Cardinal Burke: It is a ‘Source of Anguish’ to Hear Suggestions ‘That I Would Lead a Schism’

(via Catholic World Report)

His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, spoke recently with Thinking with the Church, hosted by Chris Altieri, who is also a regular contributor to Catholic World Report.

Cardinal Burke responds to questions regarding the interpretation and reception of the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. He has frankly critical words for the Bishops of Malta, who issued Criteria for the implementation of Chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia in January of last year. Their Criteria include two paragraphs – 9 and 10 – which say that persons in irregular unions may discern that continence is impossible for them, and that a person having made such a determination under the guidance of a pastor, “with an informed and enlightened conscience,” being at peace with God, “cannot be precluded from participating in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.” Cardinal Burke calls this implementation of the document, “[S]imply contrary to what the Church has always taught and practiced.”

Though the Bishops of Malta (and others sustaining a more latitudinous reading of Amoris laetitia) cite the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation copiously, Cardinal Burke maintains that the problems he sees in the various applications of the document are not simply reducible to the interpretative difficulties. He is also outspoken in his high regard for the teaching mission of the Petrine Office. “It is not a question of being ‘pro-’ Pope Francis or ‘contra-’ Pope Francis,” Burke says. “It is,” rather, “a question of defending the Catholic faith, and that means defending the Office of Peter to which the Pope has succeeded.”

He says the climate in which our counsels in the Church are being given and taken has become politicized. “What frightens me a great deal about the present situation of the Church is what I would call a politicization of Church life and of Church doctrine.” He goes on to say, “[T]o defend what the Church has constantly taught and practiced can never be seen as some kind of political action against the ‘other’ political movement.”

Cardinal Burke urges Catholics on all sides of the controversy to assume the best in their interlocutors, and strongly rejects the idea that he is any part of an opposition movement, still less a schismatic one. “I will never abandon the Catholic Church, because it is the Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, who established Peter as the Head of the Apostolic College, as the principle of the unity of the Church throughout the world – and once we have no longer have faith in our Lord’s abiding presence in the Church, also through the Petrine Office, we cease to be Catholic, and we enter into that whole world of unending divisions among Christians.”

Full Story HERE