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Cardinal Burke . . . Tells Faithful To Hold Fast To Christ’s Will

November 1, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By PEGGY MOEN

ROME – “There is a danger, there’s a real danger” of a schism in the Catholic Church, said Raymond Cardinal Burke, when interviewed here October 22, during the final week of the Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.
He encourages Catholics to “remain faithful to what is Christ’s will” – even when the Pope seems to be doing something else.
“I understand how much the faithful are suffering,” said His Eminence. “But schism can never be right.”
“I think that the laity have to communicate with their priests and their bishops [about] their profound concerns.”
Underlying this threat of schism is a real feeling on the part of many Catholics that they are living through the worst period ever in Church history.
Asked if he agreed with this assessment, Cardinal Burke said that our era is “among the worst if not the worst. . . . This has dimensions about it that seem to be equal to if not greater than” the other periods of scandal that the Church has endured.
Former cardinal Archbishop Theodore McCarrick is the principal part of the immediate crisis, he said, and added that “it’s clear that he was able to live this life of abuse because he was protected and promoted.”
Asked what period of Church history ours most resembles, Cardinal Burke said that “one would think of the Renaissance,” which involved both financial and sexual scandals that corrupted the clergy.
He recalled also the treatise of the eleventh-century St. Peter Damian on the plague of the homosexual agenda in his own era. Now, in our time, “that has to be addressed in a very thorough and effective way.”
Archbishop Carlo Vigano, the former nuncio to the United States who has now issued three statements decrying coverups of sexual abuse, attests that he has made those revelations because he fears losing his soul if he doesn’t.
The Wanderer asked Cardinal Burke what specific answerability Church leaders have in these matters.
“The evils he had denounced are of the most serious nature,” he replied, and if they are true, then “he was obliged in conscience” to act as he did.
“The law of God in these matters is higher than, for example, the pontifical secret.”
“We ought to take very seriously all that he has said,” as Vigano affirms that he has evidence. “To do otherwise is to be negligent.”
“I don’t think there’s any doubt” that he did this for the good of the Church.
Cardinal Burke described the embattled former nuncio as “a person of the greatest integrity” and pointed to the number of U.S. bishops who have issued statements on Vigano’s behalf.
He called the ad hominem attacks on Vigano “completely inappropriate.”
Another outspoken member of the hierarchy, Robert Cardinal Sarah, has said during the course of the synod that young people should be challenged with the Church’s teaching on human sexuality.
Burke agreed that “that’s what the young people need most.” The young “live in a world with a tremendous amount of sexual immorality,” as well as drugs, “but these immoral acts can’t ultimately bring them any happiness,” something that “Christ alone offers.”
“One of the great difficulties we have” is that “parents don’t know their faith very well.” But, he finds, youth appreciate sound catechesis when he presents it to them.
Similarly, contrary to the popular notion that young people don’t accept clerical celibacy, Cardinal Burke, the former head of the Apostolic Signatura, finds that they do accept it when they have it explained to them as the Lord’s example.
This is contrary to the claim of Brussels Auxiliary Bishop Jean Kockerols at the synod: “I am convinced that some young people, who have drawn from the baptismal vocation their call to wed, would gladly say ‘here I am’ if the church were to call them to the priestly ministry.”
Though vocational discernment is part of the synod’s title, Cardinal Burke said, “I don’t hear anything about it” in synod discussions.
There is also a serious question about whether the synod’s final document can become ordinary Magisterium simply because the Pope declares it so.
“The whole [apostolic] constitution on the synod is problematic – it needs to be completely reviewed and critiqued,” said Burke about Episcopalis Communio, promulgated by the Pope on September 15.
Neither the synod nor the Pope on his own can create ordinary Magisterium. Claiming otherwise is “simply false.”
While noting that he has not been part of this synod, Cardinal Burke said that he has worries about this synod’s final document, then due for a vote at the end of that same week.
Stories indicating that “a draft of the document has already been written” are “very concerning.”
He hopes that, as Robert Royal commented on EWTN’s The World Over October 20, attempts on the part of the LGBT lobby to gain a foothold in the synod’s outcome haven’t gained much traction. The term “LGBT” was used in the synod’s Instrumentum Laboris, the preparatory document.
Cardinal Burke is perhaps best known as one of the four “dubia” cardinals — two are now deceased — who presented dubia or questions to Pope Francis about his 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The “dubia” chiefly concerned admitting divorced-remarried persons to the sacraments.
The Wanderer asked him if he still holds hope for a response from the Pope to the dubia.
“At this point it’s highly unlikely that he will respond,” said Cardinal Burke, but “the faithful deserve a response to these important questions.”
The lack of a response “doesn’t change the fact that they are real dubia” that relate to “the salvation of souls.”
“The dubia remain.”

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