ROME, October 16, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - Amid heightening anxiety over the Synod on the Family, Cdl. Raymond Burke has reaffirmed Catholic doctrine on marriage and family while stressing parents' right and duty to educate their children.
At a Voice of the Family press conference yesterday, praying that the ongoing Synod will uphold Church teaching on marriage and family, the former head of the Vatican's highest court emphasized that parents have the primary duty toward their children's education.
"Today, parents must be especially vigilant, for sadly, in some places, schools have become tools of a secular agenda inimical to the Christian life," he explained. "One thinks, for example, of the compulsory so-called 'gender education' in some schools, which is a direct attack on marriage at its foundation and, therefore, on the family."
In a separate interview with LifeSiteNews yesterday, Cdl. Burke also weighed in on some controversial Synod topics.
Asked about the proposal to give local bishops or bishops' conferences authority to settle controversies surrounding "social acceptance of homosexuality" and admitting divorced adulters to Communion, Cdl. Burke stated, "This is simply contrary to Catholic faith and life."
The Church, he said, follows the truths taught by Christ.
"And this Church is one all over the world. There is no change in these truths, from one place to another or from one time to another," noted the cardinal. "Certainly the teaching of these truths takes into account the particular needs in each area. But it doesn't change the teaching."
Hence, according to Cdl. Burke, such a path is "unacceptable."
"I don't know where this idea comes from," he said. "What it actually means is that the Church is no longer catholic [i.e., universal]. It means that it's no longer one in its teaching throughout the whole world."
What then does being truly catholic entail? "We have one faith. We have one [collection of] sacraments. We have one governance throughout the whole world. That's what it means to be 'catholic,'" explained Cdl. Burke.
Cardinal Burke then proceeded to rip into the infamous proposal, pitched by Cdl. Walter Kasper and several others, to officially permit the civilly divorced and "remarried" to receive Communion.
In much of the discussion which has taken place, beginning with the infamous presentation of Cdl. Walter Kasper in the Extraordinary Consistory on February 20 and 21 of 2014, centered around this idea that somehow doctrine and pastoral practice are in conflict with one another.
This is absurd. The pastoral practice exists to help us to live the truths of the Faith, to live the doctrine of the Faith in our daily lives. You can't have a conflict [between these]. You can't have the Church teaching, for instance, that marriage is indissoluble and then someone claiming at the same time for 'pastoral' reasons that a person who is living in an irregular union is able to receive the sacraments, which would mean that marriage isn't indissoluble. These are just false distinctions — false contrasts — that we really need to clear up because it's causing an immense confusion among the faithful and, of course, ultimately can lead people into serious error with great harm to their spiritual life and their eternal salvation.
Further, as some media and Synod Fathers vigilantly reassure the public that everything's fine at the Synod, Cdl. Burke is telling a different story based on what fellow prelates on the inside have recounted to him.
"I understand that there are very strong disagreements within the Synod," he asserted.
"Given the discussion which has preceded the Synod — and also, given the Instrumentum Laboris with the very serious difficulties with that document — I would find it difficult to believe that there wouldn't be strong disagreement," said Cdl. Burke. "Otherwise, we're not going to get to the truth of matters. We're not going to safeguard and promote the Catholic faith as we need to."