It has been six and a half years of blasphemies, insults against God and His Teaching, against His Son and His immaculate Mother, open attacks on the truth of Scripture, the Divinity of the Son, the Resurrection, the discipline of the Sacraments etc. etc., topped off by acts of open idolatry and apostasy in the Vatican and Saint Peters.
And now, Cardinal Burke chooses to speak on what he thinks of “Pope Francis”, In a November 9, 2019, Interview by Ross Douthat. Here is an excerpt (see the entire article here):
Douthat: I agree that the Catholic subculture you describes exists. But I also see, as this pontificate has advanced, a growing paranoia and alienation among conservative Catholics, a temptation toward conspiracy theories that shade into sedevacantism, the belief that the pope is not the pope. I’m curious whether you worry that criticism of the pope contributes to this.
Burke: It’s true that for all the good social media does, they also give a voice to these extreme positions. And in my criticism I’ve been deeply concerned not to call into question respect for the papal office.
Douthat: You believe Francis is a legitimate pope?
Burke: Yes, yes. I’ve had people present to me all kinds of arguments calling into question the election of Pope Francis. But I name him every time I offer the Holy Mass, I call him Pope Francis, it’s not an empty speech on my part. I believe that he is the pope. And I try to say that consistently to people, because you’re correct — according to my perception also, people are getting more and more extreme in their response to what’s going on in the church.
Draw your own conclusions. But to help you do that I will merely cite the Code of Canon Law of 1983 promulgated by John Paul II, Vicar of Christ, which code is binding on earth and heaven. From my article, “Bergoglio definitively leaves the Catholic Church“:
According to Canon 1364… which reads….
PART II : PENALTIES FOR PARTICULAR OFFENCES
TITLE I: OFFENCES AGAINST RELIGION AND THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH (Cann. 1364 – 1369)
Can. 1364 §1 An apostate from the faith, a heretic or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication, without prejudice to the provision of Can. 194 §1, n. 2; a cleric, moreover, may be punished with the penalties mentioned in Can. 1336 §1, nn. 1, 2 and 3.
From my article, “The Monstrosity of Allegations against ‘Team Bergoglio‘”:
Canon 1329, § 2 reads, in the Latin:
Can. 1329 — §2. In poenam latae sententiae delicto adnexam incurrunt complices,qui in lege vel praecepto non nominantur, si sine eorum opera delictum patratum non esset, et poena sit talis naturae, ut ipsos afficere possit; secus poenis ferendae sententiae puniri possunt.
The official English translation of this, from the Vatican website is:
§2. Accomplices who are not named in a law or precept incur a latae sententiae penalty attached to a delict if without their assistance the delict would not have been committed, and the penalty is of such a nature that it can affect them; otherwise, they can be punished by ferendae sententiae penalties.
These canons apply both to those who perpetrate or participate in idolatrous worship but also those who are heretics or promote heresy, such as attacking the Teaching of the Christ against giving the Sacraments to public sinners.
As for the canons which demonstrate that the Renunciation of Benedict was invalid, see ppbxvi.org.
Just to make sure everyone recognizes the current context of events, according to my encounters with laypeople in Italy who do not work for the Church and speak freely to me in private, more than 60% of Catholics in Italy do not believe Bergoglio is currently the pope, either because he was never validly elected, or loss the office by heresy or apostasy. To Catholics, clergy included, to whom I present the contents of the Conference on the Renunciation of Pope Benedict, there is 100% unanimity that Benedict is still the pope and that Bergoglio never was. So basically, Cardinal Burke’s comment needs to be seen as something impinging upon a majority of Catholics in Italy, at least. This makes his comments very newsworthy.
The comment of Cardinal Burke clearly refers to Conservatives, not Sedevacantists, and therefore ostensibly to all Catholics who entertain or sustain the possibility that Bergoglio either never was validly elected or lost his office, on account of WHAT THE CHURCH HERSELF TEACHES about the nature of heresy, schism, apostasy, idolatry.
Therefore, there is no contextual way to explain this away, without recourse to the gratuitous assertion that the Cardinal did not mean what he said, and did not hear what Ross Douthat was saying. I find that incredible. Thus, I conclude:
Cardinal Burke has followed the lead of Cardinal Sarah and impaled his reputation* for the sake of supporting Bergoglio, jettisoning in the process not only the Code of Canon Law and any appeal to right reason in its understanding, but also the law of Charity enshrined in the Eighth Commandment of the Decalogue, and in the Greatest and First Precept of Jesus Christ: Love one another as I have loved you.
He has also jettisoned his reputation as a Canon Lawyer, because after the Academic Conference on the Renunciation of Pope Benedict, to which the Cardinal was invited but did not attend, I was told the argument presented was very sound by a Canonist who works in Rome.
In fidelity to both Christ Jesus and Moses, I ask all to pray for Cardinal Burke, who does not realize in how great an error he has fallen simply to please a man. Let us hope that he apologizes for saying such a nasty thing about faithful Catholics and explain why it is he has adopted such a non-think position, when by profession and duty he should be an advocate for applying Canon Law equally to all.
Finally, I have moderated my own emotions in writing this post, but I will not censor the comments of those who believe it necessary to speak more pointedly. That is because (1) I have written Cardinal Burke offering to speak with him about the Renunciation, and do not consider it proper to say anything more about this matter in public, but (2) recognize the right of all Catholics in virtue of Canon 212 to make their voices heard, even if times what God might consider respectful, those needing correction might not think is respectful.
My Public Question for Cardinal Burke:
Q. Do you really mean to say that an apostate, heretic, schismatic, usurper, theoretically can be a member of the Church or the Pope? Or are you saying that you feel your loyalty to the man whom you think is the Pope is greater than your loyalty to seek and defend the truth of history? — I ask this because I want to know where you stand.
* Anomianism is the error of thinking that Christian Charity frees the person from the obligation of following laws or rules. Saint Paul condemned this in his Letters to the Corinthians. — The Catholic position has always been that inasmuch as written law, promulgated by the State or Church, enshrines principles of the Natural, Moral, Divine or Evangelical Law, it requires our observance and obedience, because it is directly or implicitly invoking the authority of God. All Church Law does this as regards the authority of Christ, Her Founder. Thus, to adopt an anomian approach to any question or dispute, and call those who honestly seek answers in the laws or teaching of the Church, extremists, is to completely reject the Divine Authority as the rule by which all things must be judged.