Lepanto Institute: Your Catholic Week in Review (Malta Edition!)
I want to start with this. I want to have tremendous hope in the pontificate of Pope Francis, I really do.
Catholics around the world know that the church is in the grips of a postmodern age and the postmodern sins that come with it: nihilism, acedia, sloth, laziness, and an adoption of the forms of the Catholic Faith without holding the creed of Mother Church at heart.
The Latin root for heart is cor — and if there is one thing Catholics have lost in the postmodern age, it is this core of our faith.
Too many no longer believe in the sacraments, or worse, believe that the form of the sacraments alone save. Without Christ — without the Church — there is no possibility of salvation.
The bureaucracy that has enveloped the Catholic Church and bent it towards the political has done so in almost every facet of the Church’s public ministry: social justice, charity, missions, education, and even within our universities — particularly felt in the United States.
If is for this reason that Pope Saint John Paul the Great gave us Ex Corde Ecclesiae, and our current crisis perhaps can be viewed in the light of how JP II viewed the role of the university and its duties in the new evangelization. John Paul II quotes Paul VI at length, and for good reason. You see, a Catholic university must be “in the world, not of it” (1 Peter 2:11), bearing a duty not only to evangelize, but to do so to a secular audience where dialogue and encounter with the Christian world is unknown.
Evangelization is not done in a vacuum. Our Catholic identity is no mere rationalization of the mind, nor is it an accumulation of rules to produce a desired outcome. Our Catholic identity is a faith, something no mathematician can crack or any ideologue can manufacture. Like Christ, our faith was meant to be bloody, meant to reject the Pharisees and the pagans alike.
There is a reason why the world attacks the Catholic Church as it does. There is a reason why the world begs the Catholic Church to accommodate, to compromise, to kneel before the times in the illusion that postmodern man can master the world.
Worse than an illusion, this mastery of the world through proportionalist sentiment is centered on a lie — perhaps the oldest lie there is.
While the world is looking for shortcuts to holiness — whether it is at our Catholic universities, among our so-called Catholic bureaucrats, the abnegation of our duties, or a proportionalist siren that asks us to dash the Bark of St. Peter against the rocks of the world — we must rely on the Rock of St. Peter to anchor the Catholic Faith when so much is at stake and Our Lady of Fatima’s 100th anniversary draws near.
This brings us to the news that the Vatican — in an oblique way — is targeting Cardinal Burke through media channels regarding the release of a senior member of the Order of Malta. The UK Tablet is perhaps the most direct in their suggestions:
Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, who has threatened to formally correct the Pope unless his “dubia” receive a response, is now facing some scrutiny of his own after the sacking of a senior Knight of Malta, Albrecht von Boeselager, in a row about the distribution of condoms.
Now that Pope Francis has set up an inquiry into the matter Cardinal Burke has the following questions to answer: on what grounds did he claim the Holy See’s authority in dismissing Boeselager? Did he consult anyone inside the Vatican before Boeselager was dismissed? Did he consult Pope Francis? And if not, why not?
The UK Tablet’s Christopher Lamb informs his readers that an “internal investigation” concluded that the Order of Malta was indeed involved in a condom-distribution schematic, and that it ended the practice three years ago.
Small problem — the condom distribution was merely swept under the rug. That’s right — it continued in 2014… 2015… and 2016… and all under the direct observation of a Malteser International directed grant.
Just yesterday, the Lepanto Institute unveiled our first of what will be a series of reports, this one specifically addressing Malteser International and what our investigators discovered.
You can read our full findings and watch the videos by clicking on the image above, or by clicking here.
Now here’s what is curious about the matter. Why does the UK Tablet link these findings to the dubia signed by Cardinal Burke et al. and other bishops who have lent their names to the project?
More disconcertingly — why??
One of two possibilities is that (a) the Vatican — or someone in the Vatican — is lashing out at Burke and attempting to undermine his moral position regarding the dubia. This is altogether probable given the relationship La Civilta Cattolica’s editor, Fr Antonio Spadaro has with outlets such as the UK Tablet and others in Catholic media circles… and Spadaro’s track record on Twitter manufacturing news stories in order to influence those close to the Holy Father (and his negative disposition towards Cardinal Burke) is altogether well known.
There is a second possiblity. that (b) Cardinal Burke is outlining a very specific and precise problem with the current confusion concerning Amoris Laetitia — one that is being taken advantage of by organizations such as Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Caritas International, and now Malteser International.
…or perhaps it is both?
From the words of Cardinal Burke himself and his interview earlier this week on EWTN:
We have to remember, the criterion here is the truth. There have been cases, for instance, take for example the case of Henry VIII and his desire to be able to enter a second marriage without having his first marriage declared null—all of the bishops of England except St. John Fisher went along with the error, but St. John Fisher is the saint because he defended the truth. And all of us in the Church who are cardinals, bishops, we have the responsibility to defend the truth; whether we seem to be numerous or we seem to be very few doesn’t make any difference. It’s the truth of Christ which has to be taught.
For what did the English martyrs die if the dubia goes unanswered? What answer will we have for them if the Kasperian interpretation of Amoris Laetitia lingers — much less prevails?
Either way, the Lepanto Institute will be responding to the false assertions presented by the UK Tablet and others next week, which we are certain will be of interest to both investigators and reporters.
One last note? What should interest folks here is the disposition of both camps. Cardinal Burke appears very calm, assertive, and in control of his senses… while the bureaucrats huddled around the “reform of the reform” seem quite willing to dispense with invective, Twitter “sock puppets” and direct attacks — even through surrogates in the media if they must.
Back to our earlier point, true Catholic evangelization must come from the heart — not a set of rules or rationalization in pursuit of a mere agenda… and by their fruits, ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:16)