"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Is the Church not merciful?

A faithful son of the Church.

"We cannot use language that is more or less ambiguous to please the world." - Cardinal Burke

I think one of the meanest and most subversive suggestions allegedly coming from a few of the synod participants is that the Church has not been merciful.

Hasn't Catholic teaching always been characterized by mercy?  Isn't that what the Church stands for?

It seems to me some prelates may be mischaracterizing Catholic teaching as harsh and intolerant, lacking in mercy, with the implication that Church teaching forges burdens too heavy to carry.  In other words, suggesting that up until now, the Church has been a cruel task master, governed by Pharisees?

"I am offended by the abysmal idea that, until today, bishops and priests could not have been merciful." - Cardinal Burke
They say that times have changed, that we can no longer talk about natural law, or of the indissolubility of marriage…But man has not changed. He continues to be as God has wanted him to be. It is true that the world has become secularized, but this is a reason to all the more speak the truth in a clear and forceful way. It is our duty, but to do this, as St. John Paul II taught in Evangelium Vitae, we have to call things by their own name. We cannot use language that is more or less ambiguous to please the world. - Cardinal Burke

Jesus, I trust in you.  You alone.


  1. The words “WE CANNOT...” and “I AM OFFENDED” are a giveaway to the Cardinal’s personal problems.

    The Church TEACHES us to be merciful. It can only be merciful when we ourselves are merciful, and seek the mercy we are all in need of.

    1. Oh, so you know the Cardinal then? I wasn't aware that he was constrained by any personal problems.

    2. You do now. :)

  2. LOL at Burke..displaying exactly the self righteous pissiness that the Pope is the exact opposite of.

    The Catholic Faith IS merciful..as bg says it TEACHES us to be merciful. Are individual parishes, priests, Cardinals and Bishops merciful...that is a different story.

    Stop by any different combox just about this particular issue..like say Crisis magazine where people like Austin Ruse are constantly posting articles on gay issues, throwing outrageous claims that he doenst back up ( did you read his piece supposedly on "marriage," that was mostly an axe to grind with the Kennedy family and dragging that poor wife who killed herself ....) and the combox is filled with people calling out others for not being "faithful,"...telling people they are going to hell..homo "sex," uals ...whatever that is supposed to mean though I think its not a merciful act of brotherly love) "sodomites," and references to anal sex and "playing with poop," ....none of those things are just Crisis Magazines provence...its everywhere on Catholic comboxs. Look at that gay bashing incident, all kids who went to Catholic schools.

    Now am I blaming the Church for rude people (they are everywhere on the internet not just Catholics) or gay bashing incidents? No...the Faith is merciful but do we as Catholics practice that mercy and is that presented at the parish level (sometimes parish "politics," can make you think Catholics are the nastiest customers out there...) Something is going on...somehow the boat is being missed.

    I think that is the point the paper, to not change doctrine but to reinforce mercy and love in how we deal with each other and how we bring people to the Church. I think Burke is an example of what we dont' want to be....defensive and pissy and one of the reasons people stay far away from any organized religion.

    I know you like Burke Terry, and I have really no axe to grind with him as I don't know that much about him, but his comments about the Synod have really made him look like a sour old prune. Its entirely his right to disagree, as a matter of fact its needed desperately to get everyone involved..but his comments dont seem that constructive IMO.

  3. The amazing thing about Cardinal Burke is that he has zero--and I mean ZERO--personal charisma. I met him at a men's conference several years ago and he freely mingled with the crowd and made himself present. He also has no guile or sense of self-importance. He's gained prominence through integrity, humility and earnestly plodding along. His ascent to prominence can only be explained by the Holy Spirit.

    BTW, my favorite Synod moment was after Muller called the relatio "shameful" he then disowned the comment and said, "I don't talk like that." Liar, liar, pants on fire! Anyone who follows Muller knows that's exactly how he talks. I always find his stray, over-the-top phrases very amusing.

    1. Did you miss his holiness entirely? He is a total sweetheart.

  4. Great comments. I'm not sure why Burke is so disliked. He's from around my neck of the woods you know, and I kinda know a bit 'about' him. He's really a good guy - he's incredibly kind and compassionate and quite more open than people imagine. What that tells me is that a public persona isn't a good barometer to judge another.

    I might contact the Cardinal about doing a paper-doll set with cappa magnas, galeros, die-cut lace and so on.

    I know nothing about Muller - nothing. His doctrine strikes me as sound and very Catholic.

    That said - I think something is wrong in Germany - it started with Luther. Then, as Basil Fawlty pointed out, they started the war(s).


    1. My comment was not about ‘disliking Burke’ the man, or even the priest, just an observation on the way he expresses his ‘personal’ feelings when he judges others have offended him. He chooses to make it ‘personal’.

    2. That's cool - I was really mentioning the like/dislike stuff in answer to Mack saying he knows I like Burke. I like a wide variety of people.

      I'm happy to leave you with your opinion however. I'm not trying to be disagreeable, but I'd like to say I really don't think Burke was taking any of this personally. Rather, I really believe he was speaking about articulated teaching on faith and morals and the 'apparent' attempt to trample it down or cast it aside. I mean that in the sense how Lot and his family were rightly offended by the sins of Sodom and the demands of the Sodomites. I understood what the Cardinal said in that sense: Burke saying he was offended was meant in just that sense, I think. It's sort of like when we speak of fearing God - it has nothing to do with being afraid of God - or terrorized by him.

      The context of how and what Cardinal Burke said/says demonstrates - in my opinion - that he is not speaking for himself or from personal feelings or sentiment - he is speaking as a representative of the faithful, as a father, a pastor.

      The public perception of the interactions of the participants has been manipulated and the exchanges between actors highly dramatized, and subsequently editorialized. It can be very misleading.

      God's in his heaven all's right with the world.

  5. I do know Cardinal Burke and have had several occasions to speak with him personally as well as correspond. He was my Archbishop and a fine man. This whole issue is hurting, but I cannot -- will not -- cast aspersions upon his words or demeanor. A humble and convicting man who speaks the truth from his heart and is indeed pastoral; not at all the mean bulldog the media would have you think he is. If something is bothering me about what he says, the problem isn't his. It's mine.

  6. I only met Cardinal Burke once, on Fr. Hardon's last retreat because he was taking over supervision of the Marian Catechist program. Fr. Hardon was, so to speak, transferring the mantle. He impressed me. And I think every Catholic should be offended by what the Synod has done. The manipulation, the lies, the clear modernist agenda of those controlling the perceptions.... It just goes on and on.

    Portraying the Church as though this is the first time in history that a pope has been merciful is a slander on every previous pope and it's nonsense. The problem is that it isn't mercy the world is looking for. The world doesn't believe in sin. Who needs mercy? They want ear-tickling and approval.

    As for Austin Ruse, he's right. How else do you characterize homosexual behavior? They do "play in poop" and consider anal sex equivalent to marital intercourse. Stating that is simply a fact. You can dress it up in euphemistic language, but it doesn't change the facts. We tell children such behavior will make them sick (because it will) and discourage it. But to "be merciful" we are supposed to lie and tell active homosexuals their disordered attraction is a "gift." Lying isn't merciful.

    1. Thanks for proving my point Mary Ann. And I know you want to believe what you want to believe, (or what Voris might tell you is true) but once again, the letter said that gay people have gifts to bring to the Church, not that their sexuality is a gift. The climate is changing under Pope Francis, not the doctrine, and bitter and angry is being pushed into the corner where it belongs.

    2. I'm bitter and angry and I'm not going anywhere! In fact, I'm just getting warmed up!


      Come late February it looks like I'll be 'playing in poop' again. No, not the puppy I recently potty trained, but a baby boy! I'm going to name him 'Raymond Leo'. Or maybe just 'Gabriel'.

    3. Good for you and congratulations!

      Don't worry all, they didn't pass anything...(as if anyone thought that they would...especially considering the hysterical reactions that came with it.) Things are still creaky and musty in the old attic..but Pope Francis opened a window to let in a little air and sun.

      A puppy and a baby..very cool as they are going to grow up together, but yea, a lot of poop!

    4. Okay - now the conversation is in the toilet. Let's move on.

    5. Spoil Sport!! But lol on the toilet pun..but really Terry, if you went to grade school in the 70s you should know it the Lavatory...

    6. "The climate is changing under Pope Francis, not the doctrine, and bitter and angry is being pushed into the corner where it belongs."

      I don't know. Am I the only one who finds some of these comments from the Pope and the Relatio kind of condescending and patronizing? And I say this as a gay guy...

      So many people eat it up as if it's a wonderful change in tone but it has always rubbed me the wrong way. I mean think about it. "Who am I to judge?" Where I'm from that's just a polite why of saying, "Look, um, I don't really want to get too deep into your issues"... And "Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer"? Well la de da don't we all.

      It's not so much the tone but what's not being said that's the issue. If I were a liberal secularist, I wouldn't give a f-ck what the Church thought about my gifts or some Pope's judgment (or lack thereof). But I would rejoice that someone has been finally able to shut her up about the sinfulness of my sexual activities.

    7. "Who am I to judge" is taken out of context; he was talking about ordained priests, celibate but with same sex attraction.

      But also keep in mind that what we get from Francis is translated and probably many of these others are also translated.

      I don't think that the Church is shutting up about the sinfulness of your sexual activities or that of anyone else's. The Church still teaches that a) marriage is between a man and a woman and b) those who aren't married are called to celibacy. The Church can't redefine sin.

    8. M - I get what you are saying. I totally agree a liberal secularist could care less. Say they think it's 'cool' or 'about time' - it doesn't change anything.

      Though it may sound condescending you have to remember they are responding to those who accuse the Church of hating gay people. The Pope frequently mentions live and let live - allowing people to be who they are. Therefore I really doubt he intends to be condescending or patronizing.

      I find that refreshing. I absolutely hate identifying persons by the sexual attraction.

  7. Congratulations, Scott. I love babies! We are expecting our 23rd grandchild in April.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.