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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Much As I Respect Cardinal Burke, He Isn't Infallible!

Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, La Crosse, WI

I respect Cardinal Raymond Burke and have a number of his books in my library. His writings have helped me in my formation as a Catholic. My husband and I visited the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse on one of our cross country camping trips. What a delightful experience! And how grateful I am to Cardinal Burke for its creation. But building a beautiful shrine honoring Our Lady and writing some great books, doesn't make one infallible. Even Peter is infallible only when he speaks ex cathedra or speaks in union with the magisterium, not just the current magisterium either. He and they may not "make a mess" with the immutable Doctrine and Sacred Tradition of the Holy Roman Catholic Church passed on from the apostles. Novelties that conflict with Doctrine and Sacred Tradition are anathema!

Which means that in areas that Vatican II (claiming to be a non-doctrinal council) undermined Doctrine and Sacred Tradition, Catholics have an obligation to resist and "just say no!" And, as far as all the dissent and heresy fostered in the Spirit of Vatican II, Catholics are obliged to say, "Hell NO!"

Cardinal Raymond Burke

Sorry, Cardinal Burke, I cannot believe that the SSPX is in schism. 

My reason and common sense tell me you are wrong. I'm open to listening, but I have yet to hear any compelling arguments that prove the SSPX is in schism. Blind obedience to things that undermine the faith are not an option for me. How can the pope and magisterium teach and profess nonsense that conflicts with the unchanging truths of the Catholic faith and expect Catholics to believe it?

Has the SSPX been disobedient? Yes. Archbishop Lefebvre ordained priests to the SSPX without permission and ordained four bishops without a Vatican mandatum. Was his action necessary? In my opinion yes. The Vatican kept delaying the ceremony of ordaining one bishop which had been permitted. If one reads the history, it's pretty clear they were acting in bad faith waiting for the archbishop, who was already ill, to die. You can almost hear them saying, "How long before cancer rids us of this pesky roadblock to reforming the Church according to the world. He's trying to shut the window to keep out the spirit of the council! We need Pachamama and that wind of novelty to keep the faith relevant. "

After Traditionis Custodes Cardinal Burke wrote these edifying words defending the Traditional Latin Mass:

For myself and for others who have received so many powerful graces through participation in the Sacred Liturgy, according to the UA [Usus Antiquior (More Ancient Usage) [UA] it is inconceivable that it could now be characterized as something detrimental to the unity of the Church and to its very life. In this regard, it is difficult to understand the meaning of Article 1 of the Motu Proprio: “The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the only (unica, in the Italian version which seemingly is the original text) expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” The UA is a living form of the Roman Rite and has never ceased to be so. From the very time of the promulgation of the Missal of Pope Paul VI, in recognition of the great difference between the UR and the UA, the continued celebration of the Sacraments, according to the UA, was permitted for certain convents and monasteries and also for certain individuals and groups. Pope Benedict XVI, in his Letter to the Bishops of the World, accompanying the Motu Proprio «Summorum Pontificum», made clear that the Roman Missal in use before the Missal of Pope Paul VI, “was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted.”

But can the Roman Pontiff juridically abrogate the UA? The fullness of power (plenitudo potestatis) of the Roman Pontiff is the power necessary to defend and promote the doctrine and discipline of the Church. It is not “absolute power” which would include the power to change doctrine or to eradicate a liturgical discipline which has been alive in the Church since the time of Pope Gregory the Great and even earlier. The correct interpretation of Article 1 cannot be the denial that the UA is an ever-vital expression of “the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” Our Lord Who gave the wonderful gift of the UA will not permit it to be eradicated from the life of the Church.... [See the complete document at Catholic Culture.]

Complete suppression of the TLM by the Vatican is no longer "inconceivable." Anyone with a little foresight can see it coming barreling down the road. Not only that, but it is likely that Communion on the tongue and kneeling will be banned as well. The absolute tyranny of Rome can hardly be questioned these days.

Cardinal Burke urged prayers for the pope and I echo his plea, but I wish people would stop treating him like the Holy Spirit. He is not without fault or free from promoting error. He's done it in the past. 

And one last comment about Canon Law. The very last canon, 1752, and the last independent clause of that canon (you grammarians know what that means) reads, "the salvation of souls, which must always be the supreme law in the Church, is to be kept before one’s eyes." Canon law is subservient to the "salvation of souls."

"Salvation of souls" is what the SSPX is all about and the reason Archbishop Lefebvre did what he did, which was nothing but what he did for his entire career as a priest, missionary, bishop, archbishop, etc. He wanted only to pass on what he had received. What had he received? The faith which did not just begin in 1965 with the close of Vatican II. 

I attend the SSPX with no qualms of conscience. I love the Church and I even love my abusive papa and pray for him daily. But I hate what he is doing to our beloved Church and to the faith of little ones. The millstone awaits if he continues on that grievously evil path. Let's not just pray for him, but fast and do penance. That's the only way to drive out some demons. And don't forget to pray for Cardinal Burke!


  1. I stopped paying attention to Cdl Burke after the dubia went unanswered for 2,300+ days….

  2. There is not one iota of your post that I can bring myself to disagree with. I stand behind every letter and sentence of it's substance. God bless you in your unwavering resolve in defending these committed men-at-arms for the true Faith. God bess the SSPX!!!

  3. Good article.

    I started to attend SSPX just last year each and every Sunday in response to the Pope's evil letter Traditione Custodes.

    The following shows that Burke is in error and is easy to understand:

    Schism cannot apply to someone who follows conscience in good faith as Marcel Lefebvre did.
    Natural justice overrules human regulations. 'Schism' is such a human regulation.

  4. Bergoglio has no power to eliminate the Mass. Orto issue an Apostolic Constitution. Or to do anything proper to a pope.

  5. Did I miss something, i.e. has Cardinal Burke said something new and recent to this effect? Last time I heard him *opine* on the matter was before his illness and, indeed before Traditionis PERDITORES…

  6. Hi, Mary Ann:

    Among the fine listing of articles/documents in the two sets of "SSPX not in Schism" groupings you set forth on this website blog, I find the most compelling is your reference to Fr. Z's April 16, 2020 "Ask Father: What's the truth about the SSPX?" article, and the July 21, 2001 letter article of super canon lawyer Fr. Meuli (more canon law credentials/expertise than Cardinal Burke) that you have published on this website blog.

    Combined, these two articles are extremely insightful regarding significant oversights/errors made by the Vatican during the pontificate of Pope St. John Paul II, and also the current status of the SSPX society based in significant part on granted faculties as laid out by Fr. Z. Add Bishop Schneider's view on the SSPX not in schism and also ready to be granted full canonical status, and the strongest arguments appear to be, at least at present, heavily in favor of the SSPX, and that it is not in schism.

    I now urge you to put together in one professional-type package Fr. Z's article and Fr. Meuli's letter article, and also include a page or more of Bishop Schneider's comments regarding the SSPX. Then send it off to Cardinal Burke and ask him to comment point by point on each provided document, and if he, after poring over these documents, still believes that the SSPX is in schism and why he still believes so in light of the insights provided by Fr. Z, Fr. M, and Bishop S. I don't see how he will be able to demonstrate any holes in their documents/statements, especially the extremely learned Fr. Meuli's assessment, but let's find out. The latest we have from Cardinal Burke, so far as I know, is his 2017 statement that the SSPX is in schism as of that time, so more things should be added to his consideration, including the Fr. Meuli letter he may have never seen or heard about.

    God Bless!

  7. If you are all happy with attending SSPX Masses, why do you care what Cardinal Burke thinks?

  8. "...why do you care what Cardinal Burke thinks?"

    Cardinal Burke recently sent a letter to a member of St. John the Baptist parish in Front Royal, VA saying that the SSPX is in schism. That letter was spread around the parish. This has caused division among families and friends. That is bad enough and certainly a reason to publicly disagree with Cardinal Burke's assessment.

    But in the broader sense, error that damages the reputation of others should always be opposed since it damages the community. I hope unknown will take the action he/she recommends about writing to Cardinal Burke. The material doesn't need to come from me. But I will lay that project before the Lord and will take it up if I'm led to do it.

  9. I ceased to pay attention to Card. Burke when he said that any "fraternal correction" (later taken off the table), "...must be done with the utmost tact and delicacy." The five dubia constituted proof that Bergoglio was teaching heresy. What place do "the utmost tact and celicacy" have in such a situation?

  10. While I completely sympathize with your sentiments, it's possible there may come a time when traditional Catholics will have to decide if preserving Church unity is more important than disobeying Rome, and risk creating a real schism in the Church. Christ emphasized the importance of unity (see John 17:20-23) if anything, as a witness to others outside the faith. Remember, Padre Pio was unjustly banned from saying the Mass for a decade, but he knew that the obedience God was asking of him was more important. Just something to ponder down the road.

  11. Bergoglio and his sycophants are in schism. Recall St. Athanasius and his time.

  12. IIRC, no Pope has declared SSPX to be in schism; their status is "irregular."

    If that remains correct, then the good Cardinal's opinion is just that; an opinion.

    1. How can a Catholic be in a "partial/irregular union" with the TRUE Roman Catholic Church? Isn't that what trads accuse cafeteria Catholics of? Picking and choosing?

      In regards to Mary Ann's comment below; that we cannot be in union with error.....indeed. Here is an excerpt from the SSPX site wherein Abp. Lefebvre says the VII Church is not the Catholic religion. If it's not the Catholic religion then by default it is a false religion and we can have nothing to do with it. Nothing. Excerpt:

      For regardless of the technical question of the validity of a priest’s holy orders, we all recognize the Catholic sense that tells us that there can be no mixing of the illegitimate new rites with the traditional Catholic rites, a principle so simply elucidated by Archbishop Lefebvre on June 29, 1976:

      We are not of this religion. We do not accept this new religion. We are of the religion of all time, of the Catholic religion. We are not of that universal religion, as they call it today. It is no longer the Catholic religion. We are not of that liberal, modernist religion that has its worship, its priests, its faith, its catechisms, its Bible."

  13. I'm sorry, Tom A, but I could not publish your comment. It was too disrespectful to Cardinal Burke.

    Lasserre deVillier, one cannot be united in error. The SSPX is not out of unity with the Church. They are keeping the faith. Padre Pio continued to say Mass privately and, as far as I know, he never celebrated the Novus Ordo. We cannot know how he would have responded to the current situation in the Church or whether he would have recognized a situation of necessity to protect the flock. Since he was not a bishop and was not even a pastor, he had no responsibility in the larger Church.

    Time will continue to reveal the truth. In the meantime, I continue to pray for the pope, the magisterium, and for the good of Holy Mother Church.

  14. Can't agree, Debbie. We were there before in history, i.e. Arianism when the Arians controlled the Church. It remained the Church now; it remained the Church then even though it was "no longer the Catholic religion." However, those, like Athanasius, who were expelled and hounded remained faithful continuing to work for the salvation of souls. As the SSPX does today.

    1. Unfortunately Mary Ann most trads believe the Protestant account of the Arian crisis. Michael Davies, a staunch defender of Abp. Lefebvre spread this error far and wide. Mr. Davies used John Henry Newman's writing, "The Arians of the Fourth Century" to promote the false account of Arianism and defend the R&R position. The Newman writing which Davies sites is from when Newman was a protestant....12 years before his conversion. When Newman tried to pass his account of Arianism in other writings after his conversion, Rome slapped him down and he retracted. This false, protestant account of the Arian crisis serves one purpose......destroy the notion of papal infallibility. Destroy what the papacy IS. Destroy what the papacy IS and VII with it's heresies and false popes passes itself off as the Catholic Church.

  15. Replies
    1. You can start here:

      And listen here:

  16. Gotta laugh, Debbie. I don't trust Novus Ordo Watch. I have a scandalous book by Marian Horvat about John Paul II that literally makes me sick. It reads like the grocery store tabloids with aliens on the front and includes a photo of John Paul II with a woman and child implying he's the father. I skimmed the article by John S. Daly, but when I read his bio with the info that he's a member of Mensa with a high IQ, I thought, "Anyone who advertises that is certainly lacking in humility. And if you lack humility, I have to take what you say with a grain of salt."

    I've read all that about Pope Liberius and St. Athanasius before and that wasn't my point in talking about the Arian heresy. It was that most of the non-Arian bishops went along with the error. And that's the problem in the current crisis, since the bishops will not correct the errors being promulgated at the Vatican.

    I'm not sure how much time I'm willing to give this. Sedevacantists eliminate the pope and then make themselves the supreme authority in the Church.

    Here's an article for you.

  17. "Blind obedience to things that undermine the faith are not an option for me. How can the pope and magisterium teach and profess nonsense that conflicts with the unchanging truths of the Catholic faith and expect Catholics to believe it?"

    It's already happened. Read the following articles I wrote:

    Catholics should have pushed back against JPII's unilateral, arbitrary revisionism on teaching concerning capital punishment for murder, as well as his syncretic activism at Assisi. They didn't because they're too conditioned to blind deference to prelates and they were too infatuated with JPII's cult of personality.

  18. Thanks for the response Mary Ann, I'm glad I made you laugh 😊

    I would just like to encourage and challenge your readership to actually read Mr. Derksen's rebuttal of Mr. Jackson's article. Please, do not simply take my or Mary Ann's word for it. Read it yourself. Mr. Derksen is extremely careful to document his claims and he does so in his rebuttal.

    One piece of evidence he documents is Doctor of the Church, St. Alphonsus Liguori's response to the suppression: "The will of the Pope is the will of God." It's too bad Mr. Jackson's research didn't find that little nugget.

    Also, here is a little excerpt from Derksen's piece regarding Pope Clement XIV death, again documented so that one may verify it:

    However, not all historians are as bleak in their description of the death of Clement XIV as Jackson’s unidentified source is. Fr. Mourret, for example, notes that the Pope “died piously, assisted by St. Alphonsus Liguori, on September 22, 1774” (History of the Catholic Church, vol. 6, p. 470). Yes, the very St. Alphonsus who, despite his personal anguish over the suppression of the Jesuits, kept silent and venerated the papal judgment as the judgment of God, bilocated to console and assist the dying Pontiff. How is that for heroic!

    How very edifying is that???? I hope it spurs others to go and read it!

    To Mr. D'Hippolito as to "blind obedience" I think that does not apply to a valid Pope, to bishops and priests, yes, not popes. I say this because seems to me all the Saints had "blind obedience" in regards to the Holy Father, because they KNEW the Pope is Divinely Protected and even when he did or said something they didn't understand or like they KNEW God's ways are not our ways.....what you call blind obedience, I call faith. And exactly because of my faith, I know no valid pope could do, say or promulgate the things the VII popes have. Resisting a valid pope is Protestantism

  19. "Resisting a valid pope is Protestantism."

    Well, then, I guess St. Paul was a protestant when he "resisted Peter to his face," unless, of course Peter wasn't a legitimate pope.

    It doesn't appear that the Archbishop of Paris, Christophe de Beaumont, was ever excommunicated or described as "schismatic" for his disobedience and resistance to the Jesuits' suppression. Interesting.

    What I find impossible to reconcile in the sedevacantist position is that they reject all the popes since Pius XII, all of whom were elected by the magisterium. So what does that say about the college of cardinals?

    The only logical conclusion I can reach is that we can never in the future know whether a duly elected pope is actually legitimate. We will have to depend on Novus Ordo Watch and the sedevacantists to legitimize the pope before we can accept him as a true pope.

  20. Mary Ann, you can and should look into the St. Paul resisted Peter to his face excuse. NOW has documented evidence from Early Church Fathers, Popes etc debunking what mostly the SSPX has put forth to justify their u Catholic response of resisting a true Pope.

    To the accusation the sedes will decide when a pope is actually a pope is false. Though SVism fully admits they don't have all the answers, the position does not contradict. Think about the consequences the R&R's position of resisting what they call a valid pope does to the needed authority if or when God decides to bless us with a true pope. The SSPX hierarchy have made themselves the authority of what is or is not orthodox. So sedes could throw that accusation right back at you.

  21. And what you are saying about the SSPX is not true. The SSPX resist nothing coming from the Vatican that is in accordance with the unchanging Doctrine and Sacred Tradition promulgated by the Apostles, Fathers of the Church, and the hundreds of popes and thousands of papal documents that uphold Doctrine and Sacred Tradition. They refuse to endorse the novelties advanced by progressives in the Church and liberal Catholics.

    You talk about "when God decides to bless us with a true pope." How will you know he's a "true pope?" Who will decide that the pope is a "true pope?" You? NOW? You just confirmed my point.

    I don't trust Novus Ordo Watch as I said, and will leave it at that. I will not immerse myself in material from a source I don't trust. I don't have the time or energy to evaluate everything they write.

  22. "The SSPX resist nothing coming from the Vatican that is in accordance with the unchanging Doctrine...."

    My goodness Mary Ann that statement IS the epitome of the accusation that THEY are the authority. THEY decide what is or is not orthodox coming from what they call the valid pope/magisterium.

    The rotten, rotten fruit of VII is overwhelming to say the least. It is not from heaven, therefore the the modernists (synthesis of all heresies) who promulgated it cannot have the assistance of the Holy Ghost, therefore is not the Catholic faith (as Lefebvre often said), and therefore is not the Catholic Church. Lefebvre waffled between sede and R&R, ultimately chose the untenable R&R position. But know Lefebvre was not the only bishop to see the errors. There are bishops who came to the sede position too. Resisting a valid pope destroys what the papacy IS.

  23. Again not true, Debbie. We have two millennia of teaching. It's not the SSPX's teaching, it's the unchanging Doctrine and Sacred Tradition OF THE CHURCH. As Archbishop Lefebvre often said, he only wanted to pass on what he had received.

    But I think this argument has gone on long enough. I'm closing comments. You appear to me to be sincere in your belief that we haven't had a pope since 1958. I hope you acknowledge that I'm sincere in my belief that your position is untenable and ultimately destroys the papacy altogether.

    Oremus pro invicem.