At the synod, there have been numerous indications of a coming shift in tone and more sensitive pastoral practice in treating lesbian and gay Catholics and their relationships, including recognition of the harm done by the language of “intrinsically disordered”, a married couple’s recommendation that same – sex couples need to be welcomed by their families, and an observation by Cardinal Marx that we need to differentiate between “a faithful homosexual relationship that has held for decades” and endorsing“homosexuality as a whole” (whatever that means).
One cardinal however, is having none of it. Lifesite News and others of that ilk are celebrating Cardinal Burke’s absolute rejection of any tolerance for what he persists in calling an “intrinsically disordered” condition.
Lifesite may rejoice, but numerous other sites have responded by slamming Burke’s response, sometimes in colourful language.
Here are two I most like:
Anyone with ears to hear knows that the “intrinsically disordered” language regarding homosexual relations has failed to achieve anything except make the Church look foolish and mean-spirited. The synod fathers apparently have discussed the need to find better language with which to convey the Church’s teachings in this area. But Cardinal Burke still thinks he is being pastoral when he deploys this language. His latest interview with LifeSite News is appallingly tone deaf, as was his interview with Raymond Arroyo on EWTN last night. …….This man’s inability to speak with even a whiff of human compassion is intrinsically disordered if you ask me.
Some of the voices arguing for a change in tone and greater nuance in pastoral practice are among the most influential and senior in the Church: Cardinal Marx is one of the Pope’s eight cardinal advisors, and just before the synod, Cardinal O’Malley, another of that group, agreed that “something must be done” about the wave of exclusions and dismissals currently plaguing LGBT Catholics in the American church.
Not so Cardinal Burke, who is widely rumoured to be on the way out: Michael Sean Winters, in the piece quoted from above, notes that he is expected to be dispatched to the Knights of Malta. At the superb church history blog,”What Sister Never Knew and Father Never Told You“, we have this fun description:
At the Synod, Cardinal Burke is “pained” by the proceedings. Just as well for him, then, that he mostly likely will over on Aventine with his Knights by the 2015 follow-up meeting where the input of this year’s synod will be discussed and acted upon after a year of reflection. His Eminence can lead the Malta-teers in practice sword charges against imaginary Islamic hordes, unless of course, he gets his rapier tangled up in that 27 feet of scarlet silk he likes to trail behind him.