In a wide-ranging interview Cardinal Raymond Burke used frank language to express his grave concerns about the way in which the Catholic Church has been damaged by radical feminism. He also addressed, with a candor rarely heard from pastors, sexual immorality and liturgical abuse.
“The radical feminism which has assaulted the Church and society since the 1960s has left men very marginalized,” the cardinal told Matthew James Christoff, founder of ‘The New Emangelization’, an evangelizing mission focused on men.
“Unfortunately, the radical feminist movement strongly influenced the Church, leading the Church to constantly address women’s issues at the expense of addressing critical issues important to men; the importance of the father, whether in the union of marriage or not; the importance of a father to children; the importance of fatherhood for priests; the critical impact of a manly character; the emphasis on the particular gifts that God gives to men for the good of the whole society,” said Cardinal Burke. “So much of this tradition of heralding the heroic nature of manhood has been lost in the Church today.”
The former head of the Vatican’s highest court said, “Sadly, the Church has not effectively reacted to … destructive cultural forces” such as sexual immorality, feminism and family breakdown, and has instead “become too influenced by radical feminism and has largely ignored the serious needs of men.”
Cardinal Burke, 66, also said his generation has failed today’s youth. “My generation has taken for granted the many blessings we were blessed with in our solid family lives and with the Church’s solid formation of us,” he said. “My generation let all of this nonsense of sexual confusion, radical feminism and the breakdown of the family go on, not realizing that we were robbing the next generations of the most treasured gifts that we had been blessed to receive. We have gravely wounded the current generations.”
The Church has become so “feminized,” he said, that “men are often reluctant to become active in the Church.” He explained: “The feminized environment and the lack of the Church’s effort to engage men has led many men to simply opt out.”
“The introduction of girl servers also led many boys to abandon altar service,” he added. While emphasizing that the practice of having exclusively boys as altar servers has nothing to do with inequality of women in the Church, Cardinal Burke said the introduction of altar girls “has contributed to a loss of priestly vocations.”
The problems men face that have been largely ignored by the Church are especially related to sexuality. The cardinal decried the “very fluffy, superficial kind of catechetical approach to the question of human sexuality and the nature of the marital relationship.” The problem was compounded by “an explosion of pornography” in society, he said, “which is particularly corrosive for men because it terribly distorts the whole reality of human sexuality.”
“In truth, the gift of sexual attraction is directed toward marriage, and any kind of sexual union belongs properly only within marriage,” said Cardinal Burke. “But the whole world of pornography corrupts young people into believing that their sexual capacity is for their own entertainment and pleasure, and becomes a consuming lust, which is one of the seven capital sins.”
The cardinal faulted a post-Vatican II mindset suggesting there were no serious sins for the absence of men from confession. This false notion, which he called “lethal for men” is seen by example in the sin of masturbation. “Men have told me that when they were teenagers, they confessed the sin of masturbation in the confessional and priests would say, ‘Oh, that’s nothing you should be confessing. Everybody does that,’” the cardinal recalled.
Turning to liturgy, Cardinal Burke said, “There has been, and continues to be, serious liturgical abuses that turn men off.” He suggested that the Traditional Latin Mass holds for men, especially young men, a great appeal. “The Ordinary Form, if it’s celebrated very reverently with good music, can have the same strong positive effect on men,” he added. “Men don’t go in for this kind of corny approach to the Mass when it becomes some kind of feel-good session, or where there is irreverence.”
For the full interview see NewEmangelization.com.