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Cardinal Séan O'Malley.

VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, one of Pope Francis’s close advisers, has spoken out against conservative members of the Catholic clergy, defending the Pope’s comments attacking conservative news outlets such as EWTN.

Speaking to Argentine newspaper La Nacion from his quarters in Rome, the 77-year-old Archbishop of Boston responded to why Pope Francis is “so questioned,” particularly in America.

While admitting that “there are certain people who would like to see a new pontificate,” O’Malley stated that “the vast majority of Catholics love the Holy Father very much.”

“I would say that there is a lot of support for the Holy Father among the Catholic people and even among non-Catholic Americans, who are enthusiastic about his pontificate,” replied O’Malley.

“So the problem is the bishops?” he was asked. “Not all the bishops…. Some of them.”

Taking aim at the United States Conference of Catholics Bishops (USCCB), O’Malley described it as “polarized.”

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PETITION UPDATE (8/28/21) - 

Thanks be to God, Cardinal Burke is now on the mend and recovering in hospital. After his harrowing medical emergency during which he was intubated and placed on a ventilator in the ICU, His Eminence has thanked everyone for their prayers and asked to be allowed to make his full recovery in peace.

Thank you for having participated in this special message of thanks which we will seek to personally deliver to either members of his family or to another party responsible for the Cardinal's correspondence.


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Raymond Cardinal Burke has been on the frontlines of defending life, family, freedom and tradition for decades. He is literally a pillar of the Faith, unafraid and unapologetic in his stance supporting Catholic orthodoxy.

Very unfortunately Cardinal Burke has been striken with a severe COVID infection, and the cardinal’s condition is rapidly deteriorating as he has developed severe pneumonia and is not responding to treatment.

Therefore, apart from your fervent prayers for his speedy recovery, we ask you to join us in sending a special message of thanks to Cardinal Burke for all of the good he has done in his service for the Church to-date.

Please SIGN and THANK Cardinal Burke right now, and help bolster his spirit! We will endeavour to personally deliver your signature to him or his family - or, another party responsible for the Cardinal's correspondence - upon his recovery.

Cardinal Burke was admitted to the hospital after he tested positive for COVID-19 last week. In a tweet he posted on his twitter account, the 73-year-old cardinal asked the faithful to pray for him and invited them to trust in Divine Providence.

This is typical of the Cardinal's serene reliance on God.

But, on matters of life, family, freedom and tradition, Cardinal Burke has been anything but serene. He has, rather, been a lion in defense of the perennial teachings of the Catholic Church.

A stalwart in the defense of the sanctity of human life and the natural family, Cardinal Burke served at the Vatican for 6 years, after he was called there by Pope Benedict, heading up the highest court of the Catholic Church, the Apostolic Signatura.

In 2016, the cardinal was one of four cardinals who issued a letter of concerns, or “Dubia,” regarding Pope Francis' encyclical Amoris LaetitiaAmoris Laetitia seemed to allow communion for adulterous couples, which raised many questions concerning Christ’s doctrine on marriage and the concept of mortal sin.

And, more recently, he has criticised Pope Francis' new motu proprio Traditionis Custodes which effectively reverses Pope Benedict’s 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum by imposing drastic limitations on the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) according to the 1962 Roman Missal.

Please join us as we send a prayerful message of thanks and encouragement to Cardinal Burke for all he has done to protect life, family, freedom and tradition. And, let us beg God Almighty to allow this true Prince of the Church to remain and continue the fight for orthodoxy.


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“Yes, the bishops’ conference is polarized, but it is difficult to put a percentage of the opponents,” he said.

“There are also some bishops who are linked to more conservative politics and the Holy Father himself has commented on the situation on EWTN television, where the commentators are often very critical of the Holy Father, at least of his ideas. But I think the vast majority of Catholics are very much in favour.”

The Pontiff himself criticized media outlets recently, seeming to single out EWTN, and describing any criticism of being “the work of the devil.”

Speaking during his meeting fellow Jesuits while in Slovakia in September, Pope Francis denounced any criticism of him as being harmful for the Church.

“There is, for example, a large Catholic television channel that has no hesitation in continually speaking ill of the pope,” said the Pope. “I personally deserve attacks and insults because I am a sinner, but the Church does not deserve them. They are the work of the devil. I have also said this to some of them.”

The Boston cardinal, who is part of the Pope’s advisory council of seven cardinals and heads the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, dealt with his perceived issue of “conservative clergy,” and the “problem” they caused.

“We have a young conservative clergy and sometimes they are very influenced by social media and it is a problem,” he claimed, echoing strains of Pope Francis who has often slated those whom he describes as “rigid.”

“Rigidity is somewhat fashionable today; and rigidity is one of the manifestations of clericalism. Clericalism is a perversion of the priesthood: it is a perversion,” the Pope told Italian seminarians earlier this year.

The Pope has also advocated freedom from “formal religious observance and the intransigent defence of tradition” as something to be extended to the whole Catholic Church.

However, while O’Malley pointed to “young conservative clergy” as a potential issue to be resolved, data suggest that those who keep to the ancient Traditions of the Church might be the solution to a crisis in the Church, rather than the problem.

Whilst 75% of U.S. Catholics attended Mass weekly in 1955, following the changes emerging after the Second Vatican Council, that figure had dropped to 50% by the mid 1990s and had further dropped to 39% by 2014-2017.

As regards clergy, Michael Davies notes that while there were 58,000 priests in 1965 in America, there were only 45,000 in 2002 despite the population growth: there were also 1,575 ordinations in 1965 with only 450 in 2002.

But Cardinal O’Malley defended the Pope’s actions, suggesting that the Pontiff had still more “work” to perform in order to complete “his mandate.”

“I believe that Pope Francis’ work is still unfinished, he has a mission and I hope he can continue for several more years to finish his mandate,” added the cardinal, in reference to rumors about the Pope’s declining health and a possible conclave.

Cardinal O’Malley, despite his leadership position of the Commission for the Protection of Minors, has made headlines due to his connection to the now ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick sex abuse scandal.

O’Malley has also come to the defense of the Pope’s statement calling for same-sex civil unions, saying that the remark was “not an endorsement of homosexual activity.” However, as LifeSite’s Emily Mangiaracina noted, “Praise for Pope Francis’s call for civil union laws give the impression that his words are not drawing people closer to Christ’s teaching — rather the opposite.”