DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - His Eminence Cdl. Raymond Burke is rallying Catholics to practice the Faith heroically.
In an exclusive interview with Australia's Catholic Outlook on Thursday, Cdl. Burke addressed growing concerns over the state of the Church and called on Catholics to live out the Faith with fidelity, clarity and courage.
"I find universally that there's a great deal of confusion," Burke observed, "also people feeling that the Church is not a secure point of reference."
"Some are feeling even a certain bewilderment ... they are looking for a much stronger presentation of the Church's doctrine."
Burke specifically referenced the widespread confusion among Catholics, flowing from Pope Francis' 2016 apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. "Certainly, as good Catholics, they love the pope with complete obedience to the office of Peter. At the same time, they don't accept these questionable interpretations ... interpretations, which in fact contradict what the Church has always taught and practiced," Burke opined.
"There isn't clarity about these matters," the cardinal conceded, and as a result, Catholics "are in a very difficult state."
In August, Burke dug even deeper into the issue, raising the specter of schism:
People talk about a de facto schism. I am absolutely in opposition to any kind of formal schism — a schism can never be correct. People can, however, be living in a schismatic situation if the teaching of Christ has been abandoned. The more appropriate word would be the one Our Lady used in her message of Fatima — apostasy. There can be apostasy within the Church and this, in fact, is what is going on.
"It's demonstrable," he told Catholic Outlook, "that we have conferences of bishops, which are contradicting one another with regard to Amoris Laetitia, bishops contradicting one another."
Additionally, amid the turmoil, lay faithful are arguing with one another over the exhortation. As a result, Burke lamented many priests are suffering "because the faithful come to them, expecting certain things that are not possible because they've received one of these erroneous interpretations of Amoris Laetitia. As a result, they don't understand the Church's teaching anymore."
Burke observed, "You know that in the Church, we have only one guide, the Magisterium, the teaching of the Church, but we now seem to be divided into so-called political camps. Also, even the language that's used is very mundane and that concerns me a great deal."
Even so, when asked what he would tell Catholics worried about the Church, Burke offered reassurance. "[W]e can be confident that in the Church we are encountering Our Lord Jesus Christ as He wants to come to us, until the final day, until the end of time when we come together in glory." And so, the cardinal advised, "no matter what confusion or even divisions enter into the Church, we should never give up hope."
Instead, Burke mustered, "We should cling all the more faithfully to what the Church has always taught and practiced. And that way we will really save our own souls with the help of God's grace, which, of course, we must always be about." In this way, he said, "[W]e will truly serve the good of our brothers and sisters and the good of our world."
Burke urged Catholics to "live our faith, our relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ with fidelity, with clarity and with courage" as this will render them "a tremendous leaven in the whole world for the transformation of our culture."
"[T]he personal relationship with Our Lord through the sacraments and the teaching of the Faith and the discipline of life," he observed, "has lead people to become heroes, heroes of the faith and also of humanity."