Cdl. Burke Directs Laity to Defend the Faith

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by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  April 6, 2017   

"I think the only way to go forward is simply to address the interlocutors who disagree with us"

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ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - Cardinal Raymond Burke, former head of the Vatican's highest court, is giving laity their marching orders.

In an interview published Sunday, Cdl. Burke calls upon the laity to stand up for their faith even when it means challenging priests and bishops. The cardinal spoke of Catholics "who are confused," who "feel abandoned in their Catholic faith," and who then "hear other Catholics or even their priests saying things that — or God forgive! — their bishops, saying things that contradict that faith."

To these Catholics Cdl. Burke offers this directive: "I think the only way to go forward is simply to address the interlocutors who disagree with us, with the teaching of the Church in its deepest sense, and that is what we need right now."

 

The "interlocutors" are specifically those who purport to speak for Pope Francis on his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia in a way that contradicts the Catholic faith.
 
This is surprisingly similar to the advice given by Bp. René Gracida, who told Church Militant during an interview in 2016:

Even more important than someone saying this is the truth. We have people saying that Cdl. Burke for example or Cdl. Pell, you know they're saying the truth. What is more important in the present moment ... is for the people in the pew to rise up and say, in print, in letters, in phone calls, in emails, in person ... for the laity to say "No that is not true!"

In his interview Sunday, Cdl. Burke offered his book, Remaining in the Truth, to the laity as a way for them to "deepen his or her appreciation of the constant teaching of the Church" on marriage and the sacraments. He co-authored the book with several other prelates as a response to the address given in February 2014 to the cardinals by Cdl. Walter Kasper.

According to Cdl. Burke, Cdl. Kasper said that "the Church could change her practice with regard to the reception of the Sacraments by people in irregular unions without touching the doctrine on indissolubility."

If the doctrinal development means that now, in the Church, those who are living in irregular matrimonial situations may receive the Sacraments, then this isn't doctrinal development: this is a change in the Church's teaching.

"Doctrinal development," affirmed Cdl. Burke, "means that we have come to a deeper understanding of what is the constant teaching of the Church, and are able to give fuller expression to it." He added, "If the doctrinal development means that now, in the Church, those who are living in irregular matrimonial situations may receive the Sacraments, then this isn't doctrinal development: this is a change in the Church's teaching."

The cardinal said that in his extensive travels he is now finding everywhere "a great confusion about these mattersand division: between priests, and between bishops, and even between conferences of bishops."

This confusion and division, Cdl. Burke related, "is one of the reasons why, together with three other cardinals, we proposed these questions, or dubia, to the Pope: so that he could set this forth and dispel a great deal of this confusion."

 

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