Cdl. Burke: Key to Interpreting ‘Amoris Laetitia’ Is in Light of Church Dogma and Discipline

News: Investigations
by Christine Niles  •  •  April 11, 2016   

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ROME ( - The former chief judge of the Vatican Supreme Court is speaking out on the latest papal exhortation. In an interview published over the weekend in La Repubblica, Cdl. Raymond Burke, former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, says that "the only right key to interpret 'Amoris laetitia' is the constant doctrine and discipline of the Church with respect to marriage. "

He goes on to state that the apostolic exhortation "does not aim to change the pastoral work of the Church with regard to those living in an irregular union, but to faithfully apply the steady ministry of the Church as the faithful expression of the ministry of Christ himself, in the context of today's culture."

Asked what Pope Francis means by saying that Communion is not a "reward for the perfect," Burke explains:

Communion is not a reward for perfect in the sense that no man is worthy of the gift of life proper to the Son of God incarnate in the eucharistic Sacrifice offered. For this reason, before receiving Communion, pray: "O Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof; but only say the word and I shall be healed." But, at the same time, as it also expresses the prayer, to enter into communion we must be properly disposed, that is, repentant and absolved of our sins with the resolution to sin no more. We have to be on the road to perfection, as the Lord Himself teaches us in the Sermon on the Mount: "You, therefore, be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect."

On conjugal love, His Eminence clarifies that it is "a gift from God" and "integral to our personal identity."

"The evil in sexual acts is from the heart that does not respect its own nature but uses gift of sex in a way that contradicts the good and proper order of creation," he says.

When asked whether he identifies as a "conservative" prelate, Burke rejects the classification. "I refuse to be classified as a member of a party in the Church. I would only be a good Catholic, a faithful priest."

"With all my faults," he remarks, "I have always tried to advance the true reform of the Church according to Her teachings. It is in fact a worldly perspective that has entered the Church, which divides the bishops, priests and lay people into political parties."

He explains that "the true perspective" is stated in the Gospel, where Christ says He is the vine and we are the branches, and also "in the analogy of the Church as the mystical Body of Christ, proposed by St. Paul."


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