Skip to comments.A few thoughts about changes to the Congregation for Bishops. Wherein Fr. Z rants.
Posted on 12/23/2013 2:18:30 PM PST by markomalley
A lot of you are asking by email my take on Pope Francis not confirming Card. Burke as a member of the Congregations for Bishops and for Saints.
The fact is that the members of these Congregations are routinely shifted around. Do I like the fact that Card. Burke and some others are no longer members? Not much, no. However, I dont think it is wise to have a spittle-flecked nutty about it.
Some people are turning this into some sort of papal pogrom against conservative cardinals. I cant rule that out. We could also look at it more benignly. After all, His Eminence Card. Burke is still young for a cardinal. He is still the Prefect of the Segnatura. He is still able to get on airplanes, etc. Having fewer meetings to go to also gives him more time to write and more flexibility to give conferences.
What could the changes in the membership of the Congregation for Bishops mean? Again, I am not pleased at the loss of Card. Burkes or Card. Bagnascos voices therein. It has been suggested that the Pope wants the nominations of more progressive bishops. That may be the case. However, under Francis, progressive shant mean what it did back in the day. That is to say, today progressive may mean something like doctrinally orthodox but little inclined to be strong and vocal in matters of doctrine or discipline. It may be that the identikit of the bishop is shifting in this pontificate. It might mean nice guy rather than you know. It could be that the men who are lassoed into the ranks of the episcopate will tend not to be bold culture warriors in the service of clear, traditional Catholic doctrine and discipline. I think we need bold culture warriors, but I wasnt consulted. Furthermore, they will more than likely be pretty nearly squeaky clean, if you get me drift.
Keep in mind that it takes a while to shift the identikit of the episcopacy. It cant happen overnight. Men being made bishops now were probably already being studied during the reign of Benedict XVI. It takes time to collect possible candidates, create the dossiers, gather reports, mull them over, etc. It took John Paul II the better part of two decades to shift the episcopate around.
What we will not see, however, is a return to the age of the appointments of 70′s and 80′s types, that is, culture warriors pushing a liberal, secularizing, anti-traditional modernist agenda! Keep your eyes on who holds the office of Apostolic Nuncio in your country. They are probably more important in the process of selection of bishops than the members of the Congregation. I seriously doubt we will see the return of the likes of Archbishop Jadot. Quod Deus averruncet.
By the way, when you hear or read liberals whine about how men like Card. Burke or this or that sound bishop are culture warriors and that culture warriors are bad, deluded, harmful, blah blah blah, remember that those liberals are themselves culture warriors. They are being hypocritical when they slam conservatives as culture warriors. They are culture warriors for the opposition (which can sometimes include the Enemy). Their lamentation about conservative culture warrior bishops is a silencing tactic. They seek to bully brave bishops into silence so that they and they alone have free rein to war for their causes. Watch their slight of hand! They set up a model that they call pastoral and they pit pastoral against traditional or conservative. In their bearded-Spock universe, you cant be both pastoral and traditional. If you are conservative, you dont care about the sheep, etc. Only they really truly caaaare. Remember this when you see liberals complain about some bishop not being civil or that we need more civility. But I digress.
What else could the change in the membership in the Congregation for Bishops mean? As you know, Card. Wuerl was appointed to the Congregation. More than one person has suggested that the Pope is clearing the way for Card. Wuerl to be transferred from Washington DC to Rome to be in the Roman Curia. I dont see that happening, but hey! who knows what is going to happen? Furthermore, more than one person has suggested to me that moving Wuerl to Rome and lightening Burkes brief could signal an intention to move Burke back to the USA as Archbishop of Washington or Chicago. Again, I have a hard time imagining that, given His Eminences clear, repeated stand on canon 915. Were Pope Francis to make Card. Burke Archbishop of Washington DC, with all those pro-abortion catholic politicians in residence in his domain . imagine the wailing and gnashing. We can dream. On the other hand, I really like and respect Card. Burke. I wouldnt wish such a mandate on him.
So, lets not panic about these changes of the memberships of congregations. Who knows? It could be that Card. Burke will be appointed as a member to other Congregations, such as the critically important Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Card. Burke is only 65. He cant just be left doing nothing. It is unlikely that His Holiness will just shuffle His Eminence into oblivion. At the end of the day, Card. Burke is a CARDINAL and a young one at that.
It is hard to guess what our Pope is going to do next! It sure is an interesting ride.
Finally, I repeat here what I have written elsewhere.
The vision provided us by Benedict XVI is still as valid and necessary today as it ever was. Keep pushing forward with a revitalization of our sacred liturgical worship no matter what. Do not flag. Do not be discouraged. Do not relent. Get organized. Recruit. Persuade. Provide. Demonstrate your joy in the use of the older, traditional forms as you call for even wider application of the provisions of Summorum Pontificum, which is universal law. Excel in the performance of corporal and spiritual works of mercy even as you call for use of the traditional forms.
No efforts of New Evangelization or any other positive undertaking in the Church (ad intra or ad extra) will succeed without a revitalization of our sacred liturgical worship.
And former-Father Greg Reynolds is still excommunicated.
It remains to be seen. He doesn’t mention Cardinal Wuerl’s appointment, I notice.
Wuerl the girl, as some call him, has been extremely weak in dealing with Catholic politicians who have actively pushed abortion, such as Nancy Pelosi. And his explanation of why he lets such people receive communion at his Masses is extremely dubious, if not actually heretical.
Do we want a guy like that choosing our future bishops?
**No efforts of New Evangelization or any other positive undertaking in the Church (ad intra or ad extra) will succeed without a revitalization of our sacred liturgical worship.**
I wonder just who Father Z is trying to convince here? Is it us, or himself? He is making tons of assertions, such as the one that we are not going to see a return to the 70s or 80s style of appointments, but seems to base them on nothing but wishful thinking. This is becoming the entire bent of his blog, a pollyanna resistance to admitting that in this pontificate just about anything is possible. Father Z has spent much electronic ink in going on about how the liberal press are about to be forced to reconsider their “false conception” of Pope Francis, but in doing so he has set himself up for disillusionment as well. He has tried to convince people that Francis is really quite sound doctrinally underneath it all, which is why he says he is bound to disappoint the left, but there is every reason to believe that our pope really is just as progressive as he has tried to convince people he is. After all, the pope has done almost nothing which is traditionally Catholic or particularly orthodox, and has made a papal career, so far, of behaving in every way the opposite of that. Personally, I wouldn’t put my money on Father’s vision of what is going on here.
I think maybe this Pope is sending a message about the need of ALL the clergy to be a part of the “new evangelization” by both preaching and leading. It could be possible that Pope Francis could end up making Cardinal Burke a Cardinal/Archbishop of a local American ordinary.
I wouldn’t bet any amount of money that we won’t see the “return to the 70’s or 80’s style of appointments”.
I think anything is possible at this point. It’s just a matter of time.
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