Ethics Institutions Politics

ANALYSIS: Pope Francis’ Vatican reforms may prompt curial pushback

raymond burke

Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura

  • Age: 64
  • Born: June 30, 1948 in Richland Center, Wis.
  • Education: Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.), Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome)
  • Ordained a priest: 1975 in Rome
  • Posts held: bishop of La Crosse, Wis. (1994-2003); archbishop of St. Louis, Mo. (2004-2008); prefect of the Apostolic Signatura (2008-present)
  • Elevated to cardinal: 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI
(RNS photo by David Gibson)

(RNS) In private conversations, Pope Francis often acknowledges that reforming the Vatican will be a difficult task opposed by powerful interests in the church. Developments on Monday (Dec. 16) showed both the progress he has made and the challenges that remain.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, an influential American conservative who has worked in the Roman Curia since 2008, lost one key post on Monday when he was left off the Vatican body that vets bishops for the pope to appoint. RNS photo by David Gibson

Cardinal Raymond Burke, an influential American conservative who has worked in the Roman Curia since 2008, lost one key post on Monday when he was left off the Vatican body that vets bishops for the pope to appoint. RNS photo by David Gibson

Case in point: Cardinal Raymond Burke, an influential American conservative who has worked in the Roman Curia since 2008, lost one key post on Monday when he was left off the Vatican body that vets bishops for the pope to appoint. Those appointments are seen as the key to securing Francis’ legacy.

But in an interview a few days earlier, Burke — who remains head of the Vatican equivalent of the Supreme Court — also publicly raised doubts about Francis’ plans to make wholesale changes in a papal bureaucracy in keeping with the pontiff’s vision of a more open, pastoral church.

“The service of the Roman Curia is part of the very nature of the Church, and so that has to be respected,” Burke told EWTN, a U.S.-based Catholic cable network that spotlights conservative views.

“I can’t imagine that somehow the Roman Curia is going to take on a completely different figure. It just doesn’t make sense,” Burke said. The interview was broadcast Thursday as the centerpiece of a program that highlighted concerns about the direction of the church since Francis was elected in March.

Francis’ own top collaborators, namely a “kitchen cabinet” of eight cardinals he tapped to help him change the Vatican’s byzantine and often scandal-ridden ways, have said that the old curial system “is over,” as one put it, and will be replaced by “something different.”

But Burke told EWTN that it was “not altogether clear what the results of the reform will be” and lamented what he described as “a kind of unpredictability about life in Rome in these days.”

The cardinal’s answer was in response to a question about comments by Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, who was the top aide to retired Pope Benedict XVI. Gaenswein, who also works with Francis, complained in a German newspaper interview last week that “I wait every day for another innovation” from the new pope.

How much the undercurrent of unease or even resistance to Francis’ plans could impede the reforms is unclear.

The reshuffle of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops was seen as a powerful sign of change. Francis not only dropped Burke from the congregation — the cardinal was seen as a major influence in promoting conservatives to the U.S. hierarchy — he also dropped another longtime Vatican insider, American Cardinal Justin Rigali, along with 12 other members of the Vatican’s old guard on the congregation.

In their places he named archbishops and cardinals who are considered more pastoral than dogmatic, including Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl. Wuerl and Burke have often crossed swords, in particular over Burke’s insistence that U.S. prelates like Wuerl should deny Communion to pro-choice Catholic politicians.

In his EWTN interview, Burke reiterated his hard-line view on Communion, and he took pains to note that Francis’ comments in his recent exhortation on the church, called “Evangelii Gaudium,” were meant as “suggestions” and not as authoritative papal teaching.

Burke also echoed conservative concerns over the pontiff’s effort to strike a “new balance” so that church leaders do not “obsess” over a few teachings like abortion and gay marriage. Instead, Francis wants them to speak more about the need to care for the poor and marginalized.

“One gets the impression, or it’s interpreted this way in the media, that he thinks we’re talking too much about abortion, too much about the integrity of marriage as between one man and one woman,” Burke said. “But we can never talk enough about that!”

In February, Francis will have two more important opportunities to make his mark: His “Gang of Eight” cardinals will give him a blueprint for reforming the Curia, and a few days later he will appoint his first batch of new cardinals — some of the men who may one day gather to elect Francis’ successor and chart a new course or follow the one he is laying out.


About the author

David Gibson

David Gibson is a national reporter for RNS and an award-winning religion journalist, author and filmmaker. He has written several books on Catholic topics. His latest book is on biblical artifacts: "Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery," which was also the basis of a popular CNN series.


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  • I was raised Catholic, and was taught the Pope was infallible in matters of beliefs. It is becoming increasingly apparent the right-wing American bishops are disregarding the Pope’s teachings and instructions. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  • What are we doing that is contrary to what he said, if he didn’t want us to talk about the issues then he would not have said “All the time”, he would have said “at all”, get it?

    Now, i’m just wondering how you can disregard church teachings, get over you self.

  • Our churches are emptying and are being closed. In the US, we are having to “import” priests from other countries to stymie some of the effects of our vocations shortage. Our hierarchy has lost credibility with the public and the people in the pews. The Vatican has been woefully out of touch with many of the faithful, especially the poor, the marginalized, the divorced, women, and gay people. During the reign of JPII and Benedict, the Church has fallen further into disrepair.

    Along comes Pope Francis, breathing fresh air into this dreary situation. If the Old Guard is able to stop or stifle him, the decline of the Church will be even more precipitous.

    And as a side note–when I see prelates like Cardinal Burke parading around in all their Cappas, Prada shoes, and Medieval finery, I begin to wonder if this is how felt people shortly before the Reformation. God help us, and God bless Pope Francis!

  • First Things First

    Will Pope Francis address the single most critical issue of the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal?

    Given the description of the pope’s commission on clerical child abuse, especially coming after a “United Nations panel criticized the Vatican over its handling of abuse cases,” with the Vatican saying, “that the responsibility for such cases rested with individual bishops,” expectations on such a significant level have been decidedly mixed.

    Pope Francis’ words establishing this new commission in the church’s central bureaucracy would be commendable if at the same time he announced plans for disciplining and removing those bishops who, by the abuse of their episcopal authority, were complicit in the sexual abuse of thousands of children in this country.

    In the Netherlands recently Dutch bishops have acknowledged the abuse of tens of thousands of children according to a December 03, 2013 Reuters article by Tom Heneghan.

    Perhaps Pope Francis has decided to go the distance with this commission but if Cardinal O’Malley’s statements are accurate, the pope’s creation of such a committee appears to be more along the lines of putting the cart before the horse than anything else.

    Any way one looks at it there is really no way to avoid this issue which, if not finally addressed in its totality, will result in devastating public relations for the Catholic Church worldwide, especially for members of the hierarchy.

    Remember that diocesan bishops, their underlings, along with the provincials and superiors of religious congregations, created this horrific scandal by protecting known clerical sexual predators with essentially no regard for the Lord’s little ones; leaving these lambs unprotected before ravaging wolves.

    “The new commission is expected to tell church officials to collaborate with civil authorities and report cases of abuse,” O’Malley said.

    Is this a decision that calls for a papal commission?

    The hierarchy has already exhausted its credibility and moral authority by its actions these past decades and neither will be regained by having the ecclesiastical body responsible for covering up the scandal charged with either its evaluation or correction. That has not worked well since 2002.

    Moreover, statements like those quoted above appear ludicrous given the nature of such heinous violations; crimes against the humanity of children.

    Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
    Advocate for Victim/Survivors & Legislative Reform
    25-E Highland Blvd.
    New Castle, Delaware
    [email protected]

  • Doctrinal infallibility in faith and morals only, not choosing cardinal’s positions or political leanings. If you are suggesting Cardinal Burke disregards the teachings of the Church, you are mistaken. Much of the problem in the US Church is the laity not learning their faith or picking and choosing what they will accept of Christ’s teachings. will help you understand papal infallibility.

  • I think it’s very strategic of this Pope to do things very openly and transparently; to live a more public life than his predecessors. It makes it harder for “powerful interests” (if there really are any) to obstruct behind closed doors.

  • By their fruits you shall know them. Since Pope John we have had pastoral on steroids. The results are evident. If we don’t have actions along with our beliefs, then our beliefs are dead words on paper. Christ our God said, “There will come a time when people will no longer tolerate sound teaching.” We have arrived. If some sins we no longer can say anything about it. In fact we must say it is okay, don’t worry about it. It is as if the father in the prodigal son parable, didn’t wait for his son to return, but sent him money and said kept living as you wish! We are changing what Christ / God himself taught.

  • It pains and saddens me to the core that Pope Francis has chosen Card. Wuerl and NOT Cardinal Burke for the reformation of the Curia. Wuerl made it quite clear that he will not refuse the sacrilegious “catholic” politicians, Pelosi, Biden, and others, who receive Our Lord Jesus Christ in Holy Communion when they attend Mass.. Recall Cardinal Burke had to openly remind Cards. Wuerl of Wash. DC, Dolan of New York, and Omally of Boston,when he told Pelosi she should not receive the Eucharist, they should refuse Holy Communion to those who refuse to accept Church teachings on abortion and homosexuality. May God have mercy on us and may He enter into history and save us from our Church leaders and ourselves!

  • we are in disrepair because of V2 and the confusion it brought. Being an active homosexual, fornicator or divorced and remarried person says “Non Servium”. One must repent and turn back to the Lord. Clear teachings are an act of Charity. We then know what is right and wrong – not “we’ve become nicer and more lax with the teachings, welcome back” – or “it is not a sin if you don’t think so”. From what I can see our Pope is becoming very popular with the World – that is dangerous. We are to fight the good fight against what the World teaches to make it to heaven. first for ourselves then family.

  • You were taught incorrectly. The pope is only infallible on matters of faith and morals and official statements issued infallibly from the Vatican are rare.

  • Why do those who accuse others of picking and choosing what they will accept of Christ’s teachings, themselves “pick and choose?”

  • “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. Sin is sin and last time I checked it was God who decides and not you or me for that matter. God Bless Pope Francis and May God have Mercy on you and your inability to grasp the reason for Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. “If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”Pope Francis said. I pray that your heart and mind will open to the love of Christ and the loving forgiveness that is open to everyone. Do you worship God out of simple selfish fear or out of love and gratitude? Ask yourself that question. The love of God is open to everyone and so is his forgiveness. Only God decides, not you and your cold condemnation. The second greatest commandment is to love thy neighbor as thy self, not judge thy neighbor instead of yourself.

  • I doubt if Burke would be happy if he had been chosen for this commission….he already rates his own opinions more highly than the Pope’s.

  • You are correct Texas Catholic. Only when the Pope speaks “Ex Cathedra” (from the chair of Peter) is infallibility in effect.

  • Appointed Bishops who are more pastoral than dogmatic….Hum don’t you mean bishops who are liberal???
    We have gone this route once before, what did it bring us??? Not what was needed in the Church in the late 70’s thru the new century…..

    God Help us as the shooting from the hip with these old ideas made new….

  • I think there is a difference between accepting the Church’s teaching, and forcing others to as well. I am opposed to abortion. The politicians you mentioned may be as well, but because they are not making laws to make people see things their way, should they not receive the Eucharist? Who needs it more than sinners anyway? You are not to receive communion unless you have made a good confession. Do you do reconciliation weekly? Good for you if you do…otherwise sit in your pew.

  • Not judging others doesn’t mean we should be stupid. It means that you cannot judge if a particular person is saved or not. That is between them and God alone, and is not for us to ponder.

    But, it does not forbid you from condemning your neighbor’s outward behavior – Jesus Himself condemns those that are more interested in the world than in serving and loving their God.

    Defining yourself as “gay” really says a lot about your priorities: evidently what turns you “on” is so important to you that you define yourself by that turn-on.

    That is defining yourself by your Lust and scandalizing others – especially children by sharing it as they necessarily need to be sexualized to understand what the term means.

    It also says that this world *IS* more important to you than God.

    In the end, it is up to you to determine how much you love God and how much you love yourself, and that will determine your fate.

  • Horribly biased article against Cardinal Burke. It makes it sound like Francis is out to get conservatives (so-called).

  • I so agree with you about Wuerl. His decisions regarding giving Holy Communion to blatant apostates is painful. He is the epitome of Pravda wearing, BMW driving prelates. But maybe PopeFrancis already knows this and doesn’t get the disconnect.

  • Two quick points about the situation in DC and other cities as well:

    1) Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation go together like a “horse and carriage” . The lector who reminds every one at the beginning of Mass to turn off their cell phone should also remind people not to go to communion if they have not gone to reconciliation “lately” or “if they have serious sin on their souls” or “if they are not Catholic” or …… This business of having 95% of the congregation go to communion is “nuts”. Is there no serious sin in the world?…. Once the percent going to receive drops to say 50%, those that should not go to communion will not feel so isolated and left out if they don’t go.

    2) Communion given to someone standing up is so inconsistent with the real nature of the host. If the host is the “body blood soul and divinity” of God, any body posture other than kneeling is nonsense. ….. and having people kneel would reinforce the sense of sin and the need for reconciliation before receiving – mentioned in #1 above.

    Folks, like it or not, religious ritual and practice has to be consistent with belief. Ask any anthropologist.

  • Cardinal Burke is the REAL DEAL!!! I feel just aweful about him and Cardinal Rigali being taken off the committee. And replacing them with Cardinal Wuerl and Levada…..oh, my goodness!!!! Two very liberal Cardinals, not good.

  • We need reform in total. Priests who abuse children, other Priests and Bishops who have covered it up. We have a Bishop in RI that retired because at the time of the abuse and coverup he was Bishop. With him retired the Church in RI not responsible monetarily for what he did. I am heart sick that I cannot attend Mass without feeling disgusted. I’m not sure the Catholic church exists anymore. Pope Francis is reminding all of us how to follow Jesus.

  • I’m with you, “CarrotCakeMan”… I was also raised Catholic and I can’t understand WHY (if the Pope is “The Vicar of Christ” or Christ’s direct representative on earth) there would be any dissension or “push-back” from the bishops or cardinals or even the laity… shouldn’t they follow his lead and direction at all times and in all things?
    I’m no longer a Catholic because I have read and studied my BIBLE and have come to understand that Jesus did NOT appoint popes, bishops and cardinals to preside over his body of worshipers… ALL men (the pope included) are fallible and can and DO make mistakes and errors in judgement. Jesus himself said we (Christians) should not call anyone our “leader” or “father” on earth.

  • love and forgiveness is held out to EVERYONE who REPENTS and stops sinning and starts living for God and no longer lives for themselves. At least that’s what the BIBLE says… 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 and 6:1 states: (5:14-15) For the love the Christ has compels us, because this is what we have judged, that one man died for all; so, then, all had died; and he died for all that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised up.
    (6:1) Working together with him, we also entreat YOU not to accept the undeserved kindness of God and miss its purpose.
    So, to “accept the undeserved kindness” (forgiveness) “and miss it’s purpose” by continuing to SIN, will do you no good… you are only fooling yourself. The BIBLE clearly states what GOD says is right and wrong; acceptable and unacceptable. You might be gay because you were born that way but your love of God should move you to carry out HIS commandments. If a person is born with the genetic predisposition to be a drug addict or alcoholic or has a chemical imbalance that causes outbursts of anger, should that person say, “well I was born this way” and not try to change? The scriptures tell us to “be transformed by making our minds over”. This means to take in knowledge of God and his commands and make up our mind to DO HIS WILL and disregard our own will…

  • Carrot, I was also raised Catholic and spent 8 years in seminary. There are many reasons why I’m now an “outlier,” and the abuse scandal is not a primary reason.

    Regarding the “set to” in the Bishop dicastery at the Vatican these days: It is too early to state that the conservatives among the American bishops are disregarding the pope’s teachings and instructions. He’s only been on the job since mid-March and the “tenor” of a bishop’s administration cannot be measured in such a short timespan because it takes many months before an observer can exhibit an administrative pattern in a diocese that runs counter to the pope’s suggestions.

    Note, too, that the pope is not reversing any fundamentals of Church teaching. He is calling for a different emphasis, not a repudiation.

    What if conservative bishops can demonstrate that they are more active among the people, focussing attention on the needs of the poor, and still speaking out loudly about abortion, gay “marriage,” and the present DC regime’s hell-bent determination to remove religion from public life?

    Keep in mind that the present squabble in Rome does not center on faith and morals. It centers on “presentation,” on the outward appearance of the Church to the world.

    I wonder whether you’re getting an accurate picture of what really is happening. If your sources are strictly the mainstream media and liberal religious websites, I suggest that you’re getting a skewed picture.

    If Francis were to adopt the position that it is the state’s duty to address the needs of the poor, he wouldn’t have a Biblical leg to stand on. The commands of Jesus were directed to his followers as individuals. There was no “state” in the modern sense of the term in Biblical Palestine other than the Roman rule over all of it.

    People in a democratic society must choose whether they want their government to care for the poor. It is probable that most of us see a role for government here. The continuing argument is about the extent of that federal involvement and who actually constitute the truly poor who should be helped.

  • Joseph, Amen! A major reason for my being an “outlier” today is that the American bishops as a group do not have the “cajones” to stand up to the liberal, Democrat, secularist mob on the Hill, led by “Catholic” politicians.

    They do not want to fight. Hell, they pretty much ran away from the world by going to seminary, being celibate, and living entirely among their own kind. Most of them were raised in Democrat households–after all, most Catholics were and are Democrats, and look how they voted in the last two presidential elections. Observe and evaluate Wuerl’s body language in any interview. The street has terms for such men. That would never be said of Dolan.

    As for Burke, there are plenty of pictures of him posing in outlandish and outdated clerical costume. In fact, he continues to wear items that were banned by Pope Paul VI as being too flamboyant. He’s a good conservative with a very bad public presentation since receiving the “red hat”–he actually has worn it! I think that a better public image might have saved his place at the Congregation of Bishops. I wish Dolan had been given the job. Or Chaput.

  • You make a good point, Elizabeth, about Levada. He was the archbishop in San Fran even while Pelosi was being the darling secularist Democrat who called herself Catholic. He didn’t have a word to say to or about her. I was surprised that Benedict picked him for the Rome position. On the other hand, it could be that the libs at the Vatican made sure that Ratzinger didn’t hear about Levada’s silence.

    Burke’s public image, though, is not the real deal except in places where people dress up in outlandish costuming. I’m inclined to think that his image did him in. Flamboyance is not Francis’s style, and I doubt he accepts it in any subordinate.

  • As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.

    While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and “sinners” sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him.

    Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

    Jesus heard this and said to them (that), “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

  • david, I suggest that V2 brought no such confusion. That confusion was brought by a faction that saw license to do what it wanted to do as it read the documents in the way it chose to read them.

    Yes, Francis is becoming popular with the world because the secular media, knowing nothing about faith to begin with, has decided to highlight some of the pope’s remarks and ignore other equally important ones in order to further its own agenda. Nothing new here.

    After Francis makes a couple statements that clearly show his sound doctrinal positions, we’ll find the media once more ignoring him if not actively opposing him. Media people think the world revolves around them and that they have the true perspective on everything. Proof: the White House media gaggle thought Obama was fine until he started shutting them out of coverage of some activities. Media people were hurt; thus, Obama is no longer the good guy. Offend a media type’s specific values and you are no good. It’s all about them and their take on the news; nothing more.

  • What is it about Church teachings on homosexuality and abortion that makes them more appropriate to determine who is worthy to receive Communion than Church teachings on war and poverty?

  • Joseph, Cardinal Wuerl has no official role in the reform of the Curia. He has only been appointed to the Congregation for Bishops, which usually makes the decisions on who is ordained a bishop for the Latin Rite church. Burke had no greater role in the Curia other than his position as “chief justice” at the Apostolic Signatura, a position he retains..

    In two years Wuerl is finished in DC, assuming Francis accepts the requisite resignation. He may not. Benedict kept Bergoglio on past 75. (Of course, Benedict knows how many votes Bergoglio got in the ’05 conclave as runner-up and may have thought he should keep him on.)

    Francis has already made some decisions that are “untraditional” in their coming-to-be. I suspect that he’ll make his own decisions regarding reform if the 8 cardinals don’t suggest what he wants to hear.

  • I doubt that you can present one shred of evidence to support your claim. If you can, please do so.

    No, I’m not a fan of Burke in one sense, anyway: his yen for what I consider outrageous costuming. However, we’re taking substance, not show, and there’s no evidence that Burke bucks Francis’s efforts.

  • Mr. Weber, to clarify a point or two: First, legislation on abortion most often involves taxpayer subsidy of the dirty business, just as Planned Parenthood, in the abortion business bigtime, gets taxpayer funding for its operations. And, no, I do not believe that PP is so careful as to make sure no government money goes to support its slaughterhouse operations. Complicit liberal government officials turn a blind eye to violations of law when they want to.

    Secondly, to vote to approve abortion other than in the rare medical necessity for it to save a woman’s life, is to vote against a church’s belief. Legislators cannot do that in good conscience. Only a president is sworn to uphold law.

    However, we see this very day that a president is picking and choosing what laws he will enforce and even what laws he’ll change unilaterally. Too bad that Congress doesn’t take him to court to prohibit him from making changes to laws, which is the Constitutional prerogative of the Congress.

    Had there been some real leadership in the hierarchy over these past several decades, it might be that Catholics themselves would have been sufficiently united so as to prevent Congress even from passing abortion legislation and to prevent SCOTUS from taking up Roe v Wade because of the immense turmoil it would cause in the country. SCOTUS has frequently shied away from decisions precisely because of fear for the stability of the country. The Church was silent. A majority of Catholics twice voted for Obama. That tells me everything we need to know about the drift in the Catholic Church in America. It may as well be just another social club.

  • Given the lack of substance behind speculation in the press, we should consider much of this Burke “stuff” to be the liberal spin on matters. At present the press is behind Pope Francis for what IT perceives to be the pope’s take on issues dear to liberals’ hearts. The press will drop Francis as soon as there is any clarification by Francis of his remarks.

    As for Burke, he’s conservative. That automatically places him on the S list of most “journalists” and columnists. Remember, it is proven that 90% of the press is liberal. And most liberals deny that they are so, despite the contents of what they have written and said. In their minds there is “the truth,” and then there are conservative dingbats.

  • Carrot cake you better take a remedial catechism class because it’s only in matters of dogma where the Pope is infalible. Do you know how many times the Pope has spoken “ex cathedra”? 3, yup that’s THREE!!!!

    You should be ashamed of yourself posting such liberal propaganda and as most things liberal its wrong!!!

  • So CMR you believe the bible is all you need? Not the church? Then please answer me this; If Protestantism and or “solo scriptura” was a proper way that Jesus intended then why is there 40,000 groups playing church ALL TEACHING SOMETHING DIFFERENT most less then 100 years old?

    Jesus did create a CHURCH read matthew 16; 18-19 he says CHURCH not a book. In fact what book did Jesus write? when was the bible put together and by whom? 397 by catholics at the council of carthedge.

    Then after he gave Peter, the first Pope, the keys to the kingdom (meaning succession) and ALSO the power to bind heaven and earth (read it its right there) Jesus then went and breathed the holy spirit onto all the apostles (only 2 times that ever happened once by God in Genesis and second at Pentecost when Jesus is creating his LIVING Church) then those are what we know as Bishop’s then Jesus went and di the same to the 72 followers which are Priests. GEE SOUNDS LIKE A CHURCH FORMING TO ME DOESNT IT?

    Can you trace you church lineage back to the fomation of the church Jesus built? Who gives you the authority or inteligence to interpert scripture? what did people do for 400 years before catholics published the bible?

    You sir are NO Christian. You are a cult of one who makes Jesus come down off the cross to conform to what you want not what Jesus wants. Its pathetic and sad how you toss away the sacraments so you can pretend your a good christian man but in reality you are probablly sealing your fate to all eternity as your a fallen away elect.

    I will leave you with something maybe you will understand; 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

    Thats you. You dont serve Jesus you serve yourself.

  • All Christians pick and chose which parts of the Bible they want to follow. Its the nature of the religion.

    Many like to ignore Christ’s teachings about treatment of the poor, downtrodden and marginal people in society in exchange for expanding statements by his disciples concerning sexual relations, adherence to dogma and self-righteousness.

    They all ignore the nature of the Old Testament, unless they want to sound tough, and completely misunderstand the purpose and function of Leviticus. Here’s a hint, it was not meant for general application of all people and filled with exceptions.

  • I fear the Pope has made two mistakes at this time. First by not reappointing Burke as a member who advises the pope about new bishops the message here is who will keep in check the out of control liberals that always take the church down some path not really in keeping with the faith.
    Second by not naming one US American Cardinal this time sends a bad message that the United States dose not care for the poor, with out the US the worlds poor would be worst off. There are many good American Bishops that should have been honored with the red hat. After all its not about the amount of Cardinals from one country and the vote they have, it about how the Holy Spirit guides the men in making the choice, since the Holy Spirit was released from it golden cage of Italian control a new direction was set in place. I pray for Cardinal Burke every day to make sure he will keep the faith strong and be a helpful guide the Holy Father in anyway he can.

  • Dear Linda you have taken the wrong path, you should be attending Mass as often as you can to pray for the wrong you see, but remember a few bad men and woman do not make up the body of Christ and his church, there will all way weakness in many of the leaders of the church, you must look beyond these weakness and always look for the good and great, I’ll keep you in my prayers that your sorrow is not going to follow you the rest of your life. Believe me I know what its like to have been abused yet I got over it and realized it not the entire Church’s fault.

  • Duane You are so right with your statement, just last week the Holy
    Father made a statement about the Throw-away society we live in when it deals with abortion and now he has set the liberal media on edge, the day I read about his statement I said by the end of the week at least 10 liberal reporters will begin to call him an out of touch old man, and to my surprise I was not off by much to date I have counted 11 reporters saying something about the Pope’s remarks,where one month ago these very same reporters were foaming at the mouth and could not get enough of the Pope’s remarks that they felt he was approving their agenda and casting the Church a drift. I have known Cardinal Burke for many years and he was always a good and holy man from his first parish assignment to his latest. I wish I could have been like him, but God usually blesses us with very few high profile people, it to bad we can’t acknowledge all the little people last in the mix and who will never get their 15 minute of fame. If the Holy.