Cardinal Burke…

on the Pope’s radical call to the New Evangelization.

The guy gets it.

Once you realize that Francis is all about evangelization, both the not-terribly-confusing “confusions” of his words and actions *and* the intense hostility of Reactionaries become perfectly comprehensible.  He is all about going into the highways and byways and bringing in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame–as Jesus said to do.

  • capaxdei

    Mark: Have you tried reading this post with the last sentence deleted?

    • chezami

      Fair enough. Deleted.

  • Adeline

    “New” Evangelization = Pope Francis = a living embodiment of Pope Benedict’s Affirmative Orthodoxy.

    • Almario Javier

      To put in broad terms, Francis puts into practice the theory of Benedict.

  • kag1982

    Does this mean that Burke will be selling his cappa magna and spend time with Archbishop Krajewski feeding the poor? Will he stop using the Eurcharist as a weapon to earn brownie points (and get invited to conferences by Voris types)? No? Then, I don’t think that Burke gets it. I think that Francis doesn’t think that Burke gets it, which is why Burke lost his seat appointing bishops in December. And there were some quite smarmy lines in there just as suggesting that those people who admire Francis because of the tone change are somehow mocking Francis. I’m sorry; I understand that Francis is still Catholic but I appreciate his style and emphasis on mercy. I grew up with sourpuss Catholics like Burke who were constantly criticizing and demeaning others, so Francis is a breath of fresh air.

    (BTW, Burke certainly has quite a bit of time to travel. He seems to spend more time attending conferences with admirers than he does in Rome.)

    • capaxdei

      If you wanted to, you could respond to this news with grace.

      • kag1982

        Actually, I’m not seeing any change in attitude in Burke’s tone or style. He strikes me as still being the same sourpuss. Here is another take on the article that suggests that the tone hasn’t changed for Burke. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/us-cardinal-raymond-burke-pope-francis-opposes-abortion-and-gay-marriage/2014/02/21/de5dbf52-9b36-11e3-975d-107dfef7b668_story.html

        I’m especially happy to learn that I am actually mocking Pope Francis because I appreciate his change in tone. This is from the article I posted.. “Burke added that the “false praise” from those who highlight Francis’s shift in tone and practice actually “mocks” his role as pope.” I’m sorry, but style and likeability matters quite a bit to people. Political elections are decided on personality. People like Obama better than Romney in the 2012 election and that is why Obama won. I don’t see how it is any different from a pope. After years of growing up with Burke’s ugly version of Catholicism, I am happy to learn about Francis’ sunny version of Catholicism.
        I’m a cradle Catholic and much of my struggles with the religion have to do with people I’ve met who were both faithful Catholics and very ugly people. (I’m a Catholic school survivor.) I’ve met quite a few little monster priests and religious sisters. (The nuns could be worse than the priests.) When I was in Catholic school, I got the feeling that the teachers, administrators, priests, nuns, etc. could care less about me and didn’t want me to succeed. They only cared about were the children whose parents gave lots of money. At the parishes we went to, there were always cliques of laypeople who were outwardedly devout, but never left high school behind (aka mean girls.) The upper middle class housewives were the worst at ostracizing people. (However, they had larger families and were very involved with the parish so the priests didn’t care.)
        And these types all tend to love Burke and the type of bishop like Burke. In fact, when I attend my parents’ parish, the most noxious bullies tend to praise Burke quite a bit. I think that they feel affirmed by him and feel that outward displays of piety are all that matters and that they don’t have to be nice people.

        • chezami

          Well, as long as you have an excuse to cling to bitterness…

          • kag1982

            I’m sorry, but this is a recurring experience. Every time, I seek to become more engaged with the Catholic Church, I run into these sorts, especially the “little monster” priests.

            • chezami

              I seldom run into bad priests. Why do you suppose you have the bad luck to see them everywhere you look?

              • kag1982

                Do you want me to give you a list? It could run a large book. My favorite has to be the pastor in charge of the Newman Center at the college I attended who liked giving overtly political sermons, including one that suggested that U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq got what they deserved. (This was after a major suicide bombing.).

        • jay

          kag, I also have a hard time with Burke. I think he is the one with bitterness-bitterness towards change and people who are more openminded then him. I am uncomfortable with his clothes and all that pomp.

          • BillyT92679

            I guess I don’t get what the big deal is. For one, he’s teaching orthodoxy. Two, there’s nothing innately wrong with pomp. This sell the precious spikenard and give to the poor mindset is first world liberalism at its most condescending.

            • BillyT92679

              I grew up living on cafeteria food my mom brought home and food stamps. Going to ornate churches and seeing beautiful vestments gave me HOPE.

          • kag1982

            I agree with you about Burke. For me, the clothing suggests that Burke thinks that the most important part of being a priest is what he wears, not his actions. This is what I’ve seen with a certain segment of conservative Catholics.. There are lots of signs of outward piety are more important than being nice people.

            • chezami

              “For me, the clothing suggests that Burke thinks that the most important part of being a priest is what he wears, not his actions.”

              And yet that is such a massively stupid and shallow approach to the priesthood that it is certain that Burke thinks not such thing. Why then, would you credit such an obvious calumny? Because you choose to cling to bitterness and it is poisoning your mind. You should abandon your bitterness therefore.

              • kag1982

                Yeah.. perhaps, when the self annointed “special elect” of the Catholic Church decides to be more welcoming, I will feel more forgiving. I’m really tired of the whole getting used like a doormat thing and am not giving a free ride across the river to a scorpion.

                And that Cappa Magna and other ridiculous vestments certainly are very important to Burke. And I don’t see any point to them. It seems like they are very much a “look at me.”

                • jay

                  Burke is obviously an intelligent person, he wouldn’t have gotten as far as he has if he wasn’t. But why dress from a boroque age? What really is the point to this? Jesus did not dress flashy. He identified with the poor. Francis gets this, and tones down his attire. Are we a church about the gospels, or are we a church about the renaissance?

                  • kag1982

                    Just because someone is book smart doesn’t mean that he is politically astute. Benedict was also a highly brilliant man, but he had some of the same tone-deaf qualities that Burke has (but not the meanness Burke has). I think Burke is surrounded by traditionalist sycophants who fawn over his every word. Someone is paying for those clothes and it isn’t Burke. And someone is paying for his constant trips back to the U.S. (and it isn’t Burke again.) These top tier guys actually don’t make a lot of money at their jobs, so they rely on donors. Burke probably has quite a few of American neo-traditionalists who are financing his lifestyle and tell him what he wants to hear.

                • chad

                  Kag… Illini… whomever…. What are you doing to remedy anything besides posting incessantly the same diatribe in comboxes? Almost every post I have ever read from you is lacking in the very charitable aspect you complain is lacking in others. It’s the same broken record over and over and you use your past pain as a shield to somehow justifying your current opinions. And your false misrepresentations are just that… dishonest. What’s the point? Are you going to just keep on writing until the people in the church magically start acting just well enough that you finally feel comfortable to complete your sacraments? Your intellect is not cooperating with your humility.

                  But I pray this is not in your control. I’ve seen this type of perseveration in those who were closest to me, and it was linked to a condition.

                  • kag1982

                    Oh.. I’m so glad that I’m a crazy person now. That really is a wonderful way to engage people that you disagree with. I’m sorry. I really hate the conservative Catholics that are in control of the Church. They made my life miserable growing up. Incredibly miserable. I certainly hope that Pope Francis changes the Church and gives all of you some much needed humble pie. One thing I’m waiting for is him to send Burke off to Antarctica or somewhere. For me, that will be a sign that he is serious.

                    • chad

                      Equine. Excrement. Spare me the violin. You have proven time and again that you have no desire to be engaged in any meaningful manner. You throw out lies and expect to be coddled because you feel miserable. It is your misery. Thousands of combox posts under multiple usernames, devolving into the same crap over and over. Yes, there is plenty of evidence that you may have a condition. I eat my humble pie each and every day… you do not.

                    • chezami

                      “I really hate…”

                      Yes. You do. And it’s eating you. Capaxdei is right. You should spend some time with the Sunday readings.

                    • kag1982

                      Yeah.. They hate me as well and they started bullying my family and me first for absolutely no reason.

                    • chezami

                      kag: I’ve been attacked and vilified by Reactionaries for a very long time and am perfectly aware of how vicious they can be. If you want to give them total and complete power over you, not only in this life but for all eternity, maintain your present course and heading. If you want to find the happiness for which you have been made, then take your bitterness to confession, leave it with Jesus and resolve to forgive and move on. It’s like quitting smoking. You wil have do it over and over. But it can and must be done. You’re better than this.

                    • chezami

                      Been there. Done that: http://demonicinfiltrationcatholicchurch.blogspot.com/2013/11/mark-sheas-private-revelation-that-his.html

                      I finally had to realize that people like this are poor who cannot repay the emotional debts and honor that I think they owe me. So you forgive the debt that your debts may be forgiven. For of course, you and I aren’t such hot stuff either. Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. Mercy is not for people who deserve it but for people who don’t. Let’s pray for each other. We both struggle with bitterness.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      I certainly hope that Pope Francis changes the Church and gives all of you some much needed humble pie.

                      As Mark Shea has linked to below, he has been getting a lot of heat for calling out reactionaries (of various stripes). Several people here have engaged your comments, and some have expressed concern about your well-being. From what I can tell, you’re the only one who has used the word ‘crazy’ and reacted to it in a negative way. I’m afraid your labels of Us and Them are getting a bit mixed up.

                    • kag1982

                      No.. I was suggesting in my initial post that Burke wasn’t turning over a new leaf. And I didn’t suggest that anyone here was a reactionary. I suggested that Burke was. I also suggested that I’ve met many Catholics in my life who really aren’t very nice people and many of them are also considered good Catholics. These people are fans of Burke and generally use his words for their own purposes. I think that he is aware that he appeals to exclusionary Catholics.
                      And yes, the above poster suggested that I am crazy. I just have Italian blood and like winning arguments.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      You may have been referring to Cardinal Burke in your initial post. The comment I was referring to, however, was one you made several posts later, in which you were addressing a much wider set of people. I may be mistaken, since I’m not that smart (book or otherwise), but I’m not sure how the phrase ‘all of you’ applies to just one cardinal.

                      Also, no, the other poster said that there may be deeper problems that may need to be addressed. (Note the two qualifiers.) These problems do not make a person ‘crazy;’ at least, not in the way you seem to view it. Many forms of craziness are legitimate problems and should not be treated with disdain, revulsion or dismissiveness. There are, however, behaviors that stem from festering rage and bitterness, all of which don’t necessarily have to do with Italian blood and winning arguments. And these behaviors result in people losing sight of what they are fighting against, who they are fighting against, and those who are actually trying to help.

                      What you’ve been writing suggests you’re seeing clearly anymore.

                    • kag1982

                      First, since you don’t know me, how about doing this thing called “shutting up”? I’m really getting tired of dealing with personal attacks and when I get them, I am more than happy to dish back some medicine. ‘Kay? I didn’t suggest that you guys are crazy. Personal attacks are used when people don’t want to debate issues.
                      Second, I am discussing a segment of the Catholic population that I’ve met. This apparently includes some posters here, including the above poster and others. They’ve done such a wonderful job proving my point about these people. It does seem that there are some super-Catholic elect post here. I’m getting tired of the self-righteousness, prejudice, and meanness that exists in this group, including many of the observant Catholics that I’ve met.

                    • freddy

                      orual’s kindred is one of the gentlest and most thoughtful commenters I’ve had the privilege of reading. Here she is (above) trying to be a peacemaker, and patiently explaining, and your response is “shut up.”
                      .
                      You’re the one splashing your contentious personality and small minded criticisms all over this thread: I think it’s possible for readers to “get to know you” if your words are truthful representations of your thoughts and experiences.
                      .
                      Newsflash, kiddo: you’re not the only puppy ever to get kicked. Most of us have battle scars from one segment or another of the so-called Christian community.
                      .
                      Ever look at a crucifix? Ever read the part of the Bible where Jesus calls “blessed” those who are persecuted for Him? THIS IS WHAT CHRISTIANS CAN EXPECT always and everywhere. If you’re looking for a religion to make you feel good about yourself and make you happy in this life; honey, the Catholic Church ain’t it.
                      .
                      Whining about how badly you’ve been treated and hissing in gleeful anticipation for the earthly punishment of those you perceive as “enemies” is only going to hurt *you*, not “them.”
                      .
                      I’ve been praying for you this week, and will continue.

                    • kag1982

                      I’m sorry. I’m pointing out that the above poster, “Chad” was calling me crazy and your buddy was concurring. That is meant to shut up people who they disagree with. They can can it.

                      And I’m sorry but my experiences with the Catholic Church over my entire life has been bad. Catholics shouldn’t be hurting and persecuting each other and it seems like that is the norm.

                      And yes, I wouldn’t like people to be punished for no reason. However, there seems to be so many Karma Houdinis in the world who get away with murder without consequence.

                    • chezami

                      Orual was perfectly right that your floating bitterness is causing your to unjustly generalize and behave like a nasty bitch toward a lot of innocents. Your vicious retort to her is evidence of that. Your insistence on blaming everybody but yourself for your behavior is confirmation. You have become the enemy you hate and are acting exactly like the nasty Reactionaries upon whom you hang responsibility for your behavior. Face the fact that you have become the chief source of your troubles because of your refusal to forgive and your clinging to bitterness. Your life doesn’t have to be this way. Renounce your bitterness at confession and get free.

                    • freddy

                      “Chad” didn’t call you crazy. He said: “there is plenty of evidence that you may have a condition….” I don’t like the presumption and imprecision in his language, but he isn’t calling you crazy, and orual’s kindred was just pointing that out. “A condition” can refer to lots of things; physical, mental, emotional, personal history; and I think even you would agree that based on your comments you have a bug in your pants about the Catholic Church.

                      I’m sorry that your experience with the Catholic Church has been so bad. But here’s the thing: the Church’s teachings are a roadmap for holiness, which is the key to happiness. We all fall short! If Jesus is willing to forgive us, how can we not forgive each other?

                      You said, ” there seems to be so many Karma Houdinis in the world who get away with murder without consequence….” You’re catching on! The next world will administer justice; this world is just the test.

                    • chad

                      Kag, you created your own fact and brought “crazy” into this. I suggested your perseverance could be linked to a condition like I have seen in people very close to me. You call it Italian blood. I have a “condition” too… it’s called ADD. I don’t even know how to define crazy, but fine… I’m crazy too.

                      I read Mark’s blog frequently. I don’t comment much, hence why I haven’t created an account (also because creating an account would tempt me to comment more frequently). I have seen you post here for awhile, previously under the name Illinidiva, and your arguments take the same form each time. Harsh attack from you with just enough dishonesty to lure another poster into the conversation. Followed by well-reasoned defense from others. Followed by more bitter complaints from you, which then confuses the other poster because you are acting exactly like that which you despise. Then you go into your history of misery. The poster typically responds with consolation, kind words, and even some constructive advice. At which point you make a backhanded dismissal and get the last word in.

                      I complement you on your intelligence and the gifts that God has blessed you with. However, you fight dirty. Lots of people twist the truth to gain an advantage in arguments, but you add in the element of excusing your own behavior because of past misery, and getting people to have pity you, and then you use it to your advantage. I have not once seen you offer sincere gratitude, or concede a point. I find that to be deplorable… it bothers me, and is why I chose to speak up (my issue, not yours).

                      How much of this, now and historically, is a result of you creating your own bogeymen? The way you handle yourself in these arguments makes everything you say about your past, suspect. But we don’t have the luxury of obtaining the perspective from all those people you harbor such ill will towards.

                      But then I really didn’t write this for you, because you have already created your next bogeyman from reading this. So this is where it is my problem, not yours. I pray both you and I wellness, humility, and peace.

                    • chezami

                      And with this, you become what you hate. Orual has treated you with nothing but kindness and civility and your response to her perfectly mirrors the shittiness that you complain you have been treated. with. You have become the enemy you hate. That’s what bitterness does. Take it to confession and renounce it, because it’s eating you up.

                    • kag1982

                      No.. Said poster was defending someone who was attacking my mental state. I’m sorry but I didn’t imply anyone was personally crazy.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      This is what I get for running errands–arriving late to the party!

                      Now I really am worried, though :-( No, I haven’t met you in person, but this behavior is familiar, and I know there’s only so much I can say. Oh, imagine where we all would be without being able to pray for each other!

                      See, of course you didn’t suggest anybody was crazy. What you did was assume that somebody was calling you crazy. What I did then was explain (or try to anyway) that nobody said you were crazy. To which you said that I’m personally attacking you by suggesting that you called people crazy (which, again, you didn’t). If I had, it wouldn’t even have been ‘personally attacking you’. It would have been misrepresenting the things you’ve said (lying about them, if you will). As to my shutting up, perhaps you meant ‘shutting up about things you don’t know about’? Because do you really mean to say I can only talk to people I’m acquainted with?

                      And no, what you’re doing now isn’t what’s usually understood as ‘dish[ing] back some medicine’ :-(

                      As others have repeatedly said, we’re praying for you, because, as others have said, we actually do know how it feels to be treated unjustly. We’ve felt both the pain and the numbness. We know how feels to be crushed because of the things people have done, whether consciously or not. And we know that holding on to anger is not the way to stop hurting. It simply isn’t.

                      There’s hope for you, as there is hope for so many other people, and we want you to see that. Please turn away from the endless rage. There is no rest there, no justice, and there is certainly no mercy.

                    • kag1982

                      Yes.. Please just keep my personal mental health out of the discussion. Frankly, this is going nowhere so I will try with all my willpower to not respond anymore. (Very difficult for me because I like arguing.) However, this whole situation has just opened my eyes and made things much clearer. I’ve been toying with the idea of leaving the Catholic Church for many years now and only have been trying to give it a millionth chance because of Pope Francis. But it seems like the attitudes won’t change and people like Cardinal Burke and his cronies will always be coddled and defended, so I think that it is best for me to just find another church. (Which is what I was in the process of doing anyways.)

                    • orual’s kindred

                      Making threats and/or ultimatums (or what may seem as such). Yes, I know this response too :-( And this is not a form of argument, either! You’re also still only person bringing up the subject of your personal mental health. Nonetheless, we’re still praying for you! :-)

                    • orual’s kindred

                      This discussion appears (at the very least) to be at a lull. I hope it will not be unseemly to now focus on freddy and Our Esteemed Host, and thank them for their wonderful generosity and chivalry. You both are true gentlemen (and I’m sure you’ve made me blush)! Thank you!

                    • chezami

                      Leaving the Church will solve nothing because the source of your bitterness is you. Believe me, I struggle with it myself, but it’s bullshit that your problems are due to everybody else. You need to tackle your bitterness head on and stop blaming others. You have choices. Currently you are making bad ones. You can choose to make good ones and learn happiness.

                    • Alma Peregrina

                      kag1982 – I do not agree with anything you said and I think that you should heed everything the other commenters said.

                      That said, I would like to tell you I’m sorry that you suffered so much.
                      Really.
                      You see, I’ve been exactly in the same situation you have been into… but in reverse. I’ve never met many traditionalists and I’m not a traditionalist myself. But progressives made my life miserable when I grew up, from my early days til, well, today. So I know it hurts, I know how revolted you are. I know the feeling of being a “doormat”, I know what it feels like to be ridiculed and felt un-welcome because your beliefs do not fit.

                      I have become a sourpuss myself because of my bad past experiences. However, I do know that I’m wrong in doing so. My anger is a reason for me NOT to annoint myself a better catholic than “that lot”… but precisely a reason for me to know that I’m no one to judge my brother/sister.
                      It is partly because of my past experiences with progressives that my comments in this blog are so acid and bitter.

                      I would you to know this: you moved my heart through this string of comments. And, even though progressives have made me miserable, I would like to apologize to you, a progressive, for having been rash in some comments I adressed to you.

                      I surely hope you start a journey towards healing that suffering heart. God bless you.

                • chezami

                  Another excellent excuse for clinging to bitterness. It’s all always somebody else’s fault.

        • capaxdei

          First, I recommend you spend some time with this past Sunday’s readings. I’m thinking in particular of Leviticus 19:17 — “You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart. Though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen, do not incur sin because of him.” — and of course Matthew 5:44 — “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

          Second, you are misreading what Cardinal Burke has written. He did not write that those who appreciate Pope Francis’ tone are mocking him. Rather, he wrote that the “false praise of the Holy Father’s approach [that] mocks the fact that he is the Successor of Saint Peter” is offered by “persons whose hearts are hardened against the truth” who claim “he intends to abandon certain teachings of the Church.”

          Unless your heart is hardened against the truth and you claim Pope Francis intends to abandon certain teachings of the Church, then Cardinal Burke wasn’t referring to you as someone whose false praise mocks the papacy.

          • kag1982

            Okay.. Are you going to suggest that the conservative Catholics read those? Or is it just me? Because it seems to me that you suggest I just sit down like a doormat and let people walk over me… It seems to me that I’m supposed to be meek and submissive and let the self-annointed extra-pure Catholic elect continue to be bullies.

            • chezami

              I’m suggesting you act like a son of your Father who is in heaven. Was Jesus a doormat? Forgiving is not letting them win. It’s predicated on the fact that they sinned, not that they were right. But cherishing bitterness does not defeat them. It just puts you–forever–in their power.

            • capaxdei

              At the moment, I’m concerned about you, kag1982, because what you’ve been writing here makes it sound like you’ve surrendered part of your heart to hatred — which hurts the self-annointed extra-pure Catholic elect a heck of a lot less than it hurts you.

              What I suggest is that you sit down and read the Gospel. For that matter, wrestle with it. Tell Jesus you’re not going to be a doormat. See what He says.

              • kag1982

                The frustrating thing for me is that it seems like the people I’ve run into have the blessing of the Catholic Church. I’ve never seen any of them criticized and my family has left a handful of parishes. I have toyed with joining another church, but have not because I do appreciate many parts of Catholic spirituality. I was hanging around to see what changes Pope Francis was going to make, but the reactionaries are more than happy to wait him out.

                • capaxdei

                  Yes, such things can be frustrating, and heart breaking, and soul crushing.

                  But if you define your Christian faith in terms of Them, whoever Them is, then you’re halfway to trading your faith — which is the only source of eternal life — for bitterness — which is death.

                  And it’s not coincidental that your Them — the self-annointed extra-pure Catholic elect — tend to express their faith in terms of their Them — the insufficiently pure.

                  The attitudes you’re expressing here are precisely the attitudes you’re criticizing, turned against those you’ve learned from.

                  I hope and pray you will find better teachers, and again recommend starting with the best Teacher of all.

                  • kag1982

                    See.. This is the thing. I’ve only met about three or so people who are both good people and devout Catholics. And I’m not bitter with God persay but I am bitter with the Catholic Church, which has failed to model God. The extra-special Catholic elect has been allowed to run the show and kick out who they like for my entire lifetime. This is why based on these conversations and my thoughts recently, which I was on the verge of doing already. It was much healthier for me when I was just ignoring the Catholic Church and associating with healthier people.

    • chad

      take care when casting stones about being a sourpuss. Not much sweetness from thee I see.

    • BillyT92679

      Honestly, not just reactionaries can be butthurt.
      Too much of the “I disagree with this guy, so he’s a douche” mindset.

      How about we embrace both the Marys and the Marthas of this world? Both St. Peter and St. Paul, St. Francis and St. Thomas Aquinas. Why do we have to have dichotomies? God is both Merciful and Just.

      if Burke (or Francis) offends you, try looking in the mirror to see why.

      • kag1982

        Both Martha and Mary represent different ways of being Catholic. However, both are seeking to attract people to the Church. Burke and his ilk drive people away.
        See I think that the huge confusion is that people leave the Church mainly because they disagree with its doctrines. I think that it is much more personal than that. Some do leave because of doctrine disputes, but many people leave because of personal hurts. I know people who have left the Church because a priest was a jerk to them or they got yelled at during Confession. I personally have struggled with the Catholic Church because of my experiences with Catholic school. Or perhaps like my mother, they ran into parish politics. Even with something like gay issues there is a personal component. I had a friend growing up who was disowned by his father for being gay. His father thought it was the Catholic response after speaking with a priest.

        • BillyT92679

          Honestly, MANY people are jerks…. I’ve never found that to be a good excuse to reject something someone has to innately believe as true. Neither Burke nor Francis nor Joan Chittister, nor Father Z is driving anyone away by themselves. People drive themselves away by an act of the will.

          People who disagree with doctrine and leave are objectively wrong, but I can understand that more than someone who leaves because some priest/nun/liturgist/parishioner was a jerk. Frankly these people have little understanding of what religion is. They aren’t badly catechized, like the dissenter, they aren’t catechized at all.

          And someone like Burke, and traditionalists have brought many to Christ.

          • kag1982

            Religion has a personal aspect to it; it isn’t just doctrine. If you don’t feel welcomed and feel driven away by people, then you will leave. I’ve argued with people in the past that Protestants get this idea more than Catholics do. And Burke has driven quite a few people away. He managed to excommunicate an entire parish in St. Louis.

            • chezami

              Well, as long as it gives you an excuse to cling to bitterness even when he does something good…

              • kag1982

                The tone of the article was quite belittling.

                • chezami

                  Or you are simply poised and ready to assume the worst about people against whom you cherish bitterness.

            • Daniel G. Fink

              Sheer calumny.
              St. Stanislaus board members reworked their charter to make the pastor subordinate to the board –i.e., in opposition to the structure of a Catholic parish.

              • kag1982

                It was an oddly set up situation and rather than respecting the unique charter, Burke took a my way or the highway approach.

              • Almario Javier

                IIRC it was contrary to Canon Law, IIRC. The priest is not the employee of the congregation. We are not, please God, Congregationalists. Do I always agree with His Eminence? Good God, no! But what St. Stanislays insisted on was at best a highly irregular situation, and the steps they took, well, can your really call Fr. Bozek orthodox?

            • BillyT92679

              Of course religion has a personal aspect to it. That does not mean people are the arbiters of it.

              Even within Protestantism there is very rigid doctrine that people adhere. There’s no legitimate church of one.

              • kag1982

                And I don’t think you got what I was getting at. I think that doctrine is secondary to how people feel within the church community. If you are miserable every time that you go to church, understanding the Real Presence isn’t going to help you feel any better. You might still leave because you feel the people who surround you are toxic. No one wants to be in a situation where there is political backbiting and the priest is a bit mean-spirited. People will (and do) forgo certain theological points for a more welcoming community.

                I think that many Catholic parishes can be very isolating and toxic to people. Catholics aren’t good at putting out the welcome mat. No matter what you believe about Catholic theology, this really can hurt your relationship with God. If people feel unwelcome or feel like their parish is turning into junior high, they will go elsewhere. Protestants are very good at creating a welcoming community that provides people with support in creating a personal relationship with God. Catholics in contrast aren’t that good.

                One thing that I’ve noticed in the past are the “All are Welcome” banners and signs many of the Protestant denominations put up. I’ve never seen a Catholic parish roll out the welcome mat like that, because all don’t feel welcome in the Catholic Church. In fact, lots of Catholics don’t.

                • chezami

                  If you are miserable everytime you go to Church, consider the possibility that you are the source of your misery.

                  • kag1982

                    No.. it’s the people who generally attend Mass themselves…Lots of politics and backbiting even at my current place. The only reason why I have made a consistent effort to attend Mass is to support Pope Francis in his efforts to cleanse the Church of its current state. Since Burke and company are so entrenched, I wish him well

                    • BillyT92679

                      Again, people, including me, can be jerks. We have to deal with it.

                    • BillyT92679

                      Honestly, you’re objectifying the hell out of other people and anointing yourself a junior member of the Roman Rota or something. You go to submit yourself to God, and say Lord have mercy on me a sinner. Not to thank Him for not being like these other people.

                    • kag1982

                      Oh..the pure and mighty elect have already annointed themselves as members of the Roman Rota. Have you ever been to a Catholic forum? Every other thread is whining about the rubrics or about divorcees or the gays.

                    • chezami

                      What an impoverished and pathetic reason to go to Mass.

                • BillyT92679

                  I totally get what you are saying. I just think your premise is flawed.

                • BillyT92679

                  The thing is, “all are welcome” is code. It means, we do not care if you are a practicing homosexual, or if you cohabitate, or use birth control, etc. It’s par for the course for the United Church of Christ or the Unitarians or the Presbyterians or whatever. The problem is, to us Catholics, these are lies. Affirming people in their okayness is NOT acceptable. You are welcome to worship sure, but you are called to repent.

                  • kag1982

                    Actually, I’ve been to very conservative Protestant churches that are very open and caring. For instance, they have groups that bring casseroles to couples with new babies, lots of activities for children and help for families, etc. The pastor always says hello and knows everyone’s name.
                    As for gays and people in irregular situations, exactly what is the Church providing them? An opportunity to remain in the closet and miserable? Perhaps, rather than whining about the UCC’s affirmation of gay marriage, figure out ways to make Catholicism attractive to gay people while affirming Church teachings.

        • Dave

          I can only guess that you have never met Cardinal Burke. He is one of the gentlest, holiest, most joyful and peaceful men I have ever met in my life. It is because he has such a consuming love for Christ and the Church that he takes the positions he does.
          Now, you may disagree with some of his ideas – denying Communion to unrepentant public sinners, those causing scandal, etc. but the only people I think he may drive away is those who want a cafeteria, watered-down Catholicism.

          • kag1982

            First, he certainly doesn’t come off as joyful. I think that this is neat that the politicians Cardinal Burke wants to deny Communion to tends to be members of one political party. I highly doubt that he would suggest that Paul Ryan be denied Communion. It seems to me that Communion is being used as a political weapon.

            • chezami

              kag: If there’s anybody who comes off as bitter and joyless here, it’s you with your relentless will to find some excuse to gripe and accuse. Let it go.

            • Dave

              In person, he certainly comes across as joyful, so I’m not sure what you are referring to. I’m not a fan of Ryan t all, but why should Paul Ryan be denied Communion? Answer that question first so I can understand what you’re getting at. I don’t think it’s political, though. It’s not Burke’s fault that the Catholic pro-abortion politicians are almost exclusively on one side of the aisle.

              • kag1982

                Burke cannot just deny the public sinners Communion for sins that play well with the Tea Partiers. Paul Ryan’s budgets are far out of line with Catholic social teaching. In fact, Cardinal Nichols in London harshly criticized the British government for similar austerity budgets. Burke cannot suggest Pelosi not receive Communion and not say a peep about Ryan doing the same. I’m fine with Burke suggesting that the Catholic Church become an exclusive club; any religion can make up rules they like about membership. However, he should be consistent about which sins are covered. (And this is coming from someone who likes Ryan and dislikes Pelosi.)
                Denying Pelosi Communion is basically red meat for a specific set of Catholics. Burke is playing to the choir. His trips and vestments are likely being funded by rich conservative Catholic capitalists. Apparently, his vestments cost at least $30K per year. One of the more elaborate miters can cost at least $6K. And he spends quite a bit of time travelling to the U.S. The Vatican doesn’t pay large salaries (although expenses like housing are generally covered.), so the logical conclusion is that someone else is paying. His diatribes are in line with the political views of the people funding him.

                • Dave

                  You are comparing abortion to a budget? Seriously? One can take many positions on budgetary issues and remain a good Catholic, I would think.

                  Trying to rein in the national debt and deficit before it is too late is one of the few things I actually admire Ryan for.

                  As far as the expenses of Burke’s vestments, you are probably right that friends of his donate the materials, labor, etc. for them. I doubt he is being funded by bigwig Republicans though.

                  • kag1982

                    No, one cannot. Catholic social teaching is quasi-socialist, so if you are cutting spending on something like food stamps, then you are out of step with Catholic social teaching. In addition, Ryan voted for the Iraq War, which caused the death of thousands. I’d think that Ryan would probably receive as much of an earful from Pope Francis as Pelosi.
                    And as I mentioned, one of Burke’s elaborate miters can cost up to $6K and they are probably made by famous Roman tailors like Gammarellis. He has wealthy admirers financing him.

                • chezami

                  So you want your enemies punished and are clinging to bitterness because they aren’t. Listen to capaxdei.

                  • kag1982

                    No. I’m pointing out the hypocrisy. The Mormons are actually a very exclusive church. I know Mormons and they need a special letter to attend their church. Non-Mormons cannot get in. Both liberals and ultra-fundamentalists have been excommunicated from the church and there is no way for them to reconcile with the church. If Burke wants to propose something like that, then he is allowed to do so. I am not mad about the Mormons making up their own rules. I couldn’t attend one of my friend’s weddings but I wasn’t angry about it.
                    However, Burke should not use Catholic theology to support a political party. I’d prefer that both Pelosi and Ryan be allowed to receive Communion. I actually like Ryan and dislike Pelosi, but the Communion wars are distasteful.

          • Andy

            A concern – who determines tech cafeteria? Most of us in one way or another are in the cafeteria. I think that public denial of communion is not the way to close the cafeteria.
            I know little of Cardinal Burke so this is not an attack on him.

            • Dave

              He proposes denying Communion to unrepentant public sinners and those causing widespread scandal and confusion about the Catholic faith. He doesn’t propose to deny Communion to everyone who hasn’t fully understood and accepted the Faith.

              BTW, all he is proposing is that Canon 915 be followed. As the top authority on Canon Law in the Church, it will be difficult to say that he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

              • Andy

                Dave – You missed my point – I was not referring to Cardinal Burke – I know very little about him, as I said. I am concerned when I read that person X or Y should be denied communion – because they are cafeteria catholics. My question is who determines the cafeteria? Who determines who is to use your phrase “watered down cafeteria Catholics”? Also I doubt really that a public denial will lead people to the faith.

                • Dave

                  Well, I never said that Communion would be denied because of someone being a “cafeteria Catholic”. That was your interpretation, I guess. They would be denied Communion based on Canon 915, which you can read and is pretty clear. It would be up to the Bishops to decide who falls under that category.

                  I believe that a public denial of Communion would help the faith, as it would make clearer the boundaries which may not be crossed. Who knows how many millions have convinced themselves that they’re Catholics in good standing despite their denial of certain teachings of the Faith because many public personalities get away with it.

                  • Andy

                    If I misinterpreted denying cafeteria catholics communion please forgive me – I am battling bronchitis right now and although drugs may be wonderful they can be mind numbing. My point about non-public lies in the idea of conversation as a means of conversion.

    • Dan C

      I, someone very very attached to the “feed the poor”/seamless garment Party of Catholicism actually does not necessarily require Burke or Benedict or anyone to feed the poor. I just would ask that this be recognized as not just a secondary or inferior way of serving Christ but actually as the roadmap from the Gospel for Christianity. Culture War is not in the Gospel.

      Burke need not live in poverty , feed the poor, etc. But he cannot criticize that this is a way to Christ.

      This essay indicates he has not. He seems willing to be led. Terrific.

      • chezami

        Exactly. It’s a good sign. I don’t understand people who insist on reading as a bad one.

        • Neihan

          Because that’s the only way to read it in order to maintain their loathing of Cardinal Burke, a loathing which is their precious. Reactionaries, as you call them, come in both “left” and “right” flavors.

          • kag1982

            So you think that mocking people encouraged by Pope Francis’ tone is a good thing.

            • Neihan

              Nope.

              Though I suppose really it comes down to what “encouraged” means, here. If someone was “encouraged” by the media surrounding Vatican II to believe that the post-Vatican II Church is, essentially, a new Church (regardless of whether they viewed it as a good or a bad thing) then those people should be corrected.

              Likewise, those who have been “encouraged” to believe that Pope Francis represents the possibility of the Church breaking with her teachings (regardless of whether they view that as a good or a bad thing) should be corrected.

              However, that has nothing to do with my original point. My point is that there are people who utterly despise Cardinal Burke, Pope Emeritius Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, etc etc and that nothing those individuals do will make any impact on that loathing. Because loathing those individuals appears to be more important to such people than the truth or charitably assessing those individuals’ actions and words.

              • kag1982

                Perhaps, they just enjoy the fact that Francis has a more cheerful view of Catholicism than his predecessors?

                • Neihan

                  Then those are not the people I am speaking of.

                  I’m speaking of the sort of people who will respond to everything and anything done by someone such as Cardinal Burke or Pope Francis with vitriol. People who, if the name were changed, might even applaud the acts.

                  People who seem to be obsessed with tearing down people like Cardinal Burke or Pope Francis with petty complaints and personal insults – at every opportunity. Even if that opportunity is Cardinal Burke or Pope Francis doing something which they approve of, even if their comment has nothing to do with the issue at hand. Any issue merely presents an opportunity to insult someone they hate, someone they seem to derive pleasure from hating.

                  • kag1982

                    If Pope Francis was walking around in regal vestments and playing high and mighty, he would receive as much derision as Cardinal Burke does. The reason why Francis is so popular is the “scandal of normality” he has instituted at the Vatican. It really is like the script to a Hollywood movie playing out in real life, and it isn’t a cynical ploy. There is a reason why Frank Capra is popular. Pope Francis is just Frank Capra playing out in real life.

                    • Neihan

                      Yes, that post provides a rather tame example of what I’m speaking of.

                    • kag1982

                      Why? Perhaps people just like the fact that leaders are capable of fetching their own coffee or using a compact sedan.

                  • jonnybeeski

                    Neihan: I can’t seem to consistently log in over at NCR, so I am replying here – - hope you don’t mind and pardon the off-topicness. Yes, I am doing much better, and thanks again for your prayers.

                    • Neihan

                      Excellent! Deo Gratias! I am glad to hear it, and you’re very welcome.

    • chad

      Faith… an assent of the intellect and assent of the will. I think you have the intellect covered. You have to put it into action, else you are, practically speaking, an atheist. You have no excuse to embrace such bitterness and expect Christ not to hold you to the same standard you expect of others. Much in common with one Illinidiva, or you are one in the same.


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