The Shameful Confession of Cardinal Burke: Those who doubt Bergoglio is the Pope hold an “extreme” position

U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, patron of the Knights and Dames of Malta, center left, and a group of priests pose with Pope Francis during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Sept. 2. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-AUDIENCE-SMILE Sept. 2, 2015.

It has been six and a half years of blasphemies, insults against God and His Teaching, against His Son and His immaculate Mother, open attacks on the truth of Scripture, the Divinity of the Son, the Resurrection, the discipline of the Sacraments etc. etc., topped off by acts of open idolatry and apostasy in the Vatican and Saint Peters.

And now, Cardinal Burke chooses to speak on what he thinks of “Pope Francis”, In a November 9, 2019, Interview by Ross Douthat. Here is an excerpt (see the entire article here):

Douthat: I agree that the Catholic subculture you describes exists. But I also see, as this pontificate has advanced, a growing paranoia and alienation among conservative Catholics, a temptation toward conspiracy theories that shade into sedevacantism, the belief that the pope is not the pope. I’m curious whether you worry that criticism of the pope contributes to this.

Burke: It’s true that for all the good social media does, they also give a voice to these extreme positions. And in my criticism I’ve been deeply concerned not to call into question respect for the papal office.

You believe Francis is a legitimate pope?

Burke: Yes, yes. I’ve had people present to me all kinds of arguments calling into question the election of Pope Francis. But I name him every time I offer the Holy Mass, I call him Pope Francis, it’s not an empty speech on my part. I believe that he is the pope. And I try to say that consistently to people, because you’re correct — according to my perception also, people are getting more and more extreme in their response to what’s going on in the church.

Draw your own conclusions. But to help you do that I will merely cite the Code of Canon Law of 1983 promulgated by John Paul II, Vicar of Christ, which code is binding on earth and heaven. From my article, “Bergoglio definitively leaves the Catholic Church“:

According to Canon 1364… which reads….



Can. 1364 §1 An apostate from the faith, a heretic or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication, without prejudice to the provision of Can. 194 §1, n. 2; a cleric, moreover, may be punished with the penalties mentioned in Can. 1336 §1, nn. 1, 2 and 3.

From my article, “The Monstrosity of Allegations against ‘Team Bergoglio‘”:

Canon 1329, § 2 reads, in the Latin:

Can. 1329§2. In poenam latae sententiae delicto adnexam incurrunt complices,qui in lege vel praecepto non nominantur, si sine eorum opera delictum patratum non esset, et poena sit talis naturae, ut ipsos afficere possit; secus poenis ferendae sententiae puniri possunt.

The official English translation of this, from the Vatican website is:

§2. Accomplices who are not named in a law or precept incur a latae sententiae penalty attached to a delict if without their assistance the delict would not have been committed, and the penalty is of such a nature that it can affect them; otherwise, they can be punished by ferendae sententiae penalties.

These canons apply both to those who perpetrate or participate in idolatrous worship but also those who are heretics or promote heresy, such as attacking the Teaching of the Christ against giving the Sacraments to public sinners.

As for the canons which demonstrate that the Renunciation of Benedict was invalid, see

Just to make sure everyone recognizes the current context of events, according to my encounters with laypeople in Italy who do not work for the Church and speak freely to me in private, more than 60% of Catholics in Italy do not believe Bergoglio is currently the pope, either because he was never validly elected, or loss the office by heresy or apostasy. To Catholics, clergy included, to whom I present the contents of the Conference on the Renunciation of Pope  Benedict, there is 100% unanimity that Benedict is still the pope and that Bergoglio never was. So basically, Cardinal Burke’s comment needs to be seen as something impinging upon a majority of Catholics in Italy, at least. This makes his comments very newsworthy.

In Conclusion

The comment of Cardinal Burke clearly refers to Conservatives, not Sedevacantists, and therefore ostensibly to all Catholics who entertain or sustain the possibility that Bergoglio either never was validly elected or lost his office, on account of WHAT THE CHURCH HERSELF TEACHES about the nature of heresy, schism, apostasy, idolatry.

Therefore, there is no contextual way to explain this away, without recourse to the gratuitous assertion that the Cardinal did not mean what he said, and did not hear what Ross Douthat was saying. I find that incredible. Thus, I conclude:

Cardinal Burke has followed the lead of Cardinal Sarah and impaled his reputation* for the sake of supporting Bergoglio, jettisoning in the process not only the Code of Canon Law and any appeal to right reason in its understanding, but also the law of Charity enshrined in the Eighth Commandment of the Decalogue, and in the Greatest and First Precept of Jesus Christ: Love one another as I have loved you.

He has also jettisoned his reputation as a Canon Lawyer, because after the Academic Conference on the Renunciation of Pope Benedict, to which the Cardinal was invited but did not attend, I was told the argument presented was very sound by a Canonist who works in Rome.

In fidelity to both Christ Jesus and Moses, I ask all to pray for Cardinal Burke, who does not realize in how great an error he has fallen simply to please a man. Let us hope that he apologizes for saying such a nasty thing about faithful Catholics and explain why it is he has adopted such a non-think position, when by profession and duty he should be an advocate for applying Canon Law equally to all.

Finally, I have moderated my own emotions in writing this post, but I will not censor the comments of those who believe it necessary to speak more pointedly. That is because (1) I have written Cardinal Burke offering to speak with him about the Renunciation, and do not consider it proper to say anything more about this matter in public, but (2) recognize the right of all Catholics in virtue of Canon 212 to make their voices heard, even if times what God might consider respectful, those needing correction might not think is respectful.

My Public Question for Cardinal Burke:

Q. Do you really mean to say that an apostate, heretic, schismatic, usurper, theoretically can be a member of the Church or the Pope? Or are you saying that you feel your loyalty to the man whom you think is the Pope is greater than your loyalty to seek and defend the truth of history? — I ask this because I want to know where you stand.


* Anomianism is the error of thinking that Christian Charity frees the person from the obligation of following laws or rules. Saint Paul condemned this in his Letters to the Corinthians. — The Catholic position has always been that inasmuch as written law, promulgated by the State or Church, enshrines principles of the Natural, Moral, Divine or Evangelical Law, it requires our observance and obedience, because it is directly or implicitly invoking the authority of God.  All Church Law does this as regards the authority of Christ, Her Founder. Thus, to adopt an anomian approach to any question or dispute, and call those who honestly seek answers in the laws or teaching of the Church, extremists, is to completely reject the Divine Authority as the rule by which all things must be judged.

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19 thoughts on “The Shameful Confession of Cardinal Burke: Those who doubt Bergoglio is the Pope hold an “extreme” position”

  1. Cardinal Burke is a complicit and effeminate coward who can no longer be trusted and must be shunned by the flock as a traitor and backstabber of the catholic faith.

  2. Does +Burke now call Antonio Socci also an “extremist”? A few weeks back in an interview with Patrick Coffin he called him a saintly man.

    Such an about-face in the space of a few seems to indicate pressure was brought to bear, and +Burke crumbled, just like +Sarah.

    1. Lucy, you make a very valid point. How is it that Bergoglio can perform open idolatry on at least 3 occasions at the Vatican, and Cardinal Burke responds by fllpping 180 degrees?

  3. Good luck with that, Cardinal. Your Pope will take you to some very dark places, I predict. I hope you can regain your spiritual bearings in the dark days to come and return to the light, growing ever dimmer and distant. The pace to apostate degradation and separation accelerates.

    I stand with Sacred Tradition, the Holy Word Of God, the Saints. I choose Jesus Christ, all that is sacred and true, which never changes, nor can change. I reject all those who insult my Lord and my God; His Holiness; His Law; Love; Sovereignty. Even if it is just a little, much less a lot, I reject them. I follow Christ.

  4. It appears the role of Cardinal Burke is to carefully define the heresy and apostasy in precise detail, and to insist on the necessity of Catholics to follow the man responsible for it.

  5. God bless all here.
    And once again I find myself in the good company of Aqua, with whom I agree completely and would like to add an amen to the above.
    We need a Cardinal to denounce Bergolio by name and announce him anathema. God will raise up that man or embolden him, we hope. The man who puts Christ, the faith, the church, the flock, ahead of his own comforts and lifestyle. The man who fears God more than man. Some are coming close, but have not taken that step and until they do, the sheep are not warned, they are not fed. It was said years ago to pin our hopes on Cardinal Burke was not going to work out well for us, he would never do the necessary thing. They may be right of course. But prayer will hopefully bring that man to the fore, where he will say the words necessary.

    For my part I am not trying to be a Canon Law scholar nor a theologian. We are in days where we have reliable people on both sides claiming contrary positions, and I know little of Canon law and can’t discuss it in any meaningful way. But we need not, as God did not intend on us all becoming theologians or canon law scholars. He left us scripture and the faith.

    We ask ourselves if what this man Bergolio is teaching is consistent with what has been taught as Catholicism for 1500 years. Easy, it is not. Innovation and novelty cannot be.
    We ask ourselves if he has the voice of the shepherd, which we as discerning members of the laity, the flock, would recognize. Easy, we do not. Almost everything he says sounds alien, suspect, not Catholic nor even many times, vaguely Christian.
    We remember Galatians 1:8, where we were given directions on how to sort out demonic falsehoods and lies. “But though we or an angel of heaven come to you preaching a Gospel different than the one we preach to you, let them be anathema (accursed).” So we are not to hear nor listen to anyone who comes preaching a different gospel.
    Judge for yourselves if Bergolio’s gospel is Christ’s gospel. We say it is definitely not.
    If no Cardinal or bishop will identify him as an apostate, we have no choice but to resist, pray, and wait.

  6. Cdl. Burke: “I believe that he [Bergoglio] is the pope. And I try to say that consistently to people.”

    But saying this consistently to people isn’t what’s needed right now. If it’s true that Bergoglio is Pope, then what we need is an explanation, and quite a serious one too. For it would need to explain away such weighty things as the evidence that Benedict never abdicated the Petrine Office as well as the evidence that the 2013 conclave violated Universi Dominici Gregis.

    Of course, the cardinal doesn’t offer an explanation like this, which is why Catholics, though being respectful of the cardinal, should not respect his position that Bergoglio is a legitimate pope. It’s by insisting otherwise that we give voice to “extreme positions.”

  7. Cardinal Burke asked five simple, Dogmatic Dubia questions of our Catholic Faith.

    Those questions were quickly placed in the trash can by Jorgé Bergóglio.

    By the rules of the Dubia, Jorgé Bergóglio is thus a heretic.

    A heretic is by definition no longer Catholic.

    Only a Catholic may be Pope.

    What then was the point of asking the Dubia, unless it was to insist we must follow a now carefully defined heretic as Pope?

  8. Who is becoming “more extreme” by the day–the faithful who still believe the exact same Catholic doctrines which they held to be true on March 13, 2013, or a rabid cabal of conniving innovators who have gone from Footnote 351 to changing the Catechism and the Our Father to adoring actual, physical idols, over the course of a mere handful of years?

    Riddle me that.

  9. For the edification of all, in 7 hours, I will publish the opinion of one of the most learned Canonists in the City of Rome, who disagrees with Cardinal Burke, on this point, that he says a manifest heretic immediately loses the papacy. A position which Burke now seems to have jettisoned…

  10. Thank you, Br. Bugnolo for allowing this space. When pointing out the facts of Canon Law to a young, traditional-minded priest, his reply was peacefully and pacifyingly pastoral–not extreme in the least. Perhaps many of us face a similar types of pastoral counsel toward our valid concerns over eternally significant matters. In completely charitable earnestness he advised that:
    “…the best way we can help our beloved Church, while maintaining peace of soul and working out our own salvation is simply to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and Him crucified… And pray. If we were bishops or cardinals, perhaps our task would be different, but we’re not, thank God. I think it can be easily deduced from that article that Cardinal Burke feels a responsibility before God to speak the truth. If he thought that Pope Benedict’s resignation was invalid, he would say so or at the very least would not make assertions like he did in this article. Canon Law is more than just connecting the dots with canons. Otherwise, one wouldn’t spend at least 3 years attaining a degree in it. A layman’s reading of the Code would suffice. I’m perfectly at peace leaving the interpretation of such weighty matters to arguably the best canonist in the Church and turning my gaze back to Jesus. To get sucked into the endless vortex of toxic discourse is, at least for my spiritual life, a ploy of the enemy to turn my gaze from Jesus. As our Lady of Fatima said, prayer and penance. It’s not our responsibility to solve all the world’s problems.”

    In his pastoral and charitable response he fails to see that the reason I see what he cannot or will not is BECAUSE my eyes are fixed on Jesus and He is indeed crucified in His Mystical Body right now!

    He did not answer my question: Please correct me if I am wrong, Father, but is this not the point of Schism? To be in union with Christ and His Church, one must be in union with His Vicar who hands on the Apostolic Faith whole and entire. Is not Cdl Burke knowingly proclaiming that he is in union with one who does not hand on the Faith whole and entire?

    1. This priest is wrong. Canon law is not opaque but transparent and it is simply a matter of applying the law. To call applying the law, connecting the dots, is simply ridiculous. As for academic study, it should focus on understanding. Just because you have a degree does not mean however that you understood the truth or want to, it means that your professors found that you agreed with them. The truth is most Canon Lawyers are poorly trained, that is why Saint Pius X declared in perpetuity, that the conferral of a doctorate in canon law upon anyone who did not yet have a doctorate in theology, was null and void, because, alas, it is even true today, that many know of the law, but do not know the law, because they do not want to know the truth, they only want to arrive at a predetermined conclusion. That is why asking them to examine the Renunciation is like asking them a question about Mars, they have absolutely no interest in truth, only at serving power.

  11. Your final comment, about being in communion with Christ’s Vicar will be mentioned explicitly in my post in 3 hours, which refutes in substance Cardinal Burke with the words of just an eminent a Canonist.

  12. Francis can’t lose the papacy because of heresy if he never had the papacy to begin with.

    Ann Barnhardt’s thesis that Benedict’s resignation was invalid due to the substantial error of trying to bifurcate the papacy into a synodal office by committee is the best one.

    Benedict has never stopped being the legitimate pope.

  13. @ billyhw: that is so true – He can’t lose what he never had. And that point must be insisted upon as precedent to all the error that came after; their direct cause.

    So many refuse to even discuss this most important of all points.

    Question any Dogmatic point and Catholics will engage you all day long. Question the Trinity, Sin, Liturgy, the role of the Blessed Mother … any Catholic will willingly debate and defend Church Teaching.

    Question an unprecedented Papal resignation and an admitted subsequent dual Papacy into new terms “active”, “contemplative” … *two visible Popes”, one of whom is a flaming heretic … and typical Catholic response is fundamentally different: emotional, angry, dismissive, they shut down all debate, comment block, heretic, blah blah blah.

    Why the difference? Why is this topic off limit. No matter what side you come down on, no one can deny – *it is proudly asserted by the two Popes* – that the Catholic Church has never seen this Papal modification before. Why can’t we discuss it?

    Like Vatican II; like the New Order Mass; like every Dogmatic change inspired by the “spirit of the Council”; this Papal Office innovation is protected from scrutiny *as in a “cult”*. Cultists angrily protect their weak position. Catholics, in supreme confidence, do not.

    A Catholic must remain faithful to the straight Dogmatic Line that leads to Christ – the Pope more than any of us: Christ; the Apostolic and Dogmatic line that leads us to Christ; the unchanging spotless Bride that forever belongs to Christ.

    We have supreme confidence because we have All Truth. Nothing should be excluded from debate, especially a Papal Office “forever changed, forever new”. We see this Papal deviation and can, must, confidently defend Tradition.

    1. Aqua, the reponse you find among Catholics when you raise the question of the renunciation, I am not finding in Italy. Perhaps because of the books by Antonio Socci, all consider it a question worthy of consideration. Don’t let the peculiarities of one region of the world characterize all Catholics. Italians generally know better how to judge things regarding the papacy.

  14. Editor: Perhaps they are also endowed with more worthy stones.

    May one outcome of this travesty against against God be the end of effeminate, indecisive men and the return of the masculine virtues to the core of our Church and society.

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