Bishop Tom Burns has joined Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor and Bishop Kieran Conry in the liberal backlash against Pope Benedict that seems to been gathering momentum among some of the English and Welsh bishops. Bishop Burns told The Tablet:
‘The Bishop of Menevia, Tom Burns, said that following Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, it was time to reform the Vatican’s“monarchical style and turgid bureaucracy” and introduce greater consultation and a “root and-branch review of the method of appointing bishops”. He told The Tablet:“Conservatism has had its day. It doesn’t work. Despite all Benedict’s efforts, the Church is losing its place in society – yet the search for God and meaning remain high.”He added: “It’s time to reopen the doors and windows for a new blowing of the Spirit, a freedom of speech to search for ways ahead that will address key issues like remarriage after divorce; re-examining ethical issues; developing a simpler and humbler Church stripped of status and elitism.”
Bishop Burns said Benedict XVI had been “gentle, shy, kindly, erudite, patient, non-confrontational”,that his visit to Britain in 2010 was“riveting stuff, acclaimed widely”and that he didn’t put a foot wrong. But he said that the new Pope should be someone “who can bring about much-needed change, and take others with him, rather than become enmeshed and smotheredby bureaucracy, politics and status.”
Cardinal Murphy O’Connor has expanded on the interview he gave to Radio 4′s Today show which has been interpreted in the media as supporting a change in the Church’s ethical teaching on contraception:
‘Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor,who will play a crucial role in the cardinals’ meetings before the conclave next month, said on Tuesday that there should be a “richer sense of collegiality” in the Church. In a lecture on the Second Vatican Council at Our Lady of Grace and St Edward, Chiswick,west London, he said: “Many people today – and I include myself in this – feel that there should be a richer sense of collegiality in the Church. Not so much in making new doctrine. But we need to face the questions that lay people seriously ask. If we are to answer them effectively, the Pope needs to build a bridge with the bishops. The Pope has to be a listener. In respect of collegiality, the legacy of Vatican II has not been as fully implemented as I would have liked.
Protect the Pope comment: The liberal media strategy about Pope Benedict’s resignation is now clear, followed by the likes of Bishop Burns, Tina Beattie and Mark Dowd. Praise Pope Benedict’s state visit to the UK and then either explicitly or implicitly criticise his pontificate, and that of Blessed John Paul II. Whenever you hear liberals using the word ‘listening to the laity’ you know that what they really mean is changing the doctrines of the Church, particularly on sexual morality, according to the tastes and behaviour of one of the most poorly catechized generations in the history of the Church. After mentioning ‘listening’ the liberals usually go on to mention the ‘sensus fidelium’ which they re-interpret as meaning allowing the Church’s teaching to be determined by an opinion poll much like government policy. Again this is code for allowing contraception, re-marriage after divorce, married priests, etc, etc.
Bishop Burns comment that ‘conservatism’ has failed because ‘ the Church is losing its place in society’ shows a complete misunderstanding of the pontificates of Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, and an impoverished understanding of the Church’s prophetic role. The responses of Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, Bishop Conry and Bishop Burns are all very disappointing, but unsurprising.