CARDINAL BURKE ADDRESSES THE CLERGY SCANDAL

CARDINAL BURKE ADDRESSES THE CLERGY SCANDAL

by Church Militant  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  August 16, 2018    

Must address problem of homosexuality among bishops and cardinals

Thomas McKenna, the president of Catholic Action for Faith and Family, interviewed Cardinal Raymond Burke this week on the clergy abuse scandal. He granted Church Militant permission to republish his interview.

*******

Thomas McKenna: Your Eminence, a new wave of clergy sexual abuse has surfaced and is indicating a widespread practice of homosexuality among clergy in dioceses and seminaries across the country. What would you say is the root cause of this corruption?

Cardinal Raymond Burke: It was clear after the studies following the 2002 sexual abuse crisis that most of the acts of abuse were in fact homosexual acts committed with adolescent young men. There was a studied attempt to either overlook or to deny this. Now it seems clear in light of these recent terrible scandals that indeed there is a homosexual culture, not only among the clergy but even within the hierarchy, which needs to be purified at the root. It is of course a tendency that is disordered.

I think it has been considerably aggravated by the anti-life culture in which we live, namely the contraceptive culture that separates the sexual act from the conjugal union. The sexual act has no meaning whatsoever except between a man and a woman in marriage since the conjugal act is by its very nature for procreation. I believe that there needs to be an open recognition that we have a very grave problem of a homosexual culture in the Church, especially among the clergy and the hierarchy, that needs to be addressed honestly and efficaciously.

Thomas: Your Eminence, many are saying what needs to be done to address this problem is to determine better procedures and structures to deal with it and that this then would be a solution to resolve the situation. Do you agree with that proposal? Or what do you see needs to be done to resolve this crisis in a thorough manner?

Cardinal Burke: There is no need to develop new procedures. All of the procedures exist in the Church’s discipline, and they have existed throughout the centuries. What is needed is an honest investigation into the alleged situations of grave immorality followed by effective action to sanction those responsible and to be vigilant to prevent that similar situations arise again.

This idea that the conference of bishops should be responsible for addressing this is misguided because the bishops’ conference does not have surveillance over the bishops within the conference. It is the Roman Pontiff, the Holy Father, who has the responsibility to discipline these situations, and it is he who needs to take action following the procedures that are given in the Church’s discipline. This is what will address the situation effectively.

Thomas: Your Eminence, the faith of many in the Church, as a holy rather than corrupt institution, has been shaken. People don’t know what to think about their bishops and their priests. How should the faithful respond to this crisis, especially taking into consideration that many are feeling discouraged and ashamed of their Church?

Cardinal Burke: I understand fully the anger, the profound sense of betrayal that many of the faithful are feeling, even as I experience it myself. The faithful should insist that the situation be addressed honestly and with determination. What we must never permit is that these gravely immoral acts, which have sullied so much the face of the Church, permit us to lose trust in Our Lord, who is the Head and Shepherd of the flock. The Church is His Mystical Body, and we must never lose sight of that truth.

We should be profoundly ashamed of what certain shepherds, certain bishops, have done, but we should never be ashamed of the Church because we know that it is pure and that it is Christ Himself, alive for us in the Church, Who alone is our way to salvation. There is a great temptation that our justified anger over these gravely immoral acts will lead us to lose faith in the Church or to be angry with the Church, instead of angry with those who, even though they held the highest authority in the Church, have betrayed that authority and have acted in an immoral way.

There existed in the Roman Pontifical (the Latin Catholic liturgical book that contains the rites performed by bishops) for centuries the rites for the degradation of clerics and also of hierarchy who had failed gravely in their office. I believe it would be helpful to read over again those rites to understand deeply what the Church has always understood, which is that shepherds can go astray, even in a grave way, and then must be appropriately disciplined and even dismissed from the clerical state.

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3 comments on “CARDINAL BURKE ADDRESSES THE CLERGY SCANDAL

  1. Cardinal Burke: U.S. Catholic Church in ‘possibly the worst crisis that it’s ever experienced’

    Claire Chretien

    August 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic Church in the U.S. is undergoing “possibly the worst crisis that it’s ever experienced” right now, Cardinal Burke said tonight of the ongoing sex abuse scandals and the laity’s distrust for bishops who play a part in it.

    “That has to be recognized and it has to be dealt with in a thorough manner which is faithful to the Church’s moral law and to the Church herself and to the office of the bishops,” Burke, the former Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura and one of orthodox Catholics’ most beloved cardinals, told EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo.

    “I have just completed practically a month’s visit to the United States and I’ve never heard so much anger, so much disappointment, so much frustration from good Catholic faithful,” the cardinal said.

    On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro released a much-awaited grand jury report on decades of sex abuse and Church cover-up across six different dioceses. The report names 301 priests accused of horrific sex abuse and the various bishops who were involved in keeping the cases quiet.

    The grand jury report “needs to be studied carefully,” said Burke, “but it would seem to indicate too, that there was a…failure on [the] part of certain bishops.”

    The Pennsylvania report was released in the wake of revelations that Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., had sexually harassed and abused seminarians and priests over decades. This came to light alongside revelations that he sexually abused children, including the first person he ever baptized.

    Pope Francis accepted the disgraced prelate’s resignation from the College of Cardinals on June 27.

    “It doesn’t seem reasonable to me to think that other prelates didn’t know about” McCarrick’s pederasty, Burke said.

    Commenting on the Dioceses of Newark and Metuchen giving McCarrick victims settlement money and having them sign confidentiality agreements, Burke said he thinks those who have “made such arrangements” should be included in investigations into the abuse.

    “Certainly the investigation would have to include those who’ve made such arrangements and the ascertainment of their culpability in the matter,” he said. “We have to get to the bottom of this matter and this has to stop.”

    Cardinal Burke said he “simply listened” as American Catholics shared their anger over these scandals with him.

    “It was justified,” he said. “They were expressing my own sentiments. We are in the face of a very grave crisis which is touching at the very heart of the Church because Our Lord acts on behalf of the flock through those shepherds who are ordained to act in His person, teaching, celebrating the sacraments, and governing the Church. There is a serious loss of confidence in our shepherds and that simply has to be restored if we’re true to our Catholic faith. To restore that is to get to the bottom of this whole matter.”

    “The faithful, and rightly so, are looking to hear from the shepherd of the universal church, the pope, and also from their own bishops,” said Burke, responding to a question from Arroyo about the Vatican’s silence on McCarrick and its “terse” statement on the Pennsylvania report.

    Arroyo also brought up recent comments from Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington and former bishop of Pittsburgh. His name appears more than 200 times in the grand jury report, and he is now facing demands that he resign. The Washington Post and the Washington Examiner have both run opinion pieces saying Wuerl should step down. The latter article was published with Washington Examiner as the byline, suggesting it represents the opinion of the entire editorial board.

    “I don’t think this is some massive, massive crisis,” Wuerl said of the McCarrick scandal. “It was a terrible disappointment.”

    “Let’s be honest: we’re dealing here with the gravest of sins and ecclesiastical crimes,” responded Burke.

    “We have to focus our attention on that and on doing what is just with regard to all parties involved and for [a] bishop [like McCarrick] who has failed grievously in this area, the Church’s penal remedies…are for his good also,” he continued. “For the bishop to prey upon the flock in…committing mortal sins – this is simply unacceptable.”

    Commenting on the U.S. bishops’ newly-rolled out plan to deal with the mounting scandal, Burke reminded viewers, “it’s the responsibility of the Holy Father, the pontiff” to investigate bishops.

    ‘There’s been a practical apostasy from the faith’
    Although the 884-page Pennsylvania grand jury report addressed only priests abusing minors, the McCarrick scandal and new questions about a homosexual network in a Honduras seminary have brought to light the problem of priests preying on other adult men.

    “Our Lady warned us at Fatima about an apostasy from the faith,” said Burke. “I believe there’s been a practical apostasy from the faith with regard to all the questions involving human sexuality and principally, it starts with the idea that there can be legitimate sexual activity outside of marriage, which of course is false, completely false.”

    “This perversion of sexual mores which is so pervasive in society – we have to admit that it’s also in the Church,” he said somberly. “I’ve seen people suggesting…that now Church discipline doesn’t regard consensual activity between adults as crimes – with persons of the same sex – this is completely false. The Church has always taught… that this is among the gravest of sins a cleric could commit and normally led to his reduction from clerical state.”

    “I believe that we need to return to the more explicit and detailed language” of the 1917 Code of Canon Law on predator priests, Burke told Arroyo. “I don’t believe that the 1983 Code intended to change the discipline or to be more relaxed about it, but I think that the language is not adequate.”

    The 1917 Code of Canon Law stipulates tough punishment for clerics who have “committed acts of impurity with persons under sixteen years of age, adultery, attack on women, bestality, sodomy, bawdry, incest with blood relations or relations by marriage in the first degree.”

    “They are to be suspended, punished with infamy of law, and deprived of any office, benefice, dignity, and in more serious cases they are to be deposed,” it says.

    The current Code of Canon Law, updated in 1983, says: “A cleric who in another way has committed an offense against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue, if the delict was committed by force or threats or publicly or with a minor below the age of sixteen years, is to be punished with just penalties, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state if the case so warrants.”

    The cardinal said that there are cases when priests who have sex with other adults “should certainly be removed from office,” provided such accusations “have been carefully investigated and a proper canonical process has been conducted.”

    He and Arroyo also discussed the need for financial accountability, and how sexual and financial misdeeds go hand-in-hand in Church entities.

    “The devil is very active” right now, Burke said toward the end of the interview, and that prayer, fasting, and “serious acts of reparation” are needed.

    “The sacred liturgy needs to be offered in these times with the greatest sense of the presence of God in our midst and calling upon his help with the greatest seriousness,” he said.

    More fallout
    Boston’s Cardinal O’Malley, who faces criticism for fundraising and traveling with McCarrick after his office was warned about the prelate’s predation, announced this week that he is cancelling his appearance at the upcoming Vatican-run World Meeting of Families in Dublin. He is also dealing with accusations that the rector of his St. John’s Seminary sexually harassed seminarians. O’Malley runs a new papal commission on child sex abuse.

    Another high-ranking cardinal, Cardinal Kevin Farrell of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, is slated to appear at the World Meeting of Families. He lived with McCarrick for six years but says he didn’t know anything about his roommate’s proclivities for younger men and boys. Farrell formerly belonged to the Legionaries of Christ, founded by sex abuser Marcial Maciel, and denies he knew anything about Maciel’s nefarious activities.

    “I never knew anything back then…I never suspected anything,” he said in 2016.

    Two other cardinals who will be at the World Meeting of Families, Cardinals Joseph Tobin and Oscar Maradiaga, are also facing tough questions over recent revelations of sex abuse.

    Catholics concerned about the World Meeting of Families’ promotion of the LGBT cause organized an orthodox alternative called the Conference of Catholic Families, to be held August 22-23 in Dublin.

    Some are calling this the “Summer of Shame” for the Catholic Church.

  2. ‘Nonsense’: Cardinal Burke rebukes Fr. Rosica for saying Francis is above Scripture

    Claire Chretien

    August 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke rebuked Vatican advisor Fr. Thomas Rosica on EWTN’s The World Over Thursday night.

    The controversial Basilian priest claimed in a recent article that under Pope Francis, the Church “is openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture.”

    “This is nonsense,” Cardinal Burke, the former head of the Apostolic Signatura, essentially the Vatican Supreme Court, told host Raymond Arroyo.

    “Our Church has indeed entered a new phase,” Rosica wrote. “With the advent of this first Jesuit pope, it is openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture.”

    However, Burke responded:

    Jesus Christ is the head of the mystical body of the Church and Jesus Christ comes to us through the Holy Scriptures, through the Church’s tradition. We love the Scriptures. We love the truth as it’s taught to us in the Church’s magisterium because we love Jesus Christ and he speaks to us in this way.

    “The head of the Church is never a person other than someone who is acting in the name of Jesus Christ and in fidelity to the tradition,” the cardinal explained. “This has always been understood about the Roman Pontiff, that…he has the fullness of power to safeguard and to promote the transmission of the truths of the faith, the beauty of the sacred liturgy, the goodness of her discipline, but not to govern the Church as some kind of self-made autocrat.”

    Burke said describing the pope this way is “a great disservice to [the pope’s] office.”

    Rosica, who runs Salt and Light TV, is a Vatican communications advisor. He has a history of making questionable statements.

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    Cardinal Burke at the Rome Life Forum in Rome, May 18, 2018. Steve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews
    LifeSiteNews staff
    NEWSCATHOLIC CHURCH, Thu Aug 16, 2018 – 7:43 pm EST

    Cardinal Burke: Pope must ‘take action’ to clean up ‘homosexual culture’ in Church
    Catholic, Catholic Action For Faith And Family, Pope Francis, Raymond Burke, Sex Abuse Crisis, Theodore Mccarrick

    August 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – This week Cardinal Raymond Burke addressed the new wave of clergy abuse scandal giving insights and observations as to how it needs to be addressed.

    In an interview with Thomas McKenna of Catholic Action for Faith and Family, Cardinal Burke discussed the recent scandals involving clergy and members of the hierarchy.

    When asked about what is at the root of the crisis Cardinal Burke said “it seems clear in light of these recent terrible scandals that indeed there is a homosexual culture, not only among the clergy but even within the hierarchy, which needs to be purified at the root. It is of course a tendency that is disordered.” He highlighted that “it has been considerably aggravated by the anti-life culture in which we live, namely the contraceptive culture that separates the sexual act from the conjugal union.”

    When asked about ways of addressing the situation he stated: “There is no need to develop new procedures. All of the procedures exist in the Church’s discipline, and they have existed throughout the centuries. What is needed is an honest investigation into the alleged situations of grave immorality followed by effective action to sanction those responsible and to be vigilant to prevent that similar situations arise again.”

    He explained that the Church has procedures and disciplines that have existed for centuries but that they need to be enforced.

    He concluded by explaining that the faithful should never be discouraged or give up hope because the faithful must always “trust in Our Lord.”

    The full interview with Cardinal Burke
    Thomas McKenna: Your Eminence, a new wave of clergy sexual abuse has surfaced and is indicating a widespread practice of homosexuality among clergy in dioceses and seminaries across the country. What would you say is the root cause of this corruption?

    Cardinal Raymond Burke: It was clear after the studies following the 2002 sexual abuse crisis that most of the acts of abuse were in fact homosexual acts committed with adolescent young men. There was a studied attempt to either overlook or to deny this. Now it seems clear in light of these recent terrible scandals that indeed there is a homosexual culture, not only among the clergy but even within the hierarchy, which needs to be purified at the root. It is of course a tendency that is disordered.

    I think it has been considerably aggravated by the anti-life culture in which we live, namely the contraceptive culture that separates the sexual act from the conjugal union. The sexual act has no meaning whatsoever except between a man and a woman in marriage since the conjugal act is by its very nature for procreation. I believe that there needs to be an open recognition that we have a very grave problem of a homosexual culture in the Church, especially among the clergy and the hierarchy, that needs to be addressed honestly and efficaciously.

    Thomas: Your Eminence, many are saying what needs to be done to address this problem is to determine better procedures and structures to deal with it and that this then would be a solution to resolve the situation. Do you agree with that proposal? Or what do you see needs to be done to resolve this crisis in a thorough manner?

    Cardinal Burke: There is no need to develop new procedures. All of the procedures exist in the Church’s discipline, and they have existed throughout the centuries. What is needed is an honest investigation into the alleged situations of grave immorality followed by effective action to sanction those responsible and to be vigilant to prevent that similar situations arise again.

    This idea that the conference of bishops should be responsible for addressing this is misguided because the bishops’ conference does not have surveillance over the bishops within the conference. It is the Roman Pontiff, the Holy Father, who has the responsibility to discipline these situations, and it is he who needs to take action following the procedures that are given in the Church’s discipline. This is what will address the situation effectively.

    Thomas: Your Eminence, the faith of many in the Church, as a holy rather than corrupt institution, has been shaken. People don’t know what to think about their bishops and their priests. How should the faithful respond to this crisis, especially taking into consideration that many are feeling discouraged and ashamed of their Church?

    Cardinal Burke: I understand fully the anger, the profound sense of betrayal that many of the faithful are feeling, even as I experience it myself. The faithful should insist that the situation be addressed honestly and with determination. What we must never permit is that these gravely immoral acts, which have sullied so much the face of the Church, permit us to lose trust in Our Lord, who is the Head and Shepherd of the flock. The Church is His Mystical Body, and we must never lose sight of that truth.

    We should be profoundly ashamed of what certain shepherds, certain bishops, have done, but we should never be ashamed of the Church because we know that it is pure and that it is Christ Himself, alive for us in the Church, Who alone is our way to salvation. There is a great temptation that our justified anger over these gravely immoral acts will lead us to lose faith in the Church or to be angry with the Church, instead of angry with those who, even though they held the highest authority in the Church, have betrayed that authority and have acted in an immoral way.

    There existed in the Roman Pontifical (the Latin Catholic liturgical book that contains the rites performed by bishops) for centuries the rites for the degradation of clerics and also of hierarchy who had failed gravely in their office. I believe it would be helpful to read over again those rites to understand deeply what the Church has always understood, which is that shepherds can go astray, even in a grave way, and then must be appropriately disciplined and even dismissed from the clerical state.

  3. Cardinal Burke: Rebellion against Christ is leading Church into ‘confusion, division’

    Lisa Bourne

    LA CROSSE, Wisconsin, August 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Rebellion against Christ and His Law have worsened in the last several decades, Cardinal Raymond Burke said in a recent address, and this is taking the world and “even the Church” into confusion, discord, and self-destruction.

    “When we reflect upon the rebellion against the good order and peace with which God endows every human heart, especially through the conscience, leading the world and even the Church into ever greater confusion, division, destruction of self and of others,” he said, “we understand, as Pope Pius XI understood, the importance of our worship of Christ under His title of King of Heaven and Earth.”

    Only Christ can conquer the disorder in the world, the cardinal said, and this is achieved fundamentally through obedience to Him.

    Speaking to pilgrims at the July 27-28 Conference, “Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of the Civilization of Love,” Cardinal Burke said Christ’s kingship is applied through conscience, which today is often falsely interpreted as being developed via a person’s thoughts or wishes.

    “The Kingship of Christ over human hearts is exercised, most of all, through the conscience,” Cardinal Burke said, “the voice of God” expressing His law written upon every human heart.”

    “The conscience, therefore, is not, as is often falsely understood and stated today, formed by the thoughts and desires of the individual but by the truth which ever purifies individual thoughts and desires,” he said, “and directs them in conformity with the law of love of God and neighbor.”

    The conference was held at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin and presented by the Queen of Americas Guild. The Shrine, founded by Cardinal Burke nearly two decades ago while he was bishop there is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and of the unborn.

    The Blessed Mother in the devotion of Our Lady of Guadalupe leads us directly to Christ as King, the cardinal told conference pilgrims.

    “It is the Kingship of Christ, the order and peace of Christ the King, that Our Lady unfailingly shows to her children and procures for them,” he said.

    The disorder in the world mirrors and surpasses that of past times, he said, especially testing the family.

    “There is no question that the family faces many and formidable challenges in today’s culture which is confused and in error regarding human life itself, not to speak of its cradle in the family,” said Cardinal Burke. “Christ alone teaches the family how to navigate the treacherous waters of the world in which we live, but He also bestows upon the family the order which is the precondition of the earthly happiness and the eternal salvation of each member of the family.”

    The Church has always recognized Christ as King of Heaven and Earth, established through Divine Revelation and Christ’s own words, the cardinal said. Pius XI founded the annual feast day of Christ the King in his 1925 Encyclical Quas Primas to counter growing secularization, materialism and relativism. Cardinal Burke also cited martyrs Saint José Sánchez del Río and Blessed Miguel Pro as having faced the violence of these forces that sought to destroy the Church in Mexico.

    “We cannot fail to observe that the situation of rebellion against Christ and his law, which Pope Pius XI described in 1925 and which Catholics in Mexico faced in the 1920s, has only grown worse in our time and attempts ever more to infiltrate the life of the Church herself and to corrupt the Bride of Christ,” the cardinal said, “to lead her into grievous infidelity through an apostasy from the Apostolic Faith.”

    ‘The Kingship of Christ over human hearts is not some ideal’

    Discussing the issue of obedience to God in the hearts of humans, the cardinal told conference pilgrims that the Kingship of Christ clearly extends to the individual human heart, and that through obedience to God, true freedom is attained.

    “His Kingship demands the obedience which frees the individual to become all that God has created him or her to be,” he said.

    This idea is not an out-of-reach ideal, he added.

    “The Kingship of Christ over human hearts is not some ideal to which all are called but only a few can attain,” said Cardinal Burke. “It is, rather, a reality of divine grace, which helps even the weakest and the most tried human subject to attain a heroic degree of virtue, if he or she only cooperates with divine grace.”

    Recognizing Christ as King is even more important with the increased rebellion today against Him and His Law, the cardinal said.

    Communion with Christ the King

    Worshipping Christ as king is not a form of ideology, the cardinal said, nor is it the worship of an idea or an ideal.

    “It is communion with Christ the King, especially through the Most Holy Eucharist, by which our own royal mission in Him is both understood, embraced, and lived,” he said. “It is the reality in which we are called to live. It is the reality of obedience to the Law of God written upon our hearts and into the very nature of all things, and taught to us by God the Son Incarnate in the Church.”

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