Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Some perspective.

The normally not-quite-sunshine-and-lollipops world of the Catholic blogosphere is practically scrofulous with posts and invective on the matter of the rumored demotion of Cdl. Burke from the Apostolic Signatura to "exile in Malta."

I am on record as not thinking favorably of this decision if, in fact, it comes to pass as rumored. At the moment I am not ready (but open to correction) to assume that IF it comes to pass, the reasons therefor are not for purely ideological differences between the Holy Father and His Grace. Any number of reasons for this rumored action may be, jointly or severally, involved...spanning the range from "The Pope is an awful person" all the way to "Cdl. Burke is an awful person" and encompassing intercardinal lower-case-P politics, personality conflicts, etc. We all hate to assume that such petty foibles might, possibly, perhaps, rear their head in Holy Mother Church, but history explicitly shows us this is a fallacy.

(My short reflection is the Holy Father has appointed cardinals and bishops as conservative as Cdl. Burke to high rank, over more moderate ones. The converse is also true, incidentally, which suggests that perhaps the Holy Father's criteria is not as ideological as, say, MINE would be. And yes, were I Pope, I'd be very much ideological in my appointments.)

An excellent summary of my views on this matter, at this point and with the information currently available, is captured by the estimable Fr. Z.

At any rate, the release of this rumor has ignited the usual controversy. This led someone to write this EXCELLENT blog post on the matter of invective against bishops, cardinals, etc. Go, read it, I'll wait.

My rule of thumb is that we are required to call a spade a spade, not call it a #$@&ing shovel.

A great example is this clip of Michael Voris*, assertively taking to task Cdl. Dolan for his decision to be Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick's Day Parade in NYC.

The "dog that didn't bark" is what MV does NOT say about His Grace. He doesn't call him anything. He characterizes his positions, statements, comments, answers, etc. in strongly negative terms...but not a peep of (in the literal sense) ad hominem.

Our (fallen) human nature is such that when we see these sorts of things going on, especially by a Prince of the Church, the temptation surges forth to say "This guy's an idiot." or worse. But this is dangerous ground.

I have enough to answer for, and enough to drag to Confession, without having my load increased by this.


* In full disclosure, I have been a guest on MV's show and I am on the whole, generally to be found in broad agreement with his positions.


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