Wednesday, January 4, 2017

James Larson offers cautionary words to Cardinal Burke

Mr James Larson offers these thoughts on Cardinal Burke's seeking clarity regarding Amoris Laetitia. Like many, Mr Larson is afraid that should some kind of "firing" of the Pope come to pass it would change the Divine Monarchial structure of the Church into something it can never be, namely an Aristocracy, whereby Bishops and Cardinals could get together and simply depose a Pope they did not like.

These are controversial, uncharted waters that could be entered into, and as much as I and other Catholics would like to see the end of the Francis Regime we must consider carefully the ramifications of some of the ideas being put forward so that we don't fatally damage the Church of Christ in our efforts to fight back against the lunacies emanating from the Vatican.

I also hope it goes without saying that my admiration for Cardinal Burke remains undiminished even if at times I have questioned one or two of his statements in these pages.  I also recognize, vis-a-vis the Pope's dreadful document, that the Cardinal can change his mind after soberly reflecting upon the dangers the exhortation presents.

Monarchy, Si.  Aristocracy, No.  Let those be our watchwords.

Cardinal Burke
The Center Will Not Hold
It would seem an unquestionable fact that Cardinal Burke is the most influential leader in the resistance to the “moral gradualism” set in motion throughout the Church by Pope Francis and his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The traditional/orthodox Catholic world now seems to hang upon his every word and action.
It began slowly. Many traditional Catholics were deeply disappointed by Cardinal Burke’s initial response to Amoris Laetitia. In his statement issued in early April, 2016, it was his position that Amoris Laetitia needed to be interpreted in terms of Catholic tradition, while it was of course the position of many traditional Catholic media commentators that it in fact directly contradicted the traditional doctrinal and practical tradition of the Church. In his initial response, Cardinal Burke stated:
The secular media and even some Catholic media are describing the recently issued post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, “Love in the Family,” as a revolution in the Church, as a radical departure from the teaching and practice of the Church, up to now, regarding marriage and the family.
Such a view of the document is both a source of wonder and confusion to the faithful and potentially a source of scandal, not only for the faithful but for others of goodwill who look to Christ and his Church to teach and reflect in practice the truth regarding marriage and its fruit, family life, the first cell of the life of the Church and of every society”.
It matters little whether we interpret the words “some Catholic media” to apply to militantly liberal or traditional Catholic media venues. The fact is that both rightly saw Amoris Laetitia as being a “revolution” and “radical departure” from traditional Catholic teaching, and thus both had to fall under Cardinal Burkes deprecatory categorization of them as causing “wonder and confusion” for the faithful. Quite rightly, therefore, many traditional Catholics felt somewhat betrayed by Cardinal Burke’s assessment.
It is, however, Cardinal Burke himself who has done the most since last April to keep this “scandal”, with all its “wonder and confusion”, alive not only in the minds and hearts of the Catholic faithful, but also in the eyes of the world.
On September 19, 2016, four Cardinals (Walter Branmuller, Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffara, and Joachim Meisner) sent a letter to Pope Francis, along with five “Dubia” (“doubts” or “questions”) in reference to the teaching of the Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, and requesting that these Dubia be answered and clarified by the Pope himself.
The letter went unanswered, and thus, on November 14, these Cardinals published both the Letter and Dubia, along with a Foreword, and also an Explanatory Note which further elaborated on the five Dubia, to the general public. This composite of documents they titled Seeking Clarity. A Plea to Untie the Knots in “Amoris Laetitia”.
One day later, on November 15, in an interview with Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register, Cardinal Burke emphatically agreed with Mr. Pentin that some of the teachings of Amoris Laetitia, “go against the law of non-contradiction” in respect to moral doctrine and the state of soul necessary to receive the sacraments, and that if there is no response (from Pope Francis) to these questions, “I would say that it would be a question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error”, and that “It is the duty in such cases, and historically it has happened, of cardinals and bishops to make clear that the Pope is teaching error and to ask him to correct it.”
Further, in an interview with Catholic Action for Faith and Family, Cardinal Burke flatly stated his opinion that Amoris Laetitia was not magisterial because it “contains serious ambiguities” [which, if they “go against the law of non-contradiction”, are obviously heretical) that “confuse people and can lead them into error and grave sin.” He further stated that “we [the four Cardinals] are hoping to make this a discussion for all Catholics, especially our fellow bishops.”
Cardinal Burke, in other words, has contradicted his own original position that Amoris Laetitia could be interpreted in line with Tradition, and has placed himself in the forefront of those who propose that its teachings entail a “radical departure” from tradition. He cannot any longer maintain the posture that he and the other Cardinals are only seeking “clarification”. Having publicly stated that Amoris Laetitia contains teachings which “go against the law of non-contradiction” in regard to traditional moral doctrine, he is necessarily identifying these teachings as heretical. Further, in declaring that “we are hoping to make this a discussion for all Catholics, especially our fellow bishops”, he shows that he is committed to taking what he formerly labeled as “potentially a form of scandal” to the highest level of public awareness where it will indeed create the most “wonder and confusion” among the faithful. And, obviously, he plans to use the public media to do so.
But he has now gone much further.

Read the whole article.


Ana Milan said...

It's a pity Mr. Larsen hasn't referred to the newly introduced "extended papacy" & its effect on this Pontificate. Also, the proclaimed victory by St. Gallen Group (Mafia) in getting PF elected to the See of Peter. In many peoples minds the whole charade stinks.

DJR said...

I'm not advocating papal deposition, but popes have been deposed in the past; it is an historical fact.

Example: Pope Sergius III took the papacy by force of arms and was installed January 29, 904. The problem is that the reigning pope was still alive: Pope Leo V.

Leo was murdered shortly after Sergius took the see of Rome; nevertheless, he was the true pope at the time and had not resigned his office, although he was in prison.

Can anyone imagine if someone took over the papacy while Pope Francis was still alive and had not resigned? Wouldn't that qualify the usurper as an antipope?

Yet, Pope Sergius is included as a true pope in the list of popes.

The Church survived several papal depositions. I don't know what's going to happen, but I know that, whatever happens, She will survive.

Aged parent said...

Thanks, DJR, for the comment.

The history of these two men, Sergius and Leo V, is a bit murky. These two brief citations from the Catholic Encyclopedia may be interesting:


Aged parent said...


I know what you mean. We are living through extremely troublesome times. Diabolic disorientation indeed.

Thanks for the comment.

mark wauck said...

I found Larson's article utterly daft. Has he ever read the Acts of the Apostles? No open minded person could read Acts and come away with the notion that Peter was at the head of a "divinely instituted monarchy." All the disputes are handled collegially.

Further, why would a "divinely instituted aristocracy" be any worse than what's going on now? Larson's "divinely instituted monarch" is only challenging the very existence of a moral law--could it really be worse than that?

DJR said...

Better sources than the very truncated Catholic Encyclopedia are The Oxford Dictionary of Popes by J.N.D. Kelly, a pro Catholic Anglican; and The Popes, A Concise Biographical History, a Catholic work out of Great Britain dated 1964.

I guess my point was that Leo V was still alive (but not for long) at the time Sergius III took the papacy.

Ordinarily, we would consider as an antipope a person who claimed to be pope during the time a valid pope was still reigning. Yet, that is not the case in several instances.

Other popes who were deposed were Benedict IX (he was pope three separate times) and Gregory VI.

There were quite a few anomalies in former times.

c matt said...

BY the same token, it is hard to read Matthew and, as an open minded person, come away with the notion that Peter was not instituted as the head of something. Acts itself, although showing collegiality, also showed a need to have Peter on board - Paul did not just stand up to Peter, he convinced Peter to agree with him. The first dubia?

Aged parent said...

Well said, c matt.

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