Tuesday 13 January 2015

Darth Burke

I just read this column about Cardinal Burke and it made me laugh heartily, although not at Cardinal Burke.  It's supposed to be straight journalism, not an op/ed, so this line in particular stands out:

Burke, a liturgical traditionalist as well as a doctrinal conservative who is renowned for wearing elaborate silk and lace vestments while celebrating Mass, also said that “men need to dress and act like men in a way that is respectful to themselves, to women and to children.”

Burke is actually renowned for his refreshingly outspoken views. He's not a reporter, so he is not expected to keep himself and his own opinions out of whatever he says. However, Cardinal Burke is also a good sport and will put on the ceremonial robes expected of Cardinals celebrating the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Altar. I am sorry that reporter David Gibson so obviously thinks the traditional liturgical garb of Roman Catholics is hilarious.

He also thinks there are fewer abuse cases in the Church because there are supposedly more  gay priests:

In the interview, Burke also blamed gay clergy for the Church’s sexual abuse crisis, saying priests “who were feminized and confused about their own sexual identity” were the ones who molested children. Researchers have disputed that claim, and experts note that the reported rise in the number of gay men entering the priesthood since the 1980s coincided with a sharp drop-off in abuse cases.

"Researchers." "Experts." "Reported rise." "Sharp drop-off." What garbage. And I would like to know if Cardinal Burke actually said "gay" or  "children". As every well-informed Catholic knows, the vast majority of victims of clerical sexual abuse in the American Catholic Church were adolescent boys. Men sexually attracted to adolescent boys abused adolescent boys. If David Gibson thinks the definition "gay" does not include men who are attracted to adolescent boys, then he should call up Camille Paglia.

Meanwhile, I can think of other reasons why there has been a sharp drop-off in abuse cases, e.g. the stringent safeguards in Catholic parishes throughout the English-speaking world, most of all the now adult survivors have spoken up, etc. In ten or twenty years, today's adolescent Catholic boys will tell us if we have done enough to protect them.

Being "feminized" is not confined to, or even universal to, men who are sexually attracted to teenage boys and/or men, by the way.  I suppose I should have a look at what Cardinal Burke means by "feminized."  I have met a lot of "feminine" men who were attracted to women, and I have met very masculine men who identified as gay.  I wonder if I have been "masculinized" by society in some way, and what that would mean, and how it would be bad. Hmm.

Anyway, to get back to clothes, young traditional Catholics fuss so much about women's clothing and deportment, it's nice that Cardinal Burke had something to say about men's. It's very refreshing.

Update: What Cardinal Burke actually said.  It's awesome. (Skip the snarky comments; they're depressing.)  Thanks, Anamaria!

Update 2: I'm suddenly inspired to copy and paste a photo of Ryan Gosling from here.

He reminds me of B.A.


  1. I met Cardinal Burke some months ago when he was in Australia. I liked him. But I don't keep up with the Cardinal-Burke-said-this-and-then-somebody-else-said-that Catholic news cycle because I find it too emotionally exhausting. I did, however, read the article that you've commented on now, and thought pretty much the same things that you did.

  2. I saw that piece of "journalism" as well. I'm pretty sick of the press willfully distorting people's words.

    The whole interview is fantastic, I thought- and I began pretty skeptical because of the press reports and venue. http://www.newemangelization.com/uncategorized/cardinal-raymond-leo-burke-on-the-catholic-man-crisis-and-what-to-do-about-it/

  3. Also, I believe this was one of the articles that claim Francis demoted Burke after the Synod, due to the Synod. Here's Francis's account of that: http://americamagazine.org/content/dispatches/new-interview-pope-francis-says-resistance-comes-open-good-sign

  4. Anamaria, thank you for the link to the full transcript of Cardinal Burke's interview. I think he nailed it.


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