ANN ARBOR, Michigan, January 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke, former prefect of the Vatican's highest court, took to the airwaves to urge faithful Catholics to join with him in “storming heaven” seeking the Blessed Virgin Mary's intercessions for guidance for Catholic leaders. In the same radio interview, he was strongly critical of radical Church leaders who during the recent Synod on the Family attacked him and fellow defenders of traditional Church teachings on marriage. Such “calumnies” were “the work of the devil,” he said, comparing them to the attacks on Christian Europe by the Muslim Ottoman Empire in the 16th century.
In a 23-minute interview with Ave Maria Radio's presenter Teresa Tomeo on January 15, Cardinal Burke explained his motivation for asking Catholic Action for Faith and Family to launch Operation Storm Heaven, a rosary campaign to guide the Church. It has already attracted 21,000 participants, according CAFF's director, Thomas McKenna.
“There is no question we are living in a time of great confusion,” Cardinal Burke told Tomeo. “This confusion leads to error. The result leads to profound hurt and even violence towards others.”
Listen to Cardinal Burke's interview with Tomeo here:
“Even in the Church we find those who are confused about fundamental truths with regard to human life and with regard to marriage and the family,” he continued. This is believed to be a reference in part to the recent Synod on the Family, where some in a position of leadership campaigned for the Church to share Holy Communion with divorced and remarried Catholics on the one hand and those in same-sex relationships on the other. The Church forbids this because such people live in defiance of Church teaching on the sanctity and purpose of marriage.”
Cardinal Burke said he was inspired by Pope Pius VI's call for the people of Rome to pray the rosary when Islam threatened the “destruction of Christian civilization in the 16th century.” When the Christian fleet of the Holy League defeated the much bigger navy of the Ottoman Empire at Lepanto on October 7, 1571, “they won a victory they should not have been able to win,” said the cardinal. People at the time credited “the intercession of the Blessed Mother.”
Cardinal Burke partly blamed the current crisis within the Church on “very weakened and sometimes erroneous” catechesis in the 20th-century Church that misled many devout Catholics. “It's not their fault. They were poorly taught,” but it left the faithful open and vulnerable to “the devil's works – confusion, error, and division.
“You have a ridiculous situation of someone who simply defends what the Church has always taught and practiced being accused of being schismatic or being contrary to the Roman pontiff,” said Cardinal Burke at one point. “But this is all the work of the Devil, and we have to recognize it for such.”
Several Church leaders, Cardinal Burke among them, were targeted in this way, during the two recent synods, for defending Church teachings on marriage and sexual morality.
Nonetheless, the cardinal added, he prays to “remain serene” and not “become embittered” against opponents. He urged faithful Catholics to do the same and also to connect with each for support and to seek out sources of true teaching, such as Catholic Answers, EWTN, and the writings of Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
At a more practical level, he encouraged people to give financial support to Operation Storm Heaven to help Catholic Action for Faith and Family get the word out and to translate material in many languages. The operation calls for participants to register their personal prayer intentions on the www.catholicaction.org website and join with each other and Cardinal Burke by praying the rosary on the first day of each month for all of their intentions and for the light of the Holy Spirit to guide the Church.