Because it is the news item that has been drawing reactions, I will reconstruct first my August 16 post on Cardinal Burke and what he said most recently about an act of correction addressed to the pope about the unanswered DUBIA on Amoris laetitia.
On August 14, in the previous page, I had remarked on Louie Verrecchio's remark that such an act of correction may, in fact, never happen - because he and other 'traditional' bloggers like Mundabor have repeatedly mocked Cardinal Burke and his fellow DUBIA cardinals for being all bark and no bite vis-a-vis a pope they consider heretical. Verrecchio's remark was due to the fact that in a much though belatedly publicized address on July 22 in St. Louis, Missouri. Burke made no mention of the 'act of correction' that he had indicated earlier this year would be proposed after Easter - presumably by him and the other DUBIA cardinals (now minus one with the death of Cardinal Meisner).
I thought then that Verrecchio had a point "but there may be plausible explanations for that, chief among them being that there seems to be no precedent in modern times (or ever?) for such a formal act of correction, how it would be done, and whether it means anything at all, let alone have any formal validity, other than as a stronger expression of the DUBIA as objective statements borne out by Amoris laetitia which the pope refuses to refute."
On the same day I made the comment, I did not realize that The Wanderer had published the second part of a lengthy interview with Cardinal Burke
in which he is asked about the 'act of correction', and his reply appeared to answer the questions I raised:
Setting aside the question of timing, please explain how the process for the execution of a “formal correction” would proceed should a response to the five dubia not be forthcoming? How is a formal correction officially submitted, how is it addressed within the Church’s hierarchal structure, etc.?
The process has not been frequently invoked in the Church, and not now for several centuries. There has been the correction of past Holy Fathers on significant points, but not in a doctrinal way.
It seems to me that the essence of the correction is quite simple. On the one hand, one sets forth the clear teaching of the Church; on the other hand, what is actually being taught by the Roman Pontiff is stated. If there is a contradiction, the Roman Pontiff is called to conform his own teaching in obedience to Christ and the Magisterium of the Church.
The question is asked, “How would this be done?” It is done very simply by a formal declaration to which the Holy Father would be obliged to respond. Cardinals Brandmüller, Caffarra, Meisner, and I used an ancient institution in the Church of proposing dubia to the Pope. This was done in a very respectful way and not in any way to be aggressive, in order to give him the occasion to set forth the Church’s unchanging teaching.
Pope Francis has chosen not to respond to the five dubia, so it is now necessary simply to state what the Church teaches about marriage, the family, acts that are intrinsically evil, and so forth. These are the points that are not clear in the current teachings of the Roman Pontiff; therefore, this situation must be corrected. The correction would then direct itself principally to those doctrinal points.
There have been cases, as I mentioned, of the correction of past Roman Pontiffs on non-doctrinal points where cardinals have gone to the Holy Father on one thing or the other such as, for example, matters dealing with administration of the Church.
Another question can also be raised. The Pope is the principle of unity of the bishops and all the faithful. However, the Church is being torn asunder right now by confusion and division. The Holy Father must be called on to exercise his office to put an end to this.
So then, the next step would be a formal declaration stating the clear teachings of the Church as set forth in the dubia.
Furthermore, it would be stated that these truths of the Faith are not being clearly set forth by the Roman Pontiff. In other words, instead of asking the questions as was done in the dubia, the formal correction would be stating the answers as clearly taught by the Church.
August 16, 2017
Even Father Z gets into fisking the above paragraphs to make the point that Burke never says he will do something about the act of correction, or that the act of correction will be done somehow, but that his verbs are always in the subjunctive, 'would...', not 'will...'
Does this indicate that for Burke and the two other remaining DUBIA cardinals, the 'act of correction' is nothing but a principle and a process that exist only as a potential for now, and may never be exercised? After all, he did not object or comment on the questioner's proviso about 'setting aside the matter of time'.
It was always easy to imagine that such an act of correction would affirmatively re-state the Church teachings that are referred to interrogatively in the DUBIA, i.e., as declarative statements without the question marks. To be accompanied by some respectful injunction to the effect that the Holy Father is bound by his duty to 'confirm his brothers in the faith' and 'to be the visible symbol of unity of the Church' to promulgate these corrections as a necessary supplement-clarification to Amoris laetitia.
But how would the cardinals formulate their statement of what would be the consequence for the pope himself, for the Church and for the faithful if the pope refused to do this? Beyond, that is, the already dire and tragic consequences that have already followed?
More importantly, however, what Cardinal Burke fails to state - and what his interviewer failed to ask him - is the exact mechanism whereby this act of correction would take place. Especially since a doctrinal act of correction directed at the pope hasn't been done for centuries.
Will it be enough for the DUBIA cardinals to issue an act of correction with the signatures of as many prelates, priests and faithful as they can get? I cannot imagine it done by physically convening the opponents of AL's anti-Catholic propositions, since it is doubtful they could even get the signature now of all the 13 cardinals who signed that October 2015 letter of protest to the pope against the manipulation of the family synods.
Apostasy in the Church -
and did Our Lady explicitly predict it?
Anyway, the subsequent backlash to Cardinal Burke's statement in THE WANDERER has sidetracked me from the second part of my original August 16 post (I have expanded on it in this post) about something Cardinal Burke said which, IMHO, is just as important if not more essentially so than a putative act of correction. Namely, the paragraph that preceded the above discussion of the 'act of correction, in which the cardinal said:
So Cardinal Burke confirms me in my own personal choice to call Bergoglio's anti-Catholicity as apostasy, rather than heresy.
People talk about a de facto schism. I am absolutely in opposition to any kind of formal schism — a schism can never be correct. People can, however, be living in a schismatic situation if the teaching of Christ has been abandoned.
[But formal schism means a formal breaking away from the authority of the Church of Rome - and even Mons. Lefebvre and the FSSPX did not do that. Besides, my usual caveat has been: In the de facto schism with Bergoglio over his anti-Catholic teachings, neither the orthodox Catholics nor the Bergoglians would declare schism at all - the first, because the one true Church of
Christ is our Church, and why should we leave it?; the second, because the church of Bergoglio depends on the institutions and infrastructure of the one true Church, otherwise it would be nothing, so the Bergoglians certainly never will 'break away'!
Although Mons. Lefebvre openly disobeyed John Paul II's instruction not to proceed with consecrating the four bishops that he did [and for which he and the bishops were forthwith excommunicated], the FSSPX was never formally in schism, because it never formally 'un-recognized' John Paul II as pope and has continued to recognize his successors as pope - i.e., the FSSPX was never even sedevacantist, despite their major difference with the Vatican over whether they should be required to profess at least 'nominal acceptance of the documents of Vatican II'.]
The more appropriate word would be the one Our Lady used in her Message of Fatima: apostasy. There can be apostasy within the Church and this, in fact, is what is going on. In connection with the apostasy, Our Lady also referred to the failure of pastors to bring the Church to unity.
But the more remarkable thing about his statement is that he refers to apostasy as a term used by Our Lady in her message at Fatima. However, the word never appears in the officially published texts of the so-called 'Three Secrets of Fatima', but according to some rather plausible accounts, it occurs in the part of the Third Secret that some people believe the Vatican has chosen not to publish.
One such account is from Cardinal Mario Luigi Ciappi (1909-1996), who was the personal papal theologian to Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II, and who revealed in a private letter to Prof. Baumgardner of Salzburg, who has been investigating the 'Third Secret': "In the Third Secret it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top."
Earlier, in March 1990 Cardinal Silvio Oddi (1910-2001), who was a personal friend of Pope John XXIII and who had spoken to him regarding the Secret, gave the following testimony to Italian journalist Lucio Brunelli in the journal Il Sabato: "It [the Third Secret] has nothing to do with Gorbachev. The Blessed Virgin was alerting us against apostasy in the Church." The Cardinal went on to say that "I would not be surprised if the Third Secret alluded to dark times for the Church: grave confusions and troubling apostasies within Catholicism itself...."
An interview given by then Cardinal Ratzinger to Vittorio Messori in 1984 for the magazine Jesus is often cited to show that there is more to the Third Secret than was made public in 2000, and in view of the known testimony about 'the great apostasy' supposedly spoken of in the 'Third Secret', his words are also cited as 'proof' that indeed the message of Fatima contained explicit words about such apostasy:
In which his words about 'the dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Church' are said to refer to 'the great apostasy' supposedly mentioned in the 'unpublished' part of the Third Secret.We don't know.
Cardinal Ratzinger, have you read what is called the Third Secret of Fatima: i.e., the one that Sister Lucia had sent to Pope John XXIII and which the latter did not wish to make known and consigned to the Vatican archives?[/B]
Yes, I have read it.
Why has it not been revealed?
Because, according to the judgement of the Popes, it adds nothing to what a Christian must know concerning what derives from Revelation: i.e., a radical call for conversion; the absolute importance of history; the dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian, and therefore of the world. And then the importance of the ‘novissimi’[the 'four last things' - death, judgment, heaven, hell - last stages of the soul in life and the afterlife].
If it is not made public — at least for the time being — it is in order to prevent religious prophecy from being mistaken for sensationalism. But the things contained in this ‘Third Secret’ correspond to what has been announced in Scripture and has been said again and again in many other Marian apparitions, first of all that of Fatima, in what is already known of what its message contains: Conversion and penitence are the essential conditions for salvation.
'Any 'great apostasy' certainly threatens the faith and life of the Church' but to claim that Cardinal Ratzinger must have rather than 'could have' referred to that, is something only Benedict XVI - or the full definitive revelation of the Secrets of Fatima - can tell us.
The published words of the Third Secret are all the words of Sor Lucia who was describing in a 1942 letter what she had seen in the second vision of May 2017. Of the Three Secrets, the first is a description by of the vision of Hell shown to the three shepherd children by the Virgin. Only the Second Secret purports to be about the words said by the Virgin - in which she speaks about the coming end of World War I, predicts another great war, and refers to Russia and the need for its conversion if the world is to avoid wars and persecutions. Sor Lucia's account of it concludes with the words, "In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world."
Proponents of 'the great apostasy' theory point to the fact that in her so-called Fourth Memoir written in 1941, Sor Lucia writes the ff sentence immediately after the last sentence of the Second Secret: "In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc", as though it were a continuation of the words she quoted earlier.
Much is made of the 'etc', which is really unlikely in any spiritual memoir, let alone about a Marian experience, but the same persons who uphold 'the great apostasy' theory also claim Our Lady's words come in the unpublished part of the Third Secret. Does not their own account make it seem it ought to have been part of the Second Secret?
Whatever the 'full message' of Fatima may have been, why are the 'Fourth Secret' advocates not jumping on Cardinal Burke's statement referring to apostasy as having been part of the message of Fatima? Does it not imply that 'the great apostasy' theory may be more real than we think? They could well add him to their anthology of 'testimony' about the 'Fourth Secret'.
In any case, we do not need a prophecy to tell us that what has been happening in the Church and to the Church especially with the advent of Bergoglio amounts indeed to 'a great apostasy'.
P.S. I now have the link to Part 1 of the interview with Cardinal Burke, published by THE WANDERER on August 7:
[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 8/18/2017 2:09 AM]