Cardinal Burke, one of four cardinals asking Pope Francis to clarify the ambiguous and confusing parts of recent apostolic exhortation on marriage and the family, has given an interview which you can read HERE.
MY COMMENT: Years ago, like in those infamous 1970's when I was in a liberal/progressive seminary and prior to the election of Pope St. John Paul II, there was, as it was called then, the loyal opposition to Pope Paul VI, who at that time was considered an outdated conservative. Why? Because His Holiness had issued that very controversial Humanae Vitae as well as tried to put the brakes on discussion of the ordination of women as priests. There were other things too. He was quite beleaguered by the left and right.
Then Pope Saint John Paul II was elected in the fall of 1978. His Holiness came in promising to restore the great discipline of the Church, asking nuns, monks and priests to wear distinctive religious garb/habits and a whole host of other more traditional aspects of the Church. In the 1990's His Holiness issued the new Catechism of the Catholic Church which left nothing ambiguous. In other words it wasn't coloring book Catholicism. I would say that the CCC is one of the most signifcant elements of His Holiness' papacy. His clarity of thought, philosophical background rooted in logic, all contributed to his splendid pursuit of truth in a confused Church and world.
Progressives hated it! They preferred to live with ambiguity and confusion, the messiness of life.
Pope Francis seems to be of the school of the 1970's that hated or had a major disdain for the clarity of moral and doctrinal teachings of Pope St. John Paul II and his co-worker, supporter and enforcer, successor Pope Benedict XVI. Of course Pope Benedict in one of His Holiness most important speeches to the cardinals at Christmas set His Holiness' agenda as reviewing the Second Vatican Council's documents and implementation and seeking "reform in continuity" not rupture with what the Church had been prior to this pastoral Council.
It is now clear, that Pope Francis is a progressive and there is a settling of scores with the JPII and Benedict era where Cardinal Kasper had had a storied on-going conflict with both, but especially Pope Benedict when His Holiness was Cardinal Ratzinger. There are other elements of the South American Church that the JPII/Benedict period of the papacy challenged which Pope Francis has sought to suppress.
Back in the 1970's polarization of the Church, many conservatives where considering following Archbishop Lefebre into a papal schism (which eventually became the SSPX and oddly enough Pope Francis may integrate into the full communion with His Holiness).
Liberals were considering joining the truly schismatic liberal Catholic schisms, too many to mention.
I always thought to myself in the 1970's that I would never, ever break communion with the papacy, no matter how depraved a particular pope may be or how heterodox. I simply would wait it out and allow the Holy Spirit to take care of things (which the Holy Spirit did in the JPII/Benedict period!).
I feel the same today. I have serious questions about a public "loyal opposition" among cardinals, bishops and theologians to any reigning pope. I think it should be private and not public. So I question Cardinal Burke and the other three cardinals for going public with their concerns and placing the pope in a public "rock and a hard place" position. This seems unprecedented to me, although I do know that cardinals and bishops openly disagreed with Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae, but the challenge was never as overt and stinging as what the four Cardinals have done.
Time will tell if this will produce good fruit or bad or lead to the further polarization of the Church.
But I have to agree that progressives, like Pope Francis, are dogmatic and authoritarian and pre-Vatican II in their authoritarianism in implementing their liberal agenda. They are polarizing and as polarizing as progressives or liberals are in secular politics as we have seen in the Obama/Clinton recent election.
While my sentiments reside with the concerns of the four cardinals and have no doubt that their motives are ultimately worthy, I see it as further polarizing the Church and pushing the vulnerable away from the full communion of the Church under the pope.
There are checks and balances in terms of what a pope can change and can't. The mess that Pope Francis has intentionally caused will one day be clarified and in an orthodox way. We will have to patiently wait for that day and pray for the Holy Father every day! But I will never break Communion with any pope no matter how crazy, heterodox or simply caught in the "Peter principle." I will never support anything did isn't the truth and will always understand the papacy is a servant of Christ and His Church, not the master.