Pope Prediction: 10 Reasons Cardinal Burke Will Be the Next Pope

His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke
Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
I’m making a very bold and controversial claim: His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke will be the next Pope. I’m going to provide you with 10 solid reasons why the cardinals will rally to him in the conclave for the required 2/3 vote majority. 
Let’s be honest. Most people are claiming (or grumbling) that Cardinal Burke will never be elected as Pope. They say he’s too heavy-handed, too ceremonial, too traditional, too political, and too serious to be papabile. If you’re one of those people who think Burke is the best cardinal for the job, but look at your toes and sigh: “It’ll never happen,” then keep reading.

The problem is that the Burke naysayers are thinking like journalists and voters. (By the way, one of my favorite daily blogs: Rorate Coeli explains why the journalists get it wrong.) 
When the doors of the conclave close, men who would usually vote one way, vote another. Under the staring eyes painted onto the ceiling of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, these cardinals know that history is being made. The Pope they elect will have a difficult vocation. The Pope they elect will change the lives of billions of people both now…and in the future.
I want to challenge you to think like a cardinal in 2013. The cardinals are worried. Most cardinals knew that Pope Benedict had considered abdication, but most of them never thought it could actually happen. Here we are 50 years after the Council, right in the middle of the Year of Faith, and then suddenly the Pope resigns. 
Globally, the Catholic Church faces accusations. Here and there in local dioceses, there are spots of financial and sexual scandal (for example, in Los Angeles). The rumors in Rome surrounding Vatileaks, the Butler, and the Bank are still circulating. Cardinal O’Brien of Scotland just stepped down. The question of secular politicians and the Church is a concern. There is growing debate about liturgy and the Extraordinary Form. The SSPX dialogue fell flat. So in the middle of this storm, Pope Benedict abdicates. I think this is all part of the divine plan (Here’s my post explain why I think the Blessed Virgin Mary asked Pope Benedict stepped down), but let’s be honest. It’s a traumatic time. Yet, whenever there is trauma, conservatism reigns.
The Cardinals will rally to a holy man who will prayerfully clean house and face down the evils, scandals, and rumors. There is only one cardinal who has vocalized a plan of attack for the political, liturgical, and canonical problems in the Church: his name is Raymond Cardinal Burke. 
Cardinal Burke is the only one who has explicitly proclaimed a way forward in these times of trouble. As in the last papal conclave, the cardinals will turn to a man who operates on sound principles. A man whose virtue is known by all. A man of the Gospel.
With that being said, here are the 10 reasons why Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke will be elected Pope.
  1. Burke is an open advocate for using canon law in defense of the sacraments and God’s honor. He’s a hardliner against pro-abortion Catholic politicians. He has openly spoken out against American and Irish Catholic politicians who advocate abortion, homosexual unions, etc. As Pope, he would back cardinals who have difficult decisions to make back home.
  2. Burke thinks seriously. He is theologically orthodox and can spot dissent. If you thought Ratzinger was a Rottweiler, then just look out! Burke once forced the cancellation of a Sheryl Crowe concert at a Catholic hospital…because she’s pro-abortion. He sacked a St Louis Catholic basketball coach for supporting abortion and embryonic destruction. Cardinal Burke isn’t afraid to play ball.
  3. His Eminence celebrates and promotes the Latin Mass and a reverent Novus Ordo. This is huge. Cardinal Schonborn’s balloon Mass is not the way of the future of Catholicism. All the cardinals feel this. Pope Benedict moved us away from all that. Cardinal Burke will continue to carry Benedict’s liturgical torch. Cardinal Burke brings noble dignity to the Holy Sacrifice of Mass. 
  4. …which leads to the SSPX. As long as Benedict XVI is alive, it will be necessary for the next Pope to bring resolution to this traditionalist soap-opera. The reconciliation of the SSPX would be the greatest possible gift to Benedict’s living legacy. To use baseball terminology, it would equate to a relief pitcher saving the game and earning a “win” for the starting pitcher who got behind in the run count.
  5. Speaking of the Latin Mass, Cardinal Burke has traditional liturgical flare (for example, he wears the cappa magna without blinking an eye). With rumors and scandals floating everywhere, Catholics are desperate to see visual dignity restored to the Holy See. 
For fun, here’s Blessed John Paul II in his cappa magna:
And, yes historians, Cardinal Burke even wears the old Cardinals’ galero:
If he’s elected, will he wear the papal tiara?
  6. Burke will help the cardinals and bishops do what they know they need to do: discipline dissenting Catholic politicians. Burke called the US Democratic party “the party of death” and accused Barack Obama of being “anti-life and anti-family.” He’s not afraid. The cardinals need a Pope standing behind them who speaks like this.
  7. Cardinal Burke speaks the minimum languages necessary for a Supreme Pontiff: English, French, Latin and Italian.
  8. Cardinal Burke is the perfect age: 64. Almost everyone is convinced that the cardinals will elect a cardinal in his mid to late 60s.
  9. He is the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. This is a really big deal. The years to come require expertise in canon law, not just theology. Cardinal Burke is already a Vatican insider. He already has experience at the highest canonical authority, second only to the Supreme Pontiff himself.
  10. Most importantly, Cardinal Burke is extremely Marian. He has great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He continues the tradition beginning with Pope Pius IX and extending up to Bl John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. For me, Fatima is the key to everything going on in the Catholic Church. I think Cardinal Burke feels the same way. Moreover, he is close to the Friars of the Immaculate and he helped establish the shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Please also read Cardinal Burke’s piece on “Our Lady of America. 
Let me add one more – an eleventh reason: nobody suspects Cardinal Burke to be elected. That is almost always a necessary feature of a papal candidate.
So there you have it: 10 reasons (plus one) why the cardinals will rally to Cardinal Burke in the conclave. You’ll see Cardinal Burke in a white cassock before end of March…maybe even donning the old tiara!
Compliments of Photoshop

Question: Are you convinced that Cardinal Burke will be the next Pope? Please leave a comment explaining why I’m right or just plain nuts?

For those who think I’m nuts, just think about this: Last time around, everyone thought Ratzinger was way too conservative to be elected. Well…

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  • andy

    well you were wrong. totally. haha!

  • a cardinal Bernardin admirer

    Cardinal burke is too conservative and full of himself. I predict that he will be put out to pasture.

    • Dan M

      Looks like this is coming true….out to pasture.

    • dfwfireman

      The comments herein are perfectly indicative of all that is wrong with Holy Mother Church. This looks like a NCReporter combox. Some of you need to go back to your clown masses and leave this to the adults. Cardinal Burke “too conservative and full of himself” ? This coming from “a cardinal Bernadin admirer”, and someone who probably worships Saul Alinsky in his spare time. Dr. Marshall, your blog is above this, Sir. This combox is spiritually toxic !

  • James Finn

    Unfortunately, dear Dr., you did not get a good read on our college of electors. Their vision for the future of the church is quite different from yours and mine. Keep praying the Rosary, going to confession and receiving communion for the sake of the Church and Pope Francis. Pax!

  • Mark J. Lewis

    You’re not just wrong, I think you’re a liar and perhaps should seek the remedy of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You well know that a) Sheryl Crow’s concert was NOT cancelled as you reported achieved by Cardinal Burke; and b) Rick Majerus, whom you assert was “sacked”because of AB Burke, was not fired by the University. Sadly, he died in 2012 and of his own accord opted not to coach in the last season of his contract because of health issues.

    These are KNOWN facts. Why do you distort the truth???? What is your purpose in lying? If you don’t know the facts and are in error, it find it enormously odd that no one has pointed out your errors at this point and you’ve not corrected them.

    What it boils down to, though, is….YOU ARE NUTS.

  • Michael

    This is hilarious. Perhaps you should abdicate your sinking soapbox just as Benedict did his sinking papacy. I cannot help but notice that Burke has been relieved of his nominating duties recently… It is sad to witness the downfall of such a pedantic man who became more concerned with his flowery garments, liturgical trappings, and the politics of exclusion than tending the lost and hurting souls he was bidden to shepherd.

    You tell me… If you reread the parable of the Good Samaritan and reimagined the characters, which figure would Burke most likely be? Priest? Levite? Take your pick. I can see Burke walking on the other side of the road just to avoid besmirching the doilies in his lacy surplice. Good riddance.

  • Victory

    Cardinal Burke is antagonistic and comes across as to hard a human being. Thankfully the Holy Spirit as always reigns supreme.

  • Jerico Biermann

    It appears hispanics are the security of the Vatican at the moment.

  • brbell

    I have no doubt that this man thinks he is God’s gift to the human race and that he really, really wants to be Pope. If he succeeds in that, I predict mass exodus from the American Catholic churches as never seen before.. maybe worldwide. But not to worry, he has plenty of jewelry and elaborate, expensive vestments to last through his papacy.

  • Waiter

    You were wrong in just about every way possible!

  • Waiter

    Not only wrong, but it seems the Holy Spirit picked the complete opposite! You were hankering for the papal tiara to come back? LOL!

  • Venite Adoremus

    When one speaks with such uncharitable ridicule about others as is found the comments below, he makes it much easier for a faithful Catholic to discern which side to trust.

  • CMarks

    I read this long after the decision was made (and obviously your man lost). What I read was not concrete ten examples of why Cardinal Burke should be elected Pope but ten reasons the Candinal was either in agreement with you or that you (a non-member of the electing body of Cardinals) personally thought he should get the job. But quite honestly I, along with the College of Cardinals, obviously didn’t find you 10 reason compelling enough that Burke would be qualified to lead the Church. Apparently, since you offered the option, I must say you are just plain nuts.

  • vaderof3

    He is my hero during the Synod. Sadly he had been ousted twice by our beloved Pope who admires the Kasper’s theology. I guess Ratzinger’s prophecy will come true after all.

  • Jose

    How mysterious God’s way is!
    That we have Pope Francis is proof of that.

  • dfwfireman

    The comments herein are perfectly indicative of all that is wrong with Holy Mother Church. This looks like a NCReporter combox. Some of you need to go back to your clown masses and leave this to the adults. Cardinal Burke “too conservative and full of himself” ? This coming from “a cardinal Bernadin admirer”, and someone who probably worships Saul Alinsky in his spare time. Dr. Marshall, your blog is above this, Sir. This combox is spiritually toxic !

  • Dagnabbit_42

    Dr. Marshall,

    I think what you missed was the swaying of the Barque: She sways to starboard, and then to port, and the only time she doesn’t sway discernibly back and forth is when the previous “sway” was so minimally-tilted that nobody could tell or feel which way it was leaning.

    Pope St. John Paul II felt warm and welcoming, and could be accused of being a bit soft on certain kinds of suspicious behavior by clerics. Despite his orthodoxy — we must keep in mind that the “starboard” and the “port” of the Church are not the same as the “right” and “left” of political parties in the post-Christian West — Pope St. John Paul II “felt” more soft-hearted and popular than hard-headed and commanding. This is, for the Church, a mild sway to “port.”

    Thus it was to be expected that a sway to starboard, but one which nevertheless felt like a kind of continuity with JPII, would be the next move: Benedict XVI.

    In predicting Cardinal Burke, you were arguing that after a sway to starboard, the Church would again sway to starboard.

    Not at all. She swayed back to port: Pope Francis.

    It follows that Cardinal Burke is far more likely the NEXT time around.

  • tkaemorr

    LOL! Excellent satire. Even funnier now, a year later. The Pope was quite generous in appointing Cardinal Burke as the Chaplain of the Knights of Malta.

  • St. Louis

    I met Burke over 30 years ago when he was a priest at the local high school. I instantly knew he was a climber and not the friendliest person. He loved to be attended to and liked the trappings of the church more than the needs of the poor. This comment will probably be deleted so I won’t waste my time giving truthful examples that the author would not accept. All my comments can be verified.

    • DannyDino

      I am from and in St. Louis as well, and went to a local Catholic / Jesuit HS too, SLUH, and we seem to be near the same age, 45. .Where did Cardinal Burke teach? I’d be interested, in the shallow gossip of it all, to know what you are alluding to, of ‘truthful examples’ or his bad behavior. I imagine you are also aware that Cardinal Dolan also has his roots here in St. Louis.

  • as;ldf9a7f

    All you liberals out there: You don’t have to do what Cardinal Burke tells you but you do have to do what Jesus tells you. Matthew 19:6……Have a nice day.


    Cardinal Burke was dumped and demoted to being chaplain of the Knights of Malta. This speaks to what Pope Francis really intends to do. I do not trust Francis or the cardinals who are going against the explicit teachings of Jesus. If Francis goes along with the “mafia” group, and approves the reception of the Eucharist for adulterers and homosexuals, thus going against the infallibility of the pope regarding faith and morals, we should consider that Pope Emeritus Benedict is the true pope.

  • Bob

    Burke is a moron. And you are nuts.