One of the best summaries yet on Cardinal Burke’s demotion

I have not known where to begin in this story about Cardinal Burke, but Damian Thompson does a good job of summing it up with great links to other interesting sources.

He writes:

The legendary Italian Vatican blogger Sandro Magister reported yesterday that Cardinal Burke is about to be ‘decapitated’. He will lose his job as head of the Vatican’s ‘Supreme Court’, which has the power to overrule unjust decisions by other curial departments. According to Magister, he will instead become patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, an honorary position normally reserved for ancient retired cardinals. Burke, a former Archbishop of St Louis greatly admired by Benedict XVI, is only 66 – a mere teenager in Vatican years. The ultra-traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli says this would be ‘the greatest humiliation of a curial cardinal in living memory’, and for once it is not overstating its case.

Why is this happening? The priest-blogger Fr Z, an ally of Burke’s, warns us not to jump to conclusions: it’s possible that the cardinal’s department is being merged with another as part of Pope Francis’s radical simplification of the Roman Curia. But we can’t ignore two factors:

1. Burke has highly placed enemies, who use the ‘progressive’ American magazine the National Catholic Reporter to make fun of his elaborate liturgical style. What they really hate about Burke, however, is his pugnacious attitude towards politicians (including nominally Catholic ones) who subvert traditional Catholic teaching on sexual morality.

 

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26 Responses to One of the best summaries yet on Cardinal Burke’s demotion

  1. EPMS says:

    I know this is irrelevant to a larger and more substantive issue, but follwing up on this story has led me to pictures of some of the most OTT vestment displays I have ever seen.

  2. TACit no more says:

    Over The Top.

  3. EPMS says:

    Over The Top: sorry to be obscure. On further reflection, I do see some relevance, to the extent that a man like Pope Francis, who feels called to reject the Papal Apartments, the fancy car, etc in favour of a visibly abstemious lifestyle must have some problem with a cleric who commissions US$12,000 chasubles in all seven liturgical colours, ditto $2,000 gloves and $3,000 mass slippers. And much more, as photos reveal. I recall that the bishop of Limburg was removed from office after reports of his conspicuous spending became widespread.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: On further reflection, I do see some relevance, to the extent that a man like Pope Francis, who feels called to reject the Papal Apartments, the fancy car, etc in favour of a visibly abstemious lifestyle must have some problem with a cleric who commissions US$12,000 chasubles in all seven liturgical colours, ditto $2,000 gloves and $3,000 mass slippers.

      Bishops who do not belong to religious orders are not under a vow of charity.

      You wrote: I recall that the bishop of Limburg was removed from office after reports of his conspicuous spending became widespread.

      The issue there actually was bad administration: the cost of a new facility housing an apartment and a chapel for the bishop, facilities for official receptions, and administrative offices exploded, greatly exceeding the approved amounts.

      But what was worse is that he cut diocesan salaries to raise the money for the project on the backs of the diocese’s employees.

      Norm.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Everybody,

        I wrote: … not under a vow of charity.

        Argh! I meant a vow of poverty.

        Yes, we all are human….

        Norm.

  4. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    This article is best taken with a grain of salt unless and until what it projects actually happens. Few of the rumors of conservative bishops being demoted actually materialize. In this instance, the following paragraph in the article by Mr. Magister to which you provided a link is key.

    In the past, in fact, the title of “cardinalis patronus” of the knights of Malta, in existence since 1961, like the previous one of Grand Prior of Rome, has always been assigned to the highest ranking cardinals as an extra position in addition to the main one.

    This really sounds like a whisper that the cardinal was being considered for the position led some Traditionalist to jump to conclusions and go ballistic in the blogosphere, as happens often, even with no explicit indication of papal intent to deviate from past precedent.

    As it pertains to principles in the Roman Curia, the papal audiences listed in yesterday’s Vatican Information Service (VIS) bulletin are actually much more intriguing. The listings show separate audiences yesterday with Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, without Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the prefect of that congregation, and the day before with Archbishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei,” also without Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the ex officio president of that pontifical commission. It is extremely unusual for the pope to meet with secretaries of curial dicasteries without the heads thereof, so the absence of Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller from both audiences is indeed really strange!

    Norm.

  5. Thomas Torck says:

    There are worse offenses than spending $10,000 on chasubles.

    What about liturgical abuse? You are saying that a bishop’s spending habits are worse than how he worships God? What about catechesis? What about those Christians in the Middle East? The lack of vocations? The shrinking birthrate? The influx of Muslim immigrants? Surely, there’s more to do than to hunt down cardinals he doesn’t like so that he can have his poor Church.

    I really hate Pope Francis, and I hope he goes away. I can’t lie and say I don’t. If he says something that I have to follow, sure, but I’m not going to register as a socialist in the next elections and sell the things I earned by working and saving. This Pope worships the false god of Poverty, like many Jesuits. (And at the same time, no one really wants to admit how much the Pope REALLY spends, even in his “humble” Casa Santa Martha, or how much he spent going to South Korea and other places.)

    • EPMS says:

      Oh dear. I was only speculating about a perceived discrepancy in priorities. They could all be equally worthy, objectively speaking, but when you are the pope you get to focus on the ones that are important to you.

      • Thomas Torck says:

        Yeah, well. He’s the Pope. It’s irrelevant if I like or don’t like him. Maybe God will punish me for not being charitable to his vicar on Earth and expressing a contrary opinion.

  6. François-Robert Laliberté Fournier, deacon says:

    Cardinal Burke should tke a 2 months in silence and prayer in a Trappist monastery, and use ordinary wool gloves to work in the garden. I remember th 50ties when as a kid I was seviing mass to the bishop of …….. Those days are gone. And I hope they will never come back.Lace and velvet gloves are for Kings and Madame Elisabeth of England.

    • Thomas Torck says:

      I say Cardinal Burke should become an anti-Pope and Pope Francis ought to be deposed. But that’s as likely as him being sent to a monastery the same way pedophile priests have been shuffled around by so many bishops in the Catholic Church. Is that what you want? To punish a cardinal not for heterodoxy and misleading the faithful, but for spending $10,000 on chasubles? Truth be told, if it is for Christ, I would spend $100,000, and sell my blood and liver just to glorify him. All you want is to feel comfortably morally superior as you retire and die an atheist.

      If you don’t want those times to come back, what you really want is more banality. And when something has become banal, there’s nothing left but contempt. That explains why there’s no real respect for the blessed sacraments; let’s banalize communion like it’s getting your parking tickets validated for attending Mass. The bishop or priest shouldn’t even wear chasubles. Just a suit and tie, just like everyone. Is Jesus being praised as King? That’s so extravagant, let’s just have a simple cross. In fact, let’s have no cross at all. Let’s never talk about Jesus as Christ, but just Jesus the Carpenter, the Moral Teacher, Jesus the Social Worker, but never God, never King, because that’s so extravagant for a simple, poor Jewish rabbi from Nazareth.

      And demagoguery. Let’s talk about the poor, as if we can eliminate poverty. Let’s talk about the inequalities of the world, as if God owes us equality. Let’s talk about corruption, as if we are not ourselves so fallen. Let’s talk about loving our neighbors, while they behead and rape our children, or to encourage them in their apathy because the worst sin for people like you is to offend people with extravagance.

      • Deacon FrançoisRobert Laliberté Fournier says:

        If you like to spend money on Church garbs ,it is up to you. If you like Cardinals and bishops sitting on the back of a velvet Cadillac, like i knew, it’s up to you. Francis of Assisifouhgt againts that, reform the Church by staying Inside of it. You like laces and velvet gloves, the Lefebvrist wait for you. They have a house near where I live,i know their prctoces, so don’t be shy. But not for me. I prefer to stay whith ordinary and simple men and women like Jesus was. He was’nt waering expensive rings and diamond on the cross.

  7. Thomas Torck says:

    But Jesus worshiped at a Temple, and He, as a Jew, prayed. He did not attack the Sadducees and the Pharisees for the garments they wore in the ritual performed in the Temple- it was pleasing to God, and that is why God allowed His holy priests vestments of jewels and expensive purple-dyed clothes; in fact, the only person I know of who spoke out against extravagance was Judas Iscariot, who complained that the gnard broken to anoint Our Lord’s feet could have been sold to give to the poor.

    I say to you, Deacon, that your good intentions leads you to follow Judas Iscariot in your failure to give to God the honor that is due to Him- Not with reeds and thorns, nor rags do we give God, but you are happy to do the bare minimum, full of pride about your humility and talk unceasingly about the poor; maybe you can be a communist instead, where they always talk about injustice, and inequality, and the poor, but they have no king but their self-righteousness.

  8. Thomas Torck says:

    As for Saint Francis- the man is not the garden gnome happily portrayed as such by a certain generation of post-war clergy. That man was tough, and none of us today can compare to him, not even the Pontiff from Argentina because, truly, not one of us can stomach the notion of a Crusade; we hide behind armies and then complain that they kill or die too much.

    You dishonor the memory of a saint by portraying him as an iconoclast, a rebel, a revolutionary. Shame on you for attributing to St. Francis the characteristics of the Devil.

    He was meticulous in the ceremonials of the Mass, insisting that every sacred vessel and vestment be the best, and his Rule dismissed any friar who parted from the Pope on the slightest article of Faith. But you all bought in to the myth of what you wanted Francis to be, some sort of free spirit in the ways modernists have described “freedom”, that is, freedom even from God.

  9. Thomas Torck says:

    It also find astonishing the barefaced hypocrisy these poverty-worshippers have, but out of charity, maybe it is out of ignorance and insufficient self-reflection; Jesus was impoverished though he knew the trade of St. Joseph so he wasn’t a bum; he taught us to give to the poor, and so forth- but you rarely see these outraged ecclesiastical primitivists selling all their belongings and joining a religious order, yea, even at the price of leaving one’s job, family and friends out of their incredible love for the downtrodden and those who need salvation. How likely do we find these people daring to go to Raqqa in Syria to evangelize the infidels there? They’re a lot like those rich celebrities criticizing other rich people for being rich, when in fact it’s because they don’t conform to their ideology. And you can see it by the fact that not a single one came down from their perch of judgement to “practice what they preach” and find all sorts of excuses and circumlocutions that would make the Pharisees proud.

    You want to emulate Christ, but you like to compare others to him so you can judge them, even though the most convincing thing, the most surest thing I can wager on is our sinfulness and the necessity to repent for your own sins and not criticize a cardinal’s choice to buy expensive vestments who bought them not for the sake of his self-indulgence but for the glorification of Our God and His Church.

  10. EPMS says:

    I think this started out as an observation that Pope Francis had rejected many of the trappings of wealth and power that accompany the papacy, and might thus be unsympathetic to conspicuous consumption among other members of the hierarchy. I consider it impossible to know the motives either of the hapless poster(s) you are lambasting or the cardinal who chose to buy expensive vestments, so personal judgement seems inappropriate.

    • Thomas Torck says:

      I have seen so much hatred for Cardinal Burke, that it is only right to lambaste them for celebrating his “demotion”. Cardinal Burke is a good and kind man, and he does not deserve the sort of rubbish poverty-worshipers throw at him all over the place. It’s a bloody outrage. What’s more, those people use Our Lord like a troglodyte uses a club to beat people with about how we should all be poor and filled with guilt about the Church being rich and powerful, all the while ranting about the “Millions” who died in the Inquisition and Crusades, as if Cardinal Burke’s actions are comparable to beheading a million Sudanese Yazidi babies.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Thomas,

        You wrote: I have seen so much hatred for Cardinal Burke, that it is only right to lambaste them for celebrating his “demotion”. Cardinal Burke is a good and kind man, and he does not deserve the sort of rubbish poverty-worshipers throw at him all over the place. It’s a bloody outrage.

        I agree with you — and the rumors are of a supposed “demotion” that has not yet come to pass.

        However, this is a two way street. There are many Traditionalists who routinely vilify bishops who are acting in a manner consistent with papal directives, and even the last several popes, for actions that don’t square with their thinking. Several of those individuals have posted vicious comments on this blog from time to time.

        The word “catholic” means universal — and indeed the Catholic Church is a universal body where the one true faith professed in the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed, and explained concisely in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, finds many valid expressions in liturgical celebration and spirituality. To be truly catholic, we all must profess the one true faith taught by the authentic magisterium and embrace those who choose to express and to celebrate this one true faith in a manner that differs from our own preferences as brothers and sisters in our risen Lord.

        Norm.

      • Thomas Torck says:

        Yes, there are those rad trads who villify bishops for whatever reason, but that’s irrelevant, it’s a false dichotomy, because traditionalists are in the fringes, while the mainstream support the sentiment which has brought about constant criticism of Cardinal Burke, and even his removal from the Signatura.

        I’m more interested in those people who criticize Cardinal Burke but has no words to say anything about Daneels, Weakland, Mahony, Dolan, Wuerl, and the rest- what they say DOES matter because they are a gauge of the health of the Church; if 50% of Catholics in the United States are only in name (Because of their inconsistency towards following what the Church teaches in issues like contraception, abortion, etc.), and the faith has been decreasing over the last few decades, then you have to look at who is responsible for that destruction, and those who were complicit in their inaction or negligence.

        I don’t like Pope Francis, but I’m not obliged to like Pope Francis, I’m obliged to follow what he teaches, what the Church teaches, yet I’m an evil man for not agreeing to the sentiment of liking Pope Francis or joining the chorus of his adulators and rightly criticizing the demonization of Cardinal Burke.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Thomas,

        You wrote: Yes, there are those rad trads who villify bishops for whatever reason, but that’s irrelevant, it’s a false dichotomy, because traditionalists are in the fringes, while the mainstream support the sentiment which has brought about constant criticism of Cardinal Burke, and even his removal from the Signatura.

        Really?

        I have to confess that I don’t know anybody who has criticized Cardinal Burke….

        You continued: I’m more interested in those people who criticize Cardinal Burke but has no words to say anything about Daneels, Weakland, Mahony, Dolan, Wuerl, and the rest…

        … but I hear lambasting of Cardinal Dolan and Cardinal Wuerl quite often from Traditionalist quarters — and they are not exactly the radical liberals that you portray them to be. Pope Benedict XVI is not exactly known for appointing liberals to episcopal office, nor for promoting them to more prestigious sees and giving them red hats.

        You said: … if 50% of Catholics in the United States are only in name (Because of their inconsistency towards following what the Church teaches in issues like contraception, abortion, etc.), and the faith has been decreasing over the last few decades, then you have to look at who is responsible for that destruction, and those who were complicit in their inaction or negligence.

        My earlier point is that this is not exactly a new situation. Rather, it’s a situation that existed seven or eight decades ago, and probably before that. What has changed is that many people, freed from the shackles of cultural and familial pressure, are now being honest about their lack of belief rather than maintaining the false pretenses of the past.

        You wrote: I don’t like Pope Francis, but I’m not obliged to like Pope Francis, I’m obliged to follow what he teaches, what the Church teaches, yet I’m an evil man for not agreeing to the sentiment of liking Pope Francis or joining the chorus of his adulators and rightly criticizing the demonization of Cardinal Burke.

        I don’t hear anybody saying that you are evil because you don’t agree with some sentiment. The comment by another poster about name calling is valid: that is not very civil, and it speaks much more about you than about the people about whom you pretend to speak.

        Also, you are right that we have no obligation to like the pope, but we do need to respect him. For better or worse, he is God’s choice to lead us in the present day.

        Norm.

  11. EPMS says:

    You seem to be the only one “ranting” about anything on this blog. If you are finding this therapeutic, go for it, but if you are hoping to help others examine their ideas more closely and critically it is probably unhelpful to compare them to Judas Iscariot, troglodytes, and ISIS jihadis, at least right off the top. Just a suggestion.

    • Thomas Torck says:

      Oh, if being called Judas Iscariot, troglodyte, and jihadist is considered offensive and hurtful, you should look at what Jesus called the first Pope. “Satan”. Muslims and Jews call us polytheists and idolators, Atheists call us deluded, we call each other heretics, and so forth.

      At least I did not compare them to Satan, but I don’t hesitate to call rebelliousness and wickedness as Satanic in spirit. Judas, Troglodytes, and Jihadists could all have been forgiven by Christ, but Satan is a whole different low.

  12. EPMS says:

    Apropos of social media and the recent synod, I see that Cardinal Burke turned to BuzzFeed to (all but officially) confirm his removal from the Signatura. Although he does not, as he says, have the letter in his hand he clearly feels he has nothing to lose by deploring the pope’s handling of the synod, here and in a number of other news outlets to whom he has given interviews. Is he the Pope-in-waiting, or doomed to play Zyuganov to Pope Francis’s Gorbachev?

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