U.S. Catholic/RNS news reports strong words from Cardinal Burke about Cardinal Kasper’s recent defense of his Holy Communion proposal in the press:
“I find it amazing that the cardinal claims to speak for the pope,” said Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis, speaking from Rome. “The pope doesn’t have laryngitis. The pope is not mute. He can speak for himself. If this is what he wants, he will say so.”
“But for me as a cardinal to say that what I am saying are the words of Pope Francis? That to me is outrageous.”
Burke also said whatever Francis thinks about a more lenient approach on Communion for remarried Catholics, the pope can’t change current church teaching because he and all bishops “are held to obedience to the truth” about marriage, and that cannot change.
The split between Anglican Bishops in the First and Third World has grown so vast that leadership is considering cancelling the Lambeth Conference in 2018 due to low attendance.
Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said that the Archbishop of Canterbury “is not going to call a Lambeth until he is reasonably certain that the vast majority of bishops would attend.” Scores of Anglican bishops, including a heavy proportion of those from Africa, boycotted the most recent Lambeth Conference, in 2008, because of their opposition to recent decisions by the worldwide Anglican leadership to allow for female bishops, homosexual priests, and same-sex unions.
Catholic World News reports:
A spokesman for the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Justin Welby, declined to comment on the report that the Lambeth Conference would be cancelled. Such a cancellation would be an unprecedented step, underlining the crisis within the Anglican communion.
CNA News reports:
In another blast at those in the Church hierarchy looking for ways to give Holy Communion to people in second marriages, Head of the CDF Cardinal Muller said:
“We can ‘deconstruct’ the Gospel and Tradition and remake them to the liking of today’s world, making their demands easy and accommodating them to the fragile, superficial, immature and post-modern man.”
The cardinal also defended the family:
“The family should be firmly defended as the place and environment in which each person is filled with love and grows in his or efforts and willingness to sacrifice,” he said.
“The duality between man and woman is necessary for the constitution of a marriage and a family, and no child should be deprived of his natural right to have a father and a mother.”
In, ‘Scratching my head about the bishop in Paraguay,’ Fr. Z writes
… while the Supreme Pontiff exercises full jurisdiction in the Church and that his decisions have no appeal, should the Supreme Pontiff want there to be sound rule of law through the Church at every level, he, too, will observe the laws of which he is the Legislator. So, the removal of bishops by the Pope should have some canonical basis. It doesn’t have to, technically, but it really should.
He adds that, “‘Blunt speech’ and ‘voicing an opinion’ are not a canonical basis for removal from office unless the opinion is obviously heresy.”
This Argentinian bishop serving in Paraguay will be criticized by liberals for fighting back. But those same liberals praised the Bishop of Toowoomba in Australia for getting all feisty. He, you see, was “prophetic”, but the Paraguayan must be an “ideologue”.
At Catholic Culture Dr. Jeff Mirus speculates on the reasons behind the current decision by the Vatican to ‘visit’ Bishop Robert Finn’s Kansas City Diocese:
We cannot get inside Bishop Finn’s head to see what God sees, but we would be foolish not to note that there is at least one other major fact about Bishop Finn’s leadership which is likely to generate a significant number of negative reviews: He set out from the first, and very vigorously, to change the rather lackadaisical Catholic culture of his diocese. We need to keep in mind that, very often, the person who goes in to reform a bad situation serves only a short time because he must make so many enemies. But having effected the shift, it becomes far easier for somebody else to come in and continue the work.
You can read the details of this cultural shift in my initial commentary. Essentially, the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph had been a leader in promoting and training lay pastoral ministers as substitutes for priests. It was a diocese which seemed to embrace the priest shortage, perhaps interpreting its causes as a justification for creating a FutureChurch characterized by ever-growing secularism. There was clearly a worldly attitude at work, and this was manifest in the administration of the diocese, the university faculties the diocese used to train people, and even the authors published in the diocesan newspaper. Finn pitted himself directly against this classic “progressive Catholic” culture of accommodation.
Dr. Mirus concludes:
It would be foolish, of course, to praise Finn’s leadership ability just because I respect his orthodoxy. Too many people on all sides of every question make this fundamental category mistake. Still, I find myself willing to put up with at least some shortcomings in a man who can say things like the following:
Forty years after the close of the Second Vatican Council, we are in a time of a more mature self-understanding in the Church, than the period immediately following the Council. More than ever, the Council documents deserve careful reading and study. They have been used at times to justify experimentation that was interpolated on what has been sometimes called the “spirit of the Council.” Now we must allow ourselves to see how they are an incentive for renewal in continuity with the Church’s tradition.
Now: If such words inspire me, how many do they frighten?
Speaking at the UN, Vatican Secretary of State reiterated calls for the use of force against Mideast terror groups:
Multilateral action is needed to combat Islamic State (ISIS) militants operating in Iraq and Syria, Vatican Secretary of state Pietro Parolin told the UN General Assembly on Monday.
However such action should be characterised by a “proportionate” use of force, Parolin said.
“It is both licit and urgent to stop aggression through multilateral and a proportionate use of force,” the Vatican’s chief diplomat told the assembly in New York.
“The Holy See hopes that the international community will assume a responsibility in considering the best means to stop all aggression and avoid the perpetration of new and even greater injustice,” he went on, recalling the UN’s “responsibility to protect”.
In his morning Santa Marta homily Pope Francis warned against complaining, reminding listeners to put their troubles in perspective. On the other hand, like Job and our Lord one may find reason to complain, even perhaps growing frustrated with God.
“Is it blasphemy when Jesus complains – ‘Father, why have You forsaken me’? This is the mystery. I have often listened to people who are experiencing difficult and painful situations, who have lost a great deal or feel lonely and abandoned and they come to complain and ask these questions: Why? Why? They rebel against God. And I say, ‘Continue to pray just like this, because this is a prayer’. It was a prayer when Jesus said to his father: ‘Why have You forsaken me!'”
In drawing his comparison the Pope didn’t mention that it would be impossible for Jesus, who never sinned, to have uttered blasphemy against Himself.
Baghdad Patriarch Louis Sako continues to warn against Christians leaving Iraq. Catholic Culture reports. Apparently the bishop does not see such a decision as being necessarily helpful to the state of their souls.
Patriarch Sako also objected to a suggestion that American Catholics should provide homes for Iraqi refugees. He said that he is trying to persuade the faithful to remain in Iraq, to endure the current trials, and to maintain the Christian presence. “But many fall victim to this ‘leaving’ frenzy,” he lamented.
Migration is not the solution, the Patriarch said. Many refugees, he said, are “transferred from one bleak situation to another.” Away from their home and their culture and without proper pastoral care, they might be in worse condition abroad. “As if the migration of thousands of Iraqi Christians to the US was something to ask God’s blessing for!” he said.
Vatican watcher Sandro Magister writes:
Francis’ selection of Blase J. Cupich as the new pastor of the third-ranking diocese in the U.S. has plunged this particularly dynamic component of American Catholicism into a profound depression, almost to the edge of a nervous breakdown. It is enough to scan the reactions of the websites and bloggers of this area to grasp the embarrassment and disappointment over the appointment.
On the contrary, the more progressive segment of American Catholicism, historically hypercritical of the recent pontificates, has celebrated with enthusiasm the arrival of Cupich, called a “moderate” by the secular press, a description typically used in the United States to indicate a “liberal” who may not be radicalized, but is still a “liberal.”
Cupich’s predecessor, Cardinal Francis E. George, had written not long ago in a column for the diocesan newspaper:
“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.”
George has always been highly critical of the secular tendency in the legislative field established under the presidency of Barack Obama, whom he has known well since he was a senator for Illinois. But it is difficult to imagine that his prophecy will come true, at least for his immediate successor.
Magister goes on to list past notable decisions on the part of Bp. Cupich, reminding his readers that the bishop was last of the ten men considered to lead the U.S. Conference in 2013 and that, once again, Pope Francis seems to have ignored both the advice of the Congregation for Bishops and the local Conference in his appointment.
Writing at Breitbart News Austin Ruse reports on a source close to Cardinal Burke about rumors of his upcoming removal from the powerful Apostolic Signatura, and his elimination from Church leadership.
Though it has been only a rumor until now, and has not yet been announced by the Vatican, a close associate of Cardinal Raymond Burke has told Breitbart News that the rumors of his departure are true, and the announcement is expected soon.
The source said Burke has been told he is out as head of the Apostolic Signatura and that he will assume the position of chaplain to the Order of Malta, a do-gooding organization of wealthy and sometimes European-titled Catholics.
The piece suggests that the Pope didn’t even offer common courtesy to the beloved and faithful prince of the Church.
The source also told Breitbart News that the Pope did not ask Cardinal Burke where he wanted to go, which would have been a friendly gesture to someone the Pope wanted out of the powerful position in what could be considered Chief Justice of the Vatican Supreme Court.
It is speculated that the Cardinal’s contribution toward an upcoming book which clarifies Church teaching on marriage, timed to coincide with the dreaded October Synod on the Family, might have something to do with this rough treatment.
In recent weeks, Burke has been outspoken that the upcoming planning session for the Synod of Bishops cannot change Church teaching on marriage. He went so far as to co-author a book with other Cardinals making this clear, something that puts Burke at odds with some of the closer associates of Pope Francis.