The case of the Bishop of Tyler and Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, the healthy relativism on the figure of the Supreme Pontiff and the wise lesson of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra


Better to have a Supreme Pontiff who governs the Church badly, however, fulfilling the apostolic power of the keys conferred by Christ God on Peter and his Successors rather than a pious Pontiff who has the keys consigned by Christ God to Peter taken away from him, leaving others to open and close, bind and untie.

- Church news -


PDF print format article



Some argue that Francis is not a good Supreme Pontiff. Whether it is or not is entirely relative, because Francis is the legitimate successor of the Blessed Apostle Peter. If he has fulfilled his high office well he will receive the deserved reward from God, if he has performed badly he will have to tremble before the warning of the Holy Gospel:

"To whom much is given, much will be asked for; to whom men have committed much, It will ask the more " (LC 12, 48).

Some argue «I don't like Francesco». Sympathy is entirely relative, a Supreme Pontiff must not arouse emotional sympathy but Catholic and devout respect, because it is due to him, therefore it must be followed and obeyed, whether he's nice or not.

Some argue that Francis governs the Church badly. Whether you govern it well or badly is entirely relative, better a Supreme Pontiff who governs the Church even badly, it will cause much less serious damage than someone who lets it be governed by fierce power groups or who allows himself to be governed, because the damage caused by the latter will be much greater than that caused by a bad government. It is therefore better to have a Supreme Pontiff who governs the Church badly, however, fulfilling the apostolic power of the keys conferred by Christ God on Peter and his Successors (cf.. Mt 16, 19), instead of a pious Pontiff who has the keys handed over by Christ God to Peter taken away from him, leaving others to open and close, bind and untie.

Some argue «Francis expresses himself in an ambiguous way, spreading confusion in matters of doctrine and faith and for this reason it must be corrected". This statement marks the transition from the relative to the absurd: the Supreme Pontiff is the supreme custodian of the deposit of faith, however paradoxical it may appear, it can legitimately be criticized with due respect, however, it cannot be correct. The correction, even the fraternal one (cf.. Mt 18, 15-17) implies that it is exercised by a single person, or an entire college of people endowed with superior doctrinal and moral authority. Not even an ecumenical council, highest expressive body of the Church, could define anything, without the approval of the Supreme Head of the Church. Criticizing the Supreme Pontiff, in those spheres where criticism is legitimate and possible, implies the exercise of the freedom of the children of God, while correcting him would imply the exercise of an authority superior to his, of which no one in this world is the custodian.

Certain publicists and commentators they are tearing their clothes crying about persecution for the removal of H.E. Mons. Joseph Edward Strickland from the chair of the Texas Diocese of Tyler. A few days later, the tearing of clothes continued with Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, to whom the Supreme Pontiff decided to revoke the benefit of free accommodation owned by APSA (Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See) he was born in cardinal dish, today referred to as a cardinal's allowance. Also in this case it is necessary to understand with an example: if I say that inviting a questionable and problematic figure like Luca Casarini to the Synod of Bishops was imprudent, in this case I express a completely legitimate critical opinion, equally legitimately I could ask the Holy Father that perhaps it would be appropriate to ask for an account and reason from those trusted people who presented it to him, without explaining to him in a prudent way, precise and detailed that this character is an ideologue who, both in the debate and in the political sphere, has always created major divisions and strong contrasts. It's a completely different thing if, as the Bishop of Tyler did before the Synod and then during the current Synod, I had stated that that discussion assembly was seriously harmful to the doctrine of the faith, for the Church and the People of God, because this would not have been a completely legitimate critical opinion, but a judgment of unacceptable weight, also because it contains an implicit accusation: the Supreme Pontiff is not able to supervise the doctrine of the faith and therefore safeguard it.

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke he has been holding meetings and conferences around the world for years, effectively undermining, albeit in a pompous way, the magisterium of the Supreme Pontiff, inviting a nebulous and unspecified «resistance», without explaining who should be resisted, but leaving it clear to whom. Even in this case we are well beyond the legitimate right of criticism.

Incidentally I would like to mention than in 2020 I published a book provocatively titled Sadness of Love, dedicated to the memory of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, of whom I was a disciple, often in line with him, other times respectfully critical of some of his positions on moral matters. And he, who was a great man and above all a man of God, loved to argue with me precisely on those points on which I might not agree., because this is theological speculation based on debate according to the styles and tradition of classical scholasticism. Unfortunately, some bishops and priests have only read the provocative title of that book, without ever having read even two pages, they accused me of having written a work of non-fiction against this post-synodal apostolic exhortation. Which is false and extremely ungenerous towards me, because in that book criticisms were made of the style of language, to the numerous and in my opinion useless sociologisms, on several ambiguous passages, unclear and subject to different interpretations. We are within the sphere of the legitimate exercise of critical thinking, which would cease to be such if I had instead made criticisms, even indirectly or subliminally, to that Synod and to the final exhortation published by the Supreme Pontiff under the title of love joy. An exhortation that leaves open hypotheses for discussion on topics yet to be defined, without the previous discipline established by the Holy Pontiff John Paul II in his post-synodal apostolic exhortation Familiar Consortium has been modified, for example regarding the admission to the Sacraments of divorced and remarried people living in a state of irregularity. Therefore, bishops and priests who affirm the lawfulness of this admission, because they say contained and given in love joy, they state falsely, they are in grave error and mislead the faithful. In love joy in fact, no permission in this sense is sanctioned.

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra gave a solemn lesson in 2017 to some of our people today who wander from conference to conference calling for "resistance". He imparted this solemn lesson with one of his memorable declarations, made after some attempted to present him as an antagonist of the Supreme Pontiff Francis:

«Excuse the joke: I would have been more pleased if it were said that the Archbishop of Bologna has a lover rather than it being said that he has a mind contrary to that of the Pope. Because if a bishop has a thought contrary to that of the Pope he must go, but just you have to go by the diocese. Because lead the faithful on a road that is not what Jesus Christ. He would therefore lose himself eternally and risk the eternal loss of the faithful. Being considered against the Pope is something that deeply saddened me, because it is slanderous. Because not only has the Pope never spoken about this, but when he spoke he asked for a debate. And the debate is real if all voices can speak. I was born a papist, I lived as a papist and I want to die as a papist!».

I believe the Holy Father, at this juncture, all in all it was also too good, with both the Bishop of Tyler and Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke. Personally I wouldn't have been, because for the type I am, to a Bishop or Cardinal who has repeatedly questioned the protection of the doctrine of the faith by the Supreme Pontiff, perhaps I would have led them to say that Innocent III, Boniface VIII and Alexander VI all three put together were much more tender and much less severe than me.

the Island of Patmos, 6 December 2023




Dear Readers,
this magazine requires management costs that we have always faced only with your free offers. Those who wish to support our apostolic work can send us their contribution through the convenient and safe way PayPal by clicking below:

Or if you prefer you can use our
Bank account in the name of:
Editions The island of Patmos

n Agency. 59 From Rome
Iban code:
For international bank transfers:
Codice SWIFT:

If you make a bank transfer, send an email to the editorial staff, the bank does not provide your email and we will not be able to send you a thank you message:

We thank you for the support you wish to offer to our apostolic service.

The Fathers of the Island of Patmos