Cardinal Burke Corrects Errors of Papal Defenders; De Mattei Sets Historical Stage for Confrontation

Cardinal Burke Corrects Errors of Papal Defenders; De Mattei Sets Historical Stage for Confrontation

It appears that the post-dubia battle is one of turn-based strategy. After the initial request for clarification from the pope, we’ve seen weeks of often vicious retaliation from papal surrogates, with reports surfacing that at least some of the responses are even being directed by Francis himself.

And now that, at last, the anti-dubia salvo has subsided, the Four Cardinals are speaking again. In a new interview with Raymond Arroyo (see the video or the full transcript ), a seemingly agitated Cardinal Burke pushed back against the criticisms the Four Cardinals have been receiving. Some highlights:

On conscience:

What the Church has always taught and practiced is that the conscience informs itself with regard to the teaching of Christ … and conforms itself then to that teaching. And in this case, no matter what the complexities of the situation may be, the party in question … will either rectify the irregular, immoral situation in which he finds himself and thereby be able to receive the Sacraments, or until he is able to rectify the situation, will not present himself to receive the Sacraments. There can’t be an exception…

On Spadaro’s assertion that in some cases the remarried don’t need to annul their first union and that the second may be “what God is asking” of them:

Well, the—it’s simply a wrong notion of conscience. The conscience does not render each of us as an individual the judge of what is right and wrong. There’s an objective order to things, and our conscience, when we are well-educated and when our conscience is well-informed, recognizes that objective order and therefore knows what’s right and what is wrong and acts accordingly.

On the accusation made by Fr. Spadaro that the Four Cardinals are just trying to “ramp up the tension and create division within the Church”:

No. In fact, we’re trying to address the division which is already very much ramped up, to use his phrase. Everywhere I go…many faithful, priests and bishops, and lay faithful, [with] whom I speak are in a state of very serious confusion on this matter. Priests tell me that one priest is telling the faithful one thing in Confession, other priest another thing. Only when these questions, which we have raised according to the traditional manner of resolving questions in the Church which have to do with very serious matters, only when these questions are adequately answered will the division be dissipated. But as is happening right now, as long as this continues, the division will only grow and of course the fruit of division is error. And here we’re talking about the salvation of souls, people being led into error in matters which have to do with their eternal salvation. And so Father Spadaro is very much in error in that affirmation. [emphasis added]

On whether Cardinal Burke was offended by Spadaro’s statement that the pope “does not answer binary questions” but that he “answers sincere questions from pastors”:

Yes, very much so. The popes have always, all along the centuries—I’m a student of the Church’s discipline—it is the role of the pope as the pastor of the universal Church, as the guardian of the unity of the bishops and of the whole Body of Christ, to respond to such questions. To suggest that posing these questions is a sign of insincerity is deeply offensive. I can assure you that for myself, and I know the other cardinals involved, we wouldn’t raise the questions unless we had the deepest and most sincere concern for the Church herself and for the individual members of the faithful.

On the question of whether the pope has, in fact, “already answered” the dubia with his Buenos Aires letter:

Not at all. He’s given his own opinion on the matter. The question can only be answered in terms of what the Church has always taught and practiced … And it’s one thing [for] the pope can say what is written in Amoris Laetitia is interpreted correctly to mean that an individual priest can permit someone who’s in an irregular matrimonial union to receive the Sacraments without a firm purpose of amendment, but that doesn’t resolve the question. The question is, what does the Church teach?

Burke also touched on his concerns that Familiaris Consortio is being essentially overturned; his disagreement with Cardinal Schonborn that AL represents an evolution of doctrine (“it’s a question of complete rupture in the teaching of the Church,” Burke said, “a complete going away from what the Church has always taught and practiced”); on whether there are more cardinals (there are, but he didn’t say how many); on the fact that the current situation in the Church is entirely unprecedented in his lifetime, and that the Four Cardinals “intend to serve that truth no matter what it takes.”

I, for my part, will never be part of a schism. I’m a Roman Catholic and defending the Roman Catholic faith is not the cause of my being separated from the Church. And so I simply intend to continue to defend the faith out of love for Our Lord and for the, his mystical body, my brothers and sisters in the Church, and I believe the other cardinals are of the same mind.

[…]

And all of us in the Church who are cardinals, bishops, we have the responsibility to defend the truth; whether we seem to be numerous or we seem to be very few doesn’t make any difference. It’s the truth of Christ which has to be taught.

It is at this point appropriate to pivot to an important essay by Professor Roberto de Mattei, eminent historian of the Catholic Church and the President of the Lepanto Foundation in Rome. It was at the Lepanto Foundation that Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Brandmüller, Bishop Schneider, and other supporters of the dubia gathered on Monday, December 5th to discuss the threat to the Church’s moral teaching presented by Amoris Laetitia.

Following that gathering, Professor de Mattei wrote an essay entitled, “The irrevocable duties of Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church,” the English translation of which is now available at Rorate Caeli.

“In his intervention at the Lepanto Foundation on December 5, 2016,” de Mattei writes,

Cardinal Raymond Burke said: “There is a very heavy burden on a cardinal’s shoulders. We are the Pope’s Senate and his primary counsellors and must, above all, serve the Pope, by telling him the truth. Submitting questions, as we have done to the Pope, is in the Church’s tradition, specifically to  avoid divisions and confusion. We did this with the highest respect for the Petrine Office, without lacking reverence to the person of the Pope. There are many questions, but the five main questions we have posed must, of necessity, have a response for the salvation of souls. We pray every day for a response, faithful to Tradition, in the uninterrupted apostolic line that takes us back to Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

After discussing the historical role of the Curia, and its “juridical character which attributes to it the triple nature of coadjutor body, substitute body and electoral body of the Supreme Pontiff,” de Mattei insists:

We must not commit the error of elevating the role of cardinals from being counsellors to the Pope to that of “co-decision-makers”  Even if he leans on counsel and assistance from his cardinals, the Pope never loses his plenitudo potestatis. The cardinals  participate in his power only in the exercise thereof, within the limits defined by the Pontiff himself. The Cardinals never have deliberative powers regarding the Pope, but only advisory ones. If the pontiff should avail himself of assistance from the College of Cardinals, even if not obliged to do so,  for their part, the cardinals have the moral duty to counsel the Pontiff, submit questions to him and admonish him, independent of the Pope’s reception to their words.  The presentation by the four Cardinals (Brandmueller, Burke, Caffarra and Meisner) of some dubia to the Pope and Cardinal Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, asking them to clarify “the grave disorientation and great confusion” relating to the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, enters perfectly within the duties of cardinals and cannot be the object of any censure.

As the canonist Edward Peters, referendary to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, affirmed,  that the four cardinals “[made] text-book use of their rights under Canon 212 § 3 to pose doctrinal and disciplinary questions that urgently need addressing in our day,” Then, if the Holy Father should omit doing so, the cardinals collectively will address him with a form of fraternal correction, in the spirit of admonition made by St. Paul to  the Apostle Peter at Antioch (Gal. 2,11).

The canonist then concludes by saying:

“How anyone can conclude, then, based on the facts at hand, that the four cardinals are at risk for deprivation of their office, escapes me. No one, least of all the four cardinals in question, challenges the special authority that a pope enjoys over the Church (1983 CIC 331) nor do they harbor any illusions that a pope could be forced to answer the questions they posed. My hunch is that four cardinals, while they would welcome a papal reply, are probably content with having formally preserved these vital questions for a day when a direct answer might be forthcoming—although they might yet exercise their own Episcopal office as teachers of the faith (1983 CIC 375) and propose answers on their own authority. For that, these men are, I think, prepared to accept personal ridicule and to suffer misunderstanding and misrepresentation of their actions and motives.”

De Mattei highlights the honors and “grave responsibilities” that rest on cardinals, and cites examples of their duty to fraternally correct the pope from both the 19th and 20th centuries. He examines the thought of certain medieval canonists on the question of papal infallibility and obstinate and public papal heresy, then instructs that:

The cardinals who elect the Pope do not have the authority to depose him, but may ascertain his renunciation of the pontificate, in the case of voluntary demission or of manifest and persistent heresy.  In the tragic times of history, they must serve the Church, even until the shedding of blood, as the colour red indicates in the garments they wear and the formula at the imposition of the biretta “red as sign of the dignity of the Cardinalate, signifying that you must be ready to act with fortitude, even unto the shedding of blood, for the increase in the Christian Faith, for the peace and tranquility  of the People of God and for the freedom and diffusion of Holy Mother Church.”

Given the context, this is hardly a historical tangent. We are seeing the groundwork laid for something very rare — if not unprecedented — in the history of the Church.

Read the source: http://www.onepeterfive.com/cardinal-burke-corrects-errors-papal-defenders-de-mattei-sets-historical-stage-confrontation/

Cardinal Burke defends dubia signers in blockbuster EWTN interview

December 16, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – On Thursday’s “The World Over with Raymond Arroyo,” Cardinal Raymond Burke responded to those within the Church who are criticizing him and three other cardinals for asking for moral clarification on Amoris Laetitia. He said the cardinals are not creating division, but “address[ing]” existing division within the Church. He also insists that he will “never” be part of a schism for defending the Catholic faith, and that attacks on marriage destabilize the Church and society.

Burke directly responded to the claims that close papal collaborator Father Anthony Spadaro and Cardinal Christoph Schönborn have made about Amoris Laetitia. In particular, he addressed Spadaro’s claim that Pope Francis already answered the dubia of four cardinals by approving guidelines issued by the bishops of Buenos Aires allowing Communion for the divorced and remarried. Burke also responded to Pope Francis saying people who are overly “rigid” about defending doctrine suffer from a kind of “condition.”

Responding to Spadaro’s claim that Burke and the other three cardinals are trying to “ramp up” division and tension in the Church, Burke said, “In fact, we’re trying to address the division which is already very much ramped up, to use his phrase.”

“Only when these questions, which we have raised according to the traditional manner of resolving questions in the Church which have to do with very serious matters, only when these questions are adequately answered will the division be dissipated,” said Burke. “But as is happening right now, as long as this continues, the division will only grow and of course the fruit of division is error. And here we’re talking about the salvation of souls, people being led into error in matters which have to do with their eternal salvation. And so Father Spadaro is very much in error in that affirmation.”

IMPORTANT: To respectfully express your support for the 4 cardinals’ letter to Pope Francis asking for clarity on Amoris Laetitia, sign the petition. Click here.

Burke said he was “very much” offended by Spadaro’s recent claim that Pope Francis doesn’t give answers to “binary” questions.

“It is the role of the pope as the pastor of the universal Church, as the guardian of the unity of the bishops and of the whole Body of Christ, to respond to such questions,” said Burke. “To suggest that posing these questions is a sign of insincerity is deeply offensive. I can assure you that for myself, and I know the other cardinals involved, we wouldn’t raise the questions unless we had the deepest and most sincere concern for the Church herself and for the individual members of the faithful.”

Pope Francis has “given his own opinion” on Communion for the divorced and remarried, but “the question can only be answered in terms of what the Church has always taught and practiced,” Burke said. “It’s not a matter of…some speculative idea I may have about how to approach these questions, but how does Christ in His Church address such questions? …until that answer is provided, we remain in a confused state.”

Burke and Arroyo discussed Amoris Laetitia‘s seeming incompatibility with portions of Pope St. John Paul II’s exhortation Familiaris Consortio and Schönborn’s claim that this is an “evolution” of the Church’s teaching.

“You can’t have a maturation of a teaching which is a rupture from that teaching, which is a breaking away from that teaching,” said Burke. “Cardinal Schonborn’s remarks in that regard do not reflect what is called development of doctrine—in other words, through the Church’s reflection she deepens her appreciation of a teaching and, and helps the faithful to practice that teaching. This case, it’s a question of complete rupture in the teaching of the Church, a complete going away from what the Church has always taught and practiced. And that you can’t call a maturation. A maturation is something organic, where you see that what the Church has been teaching about marriage now is expressed with a greater fullness.”

Burke decried the “politicization of the Church” that has occured as supporters of loosening Church practice have attacked the four cardinals via the media. This “politicization” is “very much augmented by all of these forms of mediatic intervention are very harmful and are doing a great deal of damage to the common good of all in the Church,” he said.

“I perceive that a mundane spirit, a worldly spirit has entered into the Church, which would divide her members into various camps: liberals and conservatives,” said Burke, with the latter being “the ‘fundamentalists,’ as some are fond of calling those of us who are striving to defend the constant teaching of the Church.”

Burke also responded to Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s recent interview during which he explained the “strange form of schism” occuring in the Church today. Schneider outlined how “numerous ecclesiastics safeguard formal unity with the pope, at times, for the good of their own career or of a kind of papolatry” but “at the same time they have broken their ties with Christ, the Truth, and with Christ, the true head of the Church.” They have done this by denying the truth about marriage and embracing “a gospel of sexual liberty” that lacks the sixth commandment, he said.

Burke spoke of the issue in the same vein as Schneider did, explaining that those defending the Church’s perennial teaching are the opposite of schismatic.

RELATED: Who are the four Cardinals who wrote the dubia to the Pope?

“I, for my part, will never be part of a schism,” said Burke. “I’m a Roman Catholic and defending the Roman Catholic faith is not the cause of my being separated from the Church. And so I simply intend to continue to defend the faith out of love for Our Lord and for the, his mystical body, my brothers and sisters in the Church, and I believe the other cardinals are of the same mind.”

When Arroyo pressed Burke on remarks Pope Francis made claiming people who are “sort of locked in their ‘rigidity’ over doctrine and otherwise… suffer from a compulsion or a condition,” the cardinal said the dubia “are not the reactions of people who are suffering from emotional disorders.”

“Our presentation of the five questions is done with great serenity and with great respect,” he said. “That we’re very deeply concerned about the truth of the doctrine of the faith and its integrity is not a sign of illness.”

Watch highlights of Burke’s interview with Arroyo:

Watch the full interview, courtesy of EWTN:

The full transcript of Burke’s interview with Arroyo

Raymond Arroyo: Welcome back to The World Over Live. He is the former head of the Vatican’s highest Court, the Apostolic Signatura, and one of the world’s foremost canon lawyers. He’s also the author of a new book, Hope for the World: To Unite All Things in Christ. Tonight, Raymond Cardinal Burke reflects on the backlash he and three other cardinals are experiencing in the wake of a letter they submitted to Pope Francis asking for clarity on certain points of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Specifically, they asked whether divorced and civilly remarried Catholics without an annulment can be allowed Communion. The letter was first submitted privately to the pope, but when Cardinal Burke and the others received no response, they made the letter public. This sparked an outcry from Pope Francis’s supporters. Papal confidante Father Anthony Spadaro, for example, called the four cardinals’ letter a ‘sign of a bad spirit.’ Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, Australia told America magazine that the four cardinals are seeking a ‘false clarity’ by failing to address the reality of those Catholics in irregular relationships. To respond, I spoke with Cardinal Burke earlier this week from the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadaloupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin. We talked about his reasons for issuing the dubia, as the questions are officially known, and what he and the others are prepared to do should Pope Francis refuse to address their concerns. Here is my exclusive and very candid interview with Raymond Cardinal Burke.

Your Eminence, thank you so much for being with us. I wanna start with this dubia that you—it’s a series of questions that you asked the Holy Father for clarity on, and the real heart of it it seems to me is this question of does it permit, does Amoris Laetitia and the pope himself, permit divorced and remarried Catholics now in irregular relationships who are sexually active to receive Communion. Now, Rocco Boutiglioni, a very outstanding layman in Rome, says yes it does. You have Cardinal Schonborn, who also seems to be suggesting that it does. What’s the problem, then?

Cardinal Burke: The problem is that to engage in sexual union with someone who’s not your spouse is a grave sin and to live in such a state publicly means that one cannot have access to the Sacraments because he or she is not living according to the truth of Christ. And there’s no way that the Church can give permission for someone to do something which Christ himself does not give us permission to do.

Raymond Arroyo: I wanna return to something that—it’s really the second point that you raise in these five questions that you submitted to the Holy Father. And in it you all mention Veritatis Splendor, which was a document John Paul II promulgated. And in it he says there are no—you cannot create exceptions to the prohibitions on intrinsically evil acts, and yet, in Amoris Laetitia, the pope says, ‘the conscience of an individual may come to see with a certain moral security that even their irregular relationship is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits.’ What does that mean to you and what does it suggest?

Cardinal Burke: Well, it’s very confusing language. The only thing that it can suggest in accord with what the Church has always taught and practiced is that the conscience informs itself with regard to the teaching of Christ, whether it has to do with marriage or the Sacraments, and conforms itself then to that teaching. And in this case, no matter what the complexities of the situation may be, the party in question, the member of the faithful in question, will either rectify the irregular, immoral situation in which he finds himself and thereby be able to receive the Sacraments, or until he is able to rectify the situation, will not present himself to receive the Sacraments. There can’t be an exception because if it’s always and everywhere wrong to engage in the conjugal act with someone who is not your spouse, then if you do that and live in that way, in an habitual manner, you simply are in a condition in which you, with the help of the Church, with the help of God’s grace, you need to set your life in order and therefore begin to be able to approach again to receive Christ in the Sacraments.

Raymond Arroyo: And yet, Your Eminence, it seems as I read all of this commentary, as I read even those closest to the pope, Father Antonio Spadaro in a recent interview seemed to be suggesting that look, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to adultery, that conscience comes into play and the Church is trying to accompany and walk with these people even in their irregular unions. The suggestion seems to be, in fact the—it’s explicit—that you really don’t need an annulment. You don’t need to nullify the first marriage and sometimes this second union may be what God is asking you. You would say what to that line of thinking?

Cardinal Burke: Well, the—it’s simply a wrong notion of conscience. The conscience does not render each of us as an individual the judge of what is right and wrong. There’s an objective order to things, and our conscience, when we are well-educated and when our conscience is well-informed, recognizes that objective order and therefore knows what’s right and what is wrong and acts accordingly. To say that I decide that something is right which for everyone else is always and everywhere wrong is simply an erroneous form of conscience and the Church’s…very popular word today of the person who finds himself in such a situation is that help which we receive in the Church to know the truth about the moral law and to respond to the grace which Our Lord always gives us—to live that truth in practice.

Raymond Arroyo: Father Antonio Spadaro who is a very close collaborator with the pope—in fact, he’s his ghost writer on a lot of these documents—he has really become the vanguard of taking down the critics of Amoris Laetitia or anyone who would even question the thinking here or the doctrine that’s implied through these pastoral adjustments. Spadaro said, and I quote, and I think he’s talking about you, that these questions, the dubia that you presented to the Holy Father, is an attempt to ramp up the tension and create division within the Church. Is that what you’re trying to do?

Cardinal Burke: No. In fact, we’re trying to address the division which is already very much ramped up, to use his phrase. Everywhere I go…many faithful, priests and bishops, and lay faithful, [with] whom I speak are in a state of very serious confusion on this matter. Priests tell me that one priest is telling the faithful one thing in Confession, other priest another thing. Only when these questions, which we have raised according to the traditional manner of resolving questions in the Church which have to do with very serious matters, only when these questions are adequately answered will the division be dissipated. But as is happening right now, as long as this continues, the division will only grow and of course the fruit of division is error. And here we’re talking about the salvation of souls, people being led into error in matters which have to do with their eternal salvation. And so Father Spadaro is very much in error in that affirmation.

Raymond Arroyo: Spadaro also said that the pope does not answer binary questions presented to him. And I wanna quote this. He says, ‘He answers sincere questions from pastors.’ Were you offended by that?

Cardinal Burke: Yes, very much so. The popes have always, all along the centuries—I’m a student of the Church’s discipline—it is the role of the pope as the pastor of the universal Church, as the guardian of the unity of the bishops and of the whole Body of Christ, to respond to such questions. To suggest that posing these questions is a sign of insincerity is deeply offensive. I can assure you that for myself, and I know the other cardinals involved, we wouldn’t raise the questions unless we had the deepest and most sincere concern for the Church herself and for the individual members of the faithful.

Raymond Arroyo: Your Eminence, many of the pope’s supporters and your critics have said he’s already answered your questions when he embraced the implementation plan of Amoris Laetitia of those bishops in Buenos Aires. In it, they said you don’t need an annulment and those who are divorced and remarried with the accompaniment of their pastor in certain cases can come forward and receive Communion. And the pope said, ‘This is exactly as it should be.’ What’s wrong with that? Didn’t he already answer your question?

Cardinal Burke: Not at all. He’s given his own opinion on the matter. The question can only be answered in terms of what the Church has always taught and practiced, as for instance is illustrated in the book which was published for the 2014 synod Remaining in the Truth of Christ. And it’s one thing [for] the pope can say what is written in Amoris Laetitia is interpreted correctly to mean that an individual priest can permit someone who’s in an irregular matrimonial union to receive the Sacraments without a firm purpose of amendment, but that doesn’t resolve the question. The question is, what does the Church teach? It’s not a matter of…some speculative idea I may have about how to approach these questions, but how does Christ in His Church address such questions? That’s, until that answer is provided, we remain in a confused state.

Raymond Arroyo: I wanna remind people of something. In Familiaris Consortio, which was John Paul II’s great document on the family, he writes:

However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Is that really what concerns you, Your Eminence, that this new document Amoris Laetitia seems to be overturning it?

Cardinal Burke: Well, exactly what Pope St. John Paul II expresses is what the Church has always taught and practiced. And my concern is that Amoris Laetitia seems in some way to permit an interpretation which would lead to a practice which contradicts the constant practice of the Church and that simply is a source of the gravest concern for me. And [in] my judgment, what needs to happen is that the faithful know that whatever is written in Amoris Laetitia cannot and does not change what Pope St. John Paul II set forth in Familiaris Consortio because what he set forth was the, or is, the constant teaching and practice of the Church and therefore it is magesterium.

Raymond Arroyo: And yet you have Cardinal Schonborn that’s saying, look, this is not a break but it is an evolution. It is a changing of the Church teaching, a maturation of it. Do you accept that analysis?

Cardinal Burke: No. You can’t have a maturation of a teaching which is a rupture from that teaching, which is a breaking away from that teaching. Cardinal Schonborn’s remarks in that regard do not reflect what is called development of doctrine—in other words, through the Church’s reflection she deepens her appreciation of a teaching and, and helps the faithful to practice that teaching. This case, it’s a question of complete rupture in the teaching of the Church, a complete going away from what the Church has always taught and practiced. And that you can’t call a maturation. A maturation is something organic, where you see that what the Church has been teaching about marriage now is expressed with a greater fullness.

Raymond Arroyo: Your Eminence, have you ever seen a moment in the Church where—I can’t remember a moment where you had the pope and people raising questions about teaching, legitimate questions and trying to do so respectfully. And you had this sort of political counterforce using media and tweets and columns to attack anyone who would question that teaching in any way. And I wanna point something out to you that Bishop Schneider in Kazakhstan wrote. We’ll put it up on the screen. I’d love your reaction to this. He writes, or he spoke in an interview. He said:

There is a strange form of schism. Externally, numerous ecclesiastics safeguard formal unity with the pope, at times, for the good of their own career or of a kind of papolatry. And at the same time they have broken their ties with Christ, the Truth, and with Christ, the true head of the Church.

Are we in the middle of a schism and have you ever seen a political campaign like this?

Cardinal Burke: Well, certainly, I’ve never witnessed this in my lifetime. In the history of the Church there have been situations which have some similarities with the present situation, but I perceive that a mundane spirit, a worldly spirit has entered into the Church, which would divide her members into various camps: liberals and conservatives, who are the fundamentalists as some are fond of calling those of us who are striving to defend the constant teaching of the Church. This mundane spirit is very much reflected in a lot of slogans and etiquettes or—not etiquettes, that’s an Italian word—labels put on people in order to discount them. But we’re all Roman Catholics. We’re all called to follow Christ as He comes to us in His Church through the Church’s constant teaching…this politicization of the Church which is very much augmented by all of these forms of mediatic intervention are very harmful and are doing a great deal of damage to the common good of all in the Church.

Raymond Arroyo: In our final moments, I have to raise this. I was sort of struck, amazed really, at an interview the Holy Father gave where he suggested that those who are ‘rigid’—and that’s the term he uses…sort of locked in their ‘rigidity’ over doctrine and otherwise, that they suffer from a compulsion or a condition. Your reaction to that, and what are you and these your fellow cardinals do if you don’t get a positive reaction from the Holy Father and say, some answer on this point of clarification?

Cardinal Burke: Well, first of all, we—our presentation of the five questions is done with great serenity and with great respect. They are not the reactions of people who are suffering from emotional disorders. That we’re very deeply concerned about the truth of the doctrine of the faith and its integrity is not a sign of illness. What will we do? We have to continue to serve the truth with charity and so especially those of us who are cardinals, who are the principal advisors of the Holy Father, have a very solemn obligation to defend the Church from these kind of attacks at her very foundation. I mean, we have to remember that we’re talking about teaching about marriage and its fruit, the family, and to attack that teaching is to destabilize the whole Church and society in general. And so the responsibility is very great and we certainly—I only can speak for myself, but I know from my fellow cardinals who have been involved with me—we intend to serve that truth no matter what it takes. I, for my part, will never be part of a schism. I’m a Roman Catholic and defending the Roman Catholic faith is not the cause of my being separated from the Church. And so I simply intend to continue to defend the faith out of love for Our Lord and for the, his mystical body, my brothers and sisters in the Church, and I believe the other cardinals are of the same mind.

Raymond Arroyo: Are there more than just the four of you? I mean, I’m sure you’re getting letters and calls from others who support you—and you said you were willing to issue a formal correction if necessary. Is—does that still stand?

Cardinal Burke: Of course it does, that [is the] standard instrument in the Church for addressing such a situation. Yes, there are other cardinals. I don’t want to get into this business of the numbers. We have to remember, the criterion here is the truth. There have been cases, for instance, take for example the case of Henry VIII and his desire to be able to enter a second marriage without having his first marriage declared null—all of the bishops of England except St. John Fisher went along with the error, but St. John Fisher is the saint because he defended the truth. And all of us in the Church who are cardinals, bishops, we have the responsibility to defend the truth; whether we seem to be numerous or we seem to be very few doesn’t make any difference. It’s the truth of Christ which has to be taught.

Read the source: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-burke-responds-to-dubia-critics-not-a-sign-of-illness-to-care-abou

Attacks on four Cardinals should be no surprise: even saints were censured by popes for being faithful

By Pete Baklinski

December 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The four cardinals who have been chastised by top Catholic leaders for asking Pope Francis to clarify if his Exhortation Amoris Laetitia conforms to Catholic teaching join the singular ranks of a number of faithful bishops and cardinals who have faced excommunication, demotion, and censure from popes because of their faithfulness to the truths of the faith.

The four stand accused of being “troublesome,” in need of “conversion,” of committing “apostasy” and “scandal,” of giving the pope a “slap in the face,” of creating “difficulty and division,” and of crossing a line into “dissent” for respectfully following a standard procedure within the Church to settle questions about the pope’s interpretation of Catholic teaching regarding marriage, admittance to Holy Communion, and the role of conscience in moral decisions.

It was not only high ranking prelates who criticized the Cardinals for asking questions. Pope Francis himself offered veiled criticism of them in an Avvenire interview following the release of the dubia.

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Left to right, top then bottom: Cardinals Raymond Burke, Joachim Meisner, Walter Brandmüller and Carlo CaffarraLifeSite

Under Francis, Cardinal Burke – the lone dubia signer who is not retired – has been removed from numerous key positions, including his role at the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for Divine Worship, but most especially from his assignment as prefect of the Vatican’s highest court.

But if history has anything to say about the chastisement Cardinals Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffarra, and Joachim Meisner are currently experiencing, it is that being faithful to the truth, often purchased at a great personal cost, wins out in the end. The following are three historical examples of faithful prelates who were wrongly censured by various popes after they refused to budge from the true faith. In every case, faithfulness to the truth won out in the end and the faithful prelates were vindicated.

The ‘Father of Orthodoxy’ who was condemned by a pope for remaining faithful

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St Athanasius

St. Athanasius, hailed as the “greatest champion of Catholic belief on the subject of the Incarnation that the Church has ever known” and revered as the “Father of Orthodoxy,” was allegedly condemned by Pope Liberius in the fourth century after the pope was induced to sign an ambiguous formula that supported the Arian heresy which Athanasius vigorously opposed (it remains unknown to this day what doctrinal formula the pope signed).

The bishop Athanasius, who would become a Doctor of the Church, writes that the Arians relentlessly schemed to draw Pope Liberius into their nets, calculating that if they could but persuade the pontiff to join their side, all existing opposition would fail and they would soon have everyone supporting their notion that Jesus of Nazareth was not truly God, but was created by and is therefore subordinate to the Father.

IMPORTANT: To respectfully express your support for the 4 cardinals’ letter to Pope Francis asking for clarity on Amoris Laetitia, sign the petition. Click here.

But the Arians did not count on the faithfulness of Athanasius. He defended Jesus as true God and true man. He held firm to the faith as handed down from the Apostles, even when he was condemned by the pope and suffered exile up to five times (17 years) by various rulers because of his orthodoxy.

Writes Butler in his Lives of the Saints: “The greatest man of his age and one of the greatest religious leaders of any age, Athanasius of Alexandria rendered services to the Church the value of which can scarcely be exaggerated, for he defended the faith against almost overwhelming odds and emerged triumphant.”

The saint demoted by a pope after exposing his heresy

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St. Bruno, Bishop of Segni

St. Bruno, Bishop of Segni, stands out as an example of a holy man who did not remain silent in the face of a pope in error and who was humiliated for doing so. It was in 1107 that Bruno, who was recognized as a great theologian and exegete well-versed in doctrine, was appointed Abbot of Montecassino. The office made him one of the most authoritative ecclesiastical personalities of his time. When Pope Paschal II conceded to a German King the pope’s right of investiture of ring and crosier upon bishops in a treaty, Bruno vigorously protested the move and promoted a movement of resistance against what he said amounted to “heresy.”

“Whoever defends heresy is a heretic. Nobody can say that this is not heresy,” he wrote in a letter to a fellow bishop, Peter of Porto.

Bruno made it clear in a letter to the pope that while he loves the Holy Father, he must obey God first.

“My enemies say that I do not love thee and that I am speaking badly of thee behind thy back, but they are lying. I indeed, love thee, as I must love a Father and lord. To thee living, I do not desire another Pontiff, as I promised thee along with many others. Nevertheless, I obey Our Savior Who says to me: ‘Whoever loves father and mother more than me, is not worthy of me.’ (…) I must love thee, but greater yet must I love Him who made thee and me,” he wrote at that time.

When Bruno encouraged Pope Paschal II to revoke the treaty and set the error to right, the pope answered him by demoting him from his office as Abbot of Montecassino. Eventually, at the insistence of other prelates who were inspired by Bruno’s example, the pope withdrew the treaty.

The cardinal who opposed a heretical pope and then became pope

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Benedict XII

In the early 1300s, when Pope John XXII denied in three sermons the doctrine that the souls of the just are admitted to the beatific vision after death, teaching instead that heaven is delayed until the general resurrection at the end of time, he was publicly opposed by cardinals, bishops, and lay theologians.

The error was not something new. The angelic doctor of the Church St. Thomas Aquinas had already cleared the matter up years ago, teaching that the souls of the just do in fact see God face to face after death.

But John XXII would not be convinced of his error. He was openly criticized by the Bishop of Meaux who accused the pope of re-proposing the Catharist heresies. One English Dominican, Thomas Waleys, suffered trial and imprisonment for his public resistance to the pope’s teaching. Two Cardinals, Schuster and Jacques Fournier, opposed the pope and earned his disfavor. Cardinal Fournier’s position was made more difficult by the fact that he was a pontifical theologian.

John XXII eventually retracted his error on his deathbed. When Cardinal Fournier was elected pope in 1332 — taking the name Benedict XII — he dogmatically defined as true that the souls of the just “have seen and see the divine essence with an intuitive vision and even face to face.”

While Pope Benedict XII is not revered as a saint, the Catholic Encyclopedia states: “But history offers a vindication and testifies that, though he failed to cope successfully with the political difficulties to which he fell heir, his piety, virtue, and pacific spirit, his justice, rectitude, and firmness in ruling, his zeal for doctrinal and moral reform, and his integrity of character were above reproach.”

Writing on the matter some 280 years later St. Robert Bellarmine admitted that John XXII held a materially heretical opinion with the intention of imposing it on the faithful, but was not permitted to do so by God’s grace.

Defending the four

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, a Catholic professor at Wyoming Catholic College who was one of the 23 scholars to sign a letter supporting the four cardinals, told LifeSiteNews that the Cardinals have “certainly done nothing wrong” in expressing their concerns about the moral integrity of Amoris Laetitia to Pope Francis.

“On the contrary, their intervention is a sign of the desperation and difficulty to which Catholics who wish to be faithful to Christ and the constant teaching of the Church have been reduced in this bewildering pontificate,” he said.

RELATED: Who are these four cardinals who wrote the ‘dubia’ to the Pope?

John Paul Meenan, a professor of Theology and Natural Science at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom in Barry’s Bay, Ontario, told LifeSiteNews that the cardinals’ actions of submitting the questions are backed by Catholic teaching.

Meenan said that if Canon Law gives laypeople what it calls the “right and even at times the duty” to “manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church,” then one would think that bishops, who have the task of guarding and expounding Revelation as handed on from the Apostles, can also make known to their fellow bishops, including the pope.

Meenan drew attention to the Vatican II decree on bishops titled Christus Dominus which states that bishops are “responsible for the Church” and that they “should manifest a concern” when the need arises.

“Bishops have the right and duty to be solicitous for the universal Church, for the clarity and purity of her doctrine,” said Meenan. “There is, therefore, in the Church the long and venerable tradition of submitting dubia to the Apostolic See, wherein pastors may request clarifications on certain points of doctrine, previously ambiguous, or not clarified sufficiently for whatever reason.”

One recent example of a pope responding to a dubium happened when Pope St. John Paul II was asked in 1995 if his teaching that only men could be ordained to the priesthood “is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.” The question was answered in the “affirmative” by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which stated that the teaching “requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.”

Faithful Catholics hope that the pope will answer the dubia according to the teachings of the Catholic Church and thus put an end to the immoral practices and abuses that are popping up in various dioceses due to interpretations of Amoris Laetitia that are at odds with Catholic teaching. San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy has used the exhortation as justification for his diocese to embrace “LGBT families” and to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion in certain cases.

Italian Catholic historian Roberto de Mattei told LifeSiteNews that the situation of Catholic bishops using the exhortation to justify immoral practices within their dioceses “obliges” the pope to answer the dubia.

“Can the pope be silent when he sees how Amoris Laetitia is being applied in cases like this?” de Mattei said.

Professor de Mattei said that the Cardinals make it clear that they have “great respect and veneration” for the divinely appointed Petrine office. They also make it clear, he said, that they will not stand by if a pope’s words appear to be leading the faithful astray from the perennial teachings of the Catholic faith.

As well as receiving the dubia from the four cardinals, the pope has also been asked by numerous Catholics around the world following the publication of Amoris Laetitia in April to end the doctrinal confusion they see infiltrating the Church by clearly affirming the teachings of Christ and his Church, teachings which Catholic hold to be the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

Those who have respectfully asked the pope for clarity include: sixteen international life-and-family leaders who have asked the pope to respond to criticisms of his exhortation by unambiguously speaking the truth of the Catholic faith; one renowned Catholic philosopher who has asked the pope to correct ‘heretical’ statements in the exhortation; forty-five Catholic academics who have urged the College of Cardinals to ask the pope to fix the exhortation’s errors; twenty-three prominent Catholic academics who have signed a letter warning of a “metastasizing crisis” within the Church over the pope’s refusal to answer the dubia; and twenty-two thousand Catholic men and women who have signed a LifeSiteNews petition urging the pope to dispel confusion by responding to the dubia.

Read the source: Read the source: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/four-cardinals-backlash-should-be-no-surprise-even-saints-were-censured-by

Cardinal Burke: Church teaching on Communion cannot be changed

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke (AP)

The cardinal said that the Church’s constant teaching and practice admitted no exceptions

Cardinal Raymond Burke has given a new interview, in which he says that the Church’s teaching against Communion for the remarried cannot change.

In an interview with Raymond Arroyo of Eternal World Television Network, Cardinal Burke was asked to comment on John Paul’s document Familiaris Consortio, which states: “Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage.

“This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they ‘take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.’”

Cardinal Burke, a canon lawyer and former head of the Vatican’s supreme court, told Arroyo: “Exactly what Pope St John Paul II is what the Church has always taught and practised, and my concern is that Amoris Laetitia seems in some way to permit an interpretation which leads to a practice which contradicts the constant practice of the Church. And that simply is a source of the gravest concern for me.

“In my judgment, what needs to happen is that the faithful know that whatever is written in Amoris Laetitia cannot change what St John Paul II set forth in Familaris Consortio, because what was set forth is the constant teaching and practice of the Church, and therefore it is magisterial.”

Cardinal Burke is one of four cardinals who privately asked the Pope to reaffirm the validity of Church teaching on the sacraments and the moral law. After the Pope declined to reply, the cardinals published their appeal, which took the form of questions, known as “dubia”.

The Pope’s advisor Fr Antonio Spadaro has said recently, on the subject of the dubia, that the Pope would only reply to “sincere” questions, rather than ones aiming to create divisions. Cardinal Burke said he was offended by Fr Spadaro’s implication. “Popes have always, all along the centuries – I’m a student of the Church’s discipline – it is the role of the Pope, as the pastor of the universal Church, as the guardian of the unity of the bishops and of the whole body of Christ, to respond to such questions. And to suggest that posing these questions is a sign of insincerity is deeply offensive. I can assure you that for myself, and I know the other cardinals involved, we wouldn’t raise the questions unless we had the deepest and most sincere concern for the Church herself and for the individual members, the faithful.”

He added that the matter was especially urgent because “as long as this continues the division will only grow, and of course the fruit of division is error, and here we’re talking about the salvation of souls – people being led into error in matters which have to do with their eternal salvation.”

Cardinal Burke also told Arroyo that, rather than being divisive, the questions aimed to heal the existing divisions. “Everywhere I go, many faithful – the priests and bishops and lay faithful to whom I speak – are in a state of very serious confusion about this. Priests tell me that one priest is telling the faithful one thing in Confession, another priest another thing.” The Pope could only resolve the matter by confirming the Church’s teaching, he said.

Fr Spadaro has also claimed that the cardinals were, in effect, answered by the Pope’s approval of guidelines in the diocese of Buenos Aires. But Cardinal Burke said that, while this may be the Pope’s “personal opinion”, “the question can only be answered in terms of what the Church has always taught and practised.”

Cardinal Burke told Arroyo: “The problem is that to engage in sexual union with someone who’s not your spouse is a grave sin, and to live in such a state publicly means that one cannot have access to the sacraments because he or she is not living according to the truth of Christ, and there’s no way that the Church can give permission for someone to do something which Christ himself does not give us permission to do.”

He added that the Church’s teaching on Communion for the remarried does not admit of any exceptions. “No matter what the complexities of the situation may be, the party in question, the member of the faithful in question, will either rectify the irregular moral situation in which he finds himself, and thereby be able to receive the sacraments, or until he is able to rectify the situation, will not present himself to receive the sacraments.

“There can’t be any exception, because if it’s always and everywhere wrong to engage in the conjugal act with someone who is not your spouse, then if you do that and live in that way in a habitual manner, you simply are in a condition in which you, with the help of the Church, with the help of God’s grace, you need to set your life in order, and therefore begin to be able to approach again to receive Christ in the sacraments.” It was the Church’s role, the cardinal said, to accompany someone in that process.

The four cardinals have been supported by others, including Cardinal Paul Cordes. Asked whether there were more who had not come forward, Cardinal Burke said there were, but went on: “I don’t want to get into this business of the numbers. We have to remember: the criterion here is the truth. There have been cases – take for example the case of Henry VIII, and his desire to be able to enter a second marriage without having his first marriage declared null. All the bishops of England except St John Fisher went along with the error, but St John Fisher is the saint because he defended the truth.

“And all of us in the Church who are cardinals, bishops, we have a responsibility to defend the truth. Whether we seem to be numerous or we seem to be very true doesn’t really make a difference.”

Read the source: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2016/12/16/cardinal-burke-church-teaching-on-communion-cannot-be-changed/

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