How Catholics Should Respond to Cardinal Burke’s Demotion.

Trust the Pope.

That’s all any Catholic needs to do about this situation. No more speculating about Francis’ completely made up “liberal agenda” or some other conspiracy, heretical nonsense. He’s the Pope. We’re the laity. Trust the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

On another note, it would do the laity a massive amount of good to stop trying to segment in the Church into “liberal” and “conservative” factions. I doubt you can find an article online that doesn’t mention Cardinal Burke as a “conservative hero.” It’s pointless, and it does more harm than good.

There is no conservative Catholicism or liberal Catholicism. There is only Catholicism. Such titles put politics and agenda before the faith, and that is dangerous.

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9 thoughts on “How Catholics Should Respond to Cardinal Burke’s Demotion.

  1. I so agree with your point about political agendas! I wish the public in general would quit trying to pigeonhole everyone as to “liberal” and “conservative”, but certainly Catholics shouldn’t fall into that trap. Since when is being pro-life “conservative”? And helping the poor “liberal”? Both are part of the Church’s history, and Catholics should embrace both, IMO. Thanks for pointing out this error people too often make!

  2. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there have been 306 popes, 40 of which have been declared antipopes by historians. The historians decide which is which in retrospect, for as Christ said, “A tree is known by its fruit” (Mt 12:33). We wait and watch for the quality of the fruit. God bless!

    • I think you may be mistaken on what constitutes an anti-Pope. An anti-Pope is someone who claims to be Pope in the face of the legitimately elected Pope. That’s not happening right now.

      Yes, there have been Pope’s in the past who were consumed by evil and the ways of the world, but Francis is not among them. Historians have no say here. The Holy Spirit does, as does the Church authority. Francis is a wonderful Pope. It is the media, mostly secular media, and Catholics who are more concerned with status and politics than faith that have sewn the seeds of doubt. Do not have doubt. Francis has produced wonderful “fruit” thus far.

  3. Demanding that everybody pretend that Church politics does not exist is not helpful. I think that panic is uncalled for. I trust the Holy Father. Most people have no interest in Church politics and rightly so. No one should be encouraging others to panic. But a demand that nobody talk about this because no Church liberals exist? Church liberals exist. Some are in the hierarchy. If you think avoiding a Church tax excludes a person from the sacraments but divorce and remarriage doesn’t there’s something wrong and “liberalism” is an accurate label for what’s wrong. Biden and Pilosi are Catholic liberals. Catholics who praise, defend and protect them are usually Catholic liberals. Saying liberalism doesn’t exist in the Church now is like saying Arianism didn’t exist in the Church in the 4th Century. It’s both false and unhelpful. I actually don’t think the transfer of Cardinal Burke is a big deal, and have spent a lot of effort telling that to people on the Internet. But people are allowed to look at events, think about them and then tell others the truth about what they think. If people had responded to James Hitchcock’s 1971 Decline and Fall of Radical Catholicism by talking about whether it was true, it would have been much better for the Church. Instead they responded with “I trust the Pope” and it made things easier for Church liberals and harder for Church reformers.

    • Sure, Church liberals and conservatives exits, but there is no “Liberal Catholicism” or “Conservative Catholicism” and it would do us a service to stop perpetuating such a thing. I don’t discredit the idea that liberal ideas have brought some troubles, but so have some of the (politically) conservative ones. My point is that we’re approaching the problem from a partisan standpoint, when really we need to say, “This is Catholicism. This is not Catholicism.” And address what isn’t Catholicism without putting labels on it.

      I think we’re arguing the same side of the coin.

      • It’s certainly true that our disagreement is merely tactical, but it’s an important tactical difference. It would be impossible to get people to follow the argument that Cardinal Kasper and his followers are pushing “non-Catholicism” in saying a second marriage is no bar to Holy Communion, and their non-Catholicism is unrelated to the non-Catholicism of people who reject Humanae Vitae or the theology of Sister Elizabeth Johnson. The ideas are related. The phenomenon deserves a label. Liberalism is an adequate label. Modernism is probably a more accurate one, but it elicits more whining from them. Fighting this tendency without naming it makes resistance all the harder. The people who fought Jansenism had a hard enough time. Telling them they weren’t allowed to use the word “Jansenist” would have made their job more difficult. Naming the problem does not perpetuate it, but is the first step in ending it.

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