Arguably one of the few remaining clerics in the College of Cardinals who still adheres to traditional Catholicism, Raymond Cardinal Burke has officially endorsed Father Richard Heilman’s call for Catholics to pray the 54-Day Rosary Novena.
As reported by the National Catholic Register, Fr. Heilman, pastor of St. Mary’s of Pine Bluff Church in Cross Plains, Wisconsin, is of the belief that America is going through a point in history of Biblical proportions.
“I call this our Nineveh moment,” said Fr. Heilman, assessing the current situation in the United States in reference to Jonah’s warning to a wayward people.
The good Father also added, “I feel we’re in the same place we were at that time,” he explained. “I think of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, too. Prior to that, Abraham was making a deal with God — what if there are 50 just people, 40, 20, 10? Can a remnant appeal to God?”
Or as the NC Register penned;
Millions of Americans witness how, in the wake of the 2015 Obergefell decision that legalized same-sex “marriage,” congressional and state legislation, executive actions and court rulings conflict increasingly with God’s laws on marriage and family values. Since the enshrinement of Roe v. Wade into law in 1973 and the enactment of subsequent state laws to allow for assisted suicide, unborn children and the elderly and weak are under attack like no other time in U.S. history.
Invoking the memory of the Battle of Lepanto, Cardinal Burke undoubtedly riled some of the more heterodox heretics in Roman Collars currently attempting to destroy the Catholic Church from within; (Emphasis mine)
“There is no doubt that our beloved nation is in one of the worst crises which it has ever experienced, a profound moral crisis which generates division on all levels and results in an ever-greater more pervasive violence and killing. For Roman Catholics, who have always been known for their faith-filled patriotism, the first response to this crisis is fervent prayer and, in particular, prayer through the intercession of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Mary Immaculate who is also the patroness of our nation.
One of the most powerful prayers which is ours in the Church is, in fact, the Holy Rosary. I think, for instance, of the Battle of Lepanto and the victory which was won on October 7, 1571, over the Saracens [Muslims] who were bent on conquering Christian Europe. Let us now turn to the powerful prayer of the Holy Rosary, asking Mary Immaculate to intercede with Our Lord to bring healing to our nation and to inspire in her citizens the holiness of life which alone can transform our nation.
I wholeheartedly endorse the Novena for Our Nation (Starting August 15) and the Rosary Rally on October 7th next, the 445th anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto. I urge as many as are able to participate in these great spiritual works for the sake of our entire nation. In a special way, as the spiritual advisor to the Holy League, I urge all members of the Holy League to give strong leadership in this great campaign of prayer for our nation.”
The Battle of Lepanto was when the combined naval might of Europe’s Holy League crushed the attacking fleet of the Ottoman Empire’s Sultan Selim II, also known as Selim the Sot for his rather un-Islamic love of strong drink.
Giving background on crediting the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary in defeating the Ottoman Turks the NC Register also noted; (Emphasis mine)
In 1571, St. Pius V called on besieged Christian Europe to pray the Rosary. The well-known victory at the Battle of Lepanto was spurred on by faithful believers.
As the Rosary is credited with saving European Christian civilization then, so can this Novena for Our Nation rescue the United States today, Father Heilman said: “This novena is specifically for our nation and to pray for freedom and faith in America.”
Father Heilman discovered if the novena started on the Assumption, it “miraculously landed on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary — exactly 54 days from point to point.” Not coincidentally, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary commemorates the Oct. 7 victory at Lepanto 445 years ago.
Father Heilman says now, amid all of the turmoil in modern America, “it’s a time when we have to fall to our knees and say, ‘God, you take care of this.’”
For his part, Cardinal Burke was the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis until Pope Benedict XVI named him as the Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, essentially the Chief Justice of the Catholic Church’s supreme court.
However, with the ascension to the papacy of the South American socialist Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio to the Chair of Peter as Pope Francis, Cardinal Burke found himself rather unceremoniously sacked. The pontiff assigned Cardinal Burke to the largely ceremonial post of the Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, also known as the Holy League.
What very well may have been a contributing factor to to his demotion was cited by CatholicNews.com;
The 2012 Synod of Bishops meeting focused on “The New Evangelization”. In written comments to the synod, Burke criticized “antinomianism”- the belief that grace exempts Christians from obedience to moral law, stating that it is “among the most serious wounds of society today,” and is responsible for the legalization of “intrinsically evil” actions such as abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, euthanasia, and same-sex marriage.
Furthermore, while addressing the Canon Law Society of Kenya;
Cardinal Burke told the Nairobi gathering that ignorance or deliberate neglect of canon law in the years since Vatican II had “reaped gravely harmful fruits in the church,” contributing to the clerical sex abuse scandal, abuses of the liturgy, “vacuous and confused, if not erroneous” religious instruction, lack of discipline among priests and seminarians, rejection of tradition by members of religious orders, disrespect for the church’s teaching on marriage and a “loss of the identity of charitable, educational and health care institutions bearing the name Catholic.”