Cardinal Burke gives interview to CNS

This is right on.  

“We have to recognize that if we don’t get it right about marriage–in other words, if we’re not faithful to the word of Christ, to the truth which Christ announced to us about marriage–in the church, I don’t know how people can trust us with regard to teaching the truth of the faith in any other matter,” Burke said.

“We’re talking here about the very foundation of the life of the church, the first cell of our life, in the marital union and the formation of the family,” he said, “and if we don’t uphold the sanctity of the marital bond we have really not only abandoned the Catholic faith but really abandoned the Christian faith in the sense that we are abandoning the natural law itself.”

At the end of the interview, Cardinal Burke said that the church needs to once again clearly proclaim its teachings on marriage and sexuality and noted that it has already produced many texts explaining these teachings.

“The church must now in this period hold up the beauty, the splendor, of this teaching for the sake of her own members that they not be confused about the truth but also for the sake of our world and the church’s call to serve the world by proclaiming the truth and by giving witness to it,” he said.

“And, so, I’m praying very fervently that this coming year that this confusion will stop and instead that there will begin to be a strong emphasis on the beauty of the truth of the church’s teaching on marriage and on human life and human sexuality,” he said.

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9 Responses to Cardinal Burke gives interview to CNS

  1. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    From your quotation: “We have to recognize that if we don’t get it right about marriage–in other words, if we’re not faithful to the word of Christ, to the truth which Christ announced to us about marriage–in the church, I don’t know how people can trust us with regard to teaching the truth of the faith in any other matter,” Burke said.

    “We’re talking here about the very foundation of the life of the church, the first cell of our life, in the marital union and the formation of the family,” he said, “and if we don’t uphold the sanctity of the marital bond we have really not only abandoned the Catholic faith but really abandoned the Christian faith in the sense that we are abandoning the natural law itself.”

    Yes, the cardinal is absolutely right about this — and it points directly to the need for more the church to exercise her role as guardian of the sacraments through much more rigorous discernment of marriage before a wedding takes place, rather than relying on tribunals to say “Oops, we got it wrong!” after the fact.

    That said, the concerns that the proper discernment would drive people who do not have a firm commitment of faith will abandon the church in droves is very real. We might want to deal with deficient catechesis before we try to solve this problem. And dealing with deficient catechesis has multiple facets: we need not only to get competent catechists and effective catechetical programs into our parishes to teach those who are now in faith formation, but also make up the deficiencies in those who have ostensibly completed their catechesis. This was what the “New Evangelization” envisioned by Pope Benedict XVI was intended to do, but it seems to have been neutered somewhere in transmission from the Vatican to the parishes.

    Norm.

  2. John Walter S. says:

    We then shall hear “Hypocrite! Pharisee!” From the left. In fact, they’ve already barred Cardinal Burke from praying the Holy Mass at an Austrian Church, probably to host something like this:

    “But what about the remarried and the homosexuals, they really, really love each other! Surely, Jesus understands and agree with our sentiments that we should respect the right of men and women to do with each other things with their genitalia that feels good and brings about no new life, and for men and women to get married as many times as they want and to have sex with anyone they want as many times as they want without any repercussions from the Church! It’s 2014 after all, it’s not like Roman times!”

    And then we have some slick, verbose “experts” talking about the difference between doctrine and pastoral issues. I have come to hate the word “pastoral” as much as I hate how “pastor” is now what we call curates of churches especially when “pastoral” is now synonymous with “heterodoxy”! When our church no longer practices what she preaches, or changes what she preaches to suit the sinners and the lowest common denominator, then never have I seen larger hypocrites and pharisees since the times of Caiaphas!

    • Rev22:17 says:

      John,

      You wrote: “But what about the remarried and the homosexuals, they really, really love each other! Surely, Jesus understands and agree with our sentiments that we should respect the right of men and women to do with each other things with their genitalia that feels good and brings about no new life, and for men and women to get married as many times as they want and to have sex with anyone they want as many times as they want without any repercussions from the Church! It’s 2014 after all, it’s not like Roman times!”

      This attitude obviously is not compatible with Christian faith. The Christian is one who lives in submission to the Lord and to the Lord’s will, manifest in scripture — and the scriptures speak quite clearly to the issues of homosexuality, divorce, etc. We cannot harbor the attitudes manifest here and still claim to be authentically Christian.

      You wrote: And then we have some slick, verbose “experts” talking about the difference between doctrine and pastoral issues. I have come to hate the word “pastoral” as much as I hate how “pastor” is now what we call curates of churches especially when “pastoral” is now synonymous with “heterodoxy”!

      Yes, we obviously cannot compromise doctrine.

      It is important, however, to understand the difference between doctrine and discipline. Doctrine does permit some latitude in discipline. By way of illustration, doctrine permits the celebration of the eucharist according to the present ordinary form of the Roman Rite (that is, the missal promulgated by Blessed Paul VI), or according to the Tridentine form, or according to the form of “Divine Worship” based on the Anglican tradition, or according to the Byzantine Rite or the Coptic Rite or the Chaldean/Assyrian Rite — and it’s still the eucharist.

      In the same way, doctrine holds that the magisterium of the Catholic Church is the authoritative adjudicator of the validity of the sacraments, including Christian marriage — but doctrine does not specifically require the tribunal process of the present Codex Juris Canonici (Code of Canon Law) of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church to determine that a supposed marriage is sacramentally null and void. Rather, doctrine permits the magisterium of the church to adopt another process to make this determination.

      I agree with you with respect to “progressives” who want to throw away doctrine and adapt the church to their world view. However, the extreme Traditionalists at the opposite extreme, who refuse to admit any deviation from past practice even when the magisterium of the Church has authorized it, are just as disobedient and just as wrong.

      As to the change in terminology, our parishes have always had pastors. The replacement of “curates” with “parochial vicars,” however, is a more correct reflection of their canonical status: a “parochial vicar” actually reports directly to the diocesan bishop in his ministry, even though he collaborates with the canonical pastor.

      Norm.

      • John Walter S. says:

        We both know that we can’t change doctrine. Yet we find some excellent theological gymnasts running circles around people who prefer things cut and dries, because it is less reliable to grasp on something that isn’t firm. For whom do these theological gymnasts bend and twist? That 1-2% of the population who are most likely atheist anyways? If it seems like something simple that you can even see on the Bible as clearly as the Lord said, then we have reasons to suspect people who create all sorts of interpretations regarding what Our Lord meant.

        I know about other rites. One thing I notice is that there’s no such thing as “Extraordinary” or “Ordinary” forms for other liturgies.. So why the dysfunction in the Roman Rite? Is there something deficient with the liturgies of the Eastern Churches, or is the Roman Church just that special?

        It makes me think about the entire issue with SSPX and Traditionalist Catholics- The Church, I have no doubt, is very generous- the exception seems to be those who hold on to traditional Catholic devotions and the traditional Mass. I suspect the only reason SSPX is such a nuisance now is because the mainstream Church hasn’t really offered, or actively supported an alternative. You can tell the passive aggression from clergy and like-minded laypersons when the Latin Mass is brought up. They simply don’t want it, so they’ll prevent others from knowing it and loving it.

        I often hear disingenuous arguments about SSPX,, or even Latin Mass in general through arguments like “Well, people don’t understand Latin” Are those people seriously saying that everyone from the time Latin became the liturgical language of the Church of Rome to the 1970’s all the faithful Catholics knew how to read, write, and speak Latin? If not, why was that system treated as deleterious only after some 1,700 years in existence? The way Latin was fundamentally gutted from the life of the Church had done more damage by providing inter-ethnic rivalries and shoddy translations that are open for interpretations. No one benefits from that, not even priests, because the vernacular always changes with time.

        “Well, people don’t like the Latin Mass.” Again, the disingenuous argument ignores that there were no crowds of people storming the Vatican and their parishes with signed petitions demanding the vernacular- it was all orchestrated by liberal clergy even before the 20th century. So to use the argument that people don’t like the Latin Mass is dishonest- because people were already denied the Latin Mass and they had no say in its presumed suppression, just as they had been denied any information in the processes leading up to the promulgation of the the new Mass. Then suddenly, we’re supposed to expect people to express support for the Latin Mass before it’s taken into consideration by any priest or bishop? How can anyone love anything they don’t know about? A priest told me that he had a discussion with an older priest about the transition from the old Mass and the new Mass. “Why don’t they allow the old Mass anymore?” “Well, if they didn’t get rid of the old Mass, no one would go to the new Mass.”

        “Well, the Latin Mass is just so hard for us priests to learn, because you have to memorize so much, and no one really cares anyway.” How can you honestly expect anyone to care about the faith and their responsibilities to their religion, if your leaders aren’t willing to put all they can into their jobs? If wiping filth off the elderly were such an easy and pleasant job, then there would be more who are willing to care for the elderly, but sadly that is not the case; yet regardless of how we feel, we can’t let the elderly be neglected, and that is the same with the Mass. If it is made so easy for priests to the point where anyone can do it, then how is it worth doing, worth devoting your time and energies into more so than “because Jesus commanded it.”? From how I see it, the new Mass has a vibe of it being the bare minimum, but can you honestly love God and then just give Him the bare minimum?

      • Rev22:17 says:

        John,

        You wrote: We both know that we can’t change doctrine. Yet we find some excellent theological gymnasts running circles around people who prefer things cut and dries, because it is less reliable to grasp on something that isn’t firm. For whom do these theological gymnasts bend and twist? That 1-2% of the population who are most likely atheist anyways? If it seems like something simple that you can even see on the Bible as clearly as the Lord said, then we have reasons to suspect people who create all sorts of interpretations regarding what Our Lord meant.

        I rather think that poor catechesis that failed to distinguish between doctrine and discipline is the root of much of this confusion. The result is the perception that the world is caving in and everything is falling apart when the magisterium promulgates a change in discipline.

        Of course, it’s also true that there had been very few changes in discipline for four centuries prior to the Second Vatican Council and some pretty substantial changes in discipline in the first decade after that council. The pace of change caught many people off guard.

        You wrote: I know about other rites. One thing I notice is that there’s no such thing as “Extraordinary” or “Ordinary” forms for other liturgies.. So why the dysfunction in the Roman Rite?

        Some of the other liturgical rites actually do have multiple forms, though the choice may determined by the liturgical calendar rather than an option left to the principal celebrant.

        The other reality here, though, is that most other liturgical rites are the exclusive province of relatively small and homogeneous sui juris ritual churches with relatively uniform cultures. The Roman Rite, on the other hand, is global, and it must speak the gospel in a very broad spectrum of cultural and ethnic situations. This may dictate a practical need for more diverse options.

        You wrote: It makes me think about the entire issue with SSPX and Traditionalist Catholics- The Church, I have no doubt, is very generous- the exception seems to be those who hold on to traditional Catholic devotions and the traditional Mass. I suspect the only reason SSPX is such a nuisance now is because the mainstream Church hasn’t really offered, or actively supported an alternative. You can tell the passive aggression from clergy and like-minded laypersons when the Latin Mass is brought up. They simply don’t want it, so they’ll prevent others from knowing it and loving it.

        In fact, the Vatican has made very generous provision for several Traditionalist groups. Perhaps the most well known are the Fraternal Society of St. Peter (FSSP), formed by former members of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) who wanted to remain in full communion of the Catholic Church following the schism of that body, and the Personal Apostolic Administration of St. John Mary Vianney, formed by the reconciliation of the former Sacerdotal Society of St. John Mary Vianney, but there are also several smaller organizations that preserve the Tridentine form of the liturgy within the Catholic Church. The Vatican has also actively supported the celebration of the liturgy according to the Tridentine liturgical books where there are enough faithful to support it, first with the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1988 and expanded by Pope Benedict XVI with the motu proprio Summorum pontificam in 2007.

        I will grant you that many clergy and laity do not which to participate in this, but that is their individual option. A pastor, however, has a duty to provide for the legitimate pastoral needs of his parishioners.

        You wrote: I often hear disingenuous arguments about SSPX,, or even Latin Mass in general through arguments like “Well, people don’t understand Latin” Are those people seriously saying that everyone from the time Latin became the liturgical language of the Church of Rome to the 1970’s all the faithful Catholics knew how to read, write, and speak Latin? If not, why was that system treated as deleterious only after some 1,700 years in existence?

        Let’s not forget that the Roman Church began celebrating mass in Latin instead of Greek precisely because Latin was the language of the people — that is, the vernacular — in that time and place. When modern languages evolved in the middle ages, however, the mass remained in Latin with the consequence that the people became less and less part of it. Thus, the reversion to the custom of celebrating mass in the vernacular is simply a recovery of the authentic tradition rather than the novel innovation that many Traditionalists suppose.

        You wrote: From how I see it, the new Mass has a vibe of it being the bare minimum, but can you honestly love God and then just give Him the bare minimum?

        Unfortunately, the “bare minimum” is often what transpired for Sunday mass at the time of the Second Vatican Council I remember masses that were as short as sixteen minutes — and that included distribution of communion to the whole congregation! One seldom sees masses that rushed today.

        That said, I’ll be the first to say that the sloppy celebration of mass that takes place in many parishes today is an absolute disgrace. There is no reason why a parish mass should ever be the bare minimum. Clergy who skate by doing the bare minimum are doing a gross disservice to the church. The elimination of the distinction between a “solemn high mass” and a “high mass” and a “low mass” was intended to provide flexibility to accommodate different situations and varying degrees of available personnel and other resources. By all means, bring out the incense, the worthy music, etc., and do it right — even in a small community where there is no deacon!

        And until the pastors of my archdiocese figure this out and get their acts together, I’ll continue to drive by about half a dozen parishes to assist in the conventual mass of a Benedictine abbey whenever I’m able to do so.

        Norm.

      • John Walter S. says:

        I grant that celebrating in the vernacular isn’t all bad. It just irritates me when parish priests make a point of the “diversity” in the parish by having a mass delivered in several language ending up in a 3-hour mass. Yes, we know we have a Hispanic/Korean/Vietnamese/Polish/Filipino/Italian/Irish community, but it’s just ridiculous when priests in an attempt to harmonize everyone end up highlighting things that keep us different.

        Now, before you call me out on giving God our all, let me ask: if the tendency for priest throughout the ages is to end up doing the bare minimum anyway, then why bother with simplifying the liturgy? Isn’t that accommodating to people who already intend to just do the bare minimum?

        P.S. Can you imagine, however, a return to Latin? It’s not a dead language, it’s just used by a small group of people, usually hobbyists, but used seriously by the Roman Catholic Church. Seeing that this is part of our heritage as Roman Catholics, it escapes me as to why people in the Roman Church would like to call themselves any sort of Catholics but Roman.

  3. William Tighe says:

    Norm wrote:

    “Let’s not forget that the Roman Church began celebrating mass in Latin instead of Greek precisely because Latin was the language of the people — that is, the vernacular — in that time and place.”

    This is false and inaccurate. Are you acquainted with the life and work of the Late Dutch scholar of Latin and the liturgy, Christine Mohrmann (1903-1988). In her book *Liturgical Latin* (1957) and in a plethora of articles in Dutch, English and French, she demonstrated (and I would contend irrefutably) that the Mass-in-Latin as adapted and translated during the pontificate of Pope Damasus (366-284) was so archaizing and “sacral” as to be unintelligible to ordinary speakers of “vulgar” Latin in Italy and elsewhere, as indeed was the rather florid Latin used in those rites which are termed “Gallican” in France and in Spain (later on) Mozarabic. But why should I write more when I can direct the interested to these?

    http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2014/09/ordinariate-festival-3-our-rite.html

    http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2014/02/liturgists-1-open-warfare.html

    http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2009/09/very-old-and-strange-latin.html:

    • John Walter S. says:

      Well, this information is inconvenient to anyone who wants to humiliate supporters of the Latin Mass for their ignorance and heresy, so like Bugnini and his generation, let’s just ignore it.

      Latin was the vernacular, but people used it beyond Rome because it was a prestige language; it’s a phenomenon that still happens today. When in Mass, people just don’t understand why a sacral language is necessary: yes, God can understand your prayer in English as well as in Latin, but it decreases the majesty of the Liturgy by things like changing “chalice” into “cup” and using the Liturgy as an ideological platform for socialism. That the Latin Mass is a platform for promoting the monarchy of God being summed up as Pharisaical and heretical is in fact blaspheming against His Majesty who deserves all glory and worship. It is God that we worship, not “The People”.

      How realistic is it for Latin Mass to become prevalent again? Very unrealistic, considering how ignorant people are nowadays. So I have come to the conclusion that Mass in the vernacular isn’t all that bad. It’s just mostly bad.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        John,

        YOu wrote: … but it decreases the majesty of the Liturgy by things like changing “chalice” into “cup”…

        Really?

        How so?

        Yes, I really don’t see how this matters. What really degrades the liturgy is a slovenly manner of celebration lacking in reverence, racing through the words without yielding one’s heart and one’s spirit to the Lord — and in that regard, it does not matter whether one celebrates in Latin or in the vernacular and it really does not matter whether one uses the Tridentine missal or the present missal.

        (But in case you have not noticed, the revised translation of the Roman Missal into English has replaced “cup” with “chalice” in the institution narrative.)

        Norm.

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