Today we jump back to the Great Cardinal, His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke’s visit to Krakow. The above video is from the Krakow lecture with questions, promoting his book Divine Love made flesh: The Holy Eucharist as the Sacrament of Charity which appeared in Polish. The sponsor of this promotional event and the publisher of the Polish version is Christiana Polonia. Original video see here.
The lecture itself was in English so there was no need to translate. However, the Q&A session was unfortunately in Italian. Therefore I had to translate. Seeing as how I do not speak Italian, but have a working knowledge of Polish, I had to translate the response of the Polish translator. Therefore, if any Italian speakers notice a difference between what the Great Cardinal said and that which is written below from the translation, please feel free to drop a comment below the post. I will update the post in case differences appear.
With respect to the content of the lecture and especially the Q&A’s session, what should become obvious is that the entire Q&A session was, what could easily be described in essence, as a Restoration theme. For most readers here, this will be the first contact with, and a window into the Polish Church. What should also be obvious is the attitude toward the Restoration that the mostly young attendees exhibited. At the end of the Q&A’s, the Great Cardinal thanks the audience, especially those that were standing the entire 1 hour and 37 minutes. If you notice dear reader, the only empty seat at the end of the Q&A was that of Cardinal Dziwisz.
In the below translation, I have indicated the time at which each question begins. It would be a good idea to read the transcripts and then go and watch the video of the question and answer for a “more full” appreciation of what is transpiring. It would not be an overstatement to say that we are witnessing a historic event. But more on this in a follow-up post.
I will end here since this will be a long post. The Q&A’s lasted over 1 hour. However I will follow up with my impression in a subsequent post.
One short comment which I cannot resist. Question 4 is the SSPX question. I have watched it, and rewatched it multiple times to get the essence of what was said correct. If I understood correctly, the Great Cardinal stated that the Faithful who do not have an “absolute necessity”, should not leave their parishes and clergy. A double negative. And we know how those work in the English language. Very interesting formulation, about which I will have more to say.
The Great Cardinal In Krakow
First question: 34:50 Minute Mark
Priest: How does His Eminence see the role of the Tridentine liturgy in the normal, day to day life of the typical parish in Poland and elsewhere.
Answer: The best term that describes the existence of two forms of the Roman rite is the “mutual enrichment”about which speaks the papal document. There is no doubt about the fact that the post conciliar liturgical reform was very “firm” and “abrupt” and at times too overbearing. Today, there must be found a way under a co-existence of the two forms, that the two rites not be seen as opposites, but rather to strive to coexist and create the mutually enriching environment.
Second question, 36:35 Minute Mark
Layman: I would like to ask Your Eminence, about your opinion as a legal professional. How does the Cardinal assess the thesis of Antonio Socci’s book, Non e Francesco, that the election of Francis came about through a violation of Canon Law.
Answer: That which is the most important is that I cannot comment on matters that took place during the conclave, since all this is encompassed as a papal secret that I always respect and is a subject on which I do not make statements. For a strictly legal (canon law) point of view, the theory of Mr. Socci, who I know and who I very much value, from a canon law point of view is very hard to prove.
Third question, 38:35 Minute Mark
Priest: I am formulating this in the form of a question. Would it be possible to re-issue the instructions that regulate the sale of sacred items, mainly altar stones on which countless offers of the Most Holy Sacrament were made and these alter stones were subsequently sold off, finding their way onto public auction sites. The priest does not want to come across as being aggressive, but asks the question since in the Great Cardinal’s book, he addresses the issue of sacred items that are used during the Holy Sacrifice. The present situation in Poland is that foreigners are purchasing items, especially the stone alters making offers to the clerics (church administrators), not knowing what they are purchasing.
Answer: This is a very painful problem, which I came into contact with first as a bishop and later as the Prefect of the Apostalic Signatura. If it is necessary to sell the church, it is never certain if that place will be used with respect towards its former function. As a bishop, I literally cried when I visited a former chapel that belonged to one of congregations, where the altar and sacred art was not removed, but the locale was being used for drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking cigarettes. And the altar was being used for this purpose. For me, this was something unimaginable at the time. If the necessity arises to sell a sacred space, whether a church or chapel, I will always be for selling or donating the sacred items to other churches. I am convinced that there is a need for such instructions that precisely and in detail spells out how to proceed in these cases.
Fourth question. 44:10 Minute Mark
Layman: The SSPX question. I have a question as a faithful Catholic, can we as Catholics, without fear, take advantage of the ministry of the Fraternal Society of St. Pius X? And after the Year of Mercy, the jurisdiction granted by the Apostolic See, will it simply disappear and everything will revert back to a state preceding the Year of Mercy?
Answer: (Ed. note: With a very large grin on his face, the Great Cardinal states:) A very beautify question, a very good question. With regards to the Fraternity of St. Pius X, they find themselves in an irregular situation from a canonical point of view. If there does not exist an absolute necessity to go to the Society of St. Pius X to obtain the Sacraments, then people should not leave their churches and their priests. With respect to the elevation to the jurisdiction for the Sacrament of Penance that the Holy Father offered, granted to the clerics of the Society of St.Pius X during the Year of Mercy, it is hard to clearly define, or describe from a canonical point of view. Bishop Fellay himself, and so the superior of the Society of Pius X recognized that this is an unique gift from the Holy Father. Therefore, this would imply that this (jurisdiction) would have its end with the end of the Year of Mercy. I express my sincere intentions, sincere wish that the Fraternity of St. Pius X could be able to unite with the Church. The Holy Father, Francis gave indications to Cardinal Muller, the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, with respect to the re-opening of discussions with the Fraternity of St. Pius X, whose aim would be to enter into a “full communion” with the Catholic Church.
Fifth question. 48:43 Minute Mark
Layman: With respect to the context of what transpired recently, the Holy Father Francis has made changes to the rites of the Mandatum, the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday, I want to ask, how can liturgical discipline be returned to the Church. I am speaking here as a “ceremonial lecturer”. I assisted at many Masses in the ordinary form, unfortunately very many were celebrated in violation of liturgical regulations. How do we return this liturgical discipline back into the Church?
Answer: The Cardinal has a great desire that the authority of the Holy See in questions of regulations pertaining to the liturgy and all other remaining issues, actually be in fact recognized. Maybe in this country, you haven’t met with such serious liturgical abuses that in various other countries, especially in the US, that are present. I would also in this question, with respect to the Mandatum or the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday, I would like to see a return to order. As the bishop of La Crosse, I did everything that this rite would have the same meaning as it was given by Christ, because when the washing of feet transpired, I would like it to have the same meaning as Christ gave it when he washed the feet of the twelve apostles. This rite has a particular importance, a special meaning because it belongs to the rite of Holy Mass that is celebrate on the holiest days of the liturgical year. I have a hope that there will arise a deepening study of this rite, the right of the washing of the feet that will allow a return to the obedience of the discipline of this matter. As is written in the existing regulations, no cleric is obligated to washing the feet of anyone who does not represent the twelve apostles.
Sixth question: 53:56 Minute Mark
Layman: I would like to return to the time when the Cardinal was the ordinary of a diocese in the United States. I understand that you were involved in spreading the cult of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the form of personal sacrifice, families, enthronement in families, enthronements in places of business, enthronements at schools. My question is, how fruitful were these activities and did your Eminence recognize a visible effects of these fruits and a change in people’s hearts.
Answer: Thank you very much for this question. I from my youth am a devotee to the Secret Heart of Jesus and I did actually work on the enthronement of pictures of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in schools and other venues. I gave to the wonderful Izabela a book about the cult of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the hope that we will see its Polish translation shortly. There are a number of testimonials of the Faithful who have enthroned in their homes pictures of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, because the gesture of the enthronement of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not a gesture that is only done once, but rather is a manner of living that depends on the fact that we not only have trust in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but also that we behave with respect and love in our daily lives, being conscious of the fact that we live in a house with Christ at its center. I will relate two stories with respect to this issue: the first pertains to an older gentlemen who was dieing in great pain, caused by cancer and he himself had not come to terms with this situation. He was very agitated by the whole situation. A friend of the family asked the wife of the sick person, why not enthrone the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the room where the husband is suffering. And after preparations and prayer, the enthronization transpired of the enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in this room and I must say that from that moment, the gentleman settled down being cognizant of the fact that he finds himself in the presence of Christ himself. The second testimonial is of a mother who had two children, a boy and a girl ages 16 and 15, who were continuously arguing. Obviously they prepared for the enthronement and the mother observed that the arguments ceased. And afterwards, I asked the boy who argued with his sister, why did you stop arguing with your sister? He replied that it is not possible since we are in the presence of Christ, a person does not behave in such a manner. Therefore I encourage this devotion since its effects are enormous.
Seventh question. 1:01:07 Minute Mark
Layman: My question also pertains to issues of the heart, a heart which bears a vocation, and which came here broken. I am also asking this in my name and in the name of my friends equally. Because there is a large language barrier and I cannot overcome it, what is the chance of a Traditional seminary to be erected in Poland and would Your Eminence be willing to help us in this manner, together with your prayers in this manner.
Answer: A vocation is born in a person together with baptism. Also very important is the upbringing that are provide by the parents, that they support this vocation. You yourself provide certain signs that allow for discernment of your vocation. Very important also is the catechesis that a young person comes into contact with, that should be concentrated on and respect the issue of a vocation. From my side, I cannot address nor would I want to, nor can I address the issue of seminaries in Poland. What I can suggest and advise you and your friends is to find a good cleric that can be a spiritual guide for you, who will help resolve certain problems for you and can eventually help alleviate any formational shortcomings. I hope that I have been able to help you in some way.
Eight question: 1:04:35 Minute Mark
Cleric: What is the current status of the project of the hermeneutic of continuity in the Church. What kind of support does it have among the princes of the Church and does it have any future.
Answer: I am convinced that the form of the liturgy according to the hermeneutic of continuity I in fact alive and truly vital. I will allow myself to refer to an article published by Cardinal Sarah, Robert Sarah Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship , in an article that was published on the 12th of June of last year, in which the Cardinal expresis verbis claims that he is, with his entire heart behind the reform in accordance with the hermeneutic of continuity and he will try to everything possible to continue the work started by Pope Benedict XVI therefore, courage.
Ninth Question: 1:06:49 Minute Mark
Priest: I have a question from the point of view of the younger pastors of souls. We often meet with, especially younger priests who try to apply the hermeneutic of continuity and we hear in the parishes that we are somewhat strange because we are getting ahead of ourselves. Often it is suggested to us that we should focus on actions pertaining to pastoral needs instead of concentrating on the liturgical matters, claiming that youth like things more entertaining rather than prayerful of pious. Does Your Eminence have for us any advice on how to deal with such difficulties that we encounter.
Answer: From my experience I can say that young people have a great need for liturgy celebrated with great precision and in a deeply sacred manner. Since they are surrounded by a world that is deeply desacralized, they have a great need to experience and come into contact with a sacredness that touches their interiors, their hearts. I would advise to introduce into the liturgy this sense of sacredness , this sense of piousness, godliness so that through a liturgy that is offered worthily, this manner can then support the rediscovery that this is the act of Christ that is performed in the liturgy, where the celebrants are His servants, and in this manner will be rediscovered the way to a true pastoral ministry, among the entrusted faithful.
Tenth Question 1:10:15 Minute Mark
Layman: I would like to ask about the rite and missal of the Neo-Catechumenists. There is a question that these communities number 50,000 worldwide and in Poland about 1,500. Even in this hall, on Saturdays these Neo-Catechumenist rites take place. In the mean time, in the media over the course of many years, there is a number of adverse opinions, even though the statutes were confirmed many years ago. I would like to ask, knowing in advance that neither admirers of the Tridentine Mass nor those who celebrate under the new post-conciliar rite are not admirers of those communities and their liturgy. I would be eager to hear what the opinion is at present. In this case, do the media materials showing these Neo-Catechumens in a negative light are only repeating old cases, or are there still certain doubts that justify these negative reports?
Answer: My unease about the liturgy of the Neo-Catechumens are publicly known. When this matter was discussed in the Apostolic See, I wrote a letter to Cardinal Bertone who was then the Secretary of State with my apprehensions, with my comments. Unfortunately this letter that was addressed and sent to the Secretary of State was published by one of the most anti-Catholic newspapers in Italy, whose name is La Republica. This is a part of the VatiLeaks scandal where documents were leaked. In this matter, I will allow myself to cite one point that I described in the letter, namely the point that doesn’t just concern the Neo-Catechumens but more widely all communities and movements in the Church. Namely, one always needs to look at them so that these Church communities and movements be integrated into the parish life of the Church. I occurs to me that celebrating the Holy Mass exclusively on Saturday evenings is not a correct solution since it removes those from normal parish life.
Tenth Question 1:15:35 Minute Mark
Layman: Your Eminence has very interesting observations about the crisis of men within the Church. I would like to ask Your Eminence what are the most important causes of this crisis and what kind of solutions could be suggested to end this crisis. For example, the Holy League that Your Eminence is a patron of is one solution. Maybe some sort of sacred fraternities, maybe a return of a spirit of knighthood or maybe some other ideas?
Answer: The root causes of the crisis of the Church, especially the Church in the West are very deep and reach back in the past. Namely, they reach back to the age of enlightenment. While in the 1970’s a societal crisis ensued, which was rooted in the discarding of all authority was strengthened in a sense, with the liturgical crisis whose effects were the desacralization of the liturgy. And because of this, the people of God, the faithful in society found themselves in this crisis of authority, that propeled them toward this desacralization, and could not or did not receive any answers and did not have any support from the Church. And this caused this crisis to spread. In order to exit this crisis, in which we presently find ourselves in, two things are needed. The first is a deepening of the catachesis that is started from childhood through to adult life. What is needed is a deep and thorough, honest that provides basis of faith. Today I encounter situations where faithful who what to defend their faith, are unable since they do not know its justifications (arguments). That addresses the first question: deep and thorough catechisis at all stages of development into adulthood. Second issue is the sacredness of the liturgy. We need to return the sense of sacredness to the liturgy that needs to be built on this fundamental concept that it is not us that create the liturgy, but the liturgy is an act, action, undertaking performed by Christ and this notion that it is not us that create the liturgy, but that everything is directed toward that which Christ provides for us, should break through and give an impulse in the most minute issues. So in the case of internal church decorations and all the small things that serve to make the liturgy, should all serve to underline the fact that in the liturgy, the actions are of Christ. Therefore, a deep catachisis and a sacred liturgy are the ways to exit from this crisis.
Last Question 1:22:16 Minute Mark
Layman: At the synod, could not one just prelate be found that reminded all the words of the Gospel of John 13:27 which speaks of the effects of unworthy receipt of Holy Communion by Judas. In Polish is sounds as follows: And then Satan enter into him. Since they are receiving not only Communion but all Sacraments in the state of mortal sin. Therefore do the provocateurs not all know this who promote giving Holy Sacraments to people who are in a state of sin?
Answer: I cannot give you a precise answer since I was not a member, did not take part in the discussions of the last synod in 2015. I only read in the newspapers that Archbishop Peta, who if I am not mistaken is the Archbishop Astana in Kazakhstan, cited the words of Pope Paul VI, words that were a strong, firm declaration that the smoke of Satan entered even into the synodal hall. But I cannot say whether anyone expresis verbis cited the words about which you ask since I did not take part in the discussions.
End of Q&A 1:25:04 Minute Mark
Cardinal Burke receives standing ovation. Hall still packed. Only empty seat is that of His Eminence Cardinal Dziwisz.