exactly that.
The Dubia were formulated as they were, and the vehicle of the Dubia itself was chosen, exactly in order not to allow Francis to hide behind interviews without a recorder, third party statements, and interpretations of various kind. He must say yes or no, and this is all there is to it. Including, of course, that his silence condemns him in the most blatant way anyway.
I do not know whether the private warning to the Pope that should precede the official censure has been delivered or not. What I know is that if the Cardinals do not follow through and do not condemn Francis for not answering (meaning here: condemn him for not answering; not simply compare his silence with a reaffirmation of truth coming from themselves) they deserve to be transferred to Guam en bloc (as the rumor has it this is about to happen to Cardinal Burke) and be buried there.
Enough with Popes heretical by silence, and Cardinals bravely meowing.
Time to call a heretic a heretic, no ifs and no buts. By now even my cat understood that Francis is a commie heretic anyway.
And as to the question:
No, I am not afraid to have a heretical Pope openly proclaim his heresy. It is certainly preferable to having a heretical Pope promoting heresy in less open ways. It has been decreed that we should live in such disgraceful times. Let us look at reality in the face, and fight the good fight.
We are not afraid.
I have already written that in this just begun 2017 we will have to get accustomed to a lot of absurd talk. It seems to me the recent interview of the Remnant with Cardinal Burke constitutes another example.
Let us leave aside Burke’s initial triple salto mortale, when he states again (make no mistake: to try to justify five months of shameful inaction) that Amoris Laetitia “is not an exercise of the papal magisterium” – an obvious, blatant contradiction with his actions from September on – . What I would like to focus on today is the following Q&A.
MJM: So what’s next, Your Eminence? If Pope Francis fails to answer your dubia, what’s the next course of action? You’ve spoken of the possibility of elevating this to a formal correction. But what exactly does that look like?
Cardinal Burke: Well, it doesn’t look too much differently than the dubia. In other words, the truths that seem to be called into question by AL would simply be placed alongside what the Church has always taught and practiced and annunciated in the official teaching of the Church. And in this way these errors would be corrected. Does that make sense to you?
No, it does not make sense to me. It does not make sense to me because it does not make sense at all.
A correction is, by definition, the stating of what is wrong together with the affirmation of what is right. My teachers at school did not write the correct spelling alongside the wrong one; they barred the wrong spelling, and put the right one in its place. That was wrong, but this is right.
What the Cardinal is stating now equates to saying – and I do not see any other interpretation of this – that the Cardinals would publish a statement of what is right without even daring to explicitly say what is wrong with Amoris Laetitia.
This is not a correction. This is not even a criticism. This is first-class V II meowing.
Such an exercise does not need to be preceded by Dubia. The Cardinals could have done it anytime. Such a reaction would, actually, justify the criticism that the Dubia were uncalled for in the first place. In short: Cardinal Burke’s answer is utter baloney.
The only logical consequence of the refusal of the Pope to answer the Dubia is the open condemnation of the relevant AL points as heretical, and the rebuke of the Pope who refused to set things right by answering the Dubia.
From this another logical necessity follows: that if the Pope keeps refusing to answer the Dubia and openly set things right, he must be declared a heretic himself.
It’s as simple as that. There is no escape from it. If Cardinal Burke thought he did not have the mettle for this, he was a fool in issuing the Dubia in the first place, much less publishing them.
I have been criticised for being sceptical about Cardinal Burke. But the fact is that I do not have a high degree of confidence in someone who, after an unprecedented attack to the faith, first criticises those who want to defend it and then awaits five months before he does something. This interview is, to me, another demonstration that Cardinal Burke must earn the confidence of faithful Catholics rather than think that, as he is one of the very few prelates meowing, the faithful will stand in awe in front of such magnificence.
No, the Cardinal’s plan does not make sense at all. It is the worst of V II cowardice and betrayal of Truth. It is like a government issuing an ultimatum and then, when the ultimatum is not complied with, proceeding to declare “disagreement” instead of war. It’s a loss of face, and the man is a fool if he thinks he can meow and be hailed as a Catholic lion. If he does what he says he will lose face, big time. Not for the first time.
Do not put your faith in any V II prelate until he has earned it, no matter how long his cappa magna.
These here are fair-weather shepherds.
I don't know you, but when I read the Catholic news I can't think of anything else than the now eagerly awaited correction: will it come? When? Signed by whom? Will it be necessary in the first place?
As already written in the last days, it is reasonable to suppose that such a correction will be made to Francis in camera caritatis first. The issue here is not whether Francis will be persuaded by the Cardinals; the issue is, rather, whether the private warning will be a credible threat, sufficient to persuade Francis to backpedal, or not.
Here is where it gets strange. Francis has certainly surrounded himself with sycophants telling him the Cardinals are isolated. However, the climate of fears the man himself has created will not encourage any bishop or Cardinal to have a word with him in private to try to dissuade him from being stubborn. Therefore, it is likely that whatever the Cardinals tell Francis – for example, “we have three dozen Cardinals and more than one hundred bishop ready to support us when we publicly correct you” – they will not be believed.
I have written on several occasions that if Francis is smart he will prefer to cave in. But the thing is, there are many signs indicating that the man is not smart. He will believe what is friends tell him and think that the silence of the others is, if not approval, at least acquiescence. He would underestimate the menace of orthodox bishops even if such a menace were to materialise. He will see no reason whatever to comply with the request of the Four Cardinals and answer – in the proper way, of course – to the Dubia.
It is, therefore, at this point more likely that the ball goes back in the half of the Four Cardinals. It is for them to now do what they – through Cardinal Burke – do what they say they would and let Francis taste the excrements of his own pontificate.
Alas, this us one who might even like the exercise.
Pretty strong words from Cardinal Burke in a new interview clearly meant to increase the pressure on Pope Francis to at least publicly declare he is Catholic, and avoid worse trouble.
The words that define the interview and send the clear message to Francis are the following ones:
If a Pope would formally profess heresy he would cease, by that act, to be the Pope
Naturally, and pretty much in style, Cardinal Burke goes on reassuring us of how much he likes Pope Francis, & Co. (this always surprises me; an obviously extremely grumpy, cantankerous, nasty, boorish and permanently insulting man appears to be liked by everyone. One wonders…). But the issue here is not of peoples, but of truths.
In another interview, it was indicated that the formal correction of Amoris Laetitia could appear in January, and would remain limited to correcting the document itself, not declaring the Pope a heretic (yours truly reported). Cardinal Burke is now sending a first message about what could happen after that correction.
It is, in fact, difficult to believe that the Cardinals would issue a formal correction of the Pope’s document as clearly heretical and, after a certain time has elapsed, would refuse to draw the conclusion that the Pope who still insists in not condemning the errors is himself a heretic.
Amoris Laetitia is, however you see his magisterial rank (the position of cardinal Burke that it hasn’t any was, of course, negated by the very act of posing the Dubia), a document Pope Francis has signed and for which he must answer. There is no way to deflect the accusations by saying that he doesn’t remember what he has written, or was drinking too much mate, or was in the bathroom when the document was released.
Every day that Francis avoids answering the Dubia, he digs a bigger hole for himself. He should swallow this bullfrog, lose face, and save what has left of his papacy, truly south-american in the scale of its failure.
What happens now is one of those multiple possibilities with the “inverted tree” diagram I cannot draw here.
The correction is issued, or not. If it is not issued the laity will keep condemning, and the Cardinals will keep shutting up. If it is issued the Pope will have two alternatives: finally answer the Dubia or further refuse to do so. If he answers the Dubia he will most certainly answer them in the proper way, and this particular matter at least will be settled. If he does not answer them the Cardinals will, once again, have the choice between shutting up and declaring him heretical and having “ceased to be Pope”. If the Pope is declared such, either nothing will happen (most bishops and cardinals simply refuse to enter the controversy and simply wait for the heretical Pope to die, as already happened for Honorius) and the not-anymore-Pope remains in office as a sort of Vatican squatter, or the “bishop against bishop” scenario sets in, and we have a number of Cardinals and a greater number of bishops willing to see this to its end. In this last scenario an imperfect, extraordinary council would be convened (say, in a place like Poland; or, more probably, Rome), at the end of which the pope would be declared a heretic in the same way as a murdered is declared a murdered when he is condemned, though in a factual sense he was a murderer the moment he committed the murder. The “inverted tree” can go on for very long, but at this point I think Francis would be told very clearly he either resigns or the cardinals and bishops kick him out with vast majority and physically remove him from office, after which a heresy trial begins.
It is sad to say that, as I write this, the most probable hypothesis still seems to be the first one: the Cardinals do not follow through, and the matter dies here.
The newest development in the matter of the dubia are now on LifeSiteNews. Quote:
“Now of course we are in the last days, days of strong grace, before the Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, and then we have the Octave of the Solemnity and the celebrations at the beginning of the New Year – the whole mystery of Our Lord’s Birth and His Epiphany – so it would probably take place sometime after that.”
The cardinal, who is the patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta, said the format of the correction would be “very simple.”
“It would be direct, even as the dubia are, only in this case there would no longer be raising questions, but confronting the confusing statements in Amoris Laetitia with what has been the Church’s constant teaching and practice, and thereby correcting Amoris Laetitia,” he said.
Two elements emerge:
- The awaited correction of Amoris Laetitia is scheduled for ” sometime after the Epiphany. I think it’s reasonable, when reading the timeline of events mentioned by the Cardinal as, so to speak, in the way of an earlier declaration, to expect it for sometime before the end of January.
- The correction will (at least at this stage) pertain to Amoris Laetitia only. Therefore, it will not entail a formal declaration that the Pope is himself a heretic. However, it seems to follow from the premises that if Francis, after the correction of Amoris Laetitia, insists in not answering the dubia he will, at some point, have to be declared a heretic in view of his obstinacy.
It is impossible not to see in the interview a further warning to Pope Francis. It is also noticed by more and more people (Edward Pentin already did it, now Ross Douthat agrees) that if not Amoris Laetitia, but the dubia were scandalous we could not save ourselves from a tidal wave of public declarations of solidarity with the Pope and condemnation of the Four Cardinals. Nothing of the sort is happening, and the only ones who have run to defend the Pope were notorious dissenters, perverted Jesuits, and “philosophers” once again licking the boots of those in power, as they have done all life. None of those silent bishops can be called in any way courageous, or even right, as they have the darn duty to defend the teaching of the Church with more than silence. However, I can’t imagine that Francis hasn’t got the message.
Sadly, Francis has already seen that these bishops are very ready, and many of them willing to be strong-armed (the dismal silence after Amoris Laetitia is ample evidence of this), so at this point it requires a healthy dose of optimism to think that Francis will simply cave in. Remember: the dubia have already cut off any possibility for him to waffle himself out of the situation. Therefore, either he or the Cardinals will have to lose face on this.
I had thought that, the Vatican ways being always so slow, Francis would have been given more ample time to reflect on how to organise his defeat, as it seemed not realistic to me that after the Cardinals need five months to decide that Amoris Laetitia is very, very bad, they would not give Francis an even longer time to come to the same conclusion. Still, this correction still appears to be scheduled around four full months after the original letter, and the Cardinals might be trying a last display of determination after having been informed that Francis will not answer the dubia, full stop.
As Christmas approaches, I invite all my readers to set aside the polite fluff and sincerely, openly pray the Lord that he may, in His mercy, rid us of this unspeakable disgrace of a Pope.