Cardinal Burke

Cardinal Burke

Cardinal Burke arrived in Australia last night, and will attend several public functions during the next week.

Cardinal Burke, you probably already know, is Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, which makes him the Church’s chief canonist, after Pope Francis who is Supreme Legislator. In some ways, he could be likened to the Chief Justice of a nation’s highest court.

He is also a refreshingly outspoken prelate. You’ll never hear Cardinal Burke indulging in the beige and politically correct messaging that afflicts so many bishops. Just google “Cardinal Burke” if you doubt that.

He is primarily in Australia to address the World Congress of Families in Melbourne next Saturday. But as I said, he will also share his wisdom at several other functions in Sydney and Melbourne. I’ll meet him on Thursday, at an ACCC-sponsored event for priests.

Other notable events include:

  • Benediction at St Mary’s Cathedral. Followed by drinks in the Cathedral Crypt. 5:30pm, Tuesday 16 August.
  • Q & A at the University of Sydney. 12 noon, Wednesday 17 August.
  • Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form at St Mary’s Cathedral. 7pm, Wednesday 17 August.
  • Theology at the Pub conversation at the Pumphouse Hotel in Melbourne. 6:30pm, Friday 20 August.
  • Pontifical Mass & Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form at Bl John Henry Newman Parish, North Caulfield. 10:30am, Sunday 22 August.

For more information on the Cardinal and his visit, go to Oriens.

  • JB

    I’m considering going to a few of these events but, to be honest, I actually feel a little uncomfortable about some of Cardinal Burke’s actions and the ‘flavour’ of Catholicism that he champions.

    Many of the comments that speakers and organisers of the WCF have made on various issues are divorced from both reality and charity. Take for example the WCC support of Russia’s draconian anti-gay laws, or one speaker’s claims that all contraceptive sexual acts are merely about sexual gratification and lust. It upsets me to think of our bishops (two!) supporting these kind of ideas. Mixing with these elements only clouds our ability to present the Good News to a public who are already antipathetic towards the Church.

    The other issue is his use of clothing such as the cappa magna. Given that priests are supposed to be images of Christ Who chose to become poor I feel incredibly uncomfortable with prelates wearing that kind of attire. It seems to be completely at odds with the priestly poverty that the Holy Father has been encouraging.

    Then again, I became quite disenfranchised with Catholicism due to my experience with traditionalism and I’m only just sorting out my relationship with the Church again now, so maybe my apprehension about Cardinal Burke’s visit is a symptom of that and nothing against the man himself.

    • Good points all, JB. If these claims attributed to WCF speakers are accurate, I share your concern.

      Personally though, I have no problem with the cappa magna. Cardinal Pell has worn it too, and been pilloried for it. To be starkly honest for a moment — and I can because trolls don’t seem to read my blog! — I am uncomfortable with the kind of attire which Pope Francis wears.

      I think the likes of St Francis and St Jean-Marie Vianney — to cite only two holy examples — bear much truer witness to spiritual poverty. While they spared themselves no privation, they also spared no expense on sacred vessels and vestments, which honour the liturgy and honour our Lord. The sort of vestments Pope Francis and a generational cohort of clergy wear honours nobody, and can (not necessarily of course, but certainly conceivably) give license to minimalism and indifference.

    • Sara

      JB why you are upset with catholic teaching about contraception?

      Pope Paul VI predicted that contraceptive use would encourage man to lose respect for woman, considering her “as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.” Through abortion and contraception, women have been degraded to an object of sexual use. Many relationships now are devoid of any authentic interest in the other, because abortion and contraception have opened an even wider door for manipulation. But this can never be Christian love. As Pope Paul VI told Jean Guitton, “… when one has passed beyond that stage of egoism, when one has truly understood that loved is shared joy, a mutual gift, then one comes to what is truly love.”

      Because the world and many in the Church have rejected Pope Paul’s words, we are witnessing what someone has called a worldwide “sexual holocaust.”

      • JB

        I don’t have a problem with people following the Church’s teaching on contraception, I have a problem with characterising all sexual acts that fall outside of a Catholic view of sexual morality as essentially selfish or lustful. Obviously, inasmuch as contraception has separated the natural consequence of sex from the sexual act, it makes promiscuity more commonplace. In this regard I would agree that Humanae Vitae is a prophetic document.

        My point was that if a secular friend asks why why the Church teaches what it does I’m not going to get very far if I begin with “anyone who uses contraception is being selfish and lustful”, am I? Nor am I going to get very far if my first words to a homosexual are “hey, you’re intrinsically disordered and called to celibacy whether you realise it or not. Become Catholic!” Associating with fringe groups like the WCF doesn’t do us any favours when it comes to presenting the Gospel to an already hostile public. I’m just grateful that the mainstream media didn’t pick up on the presence of an Australian bishop and a foreign cardinal at this conference in addition to members of the Government.

        It’s like Pope Francis said: the missionary proclamation begins with the essentials of the Gospel and from this the moral consequences naturally flow. Sometimes I feel that we as a Church get it the other way round.

  • MuMu

    Cardinal Burke will be confirming candidates in the Extraordinary Rite at St Aloysius Church in Balaclava Rd (just north of Hawthorn Rd) at 10.30 am on Sunday, August 31. I imagine the Church will be pretty full, so best to get there early.

  • MuMu

    The attacks on the World Congress of Families event in Melbourne, with the sole aim of shutting it down, show the hypocrisy of those who demand “rights” and free speech only for themselves.

    They also prove what all prolifers know to be truth: that the devil’s main aim for society is to nuke its foundation stone, the normal, natural, traditional and optimal structure of married mother and father and children.

    Contraception and the contraceptive mentality is the little hydrogen bomb which has destroyed Christian civilisation. It lies in ruins around us.

    I salute the brave politicians who endorse the conference and who hope to speak to it on Saturday. They know the family must be preserved, promoted and protected and that this is their first duty in Parliament. Their adversaries are incandescent with rage at the notion the traditional family must be encouraged and nurtured if our culture is to be revived.

    I write all this as a prolifer who has seen the most obscene and demonic behaviour in anti-life demonstrators, who has experienced, as a sole parent, the warmth, welcome and non-judgmental friendship of the prolife community and whose own fractured family proves that the intact married-with-kids is indeed the gold standard and must be defended.

    If anyone wants to know how the Gospel of Life is evangelised, he or she can find out by supporting and participating in a prolife organisation or apostolate. These are the people who live this gospel and convey it to others by their compassion, self-sacrifice, generosity and charity.

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