ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - One of the pope's closest advisors, nicknamed the "Vice Pope" for his level of influence in Rome, is accusing Cdl. Raymond Burke of only being interested in seeking attention and power.
"That cardinal who sustains this [criticism of Amoris Laetitia] is a disappointed man, in that he wanted power and lost it," Cdl. Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga said in the recently published book Solo il Vangelo è rivoluzionario ("Only the Gospel is Revolutionary"). "He thought he was the maximum authority in the United States."
Burke is among the four cardinals who submitted a set of questions, or dubia, to the Holy Father last September seeking doctrinal clarity on points of confusion in the pope's apostolic exhortation on marriage and the family. When Amoris Laetitia was first published in April 2016, Burke clarified that it was not part of the infallible magisterium.
"[T]he Catholic Church, while insisting on the respect owed to the Petrine Office as instituted by Our Lord Himself, has never held that every utterance of the Successor of St. Peter should be received as part of her infallible magisterium," Burke clarified. "[A] personal reflection of the Pope ... is not [to be] confused with the binding faith owed to the exercise of the magisterium."
But in his recent remarks, Maradiaga blasted Burke for his comments. "He's not the magisterium," Maradiaga complained. "The Holy Father is the magisterium, and he's the one who teaches the whole Church. This other speaks only his own thoughts, which don't merit further comment. They are the words of a poor man."
Maradiaga went on to imply disloyalty on Burke's part: "I think that one of the qualities we cardinals [should have] is loyalty. Even if we don't all think the same way, we still have to be loyal to Peter."
He added that those who don't offer "loyalty" are "just seeking attention."
Maradiaga is head of the Gang of Nine, the pope's group of cardinal-advisors, and is well known for his liberal views. He's been the source of controversy on several occasions.
A talk he offered in Texas in 2013 was seen by many as little more than a blueprint for revolution. Titled "The Importance of the New Evangelization," his talk focused on the motives behind Vatican II, a time when the Church, according to the cardinal, "did not have a monopoly on truth anymore, nor could she pontificate on a thousand human matters, or hold stances denoting arrogance or superiority." He promoted a socialist vision for the Church, where She makes "it a community of equals, without castes or classes; without rich or poor; without impositions or anathemas."
Maradiaga was also longtime head of Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican's largest charitable arm, which happens to be a member of the governing body of the World Social Forum — a Communist, pro-homosexual group. Before receiving the red hat, Maradiaga was a well-known promoter of the condemned Liberation Theology back in Honduras.
Ever since the dubia were made public, Burke has come under vicious criticism from liberal quarters, both within and outside the Church.
In November, Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto, head of the Roman Rota, warned that in past times, Burke could be stripped of his cardinalate for the "scandal" he has caused.
"What Church do these cardinals defend?" he asked. "The Pope is faithful to the doctrine of Christ. What they have done is a very serious scandal."
And earlier that same month, Abp. Fragkiskos Papamanolis, president of the Greek Episcopal Conference, issued a strongly worded public letter accusing Burke of "apostasy" and "heresy."
"Before publishing the document," Papamanolis blasted, "you should have presented yourselves to Our Holy Father Francis and asked to be removed from the College of Cardinals."