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Burke: If Francis Won’t “Clarify Serious Error,” Cardinals Must Take Corrective Action November 16, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, Francis, General Catholic, horror, Revolution, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.

Put another, less diplomatic way, what Cardinal Burke is essentially saying is that, if Francis will not abjure the errors, or, at the very least, extremely dubious assertions, of Amoris Laetitia, Burke and others will move to try to correct him according to canon law, which could include the convoking of a general council to make a judgment of the pope’s adherence to the Sacred Deposit of Faith.  I can’t imagine how that would play out in any way that would lead to a negative judgment against Francis, given the state of the Church today and with so many prelates clearly given over to his view of things, but it’s most definitely a very serious warning.  I can’t really even see a sufficient number of prelates to be in agreement with Burke and other more faithful bishops – which are not inconsiderable in number, but I would think far short of a majority – to even call a general council against the will of the pope.  The last time such a thing occurred there were kings and princes with the ability to summon councils, but such do not exist any more.

Nevertheless, the plot thickens, and significantly so:

After joining a group of four cardinals in releasing a call for Pope Francis to clarify grave errors in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, Cardinal Raymond Burke has now indicated the cardinals are contemplating a “formal correction” should the pope fail to address their concerns.

The cardinals had written to the pope with their concerns on September 19, but after failing to receive a response for nearly two months, they released the letter publicly on Monday morning.

Now, in an interview with the National Catholic Register’s Ed Pentin, Burke discusses the next steps should the pope fail to address the cardinals’ concerns. Here is Pentin’s question and the cardinal’s response:

What happens if the Holy Father does not respond to your act of justice and charity and fails to give the clarification of the Church’s teaching that you hope to achieve?

Then we would have to address that situation. There is, in the Tradition of the Church, the practice of correction of the Roman Pontiff. It is something that is clearly quite rare. But if there is no response to these questions, then I would say that it would be a question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error. [So, Burke is claiming that Amoris Laetitia contains more than mere vague or confusing statements, but actually promotes and contains serious error.  In the history of the Church, there is only one means for dealing with those who persist in manifest, obdurate error (heresy) – and that is a declaration that they are outside the Church.  But such has never been formally declared of a reigning pontiff in the history of the Church, has it?]

Burke goes on to insist that in a case of conflict between the pope and Church Tradition, the Tradition is binding. “Ecclesial authority exists only in service of the Tradition,” Burke explains. “I think of that passage of St. Paul in the [Letter to the] Galatians (1:8), that if ‘even an angel should preach unto you any Gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema.’”

Historically, in the rare cases where popes have taught heresy, Burke explains, “It is the duty…, and historically it has happened, of cardinals and bishops to make clear that the Pope is teaching error and to ask him to correct it.” [And on the rare instances this has occurred, the popes in question have, to a man, I believe, had the decency to abjure any errors they professed, or even contemplated, well before the issue got to the level of a formal rebuke.  Will such be the case with Francis?  The evidence we have to date is not terribly hopeful.]

The September 19 letter, signed by Cardinals Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffarra, and Joachim Meisner, asked the pope 5 short questions which call for ‘yes or no’ answers that would immediately clarify the meaning of the confusion-plagued document on precisely those points where theologians, priests and even bishops have offered contradicting interpretations. [Hey, want to know some other documents where precisely the same confusion reigns, with even prelates taking completely contradictory stands?!?  How about Guadium Et Spes, Dignitatis Humanae, Nostra Aetate, etc.]

In the interview, Burke emphasizes that the cardinals have sought to act for “the good of the Church,” which, he says, “is suffering from a tremendous confusion” on the points they have raised especially. He notes, for example, that priests in different dioceses are being given contradictory directions on how to handle the question of access to Communion for those in adulterous unions. [Thus, does a practical schism not exist in the Church today?]

“We, as cardinals, judged it our responsibility to request a clarification with regard to these questions, in order to put an end to this spread of confusion that is actually leading people into error,” he says.

Again, I am heartened to see this, and it will be quite revealing to see this situation unfold.  Burke is getting very, very close to stating Francis formally promotes error.  Amazing. I pray that the Lord will give abundant strength to Burke, Meisner, Caffara, Brandmuller, and their allies. It is interesting that Cardinal Muller at the increasingly marginalized CDF has not responded, either.  For all those who have steadfastly maintained for  years that Francis hasn’t promoted any error, nor even made any significant failings of prudential judgment, I must wonder what they are thinking now?

I have been praying for some time that, should push ever come to shove like this, Francis would turn away from his seeming errors and return to the constant belief and practice of the Faith.  It’s a longshot, I know, but hope springs eternal.  The damage to the Church of a public trial of the pope’s belief – which, again, I can hardly believe would actually happen – would be immense.  But what alternative is there, if he keeps on this same course he has been pursuing for nearly 4 years?

It is truly heart-breaking that it has come to this.  What a nightmare, for the entire world.



1. Baseballmom - November 17, 2016

Saw this in LifeSite last night. I must wonder what the big picture is here… the 100th Anniversary of Fatima and this final battle over marriage and family…

2. TF - November 17, 2016

We’re in uncharted territory here but I do not think Burke and co. need the majority of bishops with them. They can make the censures on their own. I think it was Joseph Shaw who pointed this out.

3. DJR - November 17, 2016

I wonder what will happen if it gets to the point that these cardinals censure the pope. Many prelates hold the same views the pope does, and if his views are heretical, so are theirs. Hierarchies such as Poland will stand firm, but the Germans have already folded. Sounds like a sure path to open schism. But what happens when the pope is on the wrong side of the schism?

4. aroamingcatholicny - November 17, 2016

In the case of Liberius, he was anathmetized after his death over the Arian Heresy.
But, the Case of an Imperfect General Council has never been tried.
Question is would Pope Francis resign, given the Alternative of being tried for Heresy?

Tantumblogo - November 17, 2016

With his ego, I doubt it. Couple this post with the video of Yuri Bezmenov. Francis is one of those. He is incapable of seeing anything but the ideology he has been taught. So from his point of view, his opponents aren’t just wrong, they are evil. Only thing that could break through that wall of impenetrability is grace.

aroamingcatholicny - November 17, 2016

I so understand. Pray for his Conversion or Reversion. Sadly, The “Humility” is an act.

5. Gc5341 - November 17, 2016

Thank goodness for this action headed by Cardinal Burke. Let’s all pray these four cardinals. Pope Francis sadly is a product of Vatican II which in practice encourages man to change the Holy and timeless Church to his liking.

Tantumblogo - November 17, 2016

Yes, lets. Thank you, should have made that call myself.

6. Laurence England - November 17, 2016

Francis is very unlikely to back down. More likely he will start excommunicating his opponents or something crazy.

7. TLM - November 17, 2016

That’s alright Tantumblogo………to pray for him and this entire situation is an unspoken ‘given’. Of course we must, goes without saying. This is BIG. Kind of an earthquake in the Church that’s beginning to erupt.

I have read there are many more Bishops supporting this that didn’t sign, but how many is unknown………have read more than 50 and also ‘almost 200’, so it is unknown at this point how many and who they are, but at least we can be sure there is support for this action.

And Laurence…….I have read this from others, but to ‘excommunicate’ don’t you have to provide good reason to do that? It wouldn’t seem at this point that Francis could come up with sufficient reason but ?????? Who am I but a simple pewsitting lay faithful, so I really have no clue in that department.

8. The Lord's Blog - November 17, 2016

Reblogged this on Jean'sBistro2010's Blog and commented:
“We, as cardinals, judged it our responsibility to request a clarification with regard to these questions, in order to put an end to this spread of confusion that is actually leading people into error,” he says.

9. tg - November 17, 2016

Praying for the four cardinals and others to get the courage to join them publically. Praying for a new Pope. What is the laity to do if their bishop followed a formal heretic? Not attend their local parish and wait for a traveling faithful priest?

10. Endlessly Baffled - November 17, 2016

We live in interesting times. I look forward to reading on how this develops.

11. Bea - November 18, 2016

Begin a novena to Our Lady of Good Success to request her intercession, so the efforts of Cardinal Burke and the others will be for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.. After all, Our Blessed Mother did predict, when she appeared to Sister Mariana in Quito, Ecuador in 1610, exactly what would happen at the end of the 20th century and in the beginning of the 21st. One can find the novena in the St. Vincent Ferrer Foundation of Texas website, http://www.svfonline.org.

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