One-Two Punch in La Crosse

by Ryan Fitzgerald  •  •  August 3, 2015   

Two titans of orthodoxy are defending marriage and the family

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LA CROSSE, Wis., August 3, 2015 ( - Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Cdl. Raymond Leo Burke met in La Crosse, Wisconsin, this weekend and spoke on marriage, the family and the crisis in the Church, among other topics. The event, organized by the Queen of the Americas Guild, was part of the "Remaining in the Truth of Christ" conference at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In the keynote address, Cdl. Burke, former Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura and current patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta, warned the packed basilica of major problems inside and outside the Church. And it's the weakness crippling the Church, says Cdl. Burke, that ends up harming the rest of society.

He took last year's Extraordinary Synod on the Family as the defining moment when the crisis within the Church became undeniable. He believes the Synod took issues that the Church has always spoken on with clarity and handled them — sometimes erroneously — with no consistent reference to Church Tradition or the Magisterium. Especially telling, says Cdl. Burke, is the way the Synod's discussions overlooked the evil in relationships featuring such grave sins as adultery, premarital cohabitation and sodomy.

In addition, Cdl. Burke thinks many voices in the Church, who want to see Her out in the fringes of the world, are getting ahead of themselves. Right now, he affirms, the Church needs to regain a better understanding of Her own doctrines instead of plunge recklessly into the broader culture with vague, confused messages. Confronting the secular world while withholding the truth from it would exhibit a siginificant lack of charity, says Cdl. Burke.

A rising, subjectivity-centered sentimentalism, or false compassion, is taking hold of both Catholics and non-Catholics alike, he says, and it's distorting the objective truth about marriage and family. The distortion leads those in sin to overlook the state of their souls, giving them the impression that they're fine as long as they have "love." The secular mass media, says the cardinal, are the prime offenders in this regard.

He says without hesitation that the attack on the family today is demonic and that Catholics must be willing and ready to suffer for true, holy matrimony.

Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco then gave a talk on the Virgin of Guadalupe, in which he lamented the lack of fundamentals in the Church today. The main focus of his talk, however, was on the way Marian devotion can help address the crisis today and heal the wounds of separation. He stressed how Mary is the marriage between God's divinity and our humanity.

God unites and joins things together; it is fallen humanity, Abp. Cordileone points out, that tends to separate them. One such separation, he noted, is the attempt to disintegrate the union of doctrine and discipline in the Church. Yet, he affirms, these two principles can never truly be undone, as discipline exists to reinforce doctrine.

The San Francisco prelate, who has been undergoing his own struggles in the Bay Area lately as he pursues new, more faithful contracts for local Catholic school teachers, implores Catholics to return to a proper practice of penance and fasting.

Explaining the fruits of sacrifice, he observes how the Virgin Mary truly became the Mother of humanity when she joined herself to the Cross.


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