Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cardinal Burke: The backlash?

Churchmen and their rivalries.
Fr. Z seems to be the first to mention it, citing the response from National Catholic Reporter in his post "NCR bitter about Cardinal Burke" which was also picked up by Pewsitters.  Will more be forthcoming?  Cardinal Burke has made some enemies - in high places mind you.  Who will come out of the wood work next?
Cardinal Burke is not only a champion of the Extraordinary Form Mass and all things baroque, he has become something of a hero to faithful Catholics.  He has also found himself at political odds with a fellow bishop or two, as well as liberal Catholics.  While bishop of LaCrosse, Burke also became a patron of what many of his clerical critics describe as fringe religious communities, including a community of two teaching sisters, one of whom happened to be a transgendered male.  That particular story became well known despite the fact the community was quickly disbanded - after a 'concerned' albeit 'devout' traditional Catholic woman went over Burke's head in a canonical complaint to the Vatican.  The woman enthusiastically, but discreetly broadcast the details of her triumph in religious goods stores and at church donuts and coffee events throughout the area.  The irony is that the whistle-blower and her audience were people who ought to have been Bishop Burke's closest allies!  Now that he is named Cardinal, I'm sure they will claim to be just that, but you have to wonder - with friends like that, just imagine what his enemies will do. 
As the most outspoken American bishop on moral and political issues affecting Catholics, it is only to be expected the new Cardinal will be scrutinized, vilified, and attacked.  I think it is safe to say Cardinal Burke is very much in need of our prayers. 
And maybe keep in mind that Cardinals do not wear the red for fashion.


  1. I will definitely lift up the new cardinal in prayer...may Our Lady Bless him and watch over him.


  2. I know barely anything about Cardinal Burke; I try to pray for all who are in leadership positions in the Church. I do however wish that some of the ones who seem to polarize people would remember that the Gospel isn't a right, left, liberal, or conservative thing

  3. michael r.7:26 AM

    Perfect note, Melody. It is a big tent. Many of the people who are thrilled about Cardinal Burke are screaming about Cardinal Wuerl.

  4. Huh? A backlash to the truth being openly stated by someone in hierarchy? Holy smoke. What a surprise.

    Side note: Melody, I'm thinking you are not implying Burke is one of those who are polarizing the Church but rather his critics. If I am wrong about that, oops, and wondering how does a Cardinal, or anyone for that matter, who upholds the teaching magisterium of the Church polarize Her (except maybe by unearthing the dissidents).

    As email and comments are faceless, please don't read grump or cranky. I am feeling great, coffee in hand, LOTH at hand and smiling as I type.

  5. Owen - I love your disclaimer - how funny the internet is that a simple remark can be taken out of context and interpreted.

  6. Melody - as usual, wise counsel - thanks.

  7. When I'd heard about that, I thought it was pretty bizarre.

    For all you know, whatever bragging was done after the fact, it may have proven salutary to this man that he was rebuffed in what he was trying to do.

  8. As for 'fringe religious communities' I like that idea very much - it reminds me of the passage from Hebrews, "Let us go to him outside the camp to share his shame."

  9. Our association of the faithful wasn't "imported" to the Diocese of La Crosse; nevertheless, we, also are considered "wackos" in some circles...probably in the mind of the "quoted priest" in your linked article.
    That's okay.
    We have been obedient and have attempted to be a "leaven" in our Diocese, no matter what those who either do not understand nor want what we have to offer nor respect us.
    We've withstood the test of time and trial over the years; thanks to Cardinal-elect Burke, we have been able to remain steadfast throughout the criticism and rejection of our peers. I've lost numerous friends and acquaintances; I've gained many more friends/companions and fellow seekers.
    The sad story of the "Servants of Jesus" ended on a tragic note: the other sister died in a car accident.
    The woman who made all of this public was the former director of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe; and there's more to the story (of which I cannot share publically)...she was mad as hell about some other things and this "retribution", it might seem, was the result of her anger.

  10. Father - be happy to share in the 'shame' - as I referred to the passage from Hebrews. You are fortunate to have the Cardinal as your protector and father. I also have met 'that' woman - anger issues indeed - never a good sign.

    As for the two sisters, their story is indeed tragic and were once again victimized. My prayers for them.

    God bless you Father - and prayers for you as well. These are difficult times.

  11. Thanks, Terry.
    Yeah, you betcha!
    I'm re-reading the biography of Mother Benedict, foundress of Regina Laudis in CT; very rich and encouraging...for her, the Cross in all its manifestations: rejection, trials, calumny, lack of funds, misunderstanding...etc.
    are all signs of Jesus' blessing; of God's promise to "remain with us forever."
    And I thank Him, I bless Him, I adore Him for what I have previously been depressed about, angry about, ready to kill somebody about, ready to chuck it and go be a complete hedonist about...ooppps, shouldn't bare my soul so much, eh?
    Yet, dammit, this Christian life is hard; we should not be afraid to say it.
    Jesus Crucified; only Him; only Him.
    This life on earth stinks sometimes and that's okay.
    That's why we need Him and one another; we need one another.
    Thank you, Mr. Terry.

  12. I also just came across something from Teresa of Avila:

    "I was once thinking about their desire to supress this monastery of discalced nuns, and of whether it was their intention little by little to put an end to them all. I heard, 'They are attempting this, but it will not succeed - on the contrary.'"

  13. Anonymous11:35 PM

    Padre--I can't begin to tell you what a profound effect Mother Benedict has had on me, as well as their chant. She and their chant played an integral role in my conversion --I speak of conversion though Catholic from my Baptism--due to my heathen heart and pagan lifestyle--anyway there is a secret in my heart about this Abbey, and a longing...
    Anyway--Bosco's Bio was really superb, wasn't it? I loved this:

    " is so difficult to love God. It takes so long to get there. Saint Benedict says all you have to bring to Christ is the offering to share in His Passion, and you go through a rigorous process to get there. If you choose this path, it propels you into the Passion of Christ. Saint Benedict defines this whole process as being patient--it comes from the word patior, meaning 'to suffer'. You have to suffer to continue the work of redemption, even while you never know who you are redeeming. This is all a mystery; we can never understand this rationally, and only by grace can we choose the redemptive path that Christ opened to us. In a small way, or a big way, we have to die within ourselves to further the movement of the Church", said Mother Benedict.

    She understood the meaning of the Cross, didn't she? Quite something, she was. She persisted w/ the habit and the chant and the divine office when all the world was saying: go the other way. I love that when she got here she and Sister Aileen did not have enough money for a cab in New York. And, better yet, that they landed in Bethlehem. LOL.

  14. Thanks, Maria.
    I agree absolutely.
    Her legacy gives me such hope, strength, and vision to go persevere...
    God is good!


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