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Cardinal Burke Corrects Errors of Papal Defenders; De Mattei Sets Historical Stage for Confrontation

It appears that the post-dubia battle is one of turn-based strategy. After the initial request for clarification from the pope, we’ve seen weeks of often vicious retaliation from papal surrogates, with reports surfacing that at least some of the responses are even being directed by Francis himself.

And now that, at last, the anti-dubia salvo has subsided, the Four Cardinals are speaking again. In a new interview with Raymond Arroyo (see the video or the full transcript ), a seemingly agitated Cardinal Burke pushed back against the criticisms the Four Cardinals have been receiving. Some highlights:

On conscience:

What the Church has always taught and practiced is that the conscience informs itself with regard to the teaching of Christ … and conforms itself then to that teaching. And in this case, no matter what the complexities of the situation may be, the party in question … will either rectify the irregular, immoral situation in which he finds himself and thereby be able to receive the Sacraments, or until he is able to rectify the situation, will not present himself to receive the Sacraments. There can’t be an exception…

On Spadaro’s assertion that in some cases the remarried don’t need to annul their first union and that the second may be “what God is asking” of them:

Well, the—it’s simply a wrong notion of conscience. The conscience does not render each of us as an individual the judge of what is right and wrong. There’s an objective order to things, and our conscience, when we are well-educated and when our conscience is well-informed, recognizes that objective order and therefore knows what’s right and what is wrong and acts accordingly.

On the accusation made by Fr. Spadaro that the Four Cardinals are just trying to “ramp up the tension and create division within the Church”:

No. In fact, we’re trying to address the division which is already very much ramped up, to use his phrase. Everywhere I go…many faithful, priests and bishops, and lay faithful, [with] whom I speak are in a state of very serious confusion on this matter. Priests tell me that one priest is telling the faithful one thing in Confession, other priest another thing. Only when these questions, which we have raised according to the traditional manner of resolving questions in the Church which have to do with very serious matters, only when these questions are adequately answered will the division be dissipated. But as is happening right now, as long as this continues, the division will only grow and of course the fruit of division is error. And here we’re talking about the salvation of souls, people being led into error in matters which have to do with their eternal salvation. And so Father Spadaro is very much in error in that affirmation. [emphasis added]

On whether Cardinal Burke was offended by Spadaro’s statement that the pope “does not answer binary questions” but that he “answers sincere questions from pastors”:

Yes, very much so. The popes have always, all along the centuries—I’m a student of the Church’s discipline—it is the role of the pope as the pastor of the universal Church, as the guardian of the unity of the bishops and of the whole Body of Christ, to respond to such questions. To suggest that posing these questions is a sign of insincerity is deeply offensive. I can assure you that for myself, and I know the other cardinals involved, we wouldn’t raise the questions unless we had the deepest and most sincere concern for the Church herself and for the individual members of the faithful.

On the question of whether the pope has, in fact, “already answered” the dubia with his Buenos Aires letter:

Not at all. He’s given his own opinion on the matter. The question can only be answered in terms of what the Church has always taught and practiced … And it’s one thing [for] the pope can say what is written in Amoris Laetitia is interpreted correctly to mean that an individual priest can permit someone who’s in an irregular matrimonial union to receive the Sacraments without a firm purpose of amendment, but that doesn’t resolve the question. The question is, what does the Church teach?

Burke also touched on his concerns that Familiaris Consortio is being essentially overturned; his disagreement with Cardinal Schonborn that AL represents an evolution of doctrine (“it’s a question of complete rupture in the teaching of the Church,” Burke said, “a complete going away from what the Church has always taught and practiced”); on whether there are more cardinals (there are, but he didn’t say how many); on the fact that the current situation in the Church is entirely unprecedented in his lifetime, and that the Four Cardinals “intend to serve that truth no matter what it takes.”

I, for my part, will never be part of a schism. I’m a Roman Catholic and defending the Roman Catholic faith is not the cause of my being separated from the Church. And so I simply intend to continue to defend the faith out of love for Our Lord and for the, his mystical body, my brothers and sisters in the Church, and I believe the other cardinals are of the same mind.


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.

It is at this point appropriate to pivot to an important essay by Professor Roberto de Mattei, eminent historian of the Catholic Church and the President of the Lepanto Foundation in Rome. It was at the Lepanto Foundation that Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Brandmüller, Bishop Schneider, and other supporters of the dubia gathered on Monday, December 5th to discuss the threat to the Church’s moral teaching presented by Amoris Laetitia.

Following that gathering, Professor de Mattei wrote an essay entitled, “The irrevocable duties of Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church,” the English translation of which is now available at Rorate Caeli.

“In his intervention at the Lepanto Foundation on December 5, 2016,” de Mattei writes,

Cardinal Raymond Burke said: “There is a very heavy burden on a cardinal’s shoulders. We are the Pope’s Senate and his primary counsellors and must, above all, serve the Pope, by telling him the truth. Submitting questions, as we have done to the Pope, is in the Church’s tradition, specifically to  avoid divisions and confusion. We did this with the highest respect for the Petrine Office, without lacking reverence to the person of the Pope. There are many questions, but the five main questions we have posed must, of necessity, have a response for the salvation of souls. We pray every day for a response, faithful to Tradition, in the uninterrupted apostolic line that takes us back to Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

After discussing the historical role of the Curia, and its “juridical character which attributes to it the triple nature of coadjutor body, substitute body and electoral body of the Supreme Pontiff,” de Mattei insists:

We must not commit the error of elevating the role of cardinals from being counsellors to the Pope to that of “co-decision-makers”  Even if he leans on counsel and assistance from his cardinals, the Pope never loses his plenitudo potestatis. The cardinals  participate in his power only in the exercise thereof, within the limits defined by the Pontiff himself. The Cardinals never have deliberative powers regarding the Pope, but only advisory ones. If the pontiff should avail himself of assistance from the College of Cardinals, even if not obliged to do so,  for their part, the cardinals have the moral duty to counsel the Pontiff, submit questions to him and admonish him, independent of the Pope’s reception to their words.  The presentation by the four Cardinals (Brandmueller, Burke, Caffarra and Meisner) of some dubia to the Pope and Cardinal Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, asking them to clarify “the grave disorientation and great confusion” relating to the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, enters perfectly within the duties of cardinals and cannot be the object of any censure.

As the canonist Edward Peters, referendary to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, affirmed,  that the four cardinals “[made] text-book use of their rights under Canon 212 § 3 to pose doctrinal and disciplinary questions that urgently need addressing in our day,” Then, if the Holy Father should omit doing so, the cardinals collectively will address him with a form of fraternal correction, in the spirit of admonition made by St. Paul to  the Apostle Peter at Antioch (Gal. 2,11).

The canonist then concludes by saying:

“How anyone can conclude, then, based on the facts at hand, that the four cardinals are at risk for deprivation of their office, escapes me. No one, least of all the four cardinals in question, challenges the special authority that a pope enjoys over the Church (1983 CIC 331) nor do they harbor any illusions that a pope could be forced to answer the questions they posed. My hunch is that four cardinals, while they would welcome a papal reply, are probably content with having formally preserved these vital questions for a day when a direct answer might be forthcoming—although they might yet exercise their own Episcopal office as teachers of the faith (1983 CIC 375) and propose answers on their own authority. For that, these men are, I think, prepared to accept personal ridicule and to suffer misunderstanding and misrepresentation of their actions and motives.”

De Mattei highlights the honors and “grave responsibilities” that rest on cardinals, and cites examples of their duty to fraternally correct the pope from both the 19th and 20th centuries. He examines the thought of certain medieval canonists on the question of papal infallibility and obstinate and public papal heresy, then instructs that:

The cardinals who elect the Pope do not have the authority to depose him, but may ascertain his renunciation of the pontificate, in the case of voluntary demission or of manifest and persistent heresy.  In the tragic times of history, they must serve the Church, even until the shedding of blood, as the colour red indicates in the garments they wear and the formula at the imposition of the biretta “red as sign of the dignity of the Cardinalate, signifying that you must be ready to act with fortitude, even unto the shedding of blood, for the increase in the Christian Faith, for the peace and tranquility  of the People of God and for the freedom and diffusion of Holy Mother Church.”

Given the context, this is hardly a historical tangent. We are seeing the groundwork laid for something very rare — if not unprecedented — in the history of the Church.

106 thoughts on “Cardinal Burke Corrects Errors of Papal Defenders; De Mattei Sets Historical Stage for Confrontation”

  1. I finally just got to watch last night’s interview, if anyone out there hasn’t done so, then please take the time to, it is well worth it:

    Cardinal Burke spells it out very clearly and is ready to defend the Faith no matter to cost to himself and he indicates this for the other Cardinal’s as well. He is a faithful son of the Church who is suffering no illusion as to what is going on or who the main operator is.

    When he makes the distinction between the Pope giving a private opinion and what Christ says in the Church, that is the heart of the matter: why is the Holy Father giving an opinion regarding a Doctrine of the Church that clearly contradicts the teaching of Jesus Christ?

    His language of ‘rupture’ is quite telling as well.

    This is from Cardinal Burke’s closing remark:

    “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.

    To which I add my humble: Amen.

    • Yes I saw it earlier & was greatly pleased that he gave such succinct & unambiguous answers to all the questions put to him. He obviously is extremely concerned, as we all are, at the lack of clarity in AL which, as he has said, means that one priest counsels a penitent one way & another the other way, which will be the case until PF decides to enlighten everyone as to what must be actioned. He alone can do so. I am hoping & praying that the formal correction will come sooner rather than later with the recent pressure from Cardinal Kasper to start offering Holy Communion to Protestants who are not able to access the Sacrament of Confession & who do not believe in the Real Presence in the first instance. This suggestion must be quashed before Bishops decide to go ahead irrespective of whether it breaks with Church teaching & Tradition.

      • Prepare.

        i have a feeling the formal correction is well on its way. No one of knowing of course, but after watching this interview……soon.

        • I pray you are right. The reports coming out of Rome at present is enough to leave one in despair. The Vatican is being run by tyrants is seems & no-one feels at all safe. They need our prayers also that they will find the courage to speak & act in the service of the Lord & not PF & his coterie.

      • I’m sure they want to make sure that if (or when) they have to do this, that it’s airtight, with no room for error. Remember: The difference between Catholicism and Arianism literally came down to one iota and what it represented – the denial of the Divinity of Christ.

        O Holy Father Athanasius, pray for your namesake and these Holy Cardinals!

      • John Fisher was a saint because he was loyal to Jesus Christ and His Church, unlike Pope Francis – what a joke can’t even use a proper analogy.

        • Yes, It is true that John Fisher was a saint because of his loyalty to Christ, but the issue was the procurement of an annulment and the binding and loosing of the Keys ENTRUSTED TO PETER making the case about loyalty to the Vicar of Christ.

          Cardinal Burke is more like Henry VIII .

          John Fisher was not martyred because he believed in Christ, he was martyred because he stood with the pope.

          Show us where in the trail John was persecuted for his belief in Jesus as is the case with eh Roman martyrs.

          Cardinal Burke used a bad analogy not quite as bad as his error in casting confusion. It is he, not Pope Francis who is making the confusion.


          • John Fisher was martyred because Jesus said that any sexual relationship for a married person outside of the marital relationship is adultery. Any views of the pope which were in conformity with the words of Jesus united him in the Catholic faith. The reason John Fisher followed the pope is because the pope followed Jesus. If the pope followed Lucifer and advocated some form of adultery, I am sure St. John Fisher would not have followed him.

          • Thank you for your reply Mary; nonetheless please show the community where the trial transcripts say what you injected into the case i.e. that John was martyred because he followed Jesus. The king himself believed in Jesus. He was martyred because he refused to sign the Act of Supremacy making the king , not the pope head of the Chrch. It is Jesus’ will that the pope be the visible head of the Church Militant.

            The Oath of Supremacy required any person taking public or church office in England to swear allegiance to the monarch as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Failure to do so was to be treated as treasonable. John was tried for treason not for accepting Jesus.

            This is not about what you think, but about the objective facts.

          • Sorry I don’t have the trial transcripts at my fingertips, but the reason Henry VIII, who claimed he believed in Jesus but refused to follow Jesus by committing adultery with Anne Boelyn, jane Seymour, Catherine Parr, Catherine Howard and very likely a small army of prostitutes, wanted to become the Supreme Governor of the Church of England was so that he could determine what was moral and what was not. He wanted to annul his marriage based on excuses. The Pope was upholding the Laws of Jesus Christ. He refused Henry the annulment. The pope is not pope outside of the moral law, the very words of Jesus. Accepting Henry as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England meant accepting an abrogation of the moral law against adultery, it was treason against Jesus Christ. And those are the facts.

          • Sorry Mary, but those are NOT the facts; those are your facts – what you want to present to try and win a discussion. John was not on trail for treason against Jesus, John was on trial for treason against Henry VIII. Henry might be guilty to treason to Jesus, but John was guilty of treason to Henry. it is not Henry who was on trial in this case. His trial is before the tribunal of Christ the King. It is NOT Henry we are talking about, but John.

            Moreover, every bishop in 17th century England that went against the pope was wrong; only one bishop, the bishop who upheld the supremacy of the pope as visible head of the church, was correct. Cardinal Burke is among the first group not the latter – that is why his use of analogy is so poor – convicted out of his own mouth as most are who attack the See of Peter on doctrinal matters.

            Who is supreme the Pope or the Cardinal? That is for you the decide – you want schism sign Cardinal Burke’s “Supremacy Clause”. Like St John Fisher, I am staying loyal to Jesus by remaining loyal to his vicar on doctrinal matters and pastoral, application that are congruent. Cardinal Burke who makes poor analogies also seems to be poor at seeing between valid congruenceies between dogmatic and pastoral theology and in his confusion he confuses the people of God. It is he who is confused not the pope. He has the problem and the bad analogy to back it up.

          • I did not say St. John Fisher was on trial for treason against Jesus, Yes, of course St. John was supporting the pope as visible head of the Catholic Church, but that was not the source of the disagreement. The genesis of this argument lay with Henry’s determination to legitimize his adulterous marriage to Anne Boelyn. Without refterence to his reasons your argument falls flat on it’s face.

            I admit I haven’t examined Cardinal Burke’s arguments. And yes, you are correct if Pope Francis was a validly elected Pope in a Canonical election, then we as Catholics have an obligation to listen to and follow him. But this Pope has come out with statement after interview after encyclcal after audience after masses and meetings where he has literally contradicted the very words of Jesus. For Catholics loyal to Jesus, Amoris Letitia has been a bridge too far. They want to choose the road of resistance.

            Pope Martin V declared Canonical Election is necessary for the the validity of a Pope, in “Inter Cunctus”. A Canonical election must examine the spirtual and temporal characteristics of the papal candidate and must examine the most important criteria, whether the candidate is a Catholic man, that is, a naturally human man, not a heretic (of any kind), nor an apostate, nor a schismatic. Any candidate violating those criteria cannot be elected pope PERIOD.

            Francis has excellent working relationships with freemasons and had them prior to his election. He has shown every indication that he is either very sympathetic to the freemasons or more likely is one himself. Any freemason is a heretic QED by canon law. Any freemason hates the Catholic faith by clearly stated public definition, particularly high degree freemasons. Since Francis very likely was a freemason and therefore a heretic before his election, that election could not have been canonical and Francis is not a valid pope. Therefore, resistance to him, criticism of him is perfectly valid. He has no right to the office of pope. He should be deposed immediately, by force if necessary, no council, general or imperfect is necessary. I am in no position to accomplish such a task. I firmly believe Our Lady of Fatima desired that Russia be conscrated to Her Immaculate Heart for it’s conversion in order to purge and reform the church and Europe of these freemasons and their handlers from the synogogue of satan.

          • Mary, of course the reasons behind the treason were the sexual amors of the king. This is ipso facto implicit in the conversation – did not need to be stated. Everyone on trial for treason did something or was opposed to something that is why they are on trial. John was opposed to the annulment because of the permanency of marriage, which is really the issue behind this case, an issue upheld by the Petrine office that John stood behind. The pope not the king determines the validity and permanency of marriage. Since Henry wanted to usurp that authority for himself he was in the wrong, but that did not stop him and all the bishops of England who agreed with him against the laws of Christ and the obligation of the Supreme Shepherd to uphold those laws. Henry had John tried for treason against the crown. The issue just stated are implicit.

            The defense you have been trying to make for Cardinal Burke was fallacious from the beginning to try now and say that because adultery was not mentioned the argument on this side fails is credulous perhaps a defense mechanism to convince yourself of intellectual superiority. I am sorry Mary, but you do need that type of defense since you are the one challenging the Vicar of Christ.

            I suggest you study Aristotle’s De Anima and Aquinas on the intellectual powers and operations of the human soul esp the practical and speculative intellect how they are alike and how they differ and then how they are applied to dogmatic and pastoral theology and connect them to the Message of Divine Mercy and then you might get insight into the methodology of Pope Francis.

            Right n ow you are swimming in very dangerous waters. better to be humble than be so sure of yourself esp. when opposing the pope. Neither I nor You are a judge and jury to try heretics or to make accusations of heresy esp about supreme pontiffs. .

    • Cardinal Burke is very wise. He is pointedly asking Francis, ” What does the Church teach in these matters of faith and morals.” That is the question for all time. He can write all the AL’s his little heart desires, and interpretations will abound. But, the ultimate question which the pope must declare in essence,” I am either with Christ and His Divine Law or I am not.”
      And this conflict is what has been going on for over 50 years or more in our Church since Vatican ll; and each of us as well, are going to have to do some serious soul searching, if we haven’t already; ” Quo Vadis.”

      • I agree. I have been critical of the extreme care Cardinal Burke has taken with some of his comments previous to the Dubia. However, he and the other Cardinals have spoken with perfect clarity now. The orc-ish opposition to them shows the desperation of the enemies of Christ. I am humbly grateful for Cardinal Burke.

  2. De Mattei addressing the cardinals says, “The cardinals who elect the Pope do not have the authority to depose him, but may ascertain his renunciation of the pontificate, in the case of voluntary demission or of manifest and persistent heresy.” Am I understanding/interpreting his words correctly? In other words, he is saying: The cardinals may find out/come to understand that a pope has renounced his office either by a voluntary abdication or through manifest and persistent heresy. ??

  3. Even following future pronouncements of Pope Francis which are clearly heretical, he will not be open to correction, discussion or even resistance. No, this is a man who requires absolute unquestioning obedience. He will never consider resignation and of course any effort to form an imperfect council will be met with threats of excommunication as I have already stated. Only an army led by an Emperor Lothair or Emperor Sigismund can address the current situation. It took advocates of the caliber of St. Bernard and St. Norbert to win over the people of Europe to the papacy of Innocent II. Under the present grevious circumstances, does anyone imagine that a fraternal correction alone will be listened to and respected by Rome?

    • An imperfect council can be convened even if the Pope refuses it… and excommunications of that sort would not be lawful. No easy times ahead, far from it. But Our Lady will triumph. I trust Momma, and I trust Our Lord, in whose hands the church rests.

      • I agree excommunications may not be licit but with the jurisdiction and soverinty of the pope, the resources of the church will be withheld from the dubia cardinals. The imperfect council results would not be accepted by Francis nor by most of the cardinals.

        • Not by most of the cardinals, perhaps, but what about the bishops? An imperfect council is ecumenical, meaning ALL of the bishops. In such a case, we trust in God. There would certainly be a massive schism, but the truth would be out, and we just would have to choose our side. The cardinals, who are not in schism, would elect a new pope. So we’re back in the times of the Western Schism, but with much clearer battle lines. And perhaps the church would be smaller, many of her buildings and art lost to her, but she would be united and purified. There is a remedy to the problem, it’s just not what we want. It IS what we need however.

      • St. Pope Pius V did exactly that when he persistently sought to unite Christian monarchs against
        the Turks and ardently supported Don Juan of Austria in 1571 to halt the Moslem tide at the
        Battle of Lepanto. All under the protection of Our Blessed Lady, to whom he attributed the great victory. Pope Pius V was attempting to form an alliance of the Italian Cities, France, Poland, and other Christian nations of Europe to march against the Turks when he died in Rome on May 1,1572. Viva Cristo Rey.

  4. We need to pray for the faithful Cardinals and bishops…And for Pope Francis as well; because sadly things are on their way to getting worse. We are assured of God’s triumph in His Church, as the Blessed Mother said that “in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” But it will get so much worse before that happens. Faithful Catholics must first live out their faith through the rough times ahead.

  5. I don’t doubt that the Four Cardinals will suffer misunderstanding and misrepresentation, just as Edward Peters predicts. Worse than that, it’s almost certain.

    But not from the faithful. Oh no, not from us. We understand quite well, and we are grateful. Dear Cardinal Burke, you and your fellows would be welcome at my family’s dinner table, I am proud to call you my shepherd. Faithful laymen and laywomen are very proud of you. We would line up around the block to buy you a drink and thank you in person. We aren’t like the pompous blowhards and useless lickspittles that deride you. We are ordinary people who work for a living, and we know a hard job well done when we see it. We know that you serve Our Lord and His little faithful, and we won’t forget that. We don’t forget. Go finish the job, we’re with you.

  6. “Yes, very much so.” If you watch the interview on EWTN, you can hear how he says that. Cardinal Burke has been known nationally and even internationally for many years for his orthodoxy. I’m sure he’s encountered his fair share of people who don’t like him because of that. I’m also sure that when he was in charge of a diocese, he had a lot of opposition to face from the people. He’s also a surprisingly gentle person. I can’t imagine him being offended that easily. He is exceptionally tactful in how he speaks, and in how he presents himself. For him to be offended and for him to show it, it’s got to be pretty bad. This isn’t just going to fizzle out and end up being nothing. Perhaps the priestly zeal for the Temple of God that consumed Christ will echo in his apostles’ successors.

    • I noticed that when watching his interview. I almost was bored as he talked because he kept speaking clearly and accurately without adornment. He didn’t attack anyone, didn’t try for any knockout quotes. He just behaved like a grownup. It’s a breath of fresh air. I don’t think we have anything to fear with the Four Cardinals petering out. Burke’s resolution seems firm. My guess is that they are working to gain signatories from among the Cardinals for their already-written correction. They can afford to take a little more time, but I’m expecting the correction just after the new year.

    • There was opposition when he was bishop of La Crosse and archbishop of St. Louis. A parish was even lost because of their heresy and disobedience during his tenure (thanks civil law! -_- )

      That said, we need to pray for him, and send him encouragement however we can. God bless Cardinal Burke!

  7. I think that Cardinal Burke is correct. The cardinals who elected the Pope do not have the authority to depose him.

    Cardinal Burke said that they can, however,….”ascertain his renunciation of the pontificate, in the case of voluntary demission or of manifest and persistent heresy.”
    I’m not exactly sure what this means, or what the cardinals specific role would be in it.

    • I think it means the Cardinals can’t depose a pope from their authority and opinion. This is a good thing and keeps us all safe. But what can happen is the good Cardinals can discern the truth that Francis deposed himself and set his own self outside the True Church whether he admits/believes it. The Cardinals and the faithful with the sensum fidelis side with Truth. It is truth that has the authority and not a Cardinal. They serve the Truth whether Francis and bishops deny and suppress it. Jesu, Himself…who is Truth is with those if the Truth. Those not with Him are against Him, therefore ousted.

      • To very slightly clarification to this, the Pope can only depose himself in this matter after being proven to be a pertinacious heretic, meaning this deposition can only come after he has professed to hold an heretical opinion after being warned that it is heretical and obstinately refuses to repent. So, even if he is a manifest heretic, he is Pope until the Church makes evident, TO FRANCIS, that he is an heretic and does not repent. Otherwise, you’re right on! 🙂

        • Wrong, if he is a manifest heretic, and was so, prior to papal election,(as Bergoglio evidently was before being elected pope), then it is evident to Jesus that such a pope is a traitor heretic. Pope Anaceletus II was evidently a heretic to Sts. Bernard and Norbert. Even if Innocent II had not been elected these saints would have sought the support of the crowned heads of Europe to mount a military campaign against Anacletus II. Only a military campaign could dislodge an unrepentent heretic determined to retain power at all costs. Anaceletus II had wealthy powerful support from the Duke in Sicily. I believe Francis also has wealthy powerful supporters behind him to promote his heresies. This is the reality loyal Catholics must face. Only a force of arms will dislodge Francis from the Vatican. And I don’t mean using bows and arrows.

          • Perhaps, but the Vatican is not the Church. He can be deposed, and perhaps the true church loses much of it’s property, but the spirit of the church and the 4 marks are the important part.

          • I don’t have defined, the force, or it’s compostiton, necessary to mount such a campaign nor do I even have in mind the organization necessary but I am convinced that only such an effort, maybe led by former royalty of Europe, can return the papacy to it’s rightful owners, Catholics loyal to Christ.

          • Pardon my stupidity, please explain. I constantly use historical context and the lives and actions of the saints as my guide. If my arguments are using straw-men and false analogies show me your evidence.

          • A manifest heretic, material heretic, and formal heretic are different things and that distinction is important. Of these, the only one that would definitively prevent a valid election to the papacy is formal heresy. Material heresy is believing something contrary to the faith that has been defined as heresy. One can be a material heretic and simply have no idea they were wrong. Like when I was a protestant. I was baptized and a Christian, but I didn’t know I believed heresy, even though I did. A manifest heretic is someone who holds those views and it’s obvious to those who can see. This person has likely been informed of their error as well. A formal heretic has been declared so by the proper authorities. In the previous 2 cases, this person may simply not know of their error, and that does not prevent a valid election.

          • Any freemason is a heretic QED. Any freemason hates the Catholic faith by definition, Especially a high degree freemason. The definitions you have laid out may apply to the ignorant, the uninformed, they do not apply to a freemason, nor to a papal candidate attempting to infiltrate the papacy. I will repeat, Pope Martin V declared Canonical Election is necessary for the the validity of a Pope in “Inter Cunctus”. A Canonical election must examine the spirtual and temporal characteristics of the papal candidate and must examine the most important criteria, whether the candidate is a Catholic man, that is, a naturally human man, not a heretic (of any kind), nor an apostate, nor a schismatic. Any candidate violating those criteria cannot be elected pope PERIOD.

          • I’ll have to read Inter Cunctus and do some study regarding it as I’m not familiar. However, while there is some anecdotal and extremely thin circumstantial evidence pointing Bergoglio being a Freemason, I find it far from conclusive. A tool, sure. A useful idiot, yeah. Actual Freemason? Possible but unlikely IMO. Time will tell though!

  8. Pope Francis’ outlandishly brazen and heterodox agenda is, sadly, the logical conclusion drawn from premises proposed at the Second Vatican Council, or through the hijacking of the Council.

    Paul VI, [Saint] John Paul II and Benedict XVI have all, by varying degree, brought scandal to the Church by implementing the toxic and heterodox fallout from the Council.

    O Immaculata, protect us! Let us contemplate Thine ineffable holiness and take refuge in Thee, in these perilous times!

  9. After more than fifty years of refusing to teach the Faith the hierarchy has created conditions which were ripe for exploitation by Bergolio and he will not resign and the vast majority of Catholics will side with him in this fight.

    The Hierarchy has firmly established Indifferentism in the souls of most Catholics and so this fight will be perplexing to most nominal Catholics and the Cardinals opposing Bergoglio will be seen as mean, nasty, nitpicking prelates who hate a kind and humble Pope because he doesn’t wear fancy clothes or like Latin mass.

    Bergolio has already won and what he has proposed -Holy Communion for mortal sinners – was, long ago, approved by Pope Paul Vi in Bogotoa Columbia in 1968.

    And even the putative “innovation” of dispensing Holy Communion to protestants is nothing new for that was also publicly done in Bogota Columbia in 1968 when the International Eucharistic Congress in Bolivia then approved dispensing Holy Communion to five proddies because ecumenism….

    Many think that the Dubia process will result in a cleansing of the Papacy but events have progressed long past that point.

    The Shadow Church (it lacks substance) now reigns triumphant and it has the support of the vast majority of Catholics whereas the true Church is invisibilium and only a literal miracle will make it again visible and the vast majority of Catholics will refuse it and its teachings.

    • I’m not so sure. Most people will go whichever way the wind blows. The winds have changed, whether most of us have noticed or not. The battles being fought in the heavenlies and here on earth have potent effect. At this point, Bergoglio’s views are on the ropes. They are up against the wall. They have already lost. The fallout will be ugly, of course. A serpent in its death throes is dangerous, but make no mistake, the errors have been exposed and overturned.

  10. Many prayers for Cardinal Burke and of course he wouldn’t be part of a Schism but I hope he can “stick to his guns” as he certainly will be labeled a “Schismatic” as others before him by his own Catholic brothers.

    • He’s been labeled dissenter, heretic, schismatic, and apostate already. It can’t get michael worse. He’s under attack. But he seems to understand his ultimate duty is to Christ, and that nothing of this world has compares to the eternal reward of heaven. So keep praying!

  11. Canon 915 contains no mention of any species of grave sin. It is binding on all ministers of Communion in the case of ANY notorious grave sinner who approaches for Communion.

    Thus, Cardinal Wuerl, who has for years proclaimed, “I will never refuse Communion to anyone who has not been formally excommunicated,” has by this “policy” attacked the teaching of the Church and prepared the ground for the reception of Communion by the illicitly “remarried.” The fact that the people Cardinal Wuerl has insisted for years MUST be given Communion have been pro-abortion politicians, Lesbian Buddhists, men and women attending “Dignity Masses,” etc., rather than the divorced-and-remarried, is irrelevant. It’s the same issue in every case.

    The American bishops have, more than once, voted themselves permission to commit mortal sin. In their document, “Catholics in Political Life,” the bishops say that a bishop may “legitimately” give Communion to pro-abortion politicians. What this means is that the vast majority of American bishops do not know a mortal sin when it is staring them in the face. That’s right: Each and every violation of Canon 915 is grave matter. The bishops have voted themselves permission to cause grave scandal–always a mortal sin.

    Four Popes in a row (setting aside JPI) have ignored the phenomenon of the reception of Communion by pro-abortion politicians. (Cardinal Ratzinger spoke against this sin in a letter to the American bishops in 2004, but Cardinal McCarrick concealed the existence of the letter, and lied publicly about Ratzinger’s position. McCarrick’s lies were soon after exposed by a Vatican leak to a newspaper, but Ratzinger folded anyway.) It will take a Pope of unprecedented heroism to correct a deadly scandal which literally 99% of bishops are pretending does not exist.

  12. Given the performance of the American Catholic Church in recent decades and the absurd assortment of Catholic neoconservatives in the Trump administration many of who are effectively socialists given they are ex-military, I find Cardinal Burke’s critique of Pope Francis tough to take.

    • Why? I don’t really see the connect, except that Cardinal Burke is American. His words indicate nothing other than truth and clarity.

  13. With all the talk on popes and heresy, Edward Peters in his blog post entitled “A canonical primer on popes and heresy” quotes “the incomparable Franz Wernz” :

    a publicly heretical pope, who by the mandate of Christ and of the Apostle should be avoided because of danger to the Church, must be deprived of his power, as nearly everyone admits. But he cannot be deprived of his power by a merely declaratory sentence.

    For every judicial sentence of privation supposes a superior jurisdiction over him against whom the sentence is laid. But a general council, in the opinion of adversaries, does not have a higher jurisdiction than does a heretical pope. For he, by their supposition, before the declaratory sentence of a general council, retains his papal jurisdiction; therefore a general council cannot pass a declaratory sentence by which a Roman Pontiff is actually deprived of his power; for that would be a sentence laid by an inferior against the true Roman Pontiff.

    • The incomparable Fr. Wernz died on August 19th, 1914 not 24 hours before the death of Pope Pius X. It was less than two full months following the murder of the crown prince of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Both Pius X and Fr. Wernz attempted to calm the tensions in Europe. As a German Fr. Wernz had a direct interest in keeping Germany out of the war. Both Fr. Wernz, the black pope and Pope Pius X, the white pope, appear to have died in a similar time frame with similar symptoms. If they had lived they would have formed a formidable opposition to World War I. Since reading the original accounts of their deaths in the New York Times I have been convinced they were murdered by the same freemasons that were responsible for the murder of Franz Ferdinand.
      I must say I agree with Fr. Wernz who also quotes Bellarmane. I will also add the following, from the same article: “In sum, and while additional important points could be offered on this matter, in the view of modern canonists from Wernz to Wrenn, however remote is the possibility of a pope actually falling into heresy and however difficult it might be to determine whether a pope has so fallen, such a catastrophe, Deus vetet, would result in the loss of papal office.

      May that fact serve as a check against those tempted to engage in loose talk about popes and heresy.”

      And yet I accuse Francis of being such, a heretic. But I believe he gave evidence of being one before his election, which calls into question the validity of his election. In his decree “Inter Cunctus”, Pope Martin V declared that canonical election of a pope was necessary for it’s validity. Canonical elections presuppose an examination of the spiritual and temporal merits of the candidates for pope. Papal candidates must be Catholic men. That means only a naturally born man who holds the truths of the Catholic faith without heresy, apostasy or schism is eligible for the papacy. If a candidate has demonstrated manifest heresy that must come out in conclave. That would be part of the process of determining the qualifications of the candidate. If a manifest heretic is elected pope, then no canonical election took place because the pope is not a valid pope. He then can be deposed by civil authority because no true election took place. He’s a usurper and a fraud. It is very likely Francis is a freemason himself and was one prior to the conclave, therefore a heretic, therefore ineligible for the papacy.

        • Good question. In 1914 the civil authority to approach would have been Emperor Franz Joseph of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After all he was the civil authority approached by ecclesiastical freemason sleuth Msgr. Jouin in 1903 who discovered that Cardinal Rampolla was a member of Ordo Templi Orientis, a freemasonic sexual-mystical outfit. That conclave was an instance where canonical election really worked and Pope Pius X was elected. What that authority would be today has yet to be determined. There are no Catholic confessional states and no Catholic, that I know of, with an army or even the resources to assemble an army. That’s what it would take to take back the church.

          Our Lady of Fatima asked for the bishops to specifically consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart. When she asked for this consecration Russia no longer existed, the Soviet Union did. Russia exists again today. It is Russia that is powerful enough to toppel the freemasons in the Vatican and their puppetmasters in Europe but Russia must be converted to the Catholic faith, not the Orthodox.

        • You “accuse” Mary? Satan accuses the sons and daughters of God all day before thethrone of God – are you sure you want to accuse anyone. Please reconsider this. Even though I disagree with you, please do not “accuses.”

  14. if he has what it takes , he must denounce Francis, by name, accuse him and take the heat. I doubt he will.BTW, for trads, a formal correction, may be but a private letter as Fr Z said, do not expect a press conference or the likes of that,
    For the RCC stands with Francis. He has to be able to gather more people enough to fill a school bus. So far it is 4 cardinals, some retired bishops and “scholars”.. 23 if I recall.

  15. I cannot understand what Cardinal Burke means when he talks about conscience, if “The conscience does not render each of us as an individual the judge of what is right and wrong” [quotation of him]. we are too far from St. Thomas Aquinas thinking. Surely, conscience is not subjectivism, however, conscience has a part of subjectivity. If we do not accept this aspect, our anthropology is deepenly erroneous and we buind our Catholicism to an erroneous antropology having enormous negative consequences on the mission Jesus entrusted to the Church.

    • He means conscience does not create or originate moral principles governing right and wrong. Conscience applies moral principles given to it to the particularities of one’s situation.


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