JAN 1st 2017 By Deacon Nick Donnelly Holy See
Xl cardenal burke

The campaign of insults and name calling against Cardinal Burke continued over Christmas in so called "progressive" Catholic publications. Since Cardinal Burke, and the other cardinals, released the dubia to the people of God in November they have been subjected to a campaign of personal attacks and insults.

On Christmas Day the German daily K├Âlner Stadt-Anzeiger published an interview with the former Franciscan priest, Brazilian Leonardo Boff that attacked Cardinal Burke. Boff mocked Cardinal Burke as the "Donald Trump of the Catholic church", adding that unlike Donald Trump " Burke has now been "sidelined" in the Roman Curia." (Boff is a proponent of Marxist Liberation Theology, and in such socialist circles President-elect Donald Trump is a hate figure). Boff went on to express outrage at the cardinals submitting the dubia, saying that it was "an affront that a pope cannot tolerate":

"The way Burke has behaved is unusual, although not absolutely unprecedented in the course of church history," Boff said. "One can criticize the pope and argue with him. I have done so myself often enough. But for cardinals to publicly accuse the pope of disseminating erroneous theology, let alone heresy, is too much. That is an affront that a pope cannot tolerate."

On the 28th December John L Allen's Crux Now website posted an article by David Gibson, of the left-wing website Religion News Service, about Pope Francis's close confidant Fr Antonio Spadaro SJ. During the article Gibson referred to Cardinal Burke as "a chief papal gadfly:

The attacks on Francis over Amoris Laetitia mounted along with conservative frustration, and in November four leading conservative cardinals - including the Rome-based U.S. churchman Cardinal Raymond Burke, a chief papal gadfly - finally released a letter demanding that Francis answer five yes-or-no questions, known in Latin as “dubia.”

Comment

The campaign of insults and invective against Cardinal Burke, and the other dubia cardinals, commenced the moment they went public about the dubia following Pope Francis's decision not to respond to their questions about Amoris Laetitia.  On the day the dubia was published  Fr Spadaro commenced to post a series of tweets criticising those who questioned Amoris Laetitia and Pope Francis. Since then, a number of clergy have given interviews and addresses mocking the dubia and personally attacking the Four Cardinals in a manner that suggests to some that they were acting as part of a co-ordinated campaign. 

It is a sad reflection on the state of the Church that the campaign of personal attacks and insults against Cardinal Burke did not cease over the holy season of Christmas. You cannot but wonder that their focus was on insulting Cardinal Burke, than on the profound mystery of the incarnation of the Christ child.