Photo from the Washington Post
Cardinal Burke represents everything wrong with the Catholic Church of old, the Church that Pope Francis is trying to modernize. That modernization is way overdue; speaking as a former Catholic, it's kind of a shame that Francis wasn't around 20 years ago.
To blame women as a whole and "radical feminism" as the reason for all of the problems in today's Catholic Church is absolutely ridiculous. Normally, I'd write off such a blowhard and laugh at him. Actually, from the moment I've been finding out about him I've been laughing at him. But he deserves a mention here in the cultural and spiritual sense.
His recent demotion actually gave him some balls, which some in the Church predicted. In an interview, he came out in dramatic style with what the Washington Post called "a whopper of a manifesto", entitled "The Emangelization". Apparently, Burke wants a return to the days when men were more...manly, before "the goodness and importance of men became very obscured."
I was laughing until I saw how, in Burke's opinion, this rise of "radical feminism" is to blame for many things, including the sexual abuse scandal. That's where I was stopped cold. In this idiot's mind, somehow the change of the status of women culturally in the 1960's caused men to be more confused, leading them to molest children. This was due to the Church becoming "very feminized". Wait...what? Are you really suggesting that? This is like saying global warming caused priests to molest children. Burke also makes it sound like a "disordered few" priests engaged in this behavior. That may be true, but those in charge who might not have been so "disordered" protected them and kept the scandal from coming to light. This disgusting minimization of the overall conspiracy does a disservice to the victims.
And since when is the Church is "very feminized"? I guess that all depends on how you define the phrase. Are we talking about the same Church that allows women the opportunity to do the work of the Church, especially with the poor and sick, but never allowing them to really lead by denying them the opportunity to be priests, deacons, or even (in some parishes) altar servers? The same Church that enraged American nuns a few years ago by undermining the Church's authority with its unapproved dogma? Feminized my ass.
I don't know of any Catholic who could sit there with a straight face and try to tell me how much the role of women has increased since 1960. Hell, the Vatican II conference from 1952-54 made some changes involving women, the most notable of which was that females didn't have to wear hats to church anymore.
I was thrilled to see this asshole demoted. Pope Francis has a lot more compassion than I do; I'd have had his ass defrocked in about ten seconds. But I expect to see the Pontiff chucking more cardinals like Burke out into the cold as the culture of the Catholic Church evolves.