Cdl. Burke: Pope Has Solemn Duty to Teach

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by Rodney Pelletier  •  •  September 7, 2017   

Formal correction is still on the table

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DETROIT ( - Cardinal Raymond Burke is asserting in a new interview that Pope Francis "has the solemn duty to teach what the Catholic Church has always taught and practiced."

Hungarian, independent Catholic news website, Katolikus Válasz, is releasing the first part of an exclusive interview with Burke where he answers questions about the Catholic Church in Hungary, Amoris Laetitia and the propriety of his call to Pope Francis to uphold constant Catholic teaching regarding civil divorce and remarriage.

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Burke is one of the authors of a document submitted to Pope Francis in September 2016, called dubia —  meaning "questions" in Latin — asking for clarity for statements released in the post-synodal exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, regarding the giving of Holy Communion to people obstinately persisting in mortal sin.

He comments:

The fact that certain passages in Amoris Laetitia have given way to confused and contradictory interpretations is a difficulty in itself. There are passages, which, in fact, call into question certain fundamental teachings of the Church and thus have generated contradictory understandings of the Church's teaching on the Holy Eucharist and Holy Matrimony and on acts which are intrinsically evil and therefore can never be justified.

Burke notes that he, Cdl. Carlo Caffarra, Cdl. Walter Brandmüller and Cdl. Joachim Meisner requested the clarification of Church teaching in the dubia, "Since the Petrine Office has the responsibility to teach the Catholic faith with integrity and thus maintain the unity of the bishops and all the faithful," adding, "the correction of the confusion and error is the responsibility of the Roman Pontiff."

He also noted, "To provide such assistance to the Holy Father is at the heart of the responsibility of the College of Cardinals," adding it is the pope's "solemn duty to teach what the Catholic Church has always taught and practiced."

Burke comments that not only in Hungary but all over the world "Catholics everywhere also have to fight the secularization, which has entered into the Church and corrupts worship, doctrine and moral practice," and added "Hungary, like other nations who have courageously defended their Christian origins and identity, is fighting the 'good fight' against the relentless pressure of atheistic secularization, especially from the European Union."

Catholics everywhere also have to fight the secularization which has entered into the Church and corrupts worship, doctrine and moral practice

He noted that secularization "is the fruit of the spread of atheistic Communism during the last century."

Burke currently serves at the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and is the Patron of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, also known as the Order of Malta.

He further elaborates, the pope "gave all of my responsibilities" as patron of the order to Abp. Giovanni Angelo Becciu, adding "I have the title but, at present, no function."

He comments, "I travel a great deal to teach the Faith and to offer the Pontifical Holy Mass on special occasions."

The dubia has gone unaddressed by Pope Francis despite the fact that both Cdl. Caffarra and Cdl. Meisner have recently died.

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