Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cardinal Burke had to go

Regular readers will know that I am no cheerleader for Pope Francis but I have to say he was absolutely right about this one. Cardinal Burke's remarks to the effect that we cannot talk enough about abortion was simple defiance or, even worse, he was trying to deter others by giving them an excuse to ignore the Pope's message. Given what he said, he had to be demoted and he was.

I mention this also to call attention to an earlier post of mine "What is Pope Francis up to?" I think what I said there has now been thoroughly vindicated. Francis is a tough man, not the humble man he plays on TV, and he means to rein in those Catholics, whom I call Humanae Vitae Catholics, who want to define being Catholic in terms of our adherence to a series of moral rules regarding sexuality. I know, abortion is not an issue of sexuality but talk to any hard-core Humanae vitae Catholic and they'll tell you that, in their view, the real basis of the abortion debate is contraception.

Pope Francis has sent what ought to be a clear message and that message is lay off of this stuff; that the primary message of the church is God's mercy and forgiveness not refighting the sexual revolution. He has now reinforced that message by demoting Cardinal Burke. Local stations please copy.

And I'd add this: today, on his 77th birthday, we should thank God for Pope Francis and his doing this.

(The writing is also on the wall for fans of the Traditional Latin Mass: Don't tie your love of the old ritual to hard-line sexual morality.)

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