[Taken from the September issue of the MHT Seminary Newsletter]
In a recent speech, reported by the website wherepeteris, Cardinal Burke proposed yet another episode of his curious manner of dealing with the heresies of Bergoglio.
He spoke about the change of the catechism, made by Bergoglio, which condemns the use of capital punishment. The Cardinal called this change the “personal opinion” of Francis. Although Francis called the use of the death penalty inadmissible, Cardinal Burke dismissed this term which Francis used as “a relative term” which has no doctrinal import. The Cardinal declared that the exclusion of the death penalty by Francis has no basis in doctrine, and concluded: “This is an opinion of Pope Francis as a man.” He continued: “Once in a while, a pope would express his personal opinion about something and generally caused a lot of confusion and turmoil. And so, but Pope Francis does this a lot, but you can’t – this, this kind of argumentation that’s given in this text – it simply won’t do it.”
These and similar statements of Cardinal Burke and other Novus Ordo conservative prelates have the single effect of degrading the papacy and the magisterium in an effort to preserve Bergoglio as a supposed pope.
Bergoglio’s insertion of the condemnation of capital punishment into the catechism is an act of authentic magisterium, assuming that he is the pope for a moment, and requires our religious assent. It is absurd, not to mention disrespectful, to characterize such an act on the part of the pope as “his opinion as a man.” This description of it would be true if Francis merely had written a book and expressed his ideas about it. To include it in the catechism, however, lifts it to the level of magisterium.
If we are free to reject the catechism of “Pope” Francis as merely his opinion, then we are also free to reject the catechism of Saint Pius V, namely the Catechism of the Council of Trent. We could also pooh-pooh the catechism of Saint Pius X.
Cardinal Burke is institutionalizing the very serious error of “recognize and resist,” the flagship doctrine of the Society of Saint Pius X. At bottom, this error does not differ from Protestantism, for it appeals to an authority — Tradition — over and above that of the pope. It differs from Protestantism only inasmuch as they appeal to Sacred Scripture over and above the pope. But just as the Church is the supreme interpreter of Sacred Scripture, so it is the supreme interpreter of Tradition. There would be no Tradition to appeal to if the Church, through its magisterium, had not proposed to us what the handed down word of God is.
Of course Cardinal Burke is right in his assessment of Bergoglio’s error. The teaching of the Church concerning the lawfulness of the death penalty falls under its universal ordinary magisterium, for it is attested to in Sacred Scripture, and it has been everywhere taught by the hierarchy.
In his attempt to “save” the Catholic doctrine concerning the death penalty, the Cardinal is undermining the very foundation of all dogma, by destroying the teaching authority of the pope.
In his efforts, therefore, to save Bergoglio’s papacy, Cardinal Burke destroys the papacy itself.
The unfathomable mystery. What is most mysterious about these attempts to save Bergoglio is: “Why do they want to save Bergoglio?” What purpose does it serve for the Catholic Church to retain this man in his supposed office as pope?
The magisterium, Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and Catholic theology attest to the principle that there is an intimate, indeed inseparable, connection between
the Catholic Faith and the office of the papacy. No one could possibly err in saying that a man who had deviated from the Catholic Faith — and worse, who taught heresy — could not be the pope. Cardinal Burke himself made this point clear in an interview about two years ago. It is an ironclad Catholic principle.
Furthermore, the Church’s indefectibility is a dogma of faith, which requires that the Church remain the same throughout all of its existence until the end of time. If the Church were to change its dogmas or moral teaching, it would not remain the same, and would therefore be defective. So if a pope attempts to change Catholic dogma or moral teaching, the dogma of indefectibility demands that the Church reject him as pope.
Why do not these Novus Ordo conservatives invoke these certain principles against Bergoglio? Why preserve him? Why descend into a form of Protestantism in order to keep this man, supposedly, in the chair of Peter?
By analogy, if a toilet is clogged, it does not help in any way to merely announce that it is clogged, and should not be used. Instead one has recourse to a plunger in order to remove the problematic excrement.