Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

It hit the fan (and the fans) of Cardinal Burke

November 8th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Even though we knew it was coming, it is hard not to flinch as the stuff starts to get hurled.  Here is a link to the secular, but not the overly secular, media report on   but it isn’t on Zenit yet, although I don’t expect much spin — just a factual report.  Just as the liberal “give Pelosi Communion” Cardinal Wuerl replaced Cardinal Burke in the Congregation of Bishops, I expect quite a liberal replacement for Cardinal Burke as head of the Apostolic Signatura, possibly a younger (turns out only 4 years younger)  more pliant person who doesn’t yet have a trail of speaking out strongly for the Church. Probably someone who speaks Italian or Spanish.   He speaks French, but probably a number of other languages.  Of concern, is that it will be someone who supports the idea of turning over annulments to local bishops, without Vatican oversight.  Thus, the conservative bishops will go by the rule book; i.e. an annulment really means a marriage did not take place.  More liberal bishops will throw in a few handfuls of their version of Synodial mercy; i.e. looking the other way. I am afraid the localization of the annulment process will take place even before the next Synod, as a way around the excellent theological writings of Cardinal Burke and others (see review, below, of the book calling for faithfulness to Christ) and the resistance of other faithful Cardinals.  Localization likely leads to variable enforcement of Church Law, eroding the very meaning of the word “Catholic,” IMO.

Obviously Pope Francis is not a fan of “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” not that Cardinal Burke is an enemy, except of the enemies of God.  But he is a man with his own soul to bring Home, and he seems to know that, just like St. Paul.  Keeping those who disagree “close” is the strategy which strong managers pursue. If, as the Newsmax article said, Pope Francis really wants to avoid division in the ranks of the prelates, this would not be the way to do it.  But I am not sure if he has the management expertise that would enable him to know how to handle dissenters.  And he does seem to have weak advisers (like Fr. Rosica.)  If Pope Francis is resigned to division, this accomplishes it in part, and that is a bad sign, because division there will be.  Things are easier to tear apart than put back together.  We knew it was coming, but it is a very sad day.  But we know too that it is all under the wings of the Holy Spirit, and so we pray for all involved, including ourselves.

I’ll post the link later when we get the Zenit update (which usually does not have a Saturday edition; just a weekend wrap-up.)  At the time of posting, the announcement also is not on the USCCB website.

Just released in LifeSiteNews: Replacing Cardinal Burke at the Apostolic Signatura will be Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, currently the pope’s foreign ministerScreenShot014, with Nuncio experience, more administrative than pastoral.     Moroccan by birth.      Archbishop Mamberti is considered an expert on Latin America, the United Nations, Africa, the Middle East and Islam.   Also see:




3 Responses to “It hit the fan (and the fans) of Cardinal Burke”

  1. annonymouse says:

    I think it’s fair to ask if Archbishop Mamberti has any expertise in canon law. One would think that expertise in canon law and pastoral experience would be prerequisites for the Vatican’s equivalent of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. It is not obvious that +Mamberti has either, as the last twelve years have all been in foreign service.

    As supreme legislator and Vicar of Christ, the Holy Father gets to make these decisions, but it sure appears to be a headscratcher.

  2. SykesFive says:

    Archbishop Mamberti is certainly not “Moroccan by birth.” He is French, and more specifically “pied-noir,” which is the term for French and other European settlers in French North Africa (Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia). Nearly all pieds-noirs left French North Africa when France lost control of the region in 1956-62, and most who stayed left shortly thereafter.

    Mamberti’s last name suggests he has Italian ancestry. In the nineteenth century, many Italians did settle in French North Africa, straight from Italy. France wanted European settlers. (The same factors that drove Italians to leave Italy for the United States, Argentina, etc. were in play, and Italy had no colonies until 1912.) But many Italians also settled in France or for that matter lived in areas that became part of France, from which they then moved to French North Africa. So without knowing more it’s impossible to say how far removed Mamberti’s Italian ancestry is. (Another way of putting this is that Italian surnames are common in France, and don’t really tell you whether the person moved from Italy last week or the person’s family lived in Nice or Corsica for centuries, or something even more complicated happened as likely happened in Mamberti’s case.)

  3. Sid says:

    Nice post, Sykes. Regarding Italian names in France, the obvious example is of course “Bonaparte”, Italians who settled in Corsica. One scion attained some measure of fame or notoriety, depending upon your perspective. 🙂

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