Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Oct 21, 2014

As I mentioned last week, Cardinal Kasper generally assumes—and rightly so-- that journalists will sympathize with his campaign to change Church teaching. So it would be foolish to ignore his insistence that his embarrassment at the Synod was caused by a dark conspiracy , and now “’other journalists’ are going to take action against such ‘undignified machinations.’”

It’s not clear whether Cardinal Kasper is threatening action against Edward Pentin, the reporter who recorded his dismissive remarks about African prelates, or Cardinal Raymond Burke, who decried those remarks. But it’s clear that the cardinal is issuing a threat.

Those “other journalists” are Cardinal Kasper’s friends, obviously, and he has plenty of friends in the media. What sort of “actions” are they going to take? Blackball Pentin? Complain to his editors? Write negative stories about Cardinal Burke?

More to the point, how does Cardinal Kasper know that these “other journalists” are going to leap into action, unless he has been conferring with them? If there is damage done to Edward Pentin’s career or to Cardinal Burke’s reputation, the German cardinal should be held accountable.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: - Oct. 22, 2014 11:47 AM ET USA

    Agree with most comments. I don't worry about Cardinal Burke, he is relatively young, will not change, and will be back in the Curia someday. "Progressives" in and outside of the Church already hate him. Laity who believe the secular media also dislike him. Crdl Burke couldn't care less. We must pray for Kasper, who needs to "re-retire" and re-read Newman. And pray for the Pope and all bishops, asking the Holy Spirit to guide them to all truth, & away from word games.

  • Posted by: bruno.cicconi7491 - Oct. 21, 2014 10:12 PM ET USA

    shrink, whatever damage was made to Cdl. Burke, it was not to his reputation.

  • Posted by: seewig - Oct. 21, 2014 7:53 PM ET USA

    So we all are waiting for this game with words for which the secular Progressives are so famous, because they use it so "skillfully". But I don't want a bishop or cardinal to use these methods. A "yes" should be a "yes", and a "no" be a "no", no matter what the secular world does. And the Pope's skewed views in all of this may be his own doing. The only way out are clear words, or his credibility will be at stake. None of his predecessors had to struggle with credibility. Let us pray for him.

  • Posted by: visions - Oct. 21, 2014 6:57 PM ET USA

    I guess MERCY only goes so far.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Oct. 21, 2014 1:41 PM ET USA

    Let's reflect that in Feb. Pope Francis said:"...I read and reread Card...Kasper's [book] I found it to be a work of profound theology....It is pleasant to read serene theology....I also for...Mother Church....[T]his is what we call “doing theology on one's knees”." Furthermore, during the Synod Kasper repeatedly said Francis secretly agreed with his ideas; Francis never contradicted him. Contrast this with Francis' approach to Card. Burke. I find this all very disturbing.

  • Posted by: shrink - Oct. 21, 2014 11:59 AM ET USA

    "If there is damage done to … Cardinal Burke’s reputation.." Phil, I think that the damage to his reputation has already begun with his being sacked.