On April 7, 2018, Cardinal Raymond Burke delivered an address to a conference in Rome dedicated to the legacy of the late Cardinal Carlo Caffarra titled, Catholic Church: Where are you heading? The title of Burke’s address was, “The plenitudo potestatis of the Roman Pontiff in service of the unity of the Church.” Plenitudo potestatis means “fullness of power,” a term frequently used by medieval canonists to describe papal power and authority, and canonized in a number of magisterial teachings.

Vatican I anathematized those who denied the Plenitudo potestatis of the pope:

So, then, if anyone says that the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema. [3.9]

The council also quoted and affirmed the Profession of Faith that was read aloud by Michael Palaeologus at the Second Council of Lyon:

The holy Roman church possesses the supreme and full primacy and principality over the whole catholic church. She truly and humbly acknowledges that she received this from the Lord himself in blessed Peter, the prince and chief of the apostles, whose successor the Roman pontiff is, together with the fullness of power. And since before all others she has the duty of defending the truth of the faith, so if any questions arise concerning the faith, it is by her judgment that they must be settled.

Additionally, one of the ideas condemned in Pius IX’s 1864 Syllabus of Errors was:

3. Roman pontiffs and ecumenical councils have wandered outside the limits of their powers, have usurped the rights of princes, and have even erred in defining matters of faith and morals. — Damnatio ‘Multiplices inter,’ June 10, 1851.

So we have at least two councils stating clearly that the pope has the “absolute fullness” of power, and the “supreme and full primacy and principality over the whole catholic church,” and one landmark papal document condemning the notion that popes or councils have “wandered outside the limits of their powers,” or “have even erred in defining matters of faith and morals.”

It seems pretty clear-cut, then, what the Church teaches about the pope’s doctrinal and magisterial authority. And the passage from the Syllabus rejects the notion that popes have abused that authority. Setting aside the notion of sinful or ineffective popes, it is quite clear from these teachings that the Church is teaching us to trust the pope in areas of faith and morals, and to obey his disciplinary and prudential decisions.

I write about this for two reasons: the first is that Cardinal Burke delivered an address discussing what he understands to be the limits of the pope’s Fullness of Power, and because in his recent podcast interview with former Catholic Answers radio host Patrick Coffin, he discussed the progress of the canonization cause of the late Fr. John Hardon, SJ, a Servant of God who passed away in the year 2000.

Fr. Hardon was an old-school, staunchly conservative American Jesuit, who was known for his catechetical writings and for travelling the world giving retreats and speaking at conferences on the Catholic faith, morality, and adherence to doctrine. He was open and blunt in the style that today’s Catholic far right says they wish all of our priests and bishops would be.

Hardon was not a traditionalist, at least not in the sense that it’s generally understood today. He embraced Vatican II and the revised liturgy, and was friends with Sts. Paul VI and John Paul II. That said, he was an extremely harsh critic of the so-called “Spirit of Vatican II,” or any attempts to take liberties with doctrine or moral teaching. For example, his criticism of theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar (audio here) is something of a foretaste of Michael Voris’s attacks on Robert Barron’s statements about salvation. He was no fan of creative approaches to theology. He was very Eucharist-centered, and a champion of Eucharistic adoration. His best-known work, The Catholic Catechism, is said to have served as a model for the official, universal Catechism that was promulgated by the Holy See almost two decades later.

My mother and aunt attended one of his retreats in the 1990s, and I remember the experience having a profound effect on both of them. My aunt had just gone through a painful and traumatic divorce, and she told us that during spiritual direction with Fr. Hardon, he promised that he would pray for her every day, from then on. My mother was in awe of the man, and she repeated one anecdote – that Fr. Hardon went to confession every single day – many times in the years that followed.

In the interview with Coffin, Burke explained that while his sainthood cause is ongoing, the next (and lengthy) step requires Hardon’s writings to be analyzed for orthodoxy before the cause can proceed. Cardinal Burke clearly has great admiration and deep affection for Fr. Hardon, and is known as something of a successor to Hardon’s ministry.

Indeed, Cardinal Burke is the spiritual director for one of Hardon’s apostolates, the Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association. He is also the International Director of the Marian Catechist Apostolate and is featured prominently on the website of the Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. Archive and Guild, which promotes his canonization. There are more connections, but you get the idea.

What’s odd about this is that such a devoted spiritual son of Fr. Hardon seems to hold beliefs about the papacy that are explicitly contrary to those of Fr. Hardon.

One of the major points of emphasis of Hardon’s message was the great importance of papal primacy. This is how he defined it in his Catechism (source):

ROMAN PRIMACY

The supreme and full power of jurisdiction possessed by divine right by the Bishop of Rome over the whole Church in matters of faith and in matters pertaining to the discipline and government of the Church spread throughout the world. This power is not merely symbolic but real and truly episcopal; it is ordinary in belonging to the office; it is immediate and not dependent on any other human authority; and it affects each and every church, each and every pastor, and every single one of the faithful.

This is consistent with other statements Hardon said and wrote about the papacy (all of the following quotes were culled from this site (which, remember, is under Burke’s patronage); some spellings and punctuation have been corrected):

  • “Obedience to the Vicar of Christ among all Catholics is the single greatest need in the Catholic Church today.”
  • “How necessary this is; to stress that apart from the See of Peter there is no certainty, no security, and no unity in Christianity.”
  • “How we should beg the dear Lord that Catholics might rally behind the Pope in these difficult times. Nowhere else can we find the certitude of possessing the truth, or the security that we are doing God’s will.”
  • “Since the close of the first century, this has been the final test of whether a person who calls himself a Christian is also Catholic. Every break in Catholic unity has been based on the rejection of the papacy. Correspondingly, every union among Catholics has been based on the acceptance of papal authority.”
  • “There is nothing on earth that is more desperately needed to reunite Christendom than to recognize the Pope as the Vicar of Christ on earth.”
  • “We now know, more clearly than ever before, that not only progress in the spiritual life depends on people’s faith in the supreme authority of the Bishop of Rome. The very survival of Christian spirituality is at stake.”
  • “What assurance do we have that the persons who are honored by the Church as saints are really imitatible as patterns of holiness? In the final analysis, it is the authority of the Bishop of Rome.”
  • “The Bishop of Rome is the teacher of the whole human race, and not only, dear Lord, not only of believers, all of mankind needs to be fed the truth.”
  • “The apostles were subject to the authority of Peter and the successors of the apostles, the bishops of the Catholic Church are subject to the authority of the successor of Peter.”
  • “Out of the marvelous truths taught by Vatican II is the fact that no authority is binding unless it concurs with, is in agreement with, is consistent with, the teaching of the Bishop of Rome.”
  • “The strength and vitality of the Catholic faith depends on our belief in and loyalty to the Bishop of Rome, our faith is only as Catholic as we are obedient, subject in mind, to the teachings of the Bishop of Rome.”
  • “Loyalty to the Pope is one of the hallmarks of fidelity to Christ. So true is this, that we can measure our love for Christ by our love for the Vicar of Christ.”
  • “We ask, but Lord, what are Your commandments? Then we turn to the Bishop of Rome, and there Christ tells us what His commandments are.”
  • “Defend, defend the Roman Pontiff in word and action, to safeguard the true faith in our world.”

I could go on. I haven’t even looked at a few of the documents on the webpage.

Contrast Hardon’s words with those spoken by Cardinal Burke in his address:

“The juxtaposition of the classic words which describe the power of the Pope, such that all things in the Church must be with Peter and under Peter, and the presence of the body of the Pope in a meeting risks a misunderstanding of the authority of the Pope which is not magical but derives from his obedience to Our Lord.

Such magical thinking is also reflected in the docile response of some of the faithful to whatever the Roman Pontiff may say, claiming that, if the Holy Father says something, then we must accept it as papal teaching.”

“If, a member of the faithful believes in conscience that a particular exercise of the fullness of power is sinful and cannot bring his conscience to peace in the matter, ‘the pope must, as a duty, be disobeyed, and the consequences of disobedience be suffered in Christian patience.’”

“Suffice it to say that, as history shows, it is possible that the Roman Pontiff, exercising the fullness of power, can fall either into heresy or into the dereliction of his primary duty to safeguard and promote the unity of faith, worship and practice.”

“Because this power is from God Himself, it is limited as such by natural and divine law, which are expressions of the eternal and unchangeable truth and goodness that come from God, are fully revealed in Christ, and have been handed on in the Church throughout time. Therefore, any expression of doctrine or law or practice that is not in conformity with Divine Revelation, as contained in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s Tradition cannot be an authentic exercise of the Apostolic or Petrine ministry and must be rejected by the faithful.”

Cardinal Burke relies on a medieval canonist and a handful of contemporary theologians to support his thesis. The passages from the documents of Vatican I and II don’t support his thesis at all. There’s simply no material in the official, magisterial teachings of the Church that support his hypothesis that the faithful can judge the pope’s teaching to be heretical or doctrinally erroneous. Fr. Hardon knew this.

Burke’s address contains many “workarounds” that try to justify dissent from the teachings on the papacy that Fr. Hardon articulated so clearly. In contrast to his protégé, Fr. Hardon was not in the business of coming up with reasons to reject the authority and primacy of the pope.

I wonder if Burke believes that, in reviewing them for his sainthood cause, Hardon’s writings and statements about papal primacy are orthodox. Does he think they are “magical thinking” and “papolatry” – two phrases he used to describe those who embrace papal supremacy in the way Hardon did? Or will he come up with more workarounds in an attempt to explain away the clear meaning of Hardon’s words?

I pray for Cardinal Burke, and hope that he benefits from the wisdom of Fr. John Hardon. I hope that he stops fanning the flames of rebellion in the Church, and calls on his followers to repent and show fidelity to the Holy Father, and to respect his Plenitudo potestatis.

 


Image credit: ©2010 – 2011 PBR Photo’s

Cardinal Burke at Saint Francis de Sales for Solemn Te Deum and Benediction

 

 

 

 

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40 Responses

  1. Avatar jong says:

    Bro.Mike,
    I’m not sure if your the one who wrote a piece of article, I think a year ago about Cardinal McCarrick must be defrock or laicize but I defended Cardinal McCarrick because I believed in Muttel Vogel private revelation written in famous Pieta Prayer “Never attack a priest” even if he committed grave sins.
    I defended Cardinal McCarrick because my discernment is, any priest, bishops & Cardinals or personalities that does not belong to their group, the Rad Trads will attack their dignity.
    In my heart and discernment Cardinal McCarrick was only a fallen priest that had fallen into the trap of Satan but he is a good & kind hearted priest as evident the famous book of Fr.Gaitley 33 Days to Morning Glory he has backprint remarks and a lot more. I am praying for Mama Mary’s maternal mediation for his complete repentance & healing .
    Why am I saying this? How about the priest, bishops and Cardinals who are attacking the dignity of the Vicar of Christ, can we attack them too knowing the revealed words of Jesus & Mary to Muttel Vogel that we must Never Attack a Priest?
    Well, I am a member of Marian Movement of Priest and our duty as Mama Mary’s warrior is to defend the Church united to the Pope.
    In my discernment and holding on to Blessed Fulton Sheen prophesy on the counterfeit church, St.Pope Paul VI saying “smoke of satan had entered the Church and St.JP2 words on the Final Confrontation. We really are in a war right now.
    How can we justify our actions and words against the likes of the well known opposition and attacker of Pope Francis and all the prelates & clergy loyal to him?
    We must believe in the words of Pope BXVI when he said “pray for me that I may not flee from the wolves”. You see, a contemplative souls sees the Cardinals & Bishops who are infected by the Spirit of Judas as “wolves” in literal sense. And Pope Francis sees the Church critics & enemies as “packed of wild dogs”. Pope Francis & Pope Benedict XVI are both contemplatives and we can believe that when they said “wolves & dogs” they really see this Cardinals & Bishops like real evil animals. St.John Vianney sees monkeys on the back of people confessing.
    We have to see the reality of “spiritual war” right now and become contemplatives, that’s why Pope Francis is imploring all of us to seek conversion & silence and to become contemplatives for us to see who are the “wolves & dogs” who appear pious & meek on the outside to deceive us.
    Is Cardinal Burke, Ab.Vigano. Cardinal Muller, etc. the “wolves in sheep clothing” that Pope Benedict XVI saw inside Vatican during his papacy?
    The gospel of Matthew explicitly warn us against the “false prophets or pastors that are wolves in sheep clothing”. How can we know who are this wolves?
    St.Faustina will help us with her words “the devil can wear the cloak of piousness but the devil does not know how to wear the cloak of OBEDIENCE.” Plus Pope Francis implore all the Pastors in these times to wear the cloak of “compassion & mercy”.
    So, how can we discern the likes of Cardinal Burke who does not teach “Full Obedience” to the Pope, who does not wear the “cloak of compassion & mercy”? but instead close the Door of Mercy to couples in irregular union & LGBTQ? Also they perfectly imitate the style of the Pharisees who in the gospel asked Jesus about “divorce and adultery to trap Him.(Matthew19:3)
    Did the Dubia Cardinals also seek question to Pope Francis to “trap him”?

    Who are the one sowing “diabolical disorientation” in this end times, the Rad Trads said it is Pope Francis..ofcourse we do not believe this because the “wolves & packed of wild dogs” are the one sowing “diabolical disorientation” thru the Council of Media established by Satan.
    Proof, last 2 days ago Patrick Coffin was reviving Ab.Vigano’s action and praising him and now Dr..Marhsall is discussing the same topic and ofcourse Lifesite News will be echoing the same and all the Rad Trads channel will be in unison with their attack on this topic.
    What is obvious right now is, they are planting that seed and encouraging their viewers to accept the thinking that one day they will all march towards Rome to demand the resignation or ouster of Pope Francis..this is now what the Rad Trads are cooking.

    Lastly, Hans Urs Von Balthasar vs Fr .Hardon, both of this priest have a good wisdom to be admired. I compare this two good priest both are worthy to become saint like Blessed Duns Scotus and St.Thomas Aquinas. Hans Balthasar received the inspiration about the Mercy of God and he read the gospel according to Will of the Father and this is the gift given to Hans Balthasar, while Fr.Hardon received the superb intellect like St.Thomas Aquinas. But ofcourse it was Blessed Duns Scotus who solved the mystery of the Immaculate Conception. And the wisdom of Hans Balthasar prevails in our times to proclaim the Infinite Mercy of God. My Jesus mercy. S&IHMMP4us.Amen

    • Avatar Aqua says:

      This ranks as the most stunning comment I have ever read in the Catholic blogosphere.

      From base premises, conclusions must follow.

      • Avatar jong says:

        Aqua
        Are you saying that we are not seeing a Two Catholic Church today? We can no longer deny it as even Pope Francis stated the “real schism” is now visible.
        Cardinal Burke denies he is the leader of the opposing Trads but his words and actions are contrary to what he is saying.
        Allow me to share the wisdom why Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Muller, Ab.Vigano , and now the recent alumni in St.JP2 Institute,etc. were removed from their post. Why?
        Pastor Aeturnus a Church Dogma states a Pope enjoys the charism and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
        Very simple, If I am the Pope and you are resisting and opposing the Holy Spirit inspirations in the approved Magisterial teachings. Then who are inspiring the Dubia Cardinals, et al?. Dont tell me the same Holy Spirit are inspiring them to oppose Pope Francis inspired teachings.
        In spiritual realm esp. if you are a contemplative Pope like Pope BXVI and Pope Francis, all the prelates & clergy cannot easily hide their spirtuality esp. if the Pope prayed hard to God to show him who are the enemies of the Church inside and outside the Vatican. Remember the ‘wolves” are already operating during St.JP2 papacy thats why Pope BXVI ask for our prayers for him not to flee from the wolves.
        Now, how can you expose and remove the wolves(Cardinals & Bishop) occupying powerful position in Rome?
        The Pope cannot unjustly remove a Cardinal or Bishop suspected to belong or connected to the Council of Media as Pope BXVI revealed their presence inside Vatican. The Council of Media are the one responsible in undermining the Vatican II Mission and attacking the Vatican II Popes and they are very noisy right now.
        How did Pope Francis expose all the wolves? Remember the wolves are infected by the Spirit of Judas or Clericalism and the devils hated the “Mercy of God” because it snatches captives souls in their hands not to mention the fallen angels did not experience the Mercy of God but only His immediate judgement.
        Are you not aware that Amoris L. and CCC2267 were not only a teachings but its main purpose is a “weapon” to divide the Church, Why?
        The Church must be purified and disobedient souls must be converted or removed. AL & CCC2267 are both imploring the Infinite Mercy of God, it is not orthodox in the eyes of the Dubia.. The Mercy of God is not orthodox to the Pharisees too, but it is deeply orthodox to all contemplatives souls like Mama Mary the Mother of Mercy who wears the cloak of mercy & compassion.
        Now do you have an idea, who is the “counterfeit catholic church” that St.JP2 described as will be the enemy of Vatican II, this counterfeit church will be preaching the “anti-gospel”
        What is the gospel? Pope BXVI said “the heart of the gospel is Divine Mercy”
        What is the gospel that is being preach by the Dubia Cardinals et,al?
        Justice & Condemnation and for them Pope Francis teachings are “false mercy”.
        Why dont you read James2:13 to find out the Truth and Matthew9:13.
        My Jesus mercy.

      • Avatar Mike Lewis says:

        Jong, I’m sorry, but we aren’t going to post any comments defending Theodore McCarrick.

    • Avatar Marie says:

      Jong-I think Aqua might be referring to your comment concerning McCormick. To refer to him as a fallen..but good and kind priest is more than pretty shocking. I’m not sure if you truly understand the manipulation that takes place, followed by the total destruction of a once innocent child full of love and laughter, who suffers in silence, sometimes for a lifetime. These children, now young and old men, rarely see the inside of a Church, and even when the perpetrator is caught and sentenced, many continue to stay silent, even with six figures available to claim. They cannot face their pain, shame, anger, whatever they feel deep down inside. I don’t think referring to such a human being as good and kind acknowledges their suffering. Christ has made it clear what he thinks of those who, in his name, destroy children and takes them away from him. I know and love such a young man. Please think of him when you say such things.

  2. Avatar Marie says:

    Thank you Mike for a great article!

  3. Avatar Ed says:

    Here is an interesting and fascinating article by the Orthodox scholar David Bentley Hart on sacraments for the divorced and remarried. I wasn’t aware of all the variation in Church practice over the centuries: https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/divorce-annulment-communion?fbclid=IwAR1RGqnaXTRlmdTZvdeHVVUdyEb8lr_d93oC2RgPH960n9F4-VIg5vDG8tU

  4. Avatar Clayton says:

    I think the author of this article is conflating papal primacy and papal infallibility, or at least misunderstanding which of them Burke was commenting on in the Patrick Coffin podcast. See link below for an extensive treatment about the doctrine and the dogma, respectively, and how they are distinct.

    • Avatar Mike Lewis says:

      Nope. Not conflation. The central issue is how the faithful are to respond to the non-infallible teachings of the pope, and to what degree we should trust the authority of his ordinary teachings.

      It’s what Fr. Hardon was talking about, and it’s what this entire site is based upon.

      The Church has been misled by dissenters like Cardinal Burke who don’t want to grant assent to the Authentic Magisterium.

  5. Avatar Brother Finbar OSB says:

    Another timely article- Mike- sorry to fanboy you like this but after the responses and attacks to your previous article I think you deserve it! In union of prayer DFinbar

  6. Cardinal Burke: “If, a member of the faithful believes in conscience that a particular exercise of the fullness of power is sinful and cannot bring his conscience to peace in the matter, ‘the pope must, as a duty, be disobeyed, and the consequences of disobedience be suffered in Christian patience.'”

    I’ll replace “a particular exercise of the fullness of power” with a few interesting phrases in brackets that the liberal side of Catholicism might use:

    “If, a member of the faithful believes in conscience that [denying women the priesthood] is sinful and cannot bring his conscience to peace in the matter, ‘the pope must, as a duty, be disobeyed, and the consequences of disobedience be suffered in Christian patience.'”

    “If, a member of the faithful believes in conscience that [denying women birth control in an overpopulated world] is sinful and cannot bring his conscience to peace in the matter, ‘the pope must, as a duty, be disobeyed, and the consequences of disobedience be suffered in Christian patience.'”

    “If, a member of the faithful believes in conscience that [forcing a woman to carry a baby to term if it will kill her] is sinful and cannot bring his conscience to peace in the matter, ‘the pope must, as a duty, be disobeyed, and the consequences of disobedience be suffered in Christian patience.'”

    I’ve seen people actually make those arguments. Are they any different to Cardinal Burke’s argument?

    • Avatar Manuel Dauvin says:

      The important difference between what cardinal burke is doing and what the liberals are doing in your astute examples is that the liberal say that the church doesn’t speak for them.
      Cardinal burke is aiming to cast doubt on the very mechanism through which the church legitimately develops her doctrine. He is essentially saying the church is not speaking for herself.

  7. Avatar Arthur McGowan says:

    George Soros needed someone to play the part of Rex Mottram, and he found him.

    I have to give this to Soros: He is an excellent judge of character. When you are bought, you stay bought.

    • Avatar Mike Lewis says:

      Letting this one through, “Arthur.” Just to let others see an example of how ridiculous some of the comments we receive are.

      Apparently he thinks George Soros pays me or something.

  8. Avatar M. says:

    No, it’s just that Cardinal Burke thinks he is justified in disobeying because he “thinks with the mind of the church.” Hmm. Does he also get to decide who else thinks with the mind of the church?
    His disobedient nonsense needs to stop, its an absolute scandal.

  9. Avatar Faith says:

    Excellent article, Mike. Thank you for loving the Church and not resorting to sarcasm and ad hominem attacks to those confused souls such as Cardinal Burke. He needs our prayers and good will. He has done a lot of good for the Church but I believe that he is reacting in frustration and needs to pause and repent… I agree that Burke is participating in great evil, perhaps & hopefully unknowingly.

  10. Avatar Jim the Scott says:

    Well in my time I have dealt with really bad criticisms of Pope Francis over at the comboxs at Crisis now here I find the opposite badness! Oy Vey!

    None of the citations you produce here say the Pope cannot abuse his authority nor do they say the Pope peers (i.e. fellow bishops) can’t call him out when he does. They merely say the Pope does not abuse his authority when he exercises it legitimately.

    Also without citations from Burke how do I know he is at odds with any of these citations from Vatican One? All yer arguments here are without exception arguments from inuendo. Are you Mike Lewis or Taylor Marshall? Because I can get that same level of lame intellectually inferior argument reading his latest book(that he is a fellow Traditional Thomist who shames the rest of us is a bitter pill to swollow). You seem to be no better. What gives?

    >The passages from the documents of Vatican I and II don’t support his thesis at all.

    Without specific citations from Burke why should I believe you when you call Cardinal Burke a dissenter? As if he had anything in common with the like of Hans Kung? You are like some of the Radtrads I butt heads with who claim Pope Francis says we should not judge homosexual acts immoral because of his “who am I to judge” statement. Those morons won’t read the actual quote in context which does not lend it to that interpretation. Also even if Vigano’s charges are true and Francis let McCarreck run amok on paper and formally this Pope’s teachings on homosexuality are the same as his predecessors. That is beyond dispute.

    But that has Burke said specifically that contradicts V1? Well? One hopes you can produce something and if you can’t I say you are no better than a Radtrad.

    Well?

    • Avatar Jim the Scott says:

      I wish there was an edit function. What has Burke literally said about the Pope that contradicts V1? Me thinks you will find it with the Radtrad claims Pope Francis’ formally endorse homosexuality in fantasy land.

      Well?

    • Avatar jong says:

      Jim the Scott
      “But that has Burke said specifically that contradicts V1? Well? One hopes you can produce something and if you can’t I say you are no better than a Radtrad.” (your statement and a challenge)
      In answer to your challenge I will allow Cardinal Muller to answer it for you back in 2017 when he was still the Prefect of CDF.
      Here is what Cardinal Muller warn or direct reminders to all the Dubia Cardinals;
      read below article link;
      The card Müller: “Amoris Laetitia is clear in the doctrine, the dubia are of no use”https://www.uccronline.it/2017/01/09/il-card-muller-fedele-alleato-di-bergoglio-e-di-ratzinger/
      Cardinal Burke along with other dissenters who happens to be not just a Canon Lawyer but also a theologians. Are they allow by church rules to make a public dissent and express a contradictory opinion on an approved Magisterial teachings?
      Cardinal Muller who in 2017 said following:
      1.”Amoris Laetitia is clear in the doctrine, the dubia are of no use”
      2. “a possible fraternal correction of the Pope seems to me very far away, it is not possible at this time because it is not a danger for the faith , as Saint Thomas said. “Amoris Laetitia” is very clear in its doctrine and we can interpret the whole doctrine of Jesus on marriage, the whole doctrine of the Church in 2000 years of history ” .
      3. In any case, he reminded his colleague that any “correction” must “take place in camera caritatis” . So not publicly .
      4.An appropriate warning, Müller himself explained: “The cardinals have the right to write a letter to the Pope. I was amazed because this became public, forcing the Pope to say yes or no. I don’t like this . It is damaging for the Church to discuss these things publicly ” .
      https://www.uccronline.it/2017/01/09/il-card-muller-fedele-alleato-di-bergoglio-e-di-ratzinger/

      Is this answer and explanation coming from Cardinal Muller himself when he was still the prefect of CDF in 2017 already convince you about this article regarding how Cardinal Burke et,al are not allowed any public dissent and it’s very clear that they must seek clarifications or any”correction” must “take place in camera caritatis”.
      Now do you want me to post articles to directly cites the words of Cardinal Burke? a numerous youtube videos wherein Cardinal Burke was repeatedly expressing public contradiction to an approved Magisterial teachings like Amoris L. is more than sufficient evidence that he committed a “public dissent” that was a very clear violations of church guidelines which Cardinal Burke et,al. And this violations was committed with “full knowledge of church laws and with full consent”. Are the Dubia Cardinals et,al guilty of mortal sins as they cannot excuse ignorance being a Doctor of Canon Law and recognized as one of the expert theologians?

      @Marie (i hope by Divine Providence you scroll on this and please do take time to watch this video for you to see if your judgement on a fallen Cardinal is right or wrong)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3iaBLqt8vg&t=6s (please pray one hail mary before watching and tell me if the Cardinal speaking in this video is in the “state of grace” or not. This will prove to you that he was too, a victim of public & relentless attack coming from the Rad Trads and sadly among the faithful catholic who said they are one with Pope Francis but failed to upheld his inspired teachings “that man has not lost their dignity even if theyhad committed a grievious sins” that why Pope Francis implore all of us to wear the cloak of mercy & compassion and not condemnation.
      (hope this final attempt would be allow by Mike Lewis if he really is sincere in all the articles he had written on “religious assent of the mind & will”). God bless. My Jesus mercy.

      • Avatar Marie says:

        Jong- Normally I read with interest your perspective on things. This one continues to dumbfound me. I don’t condemn this man, or anyone, that is not my call. I condemn what he, and others have done that have destroyed innocent lives and taken them away from God.

        Honestly I found nothing particularly inspiring with McCarrick’s speech. He sounds a bit like a name dropper who exaggerates his friendship with the pope. That said, the priest perpetrator I know gave several incredible pro life homilies, and it would not surprise me if those words resulted in saving a life. A double life appears possible.

        I think Jean Vanier said it best, in response to revelations of Père Philippe: “…. I want to convey my strong compassion toward all the victims. I weep with those who were hurt. But I cannot deny what P. Thomas was for me. He was an instrument of God……….There is a huge disconnect between the gravity of these events, the suffering of victims and the action of God in me and in L’Arche through him. I cannot find a way to peacefully put these two realities together. The only thing I can say is that I do not understand……”

        His thoughts are shared by many of us. But nowhere in here does he seek to put forth the good of Philippe (i.e. ” a fallen priest who is good and kind-hearted”), despite acknowledging his connection to his path towards God. He simply acknowledges his pain for the victims and his pain for not being aware. What, if anything he did privately in prayer for him, he kept private, and rightly so, out of respect for the suffering. That is my point. Enough said on this, I just wanted to acknowledge that I listened.

      • Avatar Jim the Scott says:

        @jong

        Yer response is tedious its like arguing with a Radtrad on some misinterpretation of Francis’ words. They assume the Pope’s guilt & refuse to think critically. You are just doing that here with Burke IMHO. I’m not having it.

        >In answer to your challenge I will allow Cardinal Muller to answer it for you back in 2017 when he was still the Prefect of CDF.

        I asked for Burke’s words not Muller’s to show he contradicts Vatican One. At least Carn(see bellow) cited something somewhat plausible from Burke himself(thought not convincing). You are dodging and trying to take me down a Rabbit hole with irrelavent tangents. Radtrads do this to me too when smearing Francis. I am not move when they do it so don’t think you will be successful either with all due respect. Burke deserves to be treated fairly like Pope Francis. It is only just.

        I have nothing against Muller and I agree with him more often than not and I agree with Muller’s interpretation of Amoris and I think his criticism on the prudence of having the Dubia are valid but Muller never says issuing the Dubia make anybody a dissenter.

        “The cardinals have the right to write a letter to the Pope. I was amazed because this became public, forcing the Pope to say yes or no. I don’t like this . It is damaging for the Church to discuss these things publicly ” .

        That is a valid opinion and at the time I agreed with it and I think I still do…but that doesn’t show me where Burke said anything in contradiction to the teachings of Vatican One. So yer response is worthless to me.

        Sorry but you are just Steve Skojec in reverse here.

        I’m not having it. I am not interested in arguing Amoris. I agree with Muller’s interpretation. I am defending Burke from the charge here he contradicted Vatican One. Clearly he didn’t.

        Burke didn’t contradict Vatican One and Pope Francis doesn’t formally endorce homosexual conduct. Water is wet. This is not hard people.

  11. Avatar Jim the Scott says:

    I wish there was an edit function. What has Burke literally said about the Pope that contradicts V1? Me thinks you will find it with the Radtrad claims Pope Francis’ formally endorse homosexuality in fantasy land.

    Well? Can you tell me?

    • Avatar Mike Lewis says:

      I thought the quotes by Burke that I provided were sufficient to demonstrate that he limits papal power in ways that conflict with the teaching of Vatican I. At the very least, they ascribe limits to papal power and justifications for disobedience that are not supported by anything in the Church’s official teachings on Papal Primacy.

      • Avatar carn says:

        “I thought the quotes by Burke that I provided were sufficient to demonstrate”

        With the intent to improve understanding why someone might think the quotes you provided are insufficient, i’ll offer my opinion:

        “The juxtaposition of the classic words which describe the power of the Pope, such that all things in the Church must be with Peter and under Peter, and the presence of the body of the Pope in a meeting risks a misunderstanding of the authority of the Pope which is not magical but derives from his obedience to Our Lord.”

        Not in any violation of teaching, as Card. Burke there only claims that there is under some circumstances some risk of misunderstanding Papal authority. Papal authority can potentially be misunderstood and a Cardinal certainly can hightlight circumstances in which he thinks some misunderstanding is likely.

        “Such magical thinking is also reflected in the docile response of some of the faithful to whatever the Roman Pontiff may say, claiming that, if the Holy Father says something, then we must accept it as papal teaching.”

        That not everything a Pope says is Papal teaching, is perfectly in line with V1, cause V1 never claimed that every single sentence said by a Pope is Papal teching. Accordingly, it would be an error to treat everything a Pope says as Papal teaching.

        A Cardinal is free to warn against that error, if he thinks it takes place.

        “Suffice it to say that, as history shows, it is possible that the Roman Pontiff, exercising the fullness of power, can fall either into heresy or into the dereliction of his primary duty to safeguard and promote the unity of faith, worship and practice.”

        For the statement to be true – and tehrefore unproblematic in respect to V1 – it is sufficient that one of the “or” options was at any time in the 2000 year Church history true. That is the case, as Pope Honorius was criticized by later Popes explicitely for dereliction of duty.

        Stating something that is true is certainly not in violation of V1.

        “If, a member of the faithful believes in conscience that a particular exercise of the fullness of power is sinful and cannot bring his conscience to peace in the matter, ‘the pope must, as a duty, be disobeyed, and the consequences of disobedience be suffered in Christian patience.”

        That statement could be problematic if it discussed only Papal teaching; but it is about all excercise of Papal power.

        So for example it would also include the case, when a Pope would order the head of the Swiss guard to kill someone; ordering the Swiss guard to kill is within Papal power; yet, depending upon whom is to be killed and why such an excercise of power would be sinful and the head of the Swiss guard would be right to disobey that order.

        Therefore understood to its braod wording, the statement is unproblematic.

        Last statement is the only one from which in my opinion one could argue something about contradiction to Church teaching:

        “Because this power is from God Himself, it is limited as such by natural and divine law, which are expressions of the eternal and unchangeable truth and goodness that come from God, are fully revealed in Christ, and have been handed on in the Church throughout time. Therefore, any expression of doctrine or law or practice that is not in conformity with Divine Revelation, as contained in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s Tradition cannot be an authentic exercise of the Apostolic or Petrine ministry and must be rejected by the faithful.”

        Unlike the above “or” statement this names several “or” options under which something is permissible. That is only ok, if for every single or option it is permissible.

        With “practice” this is unproblematic as practice are often nothing but Papal requests, which could be sinful as the above described commend to the Swiss guard.

        With “law” it is more difficult. “Law” are not simple some one-line command from the Pope potentially out of a whim, but “law” is formal codification of something by the Pope. This could include teaching; meaning option “law” could include teaching, in which case Cardinal Burke claims that sometimes Papal teaching might have to be rejected by faithful, or at least something seeming to be Papal teaching without being Papal teaching might have to be rejected (but that would look to outside observers like rejection of Papal teaching).

        With “doctrine” there seems to be no wiggle room. Cardinal Burke seems to suggest that sometimes Papal teaching might have to be rejected by faithful, or at least something seeming to be Papal teaching without being Papal teaching might have to be rejected (but that would look to outside observers like rejection of Papal teaching), and that although the teaching might fit the infallibility criteria of V1 (at least i think that if a Pope proclaims doctrine, that usually would mean infallibility).

        @Mike Lewis:

        Accordingly, only one of the quotes you offer might be a smoking gun, which on its own could be sufficient to support your charges against Cardinal Burke.

        @Jim the Scott: While missing 4 out of 5 times is not perfect, hitting once is enough. The statement by Cardinal Burke:

        “Therefore, any expression of doctrine … that is not in conformity with Divine Revelation, as contained in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s Tradition cannot be an authentic exercise of the Apostolic or Petrine ministry and must be rejected by the faithful.

        is one with serious potential for violating V1. You should be careful not to preemptively agree with Cardinal Burke there, just because Cardinal Burke is correct 80%+ of the time. Though i think one should also check the context of the quote.

      • Avatar Jim the Scott says:

        I would go with most of Carn’s answer to you as too why you didn’t make the case & I have answered his contention as well.

        Peace be with you.

      • Avatar Marie says:

        Carn, in response to Burke’s comment on ‘magical” thinking, who’s living in fantasyland?

        FACT: CCC 85 “The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.” This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome;

        PLUS

        FACT: Can. 752 Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim it by definitive act; therefore, the Christian faithful are to take care to avoid those things which do not agree with it.

        EQUALS

        Follow the Pope.

        Nobody believes everything the pope says is infallible, nice try; in fact, that’s why we are always open to disciplinary changes. We simply follow our faith which asks of us to stay with Peter if we want to stay with the Church.

        Burke truly reveals his sense of superiority by misrepresenting those who respect the Magisterium and by his lack of faith when rejecting one of the foundations of Catholic teaching.

      • Avatar carn says:

        “Burke truly reveals his sense of superiority by misrepresenting those who respect the Magisterium and by his lack of faith when rejecting one of the foundations of Catholic teaching.”

        Maybe.

        But then Cardinal Burke is only guilty of straw man and not guilty of violating V1.

  12. Avatar Jim the Scott says:

    @carn

    >While missing 4 out of 5 times is not perfect, hitting once is enough. The statement by Cardinal Burke:

    I might dispute yer interpretation of it if you don’t mind?

    “Therefore, any expression of doctrine … that is not in conformity with Divine Revelation, as contained in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s Tradition cannot be an authentic exercise of the Apostolic or Petrine ministry and must be rejected by the faithful.”

    Well if the Pope was speaking in an authoritative manner outside of an Ex Cathedra statement that is outside an exercise in his extra-ordinary magesterium powers and flatly & unambigously contradicted natural law or divine revelation then he must be rejected. (wither a pope could or has done this is still argued today) Divine Revelation tells us the holy Father is preserved from teaching error under such circumstances in term of the exercise of his extraordinary magesterium. The Pope’s exercise of his ordinary Magisterium OTOH isn’t always infallible thought it can be under some circumstances.

    See bellow.

    https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2015/11/papal-fallibility.html

    >Though i think one should also check the context of the quote.

    I think it is safe to say Burke in the above statement clearly wasn’t contradicting VaticanOne rather I think he was upholding something Pope Benedict said during his reign which I take from Feser:

    QUOTE” The Pope is not an absolute monarch whose thoughts and desires are law. On the contrary: the Pope’s ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word. He must not proclaim his own ideas, but rather constantly bind himself and the Church to obedience to God’s Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form of opportunism…

    The Pope knows that in his important decisions, he is bound to the great community of faith of all times, to the binding interpretations that have developed throughout the Church’s pilgrimage. Thus, his power is not being above, but at the service of, the Word of God. It is incumbent upon him to ensure that this Word continues to be present in its greatness and to resound in its purity, so that it is not torn to pieces by continuous changes in usage.”END QUOTE

    > You should be careful not to preemptively agree with Cardinal Burke there, just because Cardinal Burke is correct 80%+ of the time.

    I am sure even Burke can make a mistake from time to time. But I am not convinced you made the case here but you did come closer than Mr. Mike Lewis. I thank you for at least puting in the effort. So at least here Burke is 100% correct. Maybe he will make a mistake tomorrow? But not today.

    Pray for the Holy Father and Cardinal Burke.

    • Avatar carn says:

      The main problem i have with arguing one way or another is that i am unsure what Card. Burke exactly means with

      “any expression of doctrine”

      That wording might also include “ex cathedra” statements; at least i cannot exclude that is does. Because the only undisputed and official ex cathedra statement IS an expression of doctrine. So if one says “any expression of doctrine” one also encompasses “ex cathedra” statements.

      And as V1 teaches that it is impossible for “ex cathedra” statements to be false, that sentence by Card. Burke would be wrong.

      But i mentioned context, because potentially something else said by Card. Burke limits what he means with “any expression of doctrine” in that sentence. But as it is quoted, it looks suspicious, cause “ex cathedra” statements are also “expression of doctrine”.

      “I am sure even Burke can make a mistake from time to time. But I am not convinced you made the case here”

      I only tried to make the case, that this statement of him is at least sufficient to seriously consider whether what he is saying there is problematic with V1; not that it is.

      And I am aware that the number of Cardinal Burke’s mistakes in respect to and violations of Church law is probably very low or even rather close to 0.

      • Avatar Jim the Scott says:

        @carn my friend. The only worthy opponent here.

        >The main problem i have with arguing one way or another is that i am unsure what Card. Burke exactly means with “any expression of doctrine” That wording might also include “ex cathedra” statements; at least i cannot exclude that is does. Because the only undisputed and official ex cathedra statement IS an expression of doctrine. So if one says “any expression of doctrine” one also encompasses “ex cathedra” statements.

        Does it suprise you that like Pope Francis and some sections of Vatican II(alledgedly) Cardinal Burke can be ambigious in this writings and statements? If so the principle of charity demand we interpret his words as favoriably as possible just as we should with the Holy Father. Also I don’t think you are making a proper distinciton between “doctrine” vs “dogma”, All dogmas are doctrines but not every doctrine is a dogma. For example the doctrine of Purgatory is a dogma but the doctrine of the Limbo of unbaptized infants is not which is why Pope Benedict XVI in his private writting doubts it(as do I).

        An Ex-Cathedra statement defines a doctrine as a dogma and Burke isn’t taking issue with Pope Francis in that area. If anything he is speaking generically about Popes in general.

        So I maintain you have not made yer case..but..you at least tried to & cited Burke’s actual words. I deeply respect that if only because after years of arguing with Radtrads they are more ambigious then they claim Vatican II is and it gets on my pecks. Cheers sir. I salute you.

        >And I am aware that the number of Cardinal Burke’s mistakes in respect to and violations of Church law is probably very low or even rather close to 0.

        I would replace “violation of Church Law” with “innocent ommisions” and I would agree.

        Cheers again.

  13. Avatar Jim the Scott says:

    Well I am bored so I might as well briefly critique Marie.

    >Carn, in response to Burke’s comment on ‘magical” thinking, who’s living in fantasyland?
    FACT: CCC 85 “The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.” This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome;

    This is just proof texting. Any Atheist can cite Romans 5:1 and James 2:24 and mindlessly claim they contradict one another. A text without a context is just a pretext. I don’t see how Burke’s statement contradicts CCC 85 or Canon Law unless you conflate infallibility with absolute impeccability. Yeh I have a host of Catholic Answers Tracts which would take issue with that.

    A first principle in Scholastic thought is something cannot both be X and Not X at the same time and in the same sense. You have shown me how Burke claims Not X in the same way the CCC claims X in the same sense and in the same relation? Otherwise you cannot prove a contradiction. The Atheist can’t do that with Romans 5:1 & James 2:24. I don’t see how this can be done with Burke and the CCC and the code of Canon law?

    PLUS

    FACT: Can. 752 Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim it by definitive act; therefore, the Christian faithful are to take care to avoid those things which do not agree with it.

    EQUALS

    Follow the Pope.

    Nobody believes everything the pope says is infallible, nice try; in fact, that’s why we are always open to disciplinary changes. We simply follow our faith which asks of us to stay with Peter if we want to stay with the Church.

    Burke truly reveals his sense of superiority by misrepresenting those who respect the Magisterium and by his lack of faith when rejecting one of the foundations of Catholic teaching.

    • Avatar Jim the Scott says:

      Oh heck why is there no edit or delete function?

    • Avatar carn says:

      “Well I am bored so I might as well briefly critique Marie.”

      Reduce your antagonism.

      What I learned is that it is also something of who texts are understood.

      If you check out older WPI posts you will find a long history of me arguing here against what WPI says. My position is not theirs.

      But its not illwill from their side.

      Mike Lews and Marie are probably sincerely convinced that the quotes by Cardinal Burke are smoking gun evidence of Cardinal Burke promoting heresy and/or schism and/or illegitimate disobedience. They probably scratch their heads trying in vain to understand, why you or me do not see this.

      Just as you probably shake your head in disbelieve how they could think this is smoking gun evidence, so clear that it does not require explanation.

      Which means that you (and probably me) somehow understand differently what is written there.

      And this is relevant for the following reason:

      If there is such a language barrier, then I and probably you as well are not only on a different side where WPI people are; but probably also on a different side where the Pope is. Which means that what we understand from the Pope’s words might be quite different from what he intended to convey.

      That does not change, that when he says something you or I have good reason to consider as problematic, that this is then no problem.

      But it does mean, one should still presume that the Pope has good intent even if his words make limited sense. His language is not mine and probably not yours.

      (And of course you should graciously ignore the “the language of the Pope is love” response this might evoke from other people)

  14. Avatar Jim the Scott says:

    Most attacks on Cardinal Burke here are unfair and mirror the extremist & disordered criticism(as opposed to sober, sound and rational criticism) of Pope Francis. Some people have compared Cardinal Burke to Archbishop Lefebvre(generally speaking). Well, so will I but with a twist. Burke is Lefebvre as Lefebvre SHOULD HAVE BEEN. Let me explain. In Tolken’s Lord of the Rings after dying in his battle with the Balrog Gandalf the Grey comes back to life as Gandalf the White. He is first mistaken for Saruman the White who turned evil and became Saruman of many colors. Gandalf dismisses Saruman from the order of Wizard and says “He is now Saruman as Saruman should have been”.
    Burke is confronted by a Pope who he thinks is cocking it up like Lefebvre (thought I don’t think I would compaire Pope St Paul VI to Francis as this time) but he has not disobeyed. He has remained faithful. He speaks truth to power but always in submission and he has openly told Lefebvre wannabe critics of Pope Francis that he wil never lead a schism. That jerk Lefebvre went off and consecrated his own bishops and I might suggest set the Traditonalist Catholic cause back in a major way. After who doesn’t now associate Latin Mass with schism which is tragic?

    At the end of the Day Burke is Francis’ most loyal Cardinal IMHO. Lefebvre could have been the same to Popes St Paul VI and St John Paul but like Saruman he went full on many colors and you never go the full many colors.

    • Avatar jong says:

      Jim the Scott
      Cardinal Burke complain and resisted Pope Francis teachings because he called it “ambiguous”.
      In this particular article, Cardinal Burke is teaching us a “ambiguity” too, because his thesis as Mike Lewis pointed out is not orthodox and cannot be supported by the 2000 years Church Traditions and doctrines.
      Cardinal Burke porposed a thesis a way of thinking which is “AMBIGUOUS”, why?
      What particular papal teachings can be disobey and who will decide if the papal teachings has an error?
      Lumen Gentium25 is an infallible doctrines that gave us a “definitive or orthodox definition” how to submit to papal teachings and it is incorporated into Canon Law so that if not followed will meted a penalty on our behavior or actions.
      On the other hand Cardinal Burke thesis is not clear it is ambiguous and therefore not orthodox.
      What is the obvious fault of Cardinal Burke?
      1. He did not followed Donum Veritatis guidelines in seeking clarifications as Cardinal Muller already warn them that it should not be done in public but in “camera caritatis”.
      2. Cardinal Burke knows Lumen Gentium25 and he keeps on expressing contradictory views in public in numerous interviews.
      3. Cardinal Burke is a Doctor of Canon Law and don’t tell me he doesn’t know Canon752.
      4. Cardinal Burke is teaching and preaching the “anti-gospel” by calling Pope Francis teachings as “false mercy”. Read James2:13 on the “primacy of mercy over justice”. Cardinal Burke is preaching the reverse.
      5. Cardinal Burke is denying that he is the leader of the opposition but his actions and words is very obvious. But ofcourse, the opposition has no clear leader at this time because all of them wanted to be politically appointed into the Papacy, how?
      It’s a choice between Ab.Vigano & Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider is also running his own campaign, I don’t see Cardinal Muller as a candidate as the Rad Trads chanels only mention Burke,Vigano and Schneider as candidate for their pope.
      What is the scenario today after a year of Ab.Vigano expose? The Council of Media is still working on daily sowing Fake News and criticizing every words of Pope Francis and the works of the Church. The Litany of Lies & Deceptions are still very much uttered in the Rad Trads channel, but the big improvement is “synchronization” of attacks on a specific topic. The Rad Trads upcoming Catholic Identity Crisis in recent Michael Matt video is calling on the Clan of Trads to unite into one single mission and calling on them to set aside their differences in the name of fighting the Vatican II Church error and Pope Francis heretical teachings and other false accusations.
      The Rad Trads are going in the directions towards the Final Confrontation, and in my discernment they are just waiting for the Vatican to release the report on Cardinal McCarrick and if the report runs contrary to Ab.Vigano’s fabricated story telling in his original testimony, then we can see the Clan of Rad Trads marching towards Rome to demand the ouster of Pope Francis. BTW Pope Francis reform initiatives on St..JP2 had added a growing list of vocal church critics & enemies. So, expect a very noisy Rad Trads channels ahead.

  1. September 5, 2019

    […] ever Webwatch, almost five years ago, it seems ironic, looking at the wherepeteris.com post ‘What would Fr Hardon say?’ that he has become perhaps the most divisive and confusing figure in our Church […]

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