Catholic Family News
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The Coming Burke-Bergoglio Conflict

The Coming Burke-Bergoglio Conflict
“I will resist” if the Pope allows
Communion for the divorced and remarried

by John Vennari

Cardinal Raymond Burke made headlines in early February when he said “
I will resist” any effort of Pope Francis to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

Yes, Cardinal Burke, the former head of the Roman Rota, has a corrupt program to resist, as do we all.

It appears Pope Francis has already made up his mind to “allow” divorced and remarried Catholics to receive the Eucharist. We will later demonstrate Pope Francis’ determination on this point, but will first quote Cardinal Burke.

Here are excerpts from Cardinal Burke’s February 8 interview, broadcast on
France 2, which spotlighted the ongoing turmoil from Pope Francis’ Synods.

Burke said, “I cannot accept that Communion be given to a person who is living in an irregular union, because it is adultery. …”[1]

France 2 asked, “How do you intend to place Pope Francis on the good path?”

Cardinal Burke: “On this also, one must be very attentive regarding the power of the Pope. The classic formulation is that ‘the Pope has the plentitude of power, the fullness of power.’ This is true, but it is not absolute power. His power is at the service of the Faith. And thus the Pope does not have the power to change teaching, doctrine.

F2: “
In a somewhat proactive way, can we say that the true guardian of doctrine is you, and not Pope Francis?”

CB: [smiles, shakes head] “… let us leave aside the matter of the Pope. It is our faith, it is the true doctrine that guides us.”

F2: “
If Pope Francis insists on this path, what will you do?

CB: “
I will resist. I cannot do anything else. There is no doubt that this is a difficult time, this is clear, this is clear.”

F2: “
Is it painful?”

CB: “Yes.”

F2: “

CB: “Yes”…

F2: “
Well then is Francis your friend?”

CB: [Laughter] “I would not want to make of the Pope an enemy, certainly.”[2]

Francis’ Determination

It is obvious that any prelate, or any Catholic, who insists the Eucharist cannot be open to divorced and remarried Catholics, will find himself at odds with Pope Francis.

Francis, being more of a ‘people over doctrine’ progressivist, clearly favors the admission of divorced and remarried to the Eucharist. Here is a quick checklist that bears this out:

• The late Cardinal Martini of Milan, one of the most modernist prelates our time, unleashed inflammatory statements in his final interview, claiming that the Catholic Church is “two-hundred years behind the times,” that “our rites and our dress are pompous,” and Martini encouraged opening up reception of the Eucharist for the divorced and remarried Catholics, counseling against what he called “discrimination. Pope Francis, on the first anniversary of the Cardinal’s death, publicly praised Martini as “a father for the whole Church,” and went on to celebrate Martini as a “prophetic” figure, and “a man of discernment and peace.”[3]

• At last year’s Consistory, February 2014, Cardinal Walter Kasper delivered his speech in which he called for a new alleged pastoral approach that would allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive the Eucharist. The next day, in front of all the world’s cardinals, Pope Francis singled out Kasper for public praise saying, “Yesterday, before going to sleep … I read or rather re-read the work of Cardinal Kasper, and I would like to thank him because I found profound theology, and even serene thinking in theology. … excuse me, Eminence, if I embarrass you – but the idea is that this is called ‘doing theology on one’s knees.’ Thank you. Thank you.”[4]

• In the 2013 book,
Pope Francis, Untying the Knot, author Paul Vallely, an admirer of Francis, explains that in Argentina, Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics is considered as no big deal. “In Buenos Aires he [Bergoglio] came across more concrete problems,” said Father Augusto Zampini, a diocesan priest of the city. “When you’re working in a shanty town, 90 percent of your congregation are single or divorced. You have to learn that Communion for the divorced and remarried is not an issue there. Everyone takes Communion.” Vallely goes on to comment, “Bergoglio never altered his doctrinal orthodoxy on such matters but he did not allow dogma to overrule the priority of pastoral concern.” Vallely then quotes Buenos Aires ‘slum’ priest Father Juan Isasmendi, who said “He [Bergoglio] was never rigid about the small and stupid stuff, because he was interested in something deeper.” [5]

Thus Bergoglio comes from a background where Communion for divorced and remarried is considered a minor issue (the “small and stupid stuff”) as compared to larger concerns of preferential option for the poor.

• In April 2014, Pope Francis personally telephoned an Argentine woman who is civilly married to a previously divorced man, to tell her she is allegedly free to receive the Eucharist. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi confirmed the phone call occurred, but could not comment on the details. Despite the colossal scandal caused by the reported telephone chat, Pope Francis – after eight months – has yet to deny he gave the green light to the woman, living in an uncanonical marriage, to receive the Eucharist.[6]

• The final version of the October 2014 Extraordinary Synod’s
Relatio contained three paragraphs that failed to obtain the necessarily 2/3 majority vote of the Synod fathers. The paragraphs concerned, respectively, 1) Communion for the divorced and remarried, 2) cohabitation and 3) homosexuality. The first-mentioned paragraph leaves open the possibility that divorced and remarried may be permitted to receive the Eucharist. Pope Francis insisted these rejected paragraphs be contained in the final Relatio anyway, which is against the rules of the Synod itself. These same rejected paragraphs (now renumbered as 51, 52 and 54) are included in the new Lineamenta preparation document for the upcoming 2015 Synod, and contain no mention that these sections failed to receive the requisite majority vote.

LifeSiteNews’ Hillary White notes, “One Synod father who has attended many such meetings in the past said that retaining sections in a synod’s final Relatio that had been rejected by the bishops’ vote was unprecedented. Such paragraphs in former synods would simply be dropped and never seen again in any subsequent documents.”[7]

We witness here a heavy-handed abuse of authority, an attempt to force corrupt “pastoral” policy upon the Church. The entire drama reeks of that which Pope Francis claims to decry: authoritarianism, top-down centrist power and the worst form of clericalism.

Scrap Doctrine?

Even more troubling is the new
Lineamenta, the Vatican’s guiding document for the 2015 Synod on the Family, which contains yet another questionnaire for the bishops. The document tells Church leaders to “avoid in their responses a formulation of pastoral care that are based simply on an application of doctrine,” for such an approach “would not respect the conclusion of the Extraordinary Synod Assembly and would lead their reflection far from the path already indicated.”

First, such a directive is textbook Modernism; it is a call to exalt the “pastoral” (the supposed “real needs” of people here and now) over the doctrinal. It hearkens back to the point made earlier by Paul Vallely, that Bergoglio in Buenos Aires
“did not allow dogma to overrule the priority of pastoral concern.” This is now the mindset governing the universal Church.

Second, this directive is an open admission that that October’s Extraordinary Synod was not firmly based on Church doctrine, since a program based on the perennial truths of the Faith – according to the
Lineamenta – would veer off the path set by the 2014 Extraordinary Synod.

Lineamenta goes on to say that bishops “are to be guided by the pastoral approach, which is grounded in Vatican II and the Magisterium of Pope Francis.”

In other words, we are to be guided by the “
Church of what’s happenin’ now,” and by the radical, personal program of Pope Francis, crudely camouflaged as Papal magisterium.

“The Extraordinary Synod” of 2014, the
Lineamenta demands, is to be the “point of departure,” in other words, the guiding light for the future, and there should be no attempt to “begin anew.”

Forget the necessary cohesion between doctrine and practice. Our new starting point is the disastrous Extraordinary Synod of 2014 and the alleged needs of the present moment.

This is a blueprint for revolution, a recipe for disaster.

Yes, the conflict is coming. The conflict is here.

And, yes, Cardinal Burke, and all self-respecting Catholics, have no choice but to resist –
and to resist publicly and boldly.

Pope Francis, contrary to the very nature of his Papal Office, appears hell-bent on imposing this top-down abuse on the entire Church, an abuse that insults Our Lord, opens the floodgates to sacrilege, undermines the Sacrament of Matrimony and destroys souls.

• • •
"We witness here a heavy-handed abuse of authority, an attempt to force corrupt “pastoral” policy upon the Church. The entire drama reeks of that which Pope Francis claims to decry: authoritarianism, top-down centrist power and the worst form of clericalism.
• • •


[1] The Cardinal goes on to deal with homosexuality: “On the matter of persons of the same sex, this has nothing to do with matrimony. This is a suffering that some persons have, of being attracted – against nature, sexually – to persons of the same sex. Those people, we must help the to live chastely. But there is no relation to marriage and family, it is a separate issue.”

[2] “Full translation of Cardinal Burke's interview to  France 2: Resisterò (I will resist),” Rorate Ceali, Feb. 9,2014 [emphasis added].
[3] For these quotes and many more, see “Special Report: The Martini Pope,” John Vennari, Catholic Family News, January 2014.
[4] “Kasper Changes the Paradigm, Bergoglio Applauds,” Chiesa, March 1, 2014.
[5] Pope Francis, Untying the Knot, [London: Bloomsbury, 2013], pp. 130-131 [emphasis added].
[6] See “Fr. Lombardi responds to reports of Pope's call to Argentinian woman,” Vatican Radio, April 24, 2014, and “Pope's call to woman raises questions on divorced and remarried,” National Catholic Reporter, April 23, 2014.
[7] “Avoid simply applying doctrine,’ Vatican urges bishops preparing for 2015 Synod,” Hillary White, Lifesitenews, December 15, 2014.

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