With Cardinal Burke


Yesterday evening the guests of honour at our special formal dinner were Cardinal Pell and Cardinal Burke. As you can see I had the pleasure of posing with the latter for a photograph and I took the opportunity to thank him sincerely, as a husband and father as well as a priest, for his robust defence of the family at the recent synod.

Today South American prelate, Cardinal Amato, is addressing us and taking questions. There is then a meeting time for the clergy and some spare time to further explore the city. For me the opportunity to purchase some new clerical shirts.

This afternoon we celebrate Mass at the church of ‘St Paul outisde the walls’ before supper and convivium. Visiting Rome’s historic churches is part of the joy of this conference.  Yesterday Fr Nicholas and I trekking to the charming “quo vadis”. A Latin phrase meaning “where are you going?”


This is the name of the churh because it stands on the site where, according to tradition, Peter, fleeing Rome, witnessed the risen Christ who posed the question. Peter came to his senses and replied “I am returning to Rome to die for my Lord” and he turned on his heal to face his destiny.

He then returned to the city and was put to death. In the interior of this fine church one finds depictions of St Peter on the left hand walls. Each faces a depiction of Christ on the right. Reminding us that Jesus was ever before him and with him.

Does Jesus need to pose the question “quo vadis?” to you? What do you need to turn from and to in order to restore and refresh your faith anew.

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5 thoughts on “With Cardinal Burke

  1. I wonder if you managed to visit close to the little church’ Quo vadis,Domine ?’ the Fosse Ardeatine at the other end of the nearby catacombs – it was the site of a terrible atrocity during WW2.There are so many things to see in the Eternal City and you,no doubt,have little free time.
    For you and Father Nicholas I would recommend the little church of San Giorgio in Velabro,where you will see the plaque which reminds you that this was the titular church of Cardinal Newman.

  2. Father,

    I know the story differently. Peter, fleeing Rome not to fall prey to the persecutions, met the risen Christ who was on his way into the City. “Quo vadis?” – Where are you going, my Lord?”, asked Peter. And Christ said “I am going to be crucified for you once again.” Peter then came to his senses, returned and ended up being crucified like his Lord and Master.

    The Polish writer Henryk Sinkiewicz wrote a once well-known novel, “Quo vadis?”, in 1896. I haven’t read it yet, but it is supposed to be very good…


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