Thursday, August 22, 2019

It's not that I don't like him ...

Cardinal Burke - T. Nelson

I just think he's kind of a ...

I'm talking about Cardinal Burke.  I don't mean to be disrespectful, but in his apostolate of bringing back the Extraordinary Form of Mass, and all of the accoutrements which accompany it, he bolsters a strange resistance movement to the Pope and Post-Conciliar Church.  (I'm against classifying the Church as post conciliar, but I use the term as a convenience here.)

I don't really think the Cardinal is a ditz, yet he is always and apparently everywhere dressed as a Medieval prelate, making the rounds, blessing and celebrating 'at the Throne'. It's a wonderful patrimony we Catholics have, and we treasure it, and Pope Benedict opened the treasury to all Catholics, in the hope it would enrich the Church's Ordinary Form.  The problems arose before that, but escalated after Summorum Pontificum, used by some to force a counter reformation and as a means to denigrate the OF Mass.  Many claiming one is more sacred than the other, and God is more pleased with the EF than the OF - while insisting the increase of vocations is proof of that.

Cappa Magna Americano - T. Nelson

That's the tip of iceberg, as it were.

As Cardinal Burke travels about, his appearances seem to emphasize the differences, which are used to disparage the Ordinary Form.  Maybe he doesn't actually say that - but the impression is given, and the EF contingent play it that way.  So my point is, you can't say the 'new' Mass is a bad Mass, and you can't say Vatican II was a bad council - but that is exactly what 'they' are saying.

Cardinal Burke maybe doesn't say it outright - but he does imply it, repeating all the usual points as to what was wrong in the interpretation of the 'spirit of the council', along with pointing out all the liturgical abuses, which developed along the way.  That's not a bad thing, BTW - that is exactly how the Council bears fruit, and it is his job, so to speak.

That said, what is hard for me with Cardinal Burke, is not that he leads the devout who love the Traditional Liturgy, but the fact he is used by many to represent a rad-trad element which existed since Vatican II.  Included among the movement, many are also deeply influenced by a hardcore, right-wing political element.  Yes, the Cardinal has disassociated himself from Bannon, but there are plenty of his ilk in the mix.

Cardinal Burke also seems to accept the notion that the requests made by Our Lady of Fatima weren't properly implemented, the Consecration of Russia done negligently, and so on.  This echoes Fr. Gruner and those I refer to as Fatimists.  He seems to believe and is apprehensive that the fulfillment of other mystical dooms-day prophecies, especially as they apply to the crisis in the Church and Her liturgy, are enacted now.  What I'm saying is, he strikes me as one deeply influenced by the far-right, conspiracy theories, and dubious revelations and prophecies, which have been used to discredit the popes and magisterium.  Many of these prophecies were linked to fake apparition sites in the late 1960' -'70's, such as Necedah and Bayside.   They are all reformulated and repeated today in sensationalized books such as Taylor Marshall's 'Infiltration'.  Again - Burke doesn't officially, explicitly make clear statements to the fact, but one picks it up when his online followers and fans write articles or agree with him in com-boxes on social media sites.

Blognic in an Egg - T. Nelson

Don't mention the cappa, I did, but I think I got away with it.

So, this is kind of a can of worms and I'm simply trying to clarify what I meant in another post referencing the Cardinal.  To be fair, in his interview with Patrick Coffin, Burke didn't actually call into question the election of Pope Francis, he simply discussed the issue in his response to questions in the interview.  The interview touched on points others have used to cast doubt on the legitimacy of Pope Francis, e.g. the St. Gallen mafia conspiracy, as well as the infiltration theories contained in Taylor Marshall's book. The upshot being Burke concluded there's no way to prove this stuff without a corroborating eye witness.   Yet right there is how he feeds those who ardently believe these theories are fact.  Rod Dreher just wrote an article about stuff like that.

Yeah but - and many will defend him and support him, despite the fact his evident pearl-clutching exacerbates the suspicions and doubts of ordinary Catholics, who, despite the sexual abuse cover-up crisis, have all they can do to have the proper respect due to the office of bishop.  I might remind readers that Burke once gave permission for a transgender woman to live as a nun.  When reported to Rome, he expressed his displeasure towards the Catholic woman who reported him.  So he knows the good, bad and ugly of religious intrigue and back-biting involved in the infiltration paranoia.  He's maybe sought to protect his reputation more often than we know.

Finally, the amazing thing to me is how Cardinal Burke's supporters, followers-fans, become so defensive if anyone criticizes him, yet they willing and eagerly pick apart the Franciscan papacy, and make the most audacious claims against the Holy Father and his curia. To date, I've heard these people claim Francis is nuts, possessed, the Antichrist, or an anti-pope, and so on. Faithful Catholics say that crap publicly.  Cardinal Burke doesn't help dispel such nonsense - especially when he seems to be discussing it seriously in pod casts and at banquets.

Otherwise, I really like Cardinal Burke.  What?

My opinion doesn't matter.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Holy Father has had his “Year of Mercy.” Now it’s time we had a Year of Justice... so says the Doctors of the Law in Crisis.

I expect as much from God's justice as from His mer­cy. 
It is because He is just that 
"He is compassionate and filled with gentleness, 
slow to punish, and abundant in mercy, 
for He knows our frailty, 
He remembers we are only dust. 
As a father has tenderness for his children, 
so the Lord has compassion on us! -S. Therese

"God’s justice is his mercy given to everyone as a grace that flows from the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.” - Pope Francis

I came across an article on Crisis titled The Year of Mercy is over. The author wants justice, making the extraordinary claim:
"Pope Francis mightn’t be able to perceive the connection between mercy and justice—which may explain why the cabal of sexual predators and active homosexuals was allowed to operate right under his nose."  
His conclusion? "The Holy Father has had his “Year of Mercy.” Now it’s time we had a Year of Justice.
"But the solution isn’t a malnourished misericordia, the proper exercise of which requires a higher perfection of prudence.  
"Especially given the Church’s prolonged tilt toward misguided compassion, we need a corrective: a time to incarnate the truth that a prisoner can receive both punishment and pardon at once. God enacts His mercy by “doing something more than justice.” We can’t do something more than justice when justice itself is caricatured and denied. Our sorrowing hearts move to beg the Supreme Pontiff: in your mercy, declare a Year of Justice." - Joshua Hren
The author is Dr. Joshua Hren, he's an academic, and I'm an ignorant commenter. (I saw that label in a FB comment.) His appeal for a year of justice isn't new - during the Year of Mercy not a few critics of Pope Francis believed what was needed was justice. People want judgement. They like to judge. They want justice. They will appeal to the psalms and the scriptures, even tradition (they used to burn heretics), to support their protest (dissent) against a 'malnourished misericordia'. I have blog posts to demonstrate their resistance to mercy.

"[T]he company [Jesus] keeps with those the law considers sinners makes us realize the depth of his mercy." - P. Francis

That said, my go to Saint, Doctor of the Church, is the very 'little' and genuinely humble, Therese of Lisieux - she helps me understand Pope Francis and his pontificate of Mercy. She reminds me of the proclamation, "Eternal his merciful love, his love endures forever." Therese deliberately wrote her Story of a Soul, announcing, "I'm going to be doing only one thing: I shall begin to sing what I must sing eternally: The mercies of the Lord."

So what would the Little Therese say to the critics of Pope Francis and his proclamation of mercy? What would she say to the theologians who flatter themselves that they know more than the Holy Father, and deem themselves qualified to judge and demand justice for all the sinners surrounding the Pope? Perhaps this:
"A now-famous tussle with a Jansenist-tinged fellow Carmelite moved Thérèse to articulate her conviction about mercy. Her concluding words to Sister Fébronie were: "Sister, if you want divine justice, you will get divine justice. The soul gets exactly what it expects of God." 
"And Thérèse always expected mercy from God. "After all the graces with which he has overwhelmed me, I also expect him to grant me that of his infinite mercy." She prayed in her autobiography: "If your justice loves to release itself, this justice which extends only over the earth, how much more does your merciful love desire to set souls on fire since your mercy reaches to the heavens."" - Peter John Cameron, O.P.
So, if you want divine justice, you'll get it soon enough - but don't try to stop those who seek mercy. Or, as our Lord asks in today's Gospel, "Are you envious because I am generous?" 

"I saw the Holy Father in a very big house, kneeling by a table, 
with his head buried in his hands, and he was weeping. 
Outside the house, there were many people. 
Some of them were throwing stones, 
others were cursing him and using bad language. 
Poor Holy Father, we must pray very much for him." - Blessed Jacinta 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Everybody claims the same thing.

The Cardinal Wept.

They all blame each other.

Yet they all do and say the same things about one another.  Guess who said this?
Like the Red Guards of old, they pit one Pope against another and trash anyone who might still respect a predecessor…. well, certain predecessors.
I'm sure the Red Guards analogy gives it away.  Fr. Z and others make the claim liberals are doing that, but traditionalist do exactly the same thing - they pit Pio IX and X against post Vatican II everything, citing homo heresies and Masonic inspired liturgies, and all sorts of Modernist heretical teaching, even accusing the Pope himself.

Recently one Cardinal did an interview with Patrick Coffin, more or less calling into question the legitimacy of the conclave which elected Pope Francis.  Guess which Cardinal was interviewed?

The podcast is supposed to be the “credible alternative” to mainstream accounts?

This stuff gets stuck in the online and collective conversation-debate and influences a selective, albeit collective memory according to individual bias.  The questions become embedded and have a negative affect upon ordinary believers.  Dawn Eden Goldstein calls out those who do this as promoting a 'hermeneutic of suspicion' regarding the Holy Father, and I would add, anything to do with VII and the Ordinary Form of Mass.

That said, friends on FB were sharing a recent article from Rod Dreher, "It's Not Paranoia if It's True" where he discusses an article by Ross Douthat on the subject - taking conspiracy theories seriously: "Douthat has a good piece this morning about how there are times when conspiracy theorists are actually closer to the truth than their critics."
And not only true of Epstein and his pals. As I’ve written before, when I was starting my career as a journalist I sometimes brushed up against people peddling a story about a network of predators in the Catholic hierarchy — not just pedophile priests, but a self-protecting cabal above them — that seemed like a classic case of the paranoid style, a wild overstatement of the scandal’s scope. I dismissed them then as conspiracy theorists, and indeed they had many of conspiracism’s vices — above all, a desire to believe that the scandal they were describing could be laid entirely at the door of their theological enemies, liberal or traditional.
But on many important points and important names, they were simply right. - Douthat

Dreher steps in with his own experiences, to make the case - I will only link a section, so as to keep this short.  (Unlike Dreher's article!)

Indeed they were. My own experience with that world, and that story, has made me far less likely to believe official stories. Let me add some context. Some of this is going to be familiar to many readers, but bears repeating in light of the Epstein drama.
In early 2002, shortly after the Boston trial of Father Geoghan blew open the Catholic sex scandal nationwide, I received a tip from a priest that Cardinal Ted McCarrick of DC had a history of sexually abusing seminarians. The priest said a group of prominent lay Catholics who knew this about him flew to Rome at their own expense, trying to prevent McCarrick from being named as Washington archbishop, which would have made him a cardinal. They met with an unnamed Vatican official to tell them what they knew about McCarrick, but it made no difference. McCarrick got his red hat.
The priest gave me the names of two men who had been on that trip, both of them well-known in their professions. I called the first one, who said yes, he had been on that trip, but didn’t want to talk about it. The second one told me that “if that were true, I wouldn’t tell you about it for the same reason Noah’s sons covered their father in his drunkenness.” Translation: yes, it’s true, but I’m not going to talk about it to protect the Church. - Dreher
Long story short, back in 2002, Dreher intended to do an article discussing Ted McCarrick, but his publisher nixed it.  "He told me that he had received a phone call from a very well known public conservative (I’m not going to name him here) who identified himself as a friend of Cardinal McCarrick, and said that the cardinal was aware that Rod Dreher was going to report a story that was true, but not criminal, and that would be very embarrassing to the cardinal. The caller asked my editor to kill the story."

Dreher eventually links the whistle-blower to Fr. Groeschel, who had been his informant's spiritual director.  - I think I got that right?  (Dreher's article is a long one.)  Dreher goes on to describe an 'inner circle' of clergy and lay people - informants - who protect perpetrators from exposure and scandal.

Anyway, the guy who phoned my editor on McCarrick’s behalf is a well-known conservative, a closeted gay man, and also a Catholic. What that act showed me, and what Groeschel’s likely ratting me out showed me, was that networks of loyalty can run counter to what we expect. This was all important for my education. I would not have thought that a prominent conservative would run interference for a liberal cardinal whom he believed to be a sexual abuser of seminarians — but he did. Whether he did it because McCarrick was a friend, or because of a lavender mafia thing, or both, I dunno. I would not have thought that a prominent conservative priest would alert a liberal cardinal that a journalist was snooping around his sexual business — but I am certain that Groeschel did this, probably because his ultimate loyalty was to the institution, not to the truth, or to righteousness. - Dreher

Yeah.  So? 

Like I said, Dreher's article is long and detailed go here to read.  He's probably not wrong in most of what he is saying, and there are good points to consider, but he's essentially adding more unverifiable trash to the fire of rumor and conjecture, adding more pages of conspiracy theories and gossip.  It is part of the same hermeneutic of suspicion' promoted by everyone else - liberal or conservative.  Even people who know better - academics - buy into it, and they think they are getting the truth - or pieces of it - which can be used to fit their own narrative.  Articles such as these I've cited add to a sort of virtual 'conspiracy theory catalog' and never go away or get resolved.

The relationships between dominant practices of mass communication and widely accepted “conspiracy theories” require closer attention. The tendency of conspiracy adherents to selectively employ alternative information and communication resources while rejecting the “good information” readily available to the public has frequently been cited. Largely overlooked has been the basic character of an overall media environment wherein most information accessible to citizens is structured in accordance with commercial and/or state interests. Some conspiracy theories may appear plausible due to ongoing public exposure to integration propaganda pervasive within the mainstream media and a corresponding receptiveness to compatible expressions of agitation propaganda. Other conspiracy theories may gain appeal as “credible alternatives” to mainstream accounts, once longstanding media frames and narratives have been subjected to critical scrutiny. - Source

Every one is doing it - spreading doubt, and attacking one another - the good and the bad employ the exact same tactics.  I think the likes of Dreher, Coffin, Fr. Z and even Cardinal Burke do a lot more harm than they realize.  I've been in a position to inform - to stave off scandal - perhaps in a similar way as Dreher speculates concerning Fr. Groeschel. I've also looked the other way rather than admit or reveal a non-criminal situation.  I never wanted to be part of an inner circle, I just figured those in the know, knew or would find out on their own.  I was convinced, as one who has been abused, that if I said anything, I wouldn't be believed anyway. It is one of the reasons I've kept my distance from bishops and priests and religious people.  Even the best of them gossip and tell tales based on 'alternative facts'.

Everyone feeds the beast.