July 31st Archbishop Burke dedicated the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. Apparently this shrine has been a dream of his since he was a priest and bishop in LaCrosse. It's valued at 25 million dollars and is really quite lovely. Ground was broke in 2004 and it was completed early this year.
In the LaCrosse diocesesan newspaper Archbishop Burke was quoted as saying that a place of pilgrimage was needed to combat the 'lack of a sense of sin' he had encountered in his ministry and also the "lack of belief in the teaching authority of the church and in sacramental life in general."
I have some real problems with the theology and concept of Church as espoused by Archbishop Burke. For readers of the blog, that's no secret, but I have more than just the usual reasons. In order to elaborate on those reasons I quote the following from Archbishop Burke's dedication sermon:
"She teaches pilgrims the truth that in Jesus Christ alone we find our salvation, the truth that Jesus Christ, by his continued presence in the church, gives to St. Peter and to his successors the keys of the kingdom of heaven for the sake of the salvation of all mankind," he said.
True spiritual unity, therefore, is found in the church and is effected through the sacraments celebrated within a church building like the one about to be dedicated, the archbishop said.
"Through his eucharistic sacrifice, God's Son will dwell with us here in the most wonderful way of all, in his body and blood, soul and divinity offered and poured out for us on Calvary," Archbishop Burke said.
"The altar of sacrifice represents for us the deepest meaning of our lives, the truth which we seek and find on pilgrimage," he continued. "Because we are united to Christ in the eucharistic sacrifice, we in turn become altars of sacrifice with him, offering our lives totally for love of God and of our neighbor. We are called to offer our lives as a pure and holy sacrifice."
In the first statement we have this: gives to St. Peter and to his successors the keys of the kingdom of heaven for the sake of the salvation of all mankind,"
I have a real problem with this continued emphasis on the successors of Peter as holding the keys to salvation. This is not true. Jesus is the key not to salvation but to Reunion and Remembering. It is in my opinion, folly in the extreme, to actually believe the authority structure of the Church can determine who is and who is not saved. Judgement is reserved to Jesus and His father, not the successors of Peter. The successors of Peter do not hold the keys to my salvation nor the Kingdom of Heaven.
In his next statement he says: "True spiritual unity, therefore, is found in the church and is effected through the sacraments celebrated within a church building like the one about to be dedicated."
I always thought unity was found in community and celebrated in the sacraments, not in Church buildings. This is a huge difference. It is true that the sacraments can foster unity, but I don't know that they effect unity. One is not even allowed to receive six of the seven sacraments until one has been baptized INTO the community. Church buildings are places in which the community gathers, but have no validity outside of that gathering. If they had validity in and of themselves, AB Burke and others would not be selling off these buildings to pay off their sexual abuse debt.
"Through his Eucharistic sacrifice, God's Son will dwell with us here in the most wonderful way of all, in his body and blood, soul and divinity offered and poured out for us on Calvary,"
Jesus died on Calvary as a prerequisite to his Resurrection. I no longer believe His life was a sacrifice to His vindictive Father, to pay for my personal sins. I pay for my personal sins. I'm an adult. Jesus came to show us how to get out of this material reality and get back to the truth of our eternal selves where we are ALL children of His Father. In the process of giving us the teachings we needed to return to the Father, He irritated a lot of powerful people and they crucified Him. End of human story. His Resurrection is the beginning of His and our Real Human story.
"Because we are united to Christ in the Eucharistic sacrifice, we in turn become altars of sacrifice with him, offering our lives totally for love of God and of our neighbor. We are called to offer our lives as a pure and holy sacrifice."
Yes we are called to sacrifice, but the sacrifice is everything we hold onto which impedes our capacity to love, to become the REAL spiritual beings we are. Jesus talked about the Eucharistic meal as a remembrance. If He calls us to do anything it's to REMEMBER the truth of our eternal selves. He shows us the way to do that. This is not exactly calling us to sacrifice ourselves. It's calling us to understand and remember that we are more than this one lifetime. We are eternal and have always been so and so is everyone else around us. Even the least of us.
Like Jesus we CHOSE to incarnate for a reason. We need to find our reason, and when we do we will begin to REMEMBER. Unifying our lives to His helps us to remember. If we choose to see His life as an atonement sacrifice, and ourselves as disempowered victims of our own sins, dependent on the very fallible men of the Church for our 'salvation', we will get to do this again, and again, and again, until we get what Jesus taught. Guaranteed.
Following Archbishops Burke's theology and the definition of Church leads to one place. Not the Kingdom of Heaven, but right back here, in this material reality, to do it again.
But the biggest problem is that following this old energy theology precludes us from making the changes necessary to live in the changing energy of this world. An energy change which is shifting the quantum reality in which we live, and is allowing for the intersection of different dimensional realities. In other words the planet is vibrating higher and we need to change with the vibration or we will be left out of the coming world. We really do need to get rid of our personal garbage which impedes our ability to demonstrate love and compassion. The coming energy is about love and peace and joy. Disempowered human beings do not experience much peace and joy, and demonstrate very little real love. Archbishop Burke's theology invites us to stay disempowered and therefor disconnected from real community and our coming future. It's a recipe for being left behind.