SPRINGFIELD, Va. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Cardinal Raymond Burke is confirming he's still waiting to hear answers from Pope Francis on the dubia. In a talk Friday at St. Raymond Peñafort Catholic Church in Springfield, Virginia, the former head of the Vatican's Apostolic Signatura discussed the set of questions, or dubia, he and three brother cardinals submitted to Pope Francis seeking clarity on Amoris Laetitia, the pope's apostolic exhortation.
Asked whether he expected a response to the dubia, Burke answered, "I sincerely hope that there will be, because these are fundamental issues that are fairly raised by the text of the post-synodal Amoris Laetitia."
"And as long as there will be an answer to these questions it will continue to spread a very unfortunate confusion in the Church and one of the fundamental questions about the truth that there are things that are always and everywhere wrong," he continued, "what we call acts intrinsically evil — and so we will continue to insist the cardinal to hear an answer to these sincere questions."
He then explained why he and the other cardinals decided to go public with the dubia after the pope failed to respond.
We judged it necessary to make public the question[s] because so many of the faithful were approaching us, saying ... what's the wrong? We have these questions, and it seems like none of the cardinals who have a great responsibility to assist the Holy Father has these questions and so ... we published them, and that also was done with great respect.
Burke clarified that a public correction will be forthcoming if they receive no answer to the dubia. "Then we simply will have to correct the situation, again, in a respectful way," he explained, "to draw the response to the questions from the constant teachings of the Church and to make that known for the good of souls."
The dubia have caused a firestorm of controversy, with liberal-leaning prelates blasting Burke and his confreres for their alleged disloyalty to the Holy Father. Archbishop Fragkiskos Papamanolis, president of the Greek Episcopal Conference, charged them with "apostasy" and "heresy" — technically canonical crimes that warrant excommunication, while Abp. Vito Pio Pinto, dean of the Roman Rota, warned the cardinals he has the power to strip them of the red hat for allegedly causing "grave scandal."
Laymen also jumped in, with British journalist Austen Ivereigh accusing critics of Amoris Laetitia of being "anti-Francis" and "dissenters," even comparing them to dissenters on female ordination. He urged Pope Francis to ignore the cardinals.
Meanwhile, left-leaning bishops like Cdl. Blase Cupich of Chicago, who supports breaking longstanding Church teaching and discipline by giving Holy Communion to those in a state of adultery, has defended Amoris Laetitia. His most recent attempt was roundly mocked on Twitter.
"You're living in an alternate reality if you truly believe that," one person said in response to Cupich's tweet declaring that the pope's apostolic exhortation "expresses with 'absolute clarity' marriage doctrine in full fidelity to traditional Church teaching."
"This is the single most compactly contrary-to-fact statement I have ever seen attributed to a bishop. Congratulations," read another tweet.
"How can a Catholic accept a declaration of 'absolute clarity' from a Cardinal who has spent his career in the moral gray?" asked another individual, referring to Cupich's reputation for pushing Holy Communion for those in "irregular unions," as well as his promotion of the seamless garment and other liberal positions.
Some accused Cupich of presenting "alternative facts" and "fake news."
Cardinal Burke has repeatedly explained that Amoris Laetitia is not part of the infallible magisterium.
My position is that Amoris Laetitia is not magisterial because it contains serious ambiguities that confuse people and can lead them into error and grave sin. A document with these defects cannot be part of the Church's perennial teaching. Because that is the case, the Church needs absolute clarity regarding what Pope Francis is teaching and encouraging.