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FRANCE (LifeSiteNews) – The gentle and fatherly figure of Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke is very much on my mind and in my prayers since I heard of the worsening of his health. God, please come to the aid of Thy faithful servant! Give him healing and life at a time when Thy Church is so much in need of those who put the truth before any other consideration!
Yes, I know that the saints in heaven can do more for us in this valley of tears than we poor members of the Church militant. I know that death does not come as the end. Yes, God’s will is provident and infinitely good; Thy will be done. But Our Lord taught us to pray in our hour of need. Please, God, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, answer our prayers; we beseech Thee, do not take away from us the pillar of fidelity, the haven of serene acceptance, and defense of the Church’s perennial teachings that is Cardinal Burke.
I remember so many meetings under the sign of bounty and grace!
For me, it all started with conferences by Cardinal Burke in Rome during the pontificate of Pope Benedict. I was struck by His Eminence’s way of effacing himself behind the writings of the Popes. His attitude made me understand what a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church really is: a helper to the Roman Pontiff, tasked with counseling the Pope and with making papal teachings known to the flock in order to assist Peter in fortifying the faith of his brethren.
Cardinal Burke’s humble repetition of papal encyclicals, explaining how they applied to present situations and why they were important, was anything but the sign of an incapacity for personal thought. It was, I realized, a complete and wise assumption of his role, like wearing the symbolic red of martyrdom by which cardinals show their willingness to lay down their lives, if needs be, in fidelity to the Vicar of Christ. Thus did he show, I thought, that the Church is one, universal, and hierarchical, and that as a cardinal, he must above all transmit its immutable truths.
LifeSiteNews will hand-deliver this petition to the Holy See, recording the moment traditional Catholics from around the world stood up for the Traditional Latin Mass.
Pope Francis has issued a new decree, "Traditiones Custodes," severely restricting the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM).
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition with other Catholics, and ask the Pope to reconsider this new and divisive Motu Proprio.
Pope Francis' decree clamps down hard on the TLM. In it, he effectively does away with Pope Benedict's protection of it, handing bishops in every diocese the right to suppress it, while demanding new priests get permission from their bishop and the Vatican to offer the Mass of the Ages.
As Catholics who value Tradition and know the place of the Magisterium in safeguarding the Deposit of Faith, it is time to speak up and have our voices heard.
Francis has decried rigidity and intolerance for years, but now is showing intolerance and rigidity himself by forcing his very narrow understanding of liturgy on one of the true sources of good fruit in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.
Our Lord said that "a bad tree cannot bear good fruit", and yet we see more and more souls drawn to Christ through the TLM, with marriages dedicated to God and open to many children, and vocations also abounding in traditional seminaries, orders and priestly societies.
Indeed, the Traditional Latin Mass has been a source of unity for the Catholic Church for more than 1500 years, producing great saints, repentant sinners, and souls won for Christ across the world. *Read below how Benedict XVI decried attacks against the TLM and its adherents.
To attempt to restrict the Traditional Latin Mass, as a new generation are rediscovering the treasures of God's Church, will inevitably cause further division and hurt among the faithful, risking the loss of some souls who will regretfully turn away.
Souls are now at stake with this Motu Proprio, as some will drift away from the Deposit of Faith in disillusionment, while others that are far from God will never be touched by the profound beauty and reverence found in the Traditional Latin Mass.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to Pope Francis, urging him to reconsider his decision, not least for the good of souls and the glory of God, and making sure as many cardinals support the TLM as possible.
Click "Show Petition Text" on the right to read the letter to Pope Francis.
Finally, please pray, fast and do penance for the salvation of souls, including that of our shepherds, during this turbulent time in Church history.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'BREAKING: Pope Francis abrogates Pope Benedict’s universal permission for Old Mass' - www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-francis-abrogates-pope-benedicts-universal-permission-for-old-mass
'ANALYSIS: Pope restricts ‘divisive’ Traditional Latin Mass, says 52-yr-old Novus Ordo is ‘unique expression’ of Church’s liturgy' - www.lifesitenews.com/news/analysis-pope-restricts-divisive-traditional-latin-mass-says-52-yr-old-novus-ordo-is-unique-expression-of-churchs-liturgy
* Pope Benedict XVI (Spirit of the Liturgy, 2000):
"For fostering a true consciousness in liturgical matters, it is also important that the proscription against the form of liturgy in valid use up to 1970 [the older Latin Mass] should be lifted. Anyone who nowadays advocates the continuing existence of this liturgy or takes part in it is treated like a leper; all tolerance ends here. There has never been anything like this in history; in doing this we are despising and proscribing the Church’s whole past. How can one trust her at present if things are that way?"
**Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
After the election of Pope Francis, I noted a change in Cardinal Burke’s way of presenting his conferences. They became more personal. They fearlessly contradict or clarify – always with respect and due deference for the papal office – troubling personal statements, acts, and attitudes of the reigning pope, giving hope and support to the many Catholics who are deeply hurt and worried by the watering down of our Church’s doctrine even from the top of its hierarchy.
Truly, in speaking this way, Cardinal Burke lives up to his middle name “Leo.” The Lion. A Lion for truth and Catholic integrity, and also for justice and fair treatment of Catholics under canon law, his special domain of competence and knowledge. A Lion not afraid to walk alone, indifferent to the honors the Church and the world have to offer. A Lion meek before the Lamb of God, deeply conscious of the need to work for the salvation of the Good Shepherd’s flock.
I remember the numerous times I translated conferences and statements by Cardinal Burke into French, for my personal blog, at first, and then, by his request, for His Eminence’s own website, receiving his texts by email at improbable hours of the evening or early morning.
“He fears no one; he has never yet been so outspoken,” I remember exclaiming to my husband a few years ago while working in the passenger seat of our car on the Cardinal’s latest rectification of doctrine. The Cardinal speaks French perfectly, and I have always admired the precision of his corrections, never missing the slightest typo in my sometimes too hastily written translations.
I remember even more vividly and with gratitude the many interviews Cardinal Burke graciously gave me over the years for LifeSiteNews and for French-speaking media. Often did my husband – armed with his camera – and I go up to the Cardinal’s apartment in Rome for a warm and frank conversation. And then there was a blessing, and kind words, and genuine, heartfelt greetings for our family. I know from many that His Eminence never forgets the people he meets, or their loved ones.
I have – I had – another interview with His Eminence scheduled for the upcoming weeks, this time about the recent crackdown on the traditional liturgy of the Church. Please, God, give him recovery and health!
I remember priestly ordinations in Florence according to the traditional Roman rite, and prayer vigils before the Rome March for Life in which Cardinal Burke participated from start to finish, and conferences in France, and private canonical consultations, and encouragements from this Prince of the Church when I wondered whether I was right to continue the work that I am doing.
As Cardinal Burke battles for his life in faraway America, all these memories are drawing a picture in my mind, that of a warrior and a knight who has never stopped fighting for the “Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary” whose invocation so often appears in his conferences, statements, and emails because it is their triumph that matters.
Most of all, I remember the outstanding graces we received through Cardinal Burke as a family. Our daughter was confirmed by him at the seminary of the Institute of Christ the King in Gricigliano in Italy in 2011, and our youngest son also received the sacrament of Confirmation from his hands in his private chapel in Rome in the fall of 2013. This made them, in turn, warriors of and for Christ.
Now, as a family, we pray for “our” Cardinal Burke—and for the return of his strength, when so many things seem to be falling apart.