Cardinal Burke Criticises Benedict XVI’s Resignation

Cardinal Burke Criticises Benedict XVI’s Resignation

[AKA Catholic Louie calls Him Holiness-emeritus “Benedict the Abdicator”]

en.news – 1/8/18

“It was not a good thing for the Church to lose its universal shepherd”, Cardinal Raymond Burke has commented on the resignation of Benedict XVI, “There is a certain feeling among many Catholics that their father abandoned them.”

Talking to the Macau newspaper O Clarim (December 15) Burke expressed his hopes that papal resignations will not become a common practice.

The cardinal concedes that at the time of his resignation Pope Benedict had reached a certain age, “but certainly he was in full possession of his faculties.”

He is not convinced by the argument that Benedict was no longer able to travel or bear many audiences, “Who says that the pope has to travel or that he has to receive so many people? I think it is necessary to re-examine the substance of the Petrine office.”

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5 comments on “Cardinal Burke Criticises Benedict XVI’s Resignation

  1. Cardinal Burke calls resignation of BXVI into question

    Louie January 9, 2018

    In a December 21st interview with the newspaper of the Diocese of Macau (China), Cardinal Raymond Burke was asked to comment on the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

    He responded:

    It was an action that took me by surprise. It is clear that Pope Benedict has reached a certain age, but certainly he was in full possession of his faculties. Someone said that “he was not longer able to travel or bear many audiences.” But I ask myself: who says that the pope has to travel or that he has to receive so many people? I think it is necessary to re-examine the substance of the Petrine office. I would also say that it was not a good thing for the Church to lose its universal shepherd: there is a certain feeling among many Catholics that their father abandoned them. I hope it does not become a common practice …

    Cardinal Burke further stated in response to a follow-up question:

    But this [travel] is not part of the Petrine ministry per se, whose mission is to safeguard the unity and the practice of the faith, and especially the liturgy.

    Let’s break this down, shall we.

    Certainly he was in full possession of his faculties.

    Cardinal Burke is plainly saying that he does not believe that Pope Benedict lacked the “strength of mind” necessary “to adequately fulfill the [Petrine] ministry entrusted to me;” one of the reasons he gave in his Declaratio of 10 February 2013 announcing his intent to resign; the other being that he lacked the “strength of body” to continue.

    Someone said that “he was not longer able to travel or bear many audiences.”

    That “someone” was Pope Benedict XVI himself, who in an August 2016 interview with La Repubblica cited as the primary factor (“above all”) in his decision to resign:

    Above all, I realized that I was no longer able to face the future in transoceanic flights due to the problem of time zones …

    About this claim concerning his “strength of body,” Cardinal Burke also cried foul:

    Who says that the pope has to travel? This is not part of the Petrine ministry.

    In short, Cardinal Burke is telling us that neither of the two reasons given by Benedict in the Declaratio were, in his estimation, true statements.

    Unless he means to suggest that Benedict had simply erred in assessing his own condition – something that would plainly contradict the idea that he was in full possession of his faculties – it is evident that Cardinal Burke believes that Benedict acted for reasons that he chose not to disclose.

    As some commentators would have it, Cardinal Burke is guilty of setting up “straw men” simply by stating the obvious; namely, when it comes to the events surrounding Benedict’s so-called resignation, all is not what it appears to be.

    As I’ve stated many times, no one other than Benedict (and perhaps a relatively small number of others) knows all of the details concerning this unprecedented situation, but what we do know more than justifies calling into question the validity of his resignation and, therefore, the conclave that followed.

    Whether he intended to do so or not, Cardinal Burke has done precisely this.

    • Cardinal Burke says:

      But this [travel] is not part of the Petrine ministry per se, whose mission is to safeguard the unity and the practice of the faith, and especially the liturgy.

      I agree with His Eminence’s statement not in the context of B16’s resignation/abdication but rather that of the “Petrine ministry per se.”

      Maybe we should return to the idea of the Pope as the “Prisoner of the Vatican” from the period of shortly after Vatican I to that of shortly before Vatican II (that is, from the pontificates of Pius IX to Pius XII) but not in its original meaning of those Popes from Pius IX to Pius XI who refused to accept the one-sided offer from the anti-clericals who seized the Papal States (especially Rome) for the formation of the Italian Kingdom. Thus, those Popes voluntarily became “prisoners” of the Vatican and those areas where the Italian state tolerate their presence. That “imprisonment” enhanced the status of the papacy, and many came to Rome to see and meet the Pope there, rather than his going out to become the pre-modern version of the worldwide jet-setting of the V2 and post V2 Popes. This custom of remaining in the Vatican and Rome continued with Pius XI and Pius XII after the 1929 Lateran Treaty settling what had become known as the “Roman Question” and the original intention of the prayers at the end of Mass.

      Not only do modern and less expensive means of transportation enable more to come to Rome to see and hear the pope, but modern mass communication enable the Pope to be seen and heard in any part of the world – as B16 did for a number of important religious events where he delivered live televised speeches with his fluency in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. His Holiness could have done the same for the Brazilian World Youth Festival for which he claimed that he did not have the energy to travel to or participate in it.

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