Cardinal Burke Feet of Clay…

Cardinal Burke Feet of Clay…

In the video, Cardinal Burke pronounces the Society of Saint Pius X in schism.  Listening to it, I recall the reason several Catholic friends gave for refusing to attend his Pontifical High Mass in a Glasgow parish church recently, summed up by one insightful soul: “…he’s not the real deal.”   

Blogger Gabriel Syme, who did attend the Pontifical High Mass in Glasgow recently, writes: 

I read that earlier and was much dismayed by the reported comments from Cardinal Burke.

it is unbecoming for a prelate to tell fibs (that the SSPX is in schism) which contradict his brother Bishops.

Ironically, he would never say such a thing about genuinely schismatic groups, such as the Eastern Orthodox churches.

How disappointing that he is so feeble in the face of Francis, yet so bold with unprovoked attacks on faithful Catholic groups, attacks based on deceit.

I am very disappointed in him and have diminished respect for him now. As if attacking the SSPX should be on his agenda, while everyone is waiting (and waiting and waiting) for him to act on the dubia.


His “damp squib” dubia and meek acceptance of the Pope’s refusal to grant him an audience to discuss the four cardinals’ concerns about Amoris Laetitia, are now placed firmly in context.  He hasn’t a clue.  He’s apparently no clearer in his grasp of the limits as well as the extent of papal authority than most of the confused Catholics, ordained and lay, suffering in the Church-anything-but Militant today.  He has shown himself to have feet of clay. Or maybe you’re a Cardinal Burke fan, just because, at least, he values the traditional Mass?  Let’s hear it… 

Comments (68)

  • gabriel syme

    I had thought Cardinal Burke was one of the better Cardinals, but I am very disappointed with his claim the SSPX is in schism – which is demonstrably false.

    I had considered him as one of my big hopes for Pope, once Our Lord in His mercy finally grants us release from Francis. I am very much reconsidering that point now!

    Recently I read that Francis has reappointed Cardinal Burke to the Apostolic Signatura, albeit in a more minor role than the one Francis previously removed him from.

    Surely he is not so vain and naive to be swayed by such a move, to allow such an obvious manipulation from Francis to put out the fire in his belly? (whatever fire there was anyway, maybe a gas lighter’s worth?)

    Perhaps this reappointment also explains why the long awaited fraternal correction just never seems to arrive?

    Maybe Cardinal Burke is happy to make peace now that two of his fellow Dubia Cardinals have died, and the other (Cardinal Brandmuller) is pushing 90?

    I hope the Cardinal is big enough to retract his comment and apologise. I certainly hope Bishop +Fellay protests, or that Ecclesia Dei speak out (fat chance on the latter).

    We shouldn’t be surprised at all this, one Cardinal saying one thing and another saying the exact opposite – it’s the way the Church is now. I must say, I certainly would have thought twice about returning to Church (in my late 20’s – a frighteningly long time ago now) had I known how contradictory and faction riven it is these days. It is so exhausting and unedifying.

    I went to the Pontifical High Mass in Balornock and, despite being unimpressed by these new comments, I would go to the mass again tomorrow. Attendance at any mass saying nothing about your stance on the priests own erroneous opinions. I went because I had never been to a Pontifical High Mass before, and I could live to 80 and never get the chance again – this is mainly why I went. (Of course I did have a much higher opinion of the Cardinal then, also).

    I would like to ask Cardinal Burke if he thinks I did the right thing by moving to the SSPX Church, where we get authentic liturgy and sound doctrine, or would he say I should have stayed with the Jesuits where I learned nothing and whose main priority today seems to be overturning Christian sexual morality (as evidenced by Francis, champion of adultery, and Fr James Martin Eth Jay, champion of homosexuality).

    October 2, 2017 at 4:00 pm
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      A parent of a growing family said to me just a couple of days ago, that there is just no way she could take her children to a Summorum Pontificum parish on a regular basis: for all the talk of these priests being “traditional”, for example, they still set out the poisonous Catholic papers every week (as she said: “it’s the first thing you see on entry”) and implicitly, in various other ways, they support the revolution.

      I take your point about desiring to experience a Pontifical High Mass – I would, too, but things are just beyond bad now, beyond serious, that I am increasingly conscious of the need to just refuse to support the revolution in any way. Mind you, having been effectively banned from attending the Cardinal Burke Mass (for that is what it was!) my vision may be somewhat blurred – I happily admit the possibility!

      October 2, 2017 at 7:32 pm
      • Margaret USA

        I just KNEW that CT would pick this up!
        I agree with Gabriel – it’s very disappointing that H.E. would say such a thing.

        Btw, this is what Michael Matt @ the Remnant had re the recall of H.E. Cardinal Burke:

        You can’t make up this stuff – truth really IS stranger than fiction.

        Margaret 🇺🇸

        October 2, 2017 at 7:48 pm
      • editor


        Thank you for the link…

        I think I said the same thing on this blog when the news of Cardinal Burke’s reinstatement broke, but I know for sure that it is exactly what I said to friends over the weekend when discussing this news – a clear case of keep your friends close, and your enemies closer

        October 2, 2017 at 8:16 pm
      • Margaret USA

        And another blog had the SAME clip from The Godfather Part II (which I DON’T recommend watching – the series is totally unsuitable for family view [and that’s the most charitable way I can put it]).

        Margaret 🇺🇸

        P.S. Prayers requested for all the dead and injured in Las Vegas.

        October 3, 2017 at 3:45 am
      • Faith of Our Fathers

        Ed I love blogging and its still out there the Downright Hatred for our Faith as you well know. I think that all this toing and froing of Cardinal Burke is to set the tone for a complete Ban on The Traditional Mass . If that is what does happen then without doubt there will be Schism. It’s bad enough being assaulted by outsiders without the Verbal Boot ( just for the moment anyhow) being put in by supposedly Princes of The Church . There was an article about Francis wanting to take in more Refugees ( what a surprise) which I went on and got in discussion with a ” Christian ” of what Faith she wouldn’t say . Others came to her let’s say assistance and the hatred towards our Faith was well Normal really. One thing struck me about this Lady was her Utter Hatred for Our Lady . There were certain things in her posts which led me to believe she was once a Catholic ( of which I asked ) silence nothing back . The old saying has never been more truer than now within our Faith. Our own kind are the worst.

        October 2, 2017 at 8:23 pm
      • Faith of Our Fathers

        What a statement from a Mother of a Catholic Family. Ed i go to both N.O. and Traditional Latin Mass as maybe do lots of Catholics. Since going to T.L.M I know that there is really no comparison. Please do not take this the wrong way and I hope you live till your 100 . But last week talking after Mass with our Priest . He told me he was going to say T.L Requiem Mass for a Parishioner in Newmains as the man had requested a Latin Requiem Mass in his will . So it’s certainly something I want also. Not just now though not just now . I was just wondering did you know of this ,not the man about leaving that request in Ones Will .

        October 2, 2017 at 8:38 pm
      • Lily

        Faith of our Fathers,

        I agree. What a statement. There’s not many mothers who would go to such trouble to protect their children from even the slightest contamination of modernism/liberalism, so she is to be warmly praised.

        Putting the request for a TLM in your will, doesn’t make any difference. It has no legal weight. The law cannot enforce that wish, so you need to make sure your family, who will be arranging your funeral, know that you want the traditional Mass.

        October 2, 2017 at 9:52 pm
      • Petrus


        I agree with your parent-friend – those poisonous papers put me off too. My children are excellent readers so if I turned my back for a couple of minutes they could easily read something on those comics!

        October 7, 2017 at 7:21 am
    • Lily

      Gabriel Syme,

      A lot of us thought Cardinal Burke was one of the better cardinals but that just serves to prove how standards have fallen. At one time, any cardinal would have known the difference between a schismatic and the SSPX situation. I’m afraid he’s way down in my estimation now.

      October 2, 2017 at 9:49 pm
  • Deacon Augustine

    Here we have another instance of the hierarchy speaking with a forked tongue. According to the response to a dubium submitted to the PCED on this matter, the faithful were advised that as long as they did not assist at SSPX Masses with a “schismatic intention”, whatever that is, then they could indeed fulfil their Sunday obligation by so doing.

    As the SSPX acknowledge Francis and his predecessors to be legitimate Popes, have no intention of denying this fact to my knowledge, and are actively involved in seeking a solution to the matter of regularizing their position, I can’t see how the word “schism” is in any way appropriate. I have absolutely no qualifications in Canon Law whatsoever, so readily acknowledge that these questions are way above my paygrade, however, the Pope does not seem to regard them as “schismatic”.

    On the downside, bearing in mind that the Pope’s private opinion counts for nothing, and bearing in mind who the Pope is…. As far as I am aware the granting of faculties to hear Confessions and Solemnize Marriages has no basis in Canon Law apart from the Pope’s will to do it.

    October 2, 2017 at 4:49 pm
    • editor

      Deacon Augustine,

      Below some basic information on the SSPX “schism” taken from the website of the USA District: with one exception, I have not included the links given at source. Link to source at end of this post.

      “The Society of St. Pius X has always recognized and adhered to the authority of the pope, and, as noted by prominent Roman authorities (e.g., Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos), the SSPX is not schismatic.

      Was Archbishop Lefebvre (along with his co-consecrator and the four bishops whom he consecrated) excommunicated also for having done a “schismatic act”?
      A first argument to this is given under the heading: Wasn’t Archbishop Lefebvre Excommunicated?

      What, moreover, constitutes a schismatic act? Not the mere deed of consecrating bishops without pontifical mandate. The 1983 Code of Canon Law itself lists this offense under Title 3 (abuse of ecclesiastical powers) and not under Title 1 (offenses against religion and the unity of the Church) of its penal section (Book 6).

      Nor would it be a “schismatic act” to consecrate against the express wish of the Holy Father. That could amount to disobedience at most.* But disobedience does not amount to schism; schism requires that one not recognize the authority of the pope to command; disobedience consists in not obeying a command, whilst still acknowledging the authority of the one commanding. “The child who says ‘I won’t!’ to his mother does not deny that she is his mother” (Fr. Glover, in Is Tradition Excommunicated? p. 99 [appendix 2]).

      *(But there is no disobedience, cf. An Open Letter to Confused Catholics, pp. 129-136. Cf. “The act of consecrating a bishop (without the pope’s permission)is not itself a schismatic act,” Cardinal Lara, President of the Pontifical Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of Canon Law, in La Repubblica, October 7, 1988)

      Archbishop Lefebvre always recognized the pope’s authority (proved by his consultations with Rome for a solution to the current problems) and so does the SSPX. (See for example, its support for Pope John Paul II’s Ordinatio Sacerdotalis against women priests.)

      Consecrating a bishop without pontifical mandate would be a schismatic act if one pretended to confer not just the fullness of the priesthood but also jurisdiction, a governing power over a particular flock. Only the pope, who has universal jurisdiction over the whole Church, can appoint a pastor to a flock and empower him to govern it. But Archbishop Lefebvre never presumed to confer anything but the full priestly powers of holy orders, and in no way did he grant any jurisdiction (which he himself did not have personally to give).

      Do the faithful, threatened by Pope John Paul II himself with excommunication if they adhere formally to the schism (Ecclesia Dei Afflicta, July 2, 1988), indeed incur any excommunication for going to SSPX priests for the sacraments?

      Not at all. The priests of the Society are neither excommunicated nor schismatics (as figures such as Cardinal Hoyos have made clear) that the Society is not schismatic (Is Tradition Excommunicated? pp. 1-39). This being so, how could any of the faithful who approach them incur these penalties?

      Weren’t several laypeople excommunicated in Hawaii for attending an SSPX Mass?

      On May 1, 1991, Bishop Ferrario of Hawaii “excommunicated” certain Catholics of his diocese for attending Masses celebrated by priests of the SSPX, and receiving a bishop of the Society to confer the sacrament of Confirmation. Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, overturned this decision:

      From the examination of the case… it did not result that the facts referred to in the above-mentioned decree, are formal schismatic acts in the strict sense, as they do not constitute the offense of schism; and therefore the Congregation holds that the decree of May 1, 1991, lacks foundation and hence validity.” (June 28, 1993) ”
      Click here to reach source

      That Cardinal Burke is ignorant of these basic facts, speaks volumes.

      October 2, 2017 at 7:21 pm
      • gabriel syme


        That Cardinal Burke is ignorant of these basic facts, speaks volumes.

        While not wanting to speculate or assume the worst, I think this comment above may be a generous analysis.

        Oftentimes people (inc clergy) who do know better still say false / negative things about the SSPX, due to politics / agendas.

        It would seem remarkable if Cardinal Burke didn’t know at least some of the examples you list above. Even humble lay people like myself (!) have access to the facts, if willing to read books or spend a short while researching online. How then could an important Prelate be ignorant of the situation?

        Even if we assume the Cardinal was speaking from ignorance, then surely he should have been prudent enough not to “weigh-in” while not being in possession of the facts?

        October 2, 2017 at 10:29 pm
  • RCAVictor

    I think the best thing that can be said about Cardinal Burke’s falsehood is the same thing he said about That’s Amoris: “It’s not Magisterial.”

    Unfortunately, these comments will give plenty of ammunition to Michael Voris, and those of his ignorant ilk, who are only all too eager to take advantage.

    October 2, 2017 at 6:18 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      Nail on head – Michael Voris will be thinking that all his Christmases have come at once. How infuriating. I’m SO glad I don’t receive his emails/videos any more. “Insufferable” is the word that springs to mind.

      October 2, 2017 at 7:26 pm
  • crofterlady

    The Code of Canon Law c751 states:

    “Finally, the person who refuses submission to the Roman Pontiff, whom Vatican I defined as having a universal primacy of authority over the whole Church, is at least a material schismatic. It was thus common in the past to speak of the schismatic Orthodox Churches who broke with Rome in 1054. As with heresy, we no longer assume the moral culpability of those who belong to Churches in schism from Rome, and thus no long refer to them as schismatics.”

    So it seems to me that Cardinal Burke was way out of line to say what he said.

    October 2, 2017 at 7:32 pm
    • editor


      In other words, we don’t call the REAL schismatics, “schismatics” but we can call those whom Pope Francis described as [real] Catholics “schismatics”.

      Truly, you could not make this stuff up! Up, this stuff you could not make!

      October 2, 2017 at 8:10 pm
  • editor


    I have just been speaking to Christina on the phone. As you will all remember, she was hospitalised some time ago for major surgery. She came through that surgery well and returned home to recuperate. Unfortunately, she then fell and broke bones and had to be taken back into hospital.

    She has now suffered further complications and is in a great deal of pain. Please remember her in your prayers. I told her that I would ask this, and she was very pleased.

    Our Lady of Lourdes, Health of the Sick, pray for her.

    October 2, 2017 at 8:06 pm
    • Lily

      I am keeping Christina in my prayers from now on – she has had a terrible time, by the sounds of it. My love and prayers to her.

      October 2, 2017 at 9:47 pm
    • Athanasius


      Yes, Poor Christina has been through the wars recently. I will certainly remember her in my prayers.

      October 3, 2017 at 12:07 am
    • Elizabeth

      Poor Christina! What a miserable time she is having. Please assure her of my prayers and sympathy.

      October 3, 2017 at 10:01 am
    • gabriel syme


      Sorry to hear of Christina’s fall, please pass on my regards and assure her of my prayers for a good recovery.

      October 3, 2017 at 12:47 pm
  • Summa

    Ach well, at least we can stop deluding ourselves now. It is quite clear that the revolution has taken hold of everyone and everything in the post conciliar church.
    I am obviously disappointed in Cardinal Burke, but should I be? Let’s be honest about this: have we been clutching at straws?
    What is interesting about the clip (is there a link to the whole recording?) is that in all his canonical legal brilliance, he does not raise the question of supplied jurisdiction in the context of this talk. For Catholics who are set uneasy by this clip, especially by his use of the phrase ‘not a good sign’, Cardinal Burke is being uncharitable at the least and downright neglectful, not to openly consider the proposition to give a balanced perspective.

    October 2, 2017 at 10:28 pm
    • editor


      You are absolutely right about “clutching at straws” – that is a real tendency (and has been for many years now) in this crisis.

      I remember smiling a wry smile, if not laughing a hollow laugh, when, despite the damning reports of various scandals involving the Scots hierarchy in our newsletter, someone or twenty would email me in great excitement to tell me that Cardinal O’Brien or the Archbishop of Glasgow or Bishop Briggs had just made the newspaper headlines with a condemnation of…. abortion! Crisis over, all is well, close down shop and go home. Unbelievable. I got so tired of explaining that rejoicing because anyone, least of all a Catholic bishop, actually allowed himself to be quoted as condemning the murder of innocent unborn children, was akin to telling the world you had a great doctor just because he’d diagnosed your headache correctly. Gimme strength…

      Yes, the Cardinal’s response was impoverished by any standards, but from someone who is an acclaimed canon lawyer, it is dishonest in the extreme.

      October 2, 2017 at 11:20 pm
    • Summa

      If anyone really is unsettled by Cardinal Burke’s treachory then it might be worthwhile consoling yourself that he is taking absolute baloney by watching two small clips…

      October 3, 2017 at 1:18 pm
      • Fidelis

        Summa, I didn’t watch the first video because it was a bit long but also because I don’t rate Fr Kramer at all, but thanks for posting the Fr Gruner video – that’s great.

        It should be obvious to any serious Catholic that the SSPX is not in schism, so at this stage, I would just say to anyone who thinks the Cardinal is right, good luck to you.

        October 3, 2017 at 1:45 pm
  • Lionel

    I really think that Mgr Marcel Lefèbvre IS A SAINT and most of other bishops, I let you guess…
    Let us juge on the fruits!…

    October 2, 2017 at 10:45 pm
    • editor


      Absolutely! You are on the button, as ever!

      October 2, 2017 at 11:13 pm
      • Lionel

        I think that the schism is caused by those who deliberately and without consideration for the sensitivity of the faithful, upset everything…

        October 3, 2017 at 9:42 am
    • Lionel

      …and thus the unfaithful hierarchy did disgust and drive most of the faithful out of the churches and now most of the them are closed.
      The Church, instead of condemning the Society of St. Pius X, should employ the priests of Mgr Lefèbvre’s Society, but the “Reform” is supposed to be “irreversible”!…

      October 3, 2017 at 10:23 am
  • Mary Anne

    It’s not like him. I’m flabbergasted! Who knows what kind of diabolical pressure has been placed upon his back. Maybe he HAD to say it to make a gain. His saying it means nothing. I see it as uncharitable too. Look at how the other Cardinals of the Dubia are! Dead! Pray and wait. Sacrifice. Fast. All the things Our Lady asked of us. God is still in charge. Maybe Our Lady appeared to him. Why wouldn’t she? He is so quiet and then comes out with that??? Strange.

    October 2, 2017 at 10:47 pm
    • editor

      Mary Anne,

      I don’t know why you think it’s not like Cardinal Burke to say what he’s said about the SSPX. Below is an extract of him speaking about the Society in 2012, again fixated on “obedience” (without, of course, distinguishing true from false obedience)…


      And if you think Our Lady appeared to him… well… you need to come to Scotland asap and we’ll supply you with a huge plateful of haggis and neeps. That should restore you to sanity! 😀

      October 2, 2017 at 11:11 pm
      • Mary Anne

        I guess I don’t know enough about him. I’ve been admiring him so for his stand. I really don’t know about him. Fry me up the haggis and neeps. I need the restoration. 🙂

        October 2, 2017 at 11:18 pm
      • gabriel syme


        fixated on “obedience”

        That is a good observation and ties in with my thinking lately that conservative Cardinals, like +++Burke, seem more concerned with “keeping up appearances” than they do with fighting for orthodoxy.

        Hence, the fixation with others being seen to be obedient.

        The likes of Fr James Martin etc run riot in the Church, but get away with it because they are happy to wink at fidelity and obedience, when required. But because the SSPX raises issues and takes a stand over them, they get panned because they wont make a big showing of caving in when required.

        Probably the Pontificates of both JP II and Benedict XVI could be well understood. if viewed with the understanding that “keeping up appearances” of a unified and obedient Church loomed large in their thoughts.

        This outlook is toxic and is in fact perpetuating disharmony in the Church. Look at how, for example, Bishop Athanasius Schneider has called for a syllabus of errors to be drawn up regarding the V2 documents. He clearly wants to get to the bottom of the issues and dig out the rot.

        Whereas +++Burke does not seem to want to do this, and instead – like so many – seems to be happy to insist the documents must be understood in an orthodox fashion. But it is not sufficient to insist on this, if the documents can be understood in any fashion other than an orthodox one, then they must be discarded or fixed.

        The fact this has not yet happened indicates both a preoccupation with appearances over clarity among the hierarchy, to say nothing of pride (it would obviously be quite humbling for the Church to have to come and say it’s own documents are flawed).

        As for +++Burke, I think the twin developments of his return to the Apostolic Signatura, coupled with his sudden deceitful attack on the SSPX, are concerning. They suggest a man who has been bought.

        Alternatively, maybe he has attacked the SSPX because he regards Francis overtures as being another undesirable move by the Pope. But i would doubt that and in any case he has much better ammunition to attack Francis with.

        October 3, 2017 at 12:31 pm
      • Margaret USA

        Haggis and neeps?

        October 4, 2017 at 3:26 am
      • Josephine

        Margaret USA,

        Don’t ask! LOL!

        It’s a kind of mince with potatoes. That’s how I explain it, to save people the gory details, LOL!

        October 4, 2017 at 9:21 am
      • Vianney


        Neeps is mashed turnip.

        October 5, 2017 at 11:21 pm
  • Athanasius

    It seems Cardinal Burke can’t work out even the basics in this as he considers Pope Francis’ extension of marriage and confession faculties to SSPX priests as “anomalous”.

    The simple fact is that Pope Francis could not have extended such faculties to the SSPX if it were truly a schismatic organisation, and Cardinal Burke knows this better than anyone else. So why is Cardinal Burke so keen to downplay this very significant recognition by the Pope, especially as it favours Tradition?

    Could it be that His Eminence has a guilty conscience? After all, he remained silent for fear of persecution when Archbishop Lefebvre and the other SSPX bishops stood tall in the face of revolution in the Church. I rather think this is at the heart of Cardinal Burke’s discomfort, though it does not excuse in any way his completely false declaration. All he has succeeded in doing is add more guilt now to his own conscience. No wonder the Church is in such a mess when the likes of Cardinal Burke, a prelate in the middle of the road (fence sitting) is hailed a great prelate of Tradition.

    We still await the Cardinal’s promise that he would challenge Pope Francis publicly re AL. Of course it’s very unlikely to happen, especially now. Read this:

    October 3, 2017 at 12:25 am
    • gabriel syme


      it’s very unlikely to happen, especially now

      I am increasingly of that opinion, but hope to be wrong.

      Several signatories of the filial correction and various blogs are urging him to do it – hopefully he will, even if only because he has been shamed into it.

      One Peter Five has an interview with a Professor Pierantoni, who signed the Filial correction.

      He says:

      The formal correction, as you remember, was already promised for January. But in April, when we had the Rome conference, there still was no hint that Cardinal Burke was going to issue a correction.

      So, in a little group, we started to think about a lay correction.

      Then, in July, when our correction was taking its final shape and had gained a certain number of signatures, we heard with great pleasure that Cardinal Burke was again thinking of a correction on his part.

      The bit in bold is concerning, as it suggests that +++Burke had already binned the idea, before being re-enlivened by the academics own effort. Perhaps he had been discouraged by a lack of support from other Bishops?

      But the Professor also says:

      He has in fact given us hints that he approves of our “filial” initiative and feels supported by it, and so I’m sure he now knows that very soon is his time to act.

      Perhaps two or three more cardinals, or half a dozen bishops, will join. Maybe more, maybe less. But even if he were the only one, I think he must soon issue a correction.

      Which is more encouraging and seems to hint that +++Burke may even have rallied some support for the move.

      October 3, 2017 at 12:40 pm
    • Summa

      I think you may be correct. The game’s a bogey.

      October 4, 2017 at 10:05 am
  • Athanasius

    Gabriel Syme

    I read somewhere the other day that Cardinal Burke said he did not want to go to his grave with not having corrected AL on his conscience. Well, we’ll see if His Eminence can summon the courage. Frankly, everyone is tired now of Cardinal Burke threatening to do eventually what should have been done immediately. I don’t see it happening personally. After all, the Cardinal was silent for decades on all those abuses affecting the Faith.

    October 3, 2017 at 1:37 pm
    • RCAVictor


      I agree. Cardinal Burke has made himself into a type of “boy who cried wolf.” But I am also wondering, given the circle of corrupt thugs that surrounds Francis, if he has received death threats warning him against publishing his correction.

      October 3, 2017 at 11:22 pm
      • Margaret USA

        Don’t forget that two of the Dubia Cardinals – Carrara and Meisner – are now deceased after being in relatively good health.

        Also, many Catholic blogs reported that Cardinal Mueller thought that he could do more good in the Vatican until push came to shove earlier this year.

        I don’t know the mind of Cardinal Burke, but aside from the fact that the Pope ordered him to come back. maybe he thinks that he can do more good in the Vatican.

        His Eminence needs prayers. Lord, have mercy!

        October 4, 2017 at 3:49 am
      • Athanasius

        RCA Victor

        If such were the case then I’m afraid the Cardinal, like the martyrs, would have to choose death rather than the dishonour of silencing the truth.

        October 4, 2017 at 1:21 pm
      • RCAVictor


        October 4, 2017 at 2:30 pm
    • Summa

      I think no matter what the circumstances, the truth has to out, especially when their is grave danger to souls. No one would castigate Cardinal Burke for bringing this to a head: I mean how much time does Pope Francis need? The answer of course is none. He will not answer the dubia because he knows that there is a good chance it will fizzle out, especially if he has silenced one of the original architects.

      There is no point mincing words. AL promotes Evil. It needs to be called out by all Princes of the Church. The Papal encyclicals and motu proprio are fruits of the revolution. The clergy are the fruits of the revolution,

      We hang on. We resist. We remain the same.

      October 4, 2017 at 10:13 am
  • Summa

    Having just watched the Michael Matt RTV piece on this, I think Mr Matt has taken the sensible line here. No knee jerk reactions (like me most of the time) – however in this case my ‘clutching at straws’ comments above, were for once accurate.
    Cardinal Burke is a product of the Conciliar Church and a Leader of its adherents. We ought to pray for him. But we shouldn’t be surprised.

    October 4, 2017 at 10:59 pm
    • Lily


      I think the bottom line is the Cardinal is part of the modern Church and gets the name of being traditional really just because he says the Latin Mass from time to time.

      I agree that we shouldn’t be surprised at this news, but it is disappointing when so many of us had high hopes in him.

      October 4, 2017 at 11:10 pm
  • Lily

    RCA Victor,

    I completely agree with your statements about Michael Matt in the video above. He has been weakening for quite a while, and he seems to be just fed up of the whole fight. That’s a pity. Your last question is one that does need answering – what evidence is there that Cardinal Burke is moving in the direction of tradition. None that I can see.

    October 5, 2017 at 5:34 pm
  • Heloisa

    I do feel that too many people still think we can still sort out this mess ourselves, which is not possible. I also sometimes get the feeling that too many people have too little trust in God, despite the fact that we have been told that all these things must come to pass.

    I know….too many ‘toos’ but never mind!

    October 5, 2017 at 6:49 pm
  • Athanasius

    I tend to agree with RCA Victor. I understand where Michael Matt is coming from but I think he’s looking at the Cardinal Burke situation through rose coloured glasses.

    The bottom line in all of this is that Cardinal Burke is bound up and gagged by an exaggerated obedience to the Pope. This renders him not only impotent in the fight for truth, but an unwitting enemy of it.

    The latter danger consists in the fact that many Traditional Catholics hold Cardinal Burke to be a champion of the old Mass and of Catholic orthodoxy. The latter, sadly, extends no further than the Church’s moral teaching, it has never included that essential resistance to doctrinal corruption which is central to any true fight for the restoration of all things in Christ.

    Has anyone, for example, ever heard the Cardinal speak out against the condemned errors of religious liberty, ecumenism and inter-religious initiatives? For that matter, has anyone even heard His Eminence speak out against the dangers of the New Mass and its blatant Eucharistic abuses of Communion in the hand and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion?

    No, Cardinal Burke is by no means the hero of Tradition that many imagine him to be. He is very much a disciple of Benedict XVI’s flawed “hermeneuitic of continuity” theory, which, as we know, aims at legitimising a less radical Modernism in the Church through coexistence with an equally moderated Traditionalism. Of course the two are diametrically opposed and irreconcilable, but the difficulty is that it sounds convincing and it lets Catholics of all ranks in the Church off the hook when it comes to their duty to uphold the Faith in its entirety.

    This has been the problem all along with the likes of the LMS, Una Voce, FSSP and other such middle of the road Traditional institutions. As long as Rome gives them the old Mass and a restricted liberty to practice the Traditional Faith, they are content to remain silent while the rest of the Church goes to Hell in a handcart. This is not the spirit of the saints and martyrs, it is the spirit of compromise with error and it results in undermining the efforts of those who stand firmly against Modernism in all of its poisonous manifestations.

    The SSPX alone has taken this latter stance, hence it alone has been persecuted from all sides. Now Cardinal Burke adds to the opprobrium heaped on the Society with his unfounded, and frankly reckless, declaration that the SSPX is schismatic. We all know, or should know, where the schism exists in the Church today, and it is not with those who cleave to the orthodox security of Sacred Tradition!

    Because of the regard in which he is held in Traditional circles, a regard which, in my opinion, is overblown, Cardinal Burke is ideally placed to land the most damaging of blows to the cause of restoring Tradition in the Church. This is not to say that I believe him to be acting maliciously. No, I believe his intentions are good but dangerously misguided. His words against the SSPX can only succeed in dividing further those Traditional Catholics who stand firm, despite persecution, for a full liturgical and doctrinal restoration of Tradition to the whole Church and those who are content with their little slice of Traditional heaven in return for keeping silent about the Modernist Hell that’s going on all around them in the parishes. It’s as Archbishop Lefebvre observed: “Satan’s masterstroke has been to sow disobedience through obedience.”

    While I do recognise that the aforementioned semi-Traditionalist institutions are producing good fruit for the future with regard to the priesthood and the ancient Mass of the Church, this does not excuse their failure as Catholic institutions to publicly deplore all those doctrinal and sacramental scandals in the wider Church.

    Is it not just typical of the confusing times in which we live that the one Cardinal who all Traditionalists were looking to to speak out publicly against the errors of AL, spoke out instead against the SSPX. It is folly in the extreme to play down the gravity of such a development and its implications in the fight to restore Tradition to the Church. I personally think Cardinal Burke has done more harm by his solitary attack on the SSPX than any number of his fully progressive confreres could have achieved together. Very sad, but there it is.

    October 6, 2017 at 12:55 am
    • editor


      “…has anyone even heard His Eminence speak out against the dangers of the New Mass and its blatant Eucharistic abuses of Communion in the hand and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion? “

      Not only has Cardinal Burke NOT spoken out about the dangers of the new Mass but he continues to say it! Another “traditionalist” keen to keep a foot in both camps.

      Another superb post from you, Athanasius, but I hope you don’t mind if I “correct” your quote from Archbishop Lefebvre, which you give fairly frequently. It’s one of my favourite quotes from his Open Letter to Confused Catholics, but when I read your version I always feel that there is something missing, so I looked it up just now and, sure enough, while I may not always be right, I’m never wrong 😀

      Here, for the record, is the Archbishop’s exact words – because the literal quote is actually a fair bit stronger than simply “disobedience sown through obedience”… Archbishop Lefebvre said:

      “…For it is a masterstroke of Satan to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience.”

      And, in for a penny, in for a pound, here is the full context of that quote, from the Chapter on True & False Obedience in An Open Letter to Confused Catholics”

      “We therefore choose to keep it [the Faith] and we cannot be mistaken in clinging to what the Church has taught for two thousand years. The crisis is profound, cleverly organised and directed, and by this token one can truly believe that the master mind is not a man but Satan himself. For it is a master-stroke of Satan to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience. A typical example is furnished by the “aggiornamento” of the religious societies. By obedience, monks and nuns are made to disobey the laws and constitutions of their founders which they swore to observe when they made their profession. Obedience in this case should have been a categorical refusal…” Click here to read entire chapter

      You are spot on in your comment, though, and I wholeheartedly endorse this, in your concluding paragraph:

      “I personally think Cardinal Burke has done more harm by his solitary attack on the SSPX than any number of his fully progressive confreres could have achieved together.”

      Sadly, very true.

      October 6, 2017 at 11:15 am
  • Athanasius


    You’re right about that quote from Archbishop Lefebvre, I was just giving the abbreviated version. I find the abbreviated version more poignant. Thanks for quoting the full passage, which reminds us again of the wisdom of Archbishop Lefebvre.

    October 6, 2017 at 4:21 pm
    • editor


      I fear we have to disagree on that – I think it’s only when we quote the “disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience” that it hits home.

      PS I guessed that you preferred “the abbreviated version” since it was YOU who abbreviated it!

      We do, however, agree on the wisdom of the Archbishop!

      October 6, 2017 at 5:01 pm
      • Athanasius


        Yes, no and yes.

        Now that’s what I call abbreviated!!

        October 6, 2017 at 8:23 pm
      • editor


        Priceless! Love it!

        October 6, 2017 at 10:27 pm
      • Athanasius


        I’lll take it your choice of word “priceless” means that I won’t be getting a pay increase??

        October 6, 2017 at 10:54 pm
      • editor


        I’m sorry, no more pay increases. We’re down to our last million, and if you’re miffed about that, well… read on…

        😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

        October 6, 2017 at 11:10 pm
      • Athanasius


        The wee guy in the cartoon suggests you’re also down to your last minion!

        October 6, 2017 at 11:42 pm
      • Petrus


        Are you sure you don’t mean “down to your last minion?”

        October 7, 2017 at 7:28 am
      • editor

        Athanasius & Petrus,

        Is this a case of “great minds think alike” or “fools seldom differ”? 😀

        October 7, 2017 at 9:30 am
      • Athanasius


        It’s absolutely a case of great minds thinking alike. I won’t back that up with “it’s a no brainer” in case you get the wrong impression!

        October 7, 2017 at 1:15 pm
  • RCAVictor

    This sorry episode with Cdl. Burke really highlights the complete impotence of the modern Church. Her liturgy is impotent, since it no longer re-creates the Sacrifice of Calvary; her apologetics are impotent since they not only no longer defend the doctrine and deposit of the Faith but actually turn against it to undermine it; her discipline is impotent since errors and corruption are no longer corrected or punished, but excused or ignored or hidden; her priesthood is impotent because they no longer perform the Sacrifice and no longer have a real altar upon which to do so.

    It follows that a Church in this condition can not and will not remove the debilitating virus of a wayward Pope from the Mystical Body. Cdl. Burke’s inertia and waffling, therefore, is just an exemplar of this impotence. The Church Militant, in other words, has been buried beneath mountains of secularism, human respect, paganism and the sins of its clerical members.

    Our Lady gave a Pope the means to perform the complete excavation of our buried Church. I wonder who will use those means?

    October 6, 2017 at 10:08 pm
    • Athanasius

      RCA Victor

      I absolutely agree with the sentiment you express but would be hesitant to say that they no longer perform the sacrifice (of the Mass). Although I completely accept that the New Mass is dangerous to faith by reason of the Protestant theology that surrounds it, nevertheless the words of consecration, if said with the correct intention, do make it valid. And if it’s valid the sacrifice has to have taken place, albeit in a greatly obscured fashion.

      October 6, 2017 at 10:52 pm
      • RCAVictor


        Yes, let me clarify. I agree the new Mass is certainly valid given the required conditions, but I think it is impotent (a) in the theological framework of re-creating the Sacrifice on Calvary, since that has been obscured by a secularized, casual, warm-and-fuzzy community self-celebration, and the sacrificial action itself reduced to a narrative; (b) in the catechetical framework of teaching the Faith (cf. the Ottaviani Intervention). Maybe “impotent” is too strong a word, but one of its definitions is “without force or effectiveness.”

        There is certainly a lack of “force or effectiveness” in the total behavior of the modern Church, and I think Cdl. Burke exemplifies it.

        October 7, 2017 at 6:27 pm
      • Athanasius

        RCA Victor

        I agree entirely, thank you for the clarification. Another obscuration is this novel reference to “the Paschal Mystery”, which pertains to the resurrection of Our Lord, not His suffering and death on Calvary. None of this happened by accident, that’s for sure!

        October 7, 2017 at 6:43 pm
  • Summa

    All told, this is a very interesting discussion and it is, if anything, a timely and grave reminder for us to be always on our guard.

    I have always held the sermons of ++ Fulton Sheen in high regard and have found him to be orthodox and conservative (but I’m only a dunderheid).

    However, in the context of the +++Burke situation it would do you no harm to read this and learn a lesson from it.

    I just want to add, that we are all wrong at times, but God is merciful and his love and justice is unlimited. May ++ Fulton Sheen rest in peace.

    October 8, 2017 at 3:36 am
  • Athanasius


    I know what you mean about Archbishop Fulton Sheen. I enjoyed his sermons enormously and was very, very disappointed to read what he said about the SSPX. ++Fulton Sheen was, as you say, a good prelate but sadly with a weakness for popularity. He was never going to get on the wrong side of the Pope, even if it was in the service of truth. Very sad, but God rest his soul as he otherwise did much good over many decades. I still like his sermons and talks.

    October 8, 2017 at 1:33 pm

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