Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Pastoral Hearts of Four Cardinals

November 15th, 2016, Promulgated by Diane Harris

It is simply a “yes or no?” letter to Pope Francis.  Five questions; only five answers needed.  But it is brilliant!

Four distinguished Cardinals of the Catholic Church recognize the confusion of Amoris Laetitia and ask Pope Francis for clarification.  After about 50 days, with no answer received, they went public to the laity on what they had asked.  And, in turn, the laity can clearly see the departure from prior teaching, not in an argumentative way, but with simplicity and clarity. Of the four Cardinals, only Raymond Cardinal Burke has not yet reached retirement. But all four show on-going concern for the complex issue which has been foisted on the whole Church through lack of clarity.

Also see here for additional background information in LifeSiteNews, and a petition to Pope Francis available for signature.

Most recent is an interview with Cardinal Burke stating that it may be necessary to have a “formal” correction of papal error, a very rare occurrence indeed. But these are rare and difficult times in which we must pray ardently.  See also Edward Pentin interview in the National Catholic Register.

Personally, while I have read a number of calls by Pope Francis for dialogue, there seems to be a lack of a two-way direction, on the critiquing input to the Synod, and in silence on the Amoris Laetitia matters.  When I wrote the book “Half a Dialogue” last year, it was because I’d noted in the Encyclical “Laudato Si” an insistent call by Pope Francis for “dialogue” (25x), for “debate” (12x) and for “discussion” (6x).  I heard from more than 30 bishops and Cardinals, and was most impressed by response from Pope Benedict XVI who responded by sending me a copy of his first Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est.  But other than a formal letter from the Secretary of State that the book had been delivered to Pope Francis, I had no reply. It does make me wonder what a call for “dialogue” means, and why Pope Francis is not answering four of his own Cardinals.  I am not personally optimistic that a constructive dialogue is likely to occur in this matter with the four Cardinals:






Cardinals Raymond Burke, Joachim Meisner, Walter Brandmüller and Carlo Caffarra


8 Responses to “Pastoral Hearts of Four Cardinals”

  1. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Within minutes after a friend told me this morning that the Cardinals’ letter was on line, I read it!

    I was not disappointed. The letter’s questions left no room for ambiguous answers which could only lead to more confusion and uncertainty.

    Interestingly, the Cardinals’ method of inquiry reminded me of my Saint Bernard’s Institute days when a particular male student there habitually would craft questions regarding various assertions (which gave one pause). The student would ask the professors, “How can one make sense out of ‘blank assertion’ in light of ‘blank received official teaching’? Or, “how can one possibly understand what you just said in light of ‘blank scripture/Conciliar Document/Vatican 2 Decree/Papal Encyclical” etc?

    The Pope did not respond to the four Cardinals; the SBI professors rarely answered in a way that demonstrated ‘thinking with the Church’.

    How is it our beloved Holy Father, Pope Francis, is satisfied with making statements or issuing documents which leave his audience wondering what he means? Perhaps we the audience are being challenged to decide for ourselves; unless, of course, His Holiness is insisting on Islam being a religion of peace and that terrorists are perverting Islam. No ambiguity or confusion about what the Pope means in that regard!

  2. annonymouse says:

    I don’t think he could have been much clearer than he was in his endorsement of the Argentine bishops’ interpretation of the encyclical. He was the selection of the liberal European cardinals, and this was the encyclical they wanted, one they could use to betray consistent Church teaching. And why? To keep the government funds flowing – in Germany at least.

    Oh there’s definitely the smell of smoke at the Vatican. “Can you smell smoke?”

  3. annonymouse says:

    Correction – Apostolic Exhortation, not Encyclical

  4. annonymouse says:

    The “smoke” I’m referring to:

    And just to give you a glimpse into our Holy Father’s mind and heart, just after this session he was heard to say laughingly, “do you smell smoke?”

  5. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    The article accessed at the above link makes no references to the smoke of Satan nor to any insinuations of heresy. It does, however, point out the irony of how non-pastoral Pope Francis is toward adherents to the extraordinary form of the Latin Rite.

    While it is painful for me personally to reflect on the Holy Father’s statements and writings (because of which many of us shake our heads in disbelief), it is necessary for us who are called by Christ Jesus to faithful missionary discipleship to do the challenging work of reflection and analysis as we hear the Pope’s hard sayings.

    “Respecting Traditional Catholics” closes with a statement with which all Catholics of good will (including the Vicar of Christ) should be able to affirm:
    “Those who love the Extraordinary Form Mass are serious, sane Catholics who seek God in the beauty of sublime worship. They deserve a sympathetic hearing from their shepherds.”

    ….and perhaps they deserve ‘dialogue’ as well!

  6. Diane Harris says:

    Hierarchical Heroes:
    The 4 Cardinals:

    Bishop Jozef Wrobel of Poland:

    Newly promoted Cardinal Cupich is an embarrassment, as are the sideline snipers who seem to be playing up to Pope Francis without even acknowledging there are real doctrinal issues.

  7. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    “Pope Francis often calls for an outspoken and fearless dialogue between all members of the Church in matters concerning the spiritual good of souls. In the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, the Pope speaks of a need for “open discussion of a number of doctrinal, moral, spiritual, and pastoral questions. The thinking of pastors and theologians, if faithful to the Church, honest, realistic and creative, will help us to achieve greater clarity” (n. 2). Furthermore, relationships at all levels within the Church must be free from a climate of fear and intimidation, as Pope Francis has requested in his various pronouncements.” Bishop Athanasius Schneider

  8. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    “The following words inspired by the Holy Spirit retain their prophetic value especially in view of the spreading doctrinal and practical confusion regarding the Sacrament of Marriage in our days: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Tim. 4: 3-5).” Bishop Athanasius Schneider

    Saint Hilary of Poitiers: “We don’t make peace at the expense of the truth by making concessions in order to acquire the reputation of tolerance. We make peace by fighting legitimately according to the rules of the Holy Spirit. There is a danger to ally surreptitiously with unbelief under the beautiful name of peace.” (Hil. Ad Const., 2, 6, 2).

    Saint Hilary of Poitiers: “May I always be in exile, if only the truth begins to be preached again!” (De Syn., 78).

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