lunedì 22 ottobre 2018

The Australian
(Tess Livingstone) The College of Cardinals that will eventually elect Pope Francis’s successor was “in a very bad way’’ at a time when a strong church was needed in the world, says a senior Vatican cardinal. US Cardinal Raymond Burke, 70, who was in Australia last week, said the college was responsible for advising Pope Francis, but the Pope has not convened a meeting of cardinals for four years. Francis had created 59 of the current 124 voting cardinals, but few of those created under Benedict XVI or Saint John Paul II knew the newer cardinals and many of the newer cardinals did not know each other.“It will be hard to vote,’’ Cardinal Burke said. “We need regular meetings.’’
The last time they met, he said, German cardinal Walter Kasper proposed allowing divorced Catholics who had remarried outside the church to receive communion. The ensuing debate had unleashed widespread confusion and division in the church around the world.
He said better seminary formation for priests and adherence to church teachings was the way forward after the sexual abuse crisis. “We need very strong, sound, good shepherds,’’ he said.
In 2014, when Francis sacked after six years Cardinal Burke from his role as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s most senior legal office, the Pope appointed him to oversee the Sovereign Order of Malta, a large international philanthropic order of lay men, women and priests. The Pope told him to “clear out Freemasonry’’ from the order. “I did my best but when things got serious I was said to be too severe and not handling people well,’’ the cardinal said.
He was then replaced by archbishop, now Cardinal, Giovanni Becciu, a senior curial official responsible for cancelling the PricewaterhouseCoopers audit of Vatican finances and removing Vatican auditor-general Libero Milone.
Cardinal Burke admitted the curia was riddled with deep divisions. Some were centred on the Vatican’s deal with China, at a time when the communist state was increasing religious persecutions and flexing its military and financial might, especially in the Indo-Pacific region.
Cardinal Burke said the agreement was “absolutely unconscionable’’ and “a betrayal of so many confessors and martyrs who suffered for years and years and were put to death” by the Communist Party.
He could not explain why Pope Francis had agreed to such a deal, which conceded power over the appointment of bishops to the Chinese leadership. That was something the church would never do for other secular leaders, such as Donald Trump or Scott Morrison.
Cardinal Burke dismissed as “absurd’’ the claim by Vatican bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, an Argentinian and close friend of the Pope, that the ­Chinese state exemplified Catholic social justice teaching. “That was a totally absurd declaration; atheistic communism is the antithesis of social justice.’’
One of the prime movers of the Chinese deal, ex-US Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is at the centre of a row between Pope Francis and the former Vatican ambassador to the US, Carlo Vigano.
In August, Archbishop Vigano released an 11-page statement claiming the Pope brought McCarrick back into favour, despite knowing that his sexual assaults on seminarians and other young men had caused Benedict XVI to confine McCarrick to a life of “prayer and penance’’.
Cardinal Burke was in Australia to visit the new Benedictine monastery in Tasmania, to address the Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy and to confirm 32 young people and adults last Sunday at the John Henry Newman parish in Caufield North, Melbourne, for followers of the traditional Latin mass.
The Australian