DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - In a new book, Cardinal Raymond Burke is confirming that, in spite of the rumors, he is not "the enemy of the Pope" and that he "will never be part of a schism."
"I know about all these depictions. People call me 'the enemy of the Pope' and so forth. I have never been and I am not presently the enemy of the Pope," Burke told Religion News Service by telephone recently from his home state of Wisconsin, where he was spending time this summer.
"I have never, in anything I've said, shown disrespect to the papal office, because the Catholic Church doesn't exist without the office of Peter."
Burke continued, "I've said to the Pope himself, in conversations with him — and these by the way are friendly conversations — I told him, 'Holy Father, the only way I can serve you is by speaking the truth in the best and clearest way possible.' His response to me is: 'That's what I want.'"
"And then with confusion comes division, and so you get people accusing one another back and forth," he commented. "I do believe very strongly that we need to have a clearer direction, a clearer enunciation of the Faith and its practice. That way would also help to settle down this confusion and the division which follows from it."
But when asked directly, Burke denounced the idea of any form of schismatic movement, an option some in the sedevacantist ranks are either in the process of putting forth, or thinking about putting forth.
"Absolutely not," he said. "I will never leave the Catholic Church. No matter what happens I intend to die a Roman Catholic. I will never be part of a schism."
I'll just keep the Faith as I know it and respond in the best way possible. That's what the Lord expects of me. But I can assure you this: You won't find me as part of any schismatic movement or, God forbid, leading people to break away from the Catholic Church. As far as I'm concerned, it's the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Pope is His Vicar on earth and I'm not going to be separated from that."