Burke Disses Fellow Cardinals & the Pope

by Michael Sean Winters

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In a radio interview, soon-to-be Cardinal Raymond Burke said that the reason many in the Church do not see eye-to-eye with him on the necessity of denying communion to pro-choice politicians is because they live "in a society that’s completely secularized. The God-centred thinking which has marked the discipline of the Church is not easily understood by those who are bombarded day-in and day-out with a kind of God-less approach to the world and to many questions."

So, to be clear, Cardinal O'Malley, Cardinal McCarrick, Cardinal Egan, Cardinal Mahony, Cardinal George, Cardinal Rigali, Cardinal DiNardo, and Cardinal Levada, none of whom share Burke's interpretation of the relevant Canon 915, all of them have lost their "God-centered thinking" because of the secular society in which they live. Oh, and what about Pope Benedict and the late Pope John Paul II, neither of whom denied communion to politicians based on their specific policy positions.

If you want to listen to the audio, you will hear his remarks on the sex abuse crisis. It is not clear to me that he really grasps the difficulty. I especially like the way this champion of traditionalism, right down to his cappa magna, advocated the necessity of sound moral theology in the seminaries, when most of the priest-predators attended pre-Vatican II seminaries. They wore their cassocks and birettas, but that didn't keep some of them from becoming moral ogres.

I understand that it was a good thing to kick Burke upstairs and get him out of St. Louis. I understand that the desk job he landed comes automatically with a red hat. But, I understand too that this man insults the communion of the faith with these dismissive remarks that indict his brother bishops. He is an embarrassment. The Church has survived embarrassments before and she will survive this one too, but can't someone in the papal apartment tell him not to give any more interviews and pull his passport?

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