Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

3/30/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Surely, persons whose hearts are hardened against the truth will read something very different into the approach of Pope Francis, claiming that, in fact, he intends to abandon certain teachings of the Church which our totally secularized culture rejects. Their false praise of the Holy Father's approach mocks the fact that he is the Successor of Saint Peter, totally grounded in the Beatitudes, and that, therefore, with humble trust in God alone, he rejects the acceptance and praise of the world.

Pope Francis has clearly reaffirmed the Church's moral teaching, in accord with her unbroken tradition. What, then, does he want us to understand about his pastoral approach in general? It seems to me that he first wishes to have people set aside every obstacle which they imagine to prevent them from responding with faith. He wants, above all, that they see Christ and receive His personal invitation to be one with Him in the Church. The Holy Father, it seems to me, wishes to pare back every conceivable obstacle people may have invented to prevent themselves from responding to Jesus Christ's universal call to holiness

In the face of a galloping de-Christianisation in the West, the new evangelization, as Pope Francis underlines, must be clearly grounded in Christ crucified who alone can overcome the world for the sake of its salvation.- Raymond Cardinal Burke

In the face of a galloping de-Christianisation in the West, the new evangelization, as Pope Francis underlines, must be clearly grounded in Christ crucified who alone can overcome the world for the sake of its salvation.- Raymond Cardinal Burke

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/30/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Raymond Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Burke, Pope Francis, extraordinary form, ordinary form, New Evangelization, media, secular media, traditionalist Catholics, Deacon Keith Fournier


VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - One of the persistent, misinformed and often undermining narratives which have filled the media - both secular and religious - since the beginning of the Pontificate of Francis has been the one which pits Pope Francis, cast as the alleged "liberal reformer" against  Bishops such as Cardinal Raymond Burke, cast as the "conservative traditionalist."

It has differing versions. It is inaccurate. It is doing a disservice to the Church and her mission. 

There are various agenda driven secularist versions of the narrative. They purport that, with the advent of the Franciscan papacy, the unchangeable teaching of the Catholic Church concerning the truth about the nature and ends of marriage or the absolute inviolable dignity of every human life, will somehow succumb to their notion of progressivism. That perceived notion of progressivism is, in reality, a regressive rejection of the true progress which the Christian vision brought to the world. It calls for a return to some practices which are pre-Christian and pagan and will most certainly not bring progress. 

There are some "religious" versions of this narrative as well. Some are being perpetuated in Catholic circles, often among Catholics who self identify as more "traditionalist". Some of these dear Catholics, though certainly not most, seem to see themselves as more "enlightened" than many of the rest of us. Some from among this small number even include the successor of Peter, Pope Francis, in their assessment. Though, few will ever come out and directly say so.

They insinuate that people like Raymond Cardinal Burke are being subtly persecuted from within the new Franciscan papal circles - and somehow cast aside. That narrative continues, even though the Cardinal continues to serve as the Prefect of the Sacred Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and the President of the Advisory Board of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute. It is incorrect and increasingly problematic.

There is room within the embrace of the Catholic Church for legitimate diversity within ortho-doxy (right doctrine) and ortho-praxy (right practice). In fact, there always has been. The preoccupation of some, though certainly not all, within certain segments of the traditionalist community within the Church with this incorrect narrative is not bearing good fruit. It is also inaccurate.

Below, I offer to our readers around the globe an outstanding article which Cardinal Burke wrote for L'Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper. I do so with the sincere prayer and reasoned hope that this wonderful affirmation by Cardinal Burke of Pope Francis will help help to shatter the silly narrative, at least in some Catholic circles.
_____

The Pope's Radical Call to the New Evangelization
Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke


During a recent visit to the United States, I was repeatedly impressed by how deeply Pope Francis has penetrated the national conversation on a whole range of issues. His special gift of expressing direct care for each and all has resonated strongly with many in my homeland.

At the same time, I noted a certain questioning about whether Pope Francis has altered or is about to alter the Church's teaching on a number of the critical moral issues of our time, for example, the teaching on the inviolable dignity of innocent human life, and the integrity of marriage and the family. Those who questioned me in the matter were surprised to learn that the Holy Father has in fact affirmed the unchanging and unchangeable truths of the Church's teaching on these very questions. They had developed a quite different impression as a result of the popular presentation of Pope Francis and his views.

Clearly, the words and actions of the Holy Father require, on our part, a fitting tool of interpretation, if we are to understand correctly what he intends to teach. My friend and colleague at the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, put it this way in a recent article in this newspaper:

"The Holy Father instructs with his words, but effectively teaches through his actions. This is his uniqueness and his magnetism" (L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, [ore] 13 December 2013, p. 7). In other words, Pope Francis is exercising strongly his gift for drawing near to all people of good will. It is said that when he manifests his care for a single person, as he does so generously whenever the occasion presents itself, all understand that he has the same care for each of them.

With regard to his manner of addressing the critical issues, the Holy Father himself has described his approach, when he stated: We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the Church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the Church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time ("The Pope's Interview", ore, 25 September 2013, p. 14).

In other words, the Holy Father wants, first, to convey his love of all people so that his teaching on the critical moral questions may be received in that context. But his approach cannot change the duty of the Church and her shepherds to teach clearly and insistently about the most fundamental moral questions of our time. I think, for instance, of the Holy Father's words to the participants in the second annual March for Life in Rome on 12 May of last year, or of his Twitter message to the participants in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on 22 January.

Pope Francis chose the moment for himself to speak unambiguously on these issues, and to do so within the context of pastoral charity, when he addressed the Dignitatis Humanae Institute at our Fifth Anniversary Papal Audience. Exhorting the assembled politicians, the Holy Father warned of a modern-day "throwaway culture" which threatens "to become the dominant mentality". He went on to identify those who suffer most from such a culture, declaring:

The victims of such a culture are precisely the weakest and most fragile human beings - the unborn, the poorest people, sick elderly people, gravely disabled people. who are in danger of being 'thrown out', expelled from a machine that must be efficient at all costs. This false model of man and society embodies a practical atheism, de facto negating the Word of God that says: 'Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness' (lor, English edition, 13 December 2013, p. 7).

In a similar way, Pope Francis has reaffirmed the Church's perennial teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, as well as the practical importance of the Church's canonical discipline in seeking the truth regarding the claim of the nullity of a marriage. I think in particular of his words to the Plenary Assembly of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura:

It is always necessary to keep in mind the effective connection between the action of the Church which evangelizes and the action of the Church which administers justice. The service of justice is an undertaking of the apostolic life.... I encourage all of you to persevere in the pursuit of a clear and upright exercise of justice in the Church, in response to the legitimate desires that the faithful address to their Pastors, especially when they trustingly request that their own status be authoritatively clarified (ore, 15 November 2013, p. 8).

Pope Francis has clearly reaffirmed the Church's moral teaching, in accord with her unbroken tradition. What, then, does he want us to understand about his pastoral approach in general? It seems to me that he first wishes to have people set aside every obstacle which they imagine to prevent them from responding with faith. He wants, above all, that they see Christ and receive His personal invitation to be one with Him in the Church.

The Holy Father, it seems to me, wishes to pare back every conceivable obstacle people may have invented to prevent themselves from responding to Jesus Christ's universal call to holiness. We all know individuals who say things like: "Oh, I stopped going to Church because of the Church's teaching on divorce", or "I could never be Catholic because of the Church's teaching on abortion or on homosexuality".

The Holy Father is asking them to put aside these obstacles and to welcome Christ, without any excuse, into their lives. Once they come to understand the immeasurable love of Christ, alive for us in the Church, they will be able to resolve whatever has been troubling them about the Church, His Mystical Body, and her teaching.

Surely, persons whose hearts are hardened against the truth will read something very different into the approach of Pope Francis, claiming that, in fact, he intends to abandon certain teachings of the Church which our totally secularized culture rejects. Their false praise of the Holy Father's approach mocks the fact that he is the Successor of Saint Peter, totally grounded in the Beatitudes, and that, therefore, with humble trust in God alone, he rejects the acceptance and praise of the world.

It is not that the Holy Father is not clear in his opposition to abortion and euthanasia, or in his support of marriage as the indissoluble, faithful and procreative union of one man and one woman. Rather he concentrates his attention on inviting all to nurture an intimate relationship, indeed communion, with Christ, within which the non-negotiable truths, inscribed by God upon every human heart, become ever more evident and are generously embraced. The understanding and living of these truths are, so to speak, the outer manifestation of the inner communion with God the Father in Christ, His only-begotten Son, through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

In seeking to put the person of Jesus Christ at the heart of all of the Church's pastoral activity, the Holy Father is following closely the teachings of his predecessors in the See of Peter. Over a century ago, Pope St Pius x wrote in his first encyclical letter, E supremi: "Should anyone ask Us for a symbol as the expression of Our will, We will give this and no other: 'To renew all things in Christ'" (n. 4).

Ten years after the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, the Venerable Pope Paul VI stated in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi: There is no true evangelization if the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the Kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God are not proclaimed (n. 22).

At the close of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, Blessed Pope John Paul II reminded the Church: It is not therefore a matter of inventing a "new programme". The programme already exists: it is the plan found in the Gospel and in the living Tradition, it is the same as ever. Ultimately, it has its centre in Christ himself, who is to be known, loved and imitated, so that in him we may live the life of the Trinity, and with him transform history until its fulfillment in the heavenly Jerusalem (Novo millennio ineunte, n. 29).

In the Mass for the inauguration of his ministry as Successor of St. Peter, Pope Benedict XVI, echoing the words of his predecessor, summed up the invitation which the Church proposes in every age: "Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ - and you will find true life" (Homily of Pope Benedict XVI, 24 April 2005) It is this invitation, to the fulness of life in Christ, which Pope Francis wishes to put at the center of his pastoral outreach.

At the same time, we should not think that such an invitation requires that we be silent about fundamental truths of the natural moral law, as if these matters were somehow peripheral to the message of the Gospel. Rather, the proclamation of the truth of the moral law is always an essential dimension of the proclamation of the Gospel, for it is only in light of the truth of the moral law, written on every human heart, that we can recognize our need to repent from sin and accept the mercy of God offered to us in Jesus Christ. It is for this reason that Our Lord begins His own proclamation of the Kingdom of God with the challenge to "Repent and believe in the Gospel" (Mk 1:15).
 
The call to repentance involves both the reminder of our sinfulness and failure to keep God's law and, at the same time, the offer of God's forgiveness. Thus, we see the Apostles, in their preaching after Pentecost, both admonishing their hearers for their sins, and inviting them to accept the mercy that God wishes to offer them through the Risen Christ (Acts 2: 38-40; 3:14-20). St Paul, in his Letter to the Romans, begins his comprehensive presentation of the Gospel precisely by reminding us of the natural moral law, written on every human heart, which reveals to us our sinfulness and our need for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ (cf. Rom 1-3).

In this way, the Church's insistent proclamation of the moral law, especially regarding the issues most disputed in our time, provides an essential service to her mission of evangelization. This proclamation, however, is always in the context of the call to life in Christ, in whose merciful Heart, opened for us on the Cross, we find the grace to be converted from our sins and to live in accord with God's commandments, above all the supreme commandment of charity.

The Pontificate of Pope Francis should therefore be seen as a radical call to redouble our efforts for the new evangelization. Radical in the sense that, in our dialogue with others and with the world, we must start with the beginning, Christ's call to life in Him. This call of Christ is the good news of God's love and mercy which our world so badly longs for. At the same time, as Simeon foretold to Our Blessed Mother when Our Lord was presented in the temple, it is also "a sign that will be contradicted" (Lk 2:34), in every age and particularly in our "post-Christian" society. This is because the proclamation of Jesus Christ can never be authentic without the proclamation of his Cross.

Pope Francis reminded us of this most eloquently in his homily to the cardinal electors on the afternoon following his election:

When we journey without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord, we are worldly: we may be bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord. My wish is that all of us, after these days of grace, will have the courage, yes, the courage, to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Lord's Cross; to build the Church on the Lord's blood which was poured out on the Cross; and to profess the one glory: Christ crucified. And in this way, the Church will go forward (Homily of Pope Francis, 14 March 2013).

In the face of a galloping de-Christianisation in the West, the new evangelization, as Pope Francis underlines, must be clearly grounded in Christ crucified who alone can overcome the world for the sake of its salvation.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2016
Universal:
Human Solidarity: That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may findeven within the huge cities of the worldopportunities for encounter and solidarity.
Evangelization: Seminarians and Novices: That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.



Comments


More Europe

'[M]any believers will find themselves in exile': Russia bans evangelism Watch

Image of St. Michael's Russian Catholic Church (stmichaelruscath.org).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The lion roars: who is not afraid? The Lord has spoken: who will not prophesy? - Amos 3:8 LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to The Moscow Times, the Federation Council (FC) approved a package of controversial anti-terrorism laws, among which "religious ... continue reading


READ ALL ABOUT IT: Michelle Obama's unfortunate faux pas during Spanish speech Watch

Image of Michelle Obama delivered ill-received message to Spain.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Michelle Obama delivered a speech in Spain to promote her "Let Girls Learn" initiative. Unfortunately for the First Lady, her pro-choice statements fell flat in the heavily Catholic country. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mrs. Obama delivered a speech aimed at ... continue reading


Just like Hilter! Davos men want one European government NOW Watch

Image of Cameron couldn't keep Britain in the EU, but he could still see the dream of a unified Europe come true, whether you like it or not.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Davos men are at it again, and they are wasting no time. No sooner than Britain voted to leave the European Union, the Davos men moved to protect their power. There is now a concerted effort to turn Europe into a single country. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) ... continue reading


ISIS spy finds Jesus Watch

Image of God accepts us all.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

"Our Lord is great, all-powerful, his wisdom beyond all telling." - Psalm 147:5 LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to CBN News, a miraculous encounter happened at Pastor Ghassan Thomas' church in Turkey, where he fled after Islamists threatened him and his ... continue reading


Brexit votes are in and David Cameron makes HUGE announcement Watch

Image of 51.9 percent of voters would rather see Britain leave the European Union (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

On Thursday, the United Kingdom held a vote in a referendum on whether the country should leave the European Union. Shortly after the votes were tallied, Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, made a shocking announcement. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Britain ... continue reading


Christian refugees turned away from UK after failing ridiculous 'religion' quiz Watch

Image of UK tricks Christian asylum-seekers with ridiculous quiz (Warrick Page/New York Times).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The United Kingdom has agreed to grant asylum to refugees fleeing religious persecution but ran into one little problem: How can they tell who is genuinely religious from those pretending to be? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Unfortunately, the UK decided the best ... continue reading


What is Brexit and should you care? Watch

Image of Will Britain leave the EU?

By Marshall Connolly, (Catholic Online)

What is Brexit and why should you care? Brexit has become one of the most searched for terms on Google, and for good reason. A referendum vote in England, scheduled to take place on Thursday has the power to transform Europe and impact the world economy. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Rome has a new mayor, but will she make war on the Vatican? Watch

Image of Mayor Virginia Raggi has suggested the Vatican owes taxes to Rome.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Rome has a new mayor, Virginia Raggi. She is a member of the populist Five Star Movement in Italy, which would be akin to the Bernie Sanders movement in the United States. The Vatican is now waiting to see what tone she will take with the Church. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Men tie teen to cross and hang him from wall Watch

Image of Hate crime in UK (Reuters).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

A teenager and practicing Catholic in the United Kingdom was reportedly tied to a cross and hung from a wall in a campaign of bullying by four of his older, male co-workers. London, England (CNA/EWTN News) - The victim, 19, also allegedly had religious and phallic ... continue reading


London's Muslim mayor to bad racy public adverts, but why? Public good or Islamic pressure? Watch

Image of Sadiq Kahn has plans for London. Are they merely decent, or the next stage in Islamic conquest?

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

London's first Muslim mayor is cleaning up the city's advertisements, Muslim style, criticizing ads with sex appeal as "body shaming." Is this how the Islamic conquest of the west begins? Perhaps it is for the best, since we Christians cannot police morals for ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • The Vindication of Governor Bob McDonnell, Persevering Faith and the ...
  • Psalm for the Sick HD Video
  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, July 6th, 2016 HD Video
  • America has become craven, that's why Satan is winning
  • St. Bernardino Realino: Saint of the Day for Saturday, July 02, 2016
  • Our National Independence Requires Our Dependence On God
  • Daily Readings for Saturday, July 02, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Amos 8:4-6, 9-12
4 Listen to this, you who crush the needy and reduce the oppressed to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 131
2 Blessed are those who observe his instructions, who seek him with all ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:9-13
9 As Jesus was walking on from there he saw a man named Matthew sitting ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 1st, 2016 Image

St. Junipero Serra
July 1: Miguel Jose Serra was born on the island of ... Read More