Catholic Church

A Rebuttal to “Have You Heard the Latest About Cardinal Burke?”

I must, ruefully, disagree strongly with Simcha Fisher’s blog post entitled “Have You Heard the Latest About Cardinal Burke?” I do this with much chagrin and with utmost respect for Mrs. Fisher. Furthermore, I disagree only with her message not what I perceive was her intent. Simply put, she posits that readers should be unconcerned about Cardinal Burke’s reappointment, that we shouldn’t even follow the story in the least, and we should do so because it won’t affect us.

When she says she had not read any of the headlining articles, she is, no doubt, referring to the countless sensationalized articles on the internet about the “intrigue” at the Vatican. A recent such article is in fact war mongering by the secular media in an attempt to spur fear and emotion from readers; the article contains blatant misrepresentations of both Cardinal Burke and Pope Francis that had been distilled far before the article was even published. Articles like this should be ignored as the content is naught but unsubstantiated drivel.

I do not, however, agree with Mrs. Fisher about putting our heads in the sand. Doing so is undignifying to our person, our intellect, and the truth. Ignoring the falsity of the news is one thing; avoiding the truth is quite another. Frank discussion on Cardinal Burke’s reappointment is worthwhile because he is an important leader in the Church and a strong defender of the truth, from what I have seen. Leadership of the Church sets the tone not for what she teaches, but how she lives it. For example, a fornicating priest does not negate the sacraments nor does he change the truth. His scandal does, however, confuse the faithful, give the Church’s enemies ammunition with which to attack her, and potentially turns away those seeking truth. Understanding the potential impact of his reassignment is an endeavor worthy of the faithful; fearing a corruption of the Church, however, is not and it is this fear that I believe Mrs. Fisher was actually writing against.

While we should follow and even discuss dealings at the Vatican, we should never succumb to fear. Fear is the enemy of truth as it closes us off to a most important virtue, faith. Whether or not there is an “evil” liberal agenda behind Cardinal Burke’s reassignment, we should not fear that the Church’s teachings will change and that the Church herself will be corrupted for they cannot and nor can she be anything less than the Bride of Christ.

If we follow secular thought and view the Church as her critics do — as merely a human institution — than we should be fearful. In fact, we should be beyond fear for she is already the proverbial “whore of Babylon.” If, however, we take Our Lord’s promises seriously, that he will be with us until the end of time (Mt 28:20), and have faith in such promises, we have nothing to fear and are foolish to even consider the corruption of His bride. He will keep her safe in every storm, real or imaginary.

It is extremely foolish to believe the end of the church is near due to the actions of Pope Francis. If anyone thinks his one action to assign Cardinal Burke to the Order of Malta is the straw that will break the camel’s back, they’ve got another thing coming. If the proverbial camel can be broken, it already has. Martin Luther, Joseph Smith, and Muhammad are just a few in a long line of dissidents who have made this very claim. If the Church can be corrupted and is indeed fallible, than she was corrupted a long time ago by much more devious actions than this.

But, if you believe the Catholic faith, as I do, you know we have nothing to fear. The Bride of Christ was not corrupted in the sixteenth century, she is not now, and she can never be! Even as trials and tribulations swarm around us and intrigue invades our ears, we stand secure in our faith knowing nothing can harm us for we stand upon a rock, Christ’s church.

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