Wednesday, August 29, 2018


Cardinal Burke said on Wednesday that the allegations levelled against the Pope by Archbishop Vigano were “very serious” and had left him “speechless”.

“I believe we now need a full response from the Pope and the Vatican,” he told La Repubblica newspaper.

Calling for the pope to resign was “legitimate” if it was proved that he had made “grave errors” but the matter needed to be properly investigated, Cardinal Burke said.

“I have nothing personal against the pope. I’m simply trying to defend the true faith and the clear presentation of the faith.”


TJM said...


Dan said...

I just looked over transcript of Francis' comments after the WMOF. I had missed this. When asked about abortion Francis said:
"The problem of abortion is not religious. We are not against abortion for religion, no! It’s a human problem and it should be studied anthropologically. To study abortion, beginning with the religious fact is to skip over thought. The problem of abortion should be studied anthropologically. There is always the anthropological problem of the ethics of eliminating a human being to resolve a problem. But this is already to enter into the discussion. I just want to underscore this: I will never allow that the discussion on abortion begins on the religious fact."

Somebody please interpret.

TJM said...

That’s heresy

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

If you make it a "religious" fact from the get-go, then those who do not share your religious views are exempt from sharing the religious understanding that abortion is wrong.

If you make it a human (anthropological) fact from the get-go, then all who do not share your humanity . . . Wait, everyone shares humanity, so it SHOULD be everyone's understanding that abortion is wrong.

This is hardly "heresy."

I always argue against abortion from the biological view. The fetus is 1) human and 2) alive. We know it is human because it has the genetic code for humans. It is not "potentially" human because it is not potentially anything else. It is alive because it meets the biological criteria for being alive. It has 1) growth, 2) cellular respiration, 3) response to stimuli, and 4) the potential for reproduction.

ByzRus said...

Good for Cardinal Burke. If, from an administrative perspective, we cannot rely upon the Hierarchy to conduct themselves with integrity, what is left of the Church vis-a-vis No Priest, No Sacraments, No Church?

Craig said...

Just a thought - if Theodore McCarrick was appointed Bishop of Metuchen in 1985, and then installed as Archbishop of Washington in 2001, and then given the red hat one month later, all of that took place during the papacy of John Paul II. If the Vatican knew of McCarrick’s “behavior” as Archbishop Vigano suggests in his eleven page manifesto, shouldn’t those vocal critics of Francis be setting their guns sights on the “Saint” as well?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes, Benedict and John Paul II should be scrutinized. John Paul was closed to any thought that Maciel was an abuser although Benedict acted quickly once Pope. The light must shine, especially on any subculture of homosexual rings no matter where.

TJM said...


LOL - Thou Shall Not Kill - Christ's own words about throwing abusers of children to the bottom of the sea? That's not the underpinning of Catholic doctrine on abortion? Why not just turn in your collar now because you, notwithstanding the biological view you parrot, you continue to vote for the Abortion Party which obviously does not accept the biological or scientific view. Hillary Clintoon says a baby has no rights up until the time it's born alive. What an emphathetic and swell gal she is. She and Isle Koch would have been best buds.

Mark Thomas said...

In regard to Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò's 11-page letter:

It is interesting to me that certain anti-Pope Francis "traditional" Catholic bloggers have employed said letter to spew venom at His Holiness Pope Francis. With the exception of one right-wing blogger, said folks have focused only upon Pope Francis.

I'm not here to attack Cardinal Ratzinger. I have not seen evidence to support Archbishop Viganò's claim that Pope Benedict XVI sanctioned then-Cardinal McCarrick.

But let's us pretend that Pope Benedict XVI sanctioned Cardinal McCarrick.

1. It is a fact that following the supposed sanctions in question imposed upon him, then-Cardinal McCarrick acted contrary to the supposed sanctions.

2. Then-Cardinal McCarrick traveled the world, offered public Masses, and even participated in events that featured Pope Benedict XVI.

3. Therefore, as he refused to enforce the supposed sanctions in question, Pope Benedict XVI occupies the same boat with Pope Francis as Pope Benedict XVI permitted alleged sexual predator Cardinal McCarrick to roam free.


Mark Thomas

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"LOL - Thou Shall Not Kill - Christ's own words about throwing abusers of children to the bottom of the sea? That's not the underpinning of Catholic doctrine on abortion?"

No, neither the command against murder nor Jesus' words about harming the little ones is the underpinning of the Church's doctrine on abortion.

The underpinning of Catholic doctrine on abortion is the inherent dignity of every person made in the image and likeness of God. It is in our shared humanity.

Hence, for the Holy Father to speak against abortion from an anthropological perspective makes very good and very sound doctrinal sense.

TJM said...


LOL - when did anthropology become a course of study? Likely the 16th or 17th centuries. I think theology has been around a lot longer. EPIC Fail. Go back to Theology 101 (and make sure it's a Catholic course)

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - Anthropology as a course of study has been around for a couple of centuries. Wikipedia says, "In 1647, the Bartholins, founders of the University of Copenhagen, defined l'anthropologie as follows: Anthropology, that is to say the science that treats of man, is divided ordinarily and with reason into Anatomy, which considers the body and the parts, and Psychology, which speaks of the soul."

The subject of anthropology, humans, has been around a good while longer.

But when anthropology came into its own matters not. Abortion is a human problem and there are anthropological and biological, as I noted, reasons for opposing it. Pope Francis wisely approaches the question with non-Catholic and non-believers from an anthropological perspective.

DJR said...

Mark Thomas said... 3. "Therefore, as he refused to enforce the supposed sanctions in question, Pope Benedict XVI occupies the same boat with Pope Francis as Pope Benedict XVI permitted alleged sexual predator Cardinal McCarrick to roam free."

I agree.

Perhaps Pope Francis should then do the same thing as Pope Benedict XVI did.

That way, they could both occupy, not only the same boat, but the same apartment within the Vatican.

Anonymous 2 said...


Father Kavanaugh is exactly right in his approach. I very much like his statement at 6:35 p.m. yesterday.

Your invocation of the Sixth Commandment and reference to abusers of “children” assumes that the developing fetus is a human being and a person. You and I and Father Kavanaugh and other believing Catholics may make this assumption, but many people do not. You can quote the Sixth Commandment and other Scripture until the cows come home and it will make no difference to non-believers who do not share our religious assumptions. A shared acceptance and understanding of biology/anthropology has far greater chance to persuade them. Why is this so hard to understand?

As I have said several times on this Blog, I want zero abortions in this country. Religious belief alone will not achieve that result. Nor will State coercion. Persuasion is also needed.

And as I have also said before, if we want to win and save lives, we need do what works and not what is incompletely effective or, worse, ultimately ineffective or, even worse, what may simply make us feel good about ourselves by contrasting our “righteousness” with the “evil” of the “Other.”

Anonymous 2 said...

Correction – Fifth Commandment for Catholics. I was brought up on the C of E version in school. It is difficult to shake – like one’s Twelve Times Tables!

It does raise an interesting question, though, to which I do not know the answer: How significant, doctrinally, theologically, etc., if at all, is the difference in the numbering of the Ten Commandments?

Dan said...

Wasn't it anthropologists that help push the idea that ethics are culturally relative? And one shouldn't dare use something so "primitive" like religion to judge things like eating ones neighbor? Or aborting children? Engaging in FGM?

TJM said...

Kavanaugh and Anonymous 2,

Catholicism does not draw its moral authority from anthroplogy but from Christ who did not draw on secular constructs but the 10 Commandments and Scripture. You both are hopelessly lost. Sad

Anonymous 2 said...


Two points:

(1) Catholicism doesn’t just draw its moral authority from the Ten Commandments and Scripture. It also draws its authority from Natural Law. The biological argument outlined by Father Kavanaugh not only promises to be intrinsically persuasive to non-believers but it also supports the natural law arguments against abortion, and these natural law arguments may also be persuasive to some non-believers as well.

(2) I don’t know whether you are unable/unwilling to read properly, due to knee jerk bias or hostility towards anything Father Kavanaugh or I write, or just want to argue for the sake of arguing, but you clearly have not comprehended what I wrote. Please go away and try again.

TJM said...

Anonymous 2,

No, the shocking thing is that lefties like PF and Kavanaugh do not draw on the inveterate riches of Catholic theology but secular studies like anthopology which by the way, have no use for Catholicism and would laugh at you for trying to ban abortion by use of anthropology. Please go away and try again, this time as a Catholic rather than as a secularist

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - The two foundations of Catholic moral theology are 1) the dignity of the human person, made in the image and likeness of God, and 2) the final end of humans.

St. Pope John Paul II used frequent references to the dignity of the human person as the basis for moral teaching. (See Love and Responsibility at 23; The Theology of the Body at 152 and passim; Crossing the Threshold of Hope at 202 (referring to “the principle that a person has value by the simple fact that he is a person”) (emphasis deleted). But see also “The Dignity of the Human Person” in Karol Wojtyla, Person and Community: Selected Essays (Theresa Sandok, OFM, trans., 1993) at 177, 179 (Human beings “live by means of things, always preserving their own purpose. This purpose is intimately connected with truth, because the human being is a rational being, and also with good, because the good is the proper object of free will. There is no way to acknowledge the dignity of the human being without taking this purpose and its thoroughly spiritual character into account.”).

When he writes of the foundation of moral theology, St. Thomas Aquinas, in Prima Secundae basis his considerations. (See Summa Theologiae Ia-IIae.18.1-11.)

Christ did not "draw on the 10 commandments and Scripture" for His moral authority or teaching. He WAS moral authority.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"...bases his considerations" on the finals ends of man.

Anonymous 2 said...


Please explain how faith-based arguments are going to persuade an audience of non-believers. And you might also want to ponder the following piece, which suggests that although there are some risks in the pro-life movement relying upon science, on balance science is much more likely to help rather than to harm the cause:

And here is a dramatic illustration of the potential for science to support the pro-life cause:]

It seems to me that such scientific facts as these are rhetorically highly persuasive, getting the pro-life movement a long way towards its goal, and that the sorts of scientific facts adduced by Father Kavanaugh cover the rest of the distance. In other words, the argument from science lines up well with the argument from faith. It bolsters the latter for believers and has the potential to operate as an effective substitute for non-believers.