PopeWatch: Cardinal Burke



Edward Pentin at National Catholic Register has the opinion of Cardinal Burke in regard to paragraphs 84-86 of the final report of the Synod:



“The entire document requires a careful study, in order to understand exactly what counsel it is offering to the Roman Pontiff, in accord with the nature of the Synod of Bishops, “in the preservation and growth of faith and morals and in the observance and strengthening of ecclesiastical discipline” (can. 342). The section entitled “Discernment and Integration” (paragraphs 84-86) is, however, of immediate concern, because of its lack of clarity in a fundamental matter of the faith: the indissolubility of the marriage bond which both reason and faith teach all men.

First of all, the term, integration, is a mundane term which is theologically ambiguous. I do not see how it can be “the key of pastoral accompaniment of those in irregular matrimonial unions.” The interpretative key of their pastoral care must be the communion founded on the truth of marriage in Christ which must be honored and practiced, even if one of parties of the marriage has been abandoned through the sin of the other party. The grace of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony strengthens the abandoned spouse to live faithfully the marriage bond, continuing to seek the salvation of the partner who has abandoned the marriage union. I have known, since my childhood, and continue to meet faithful Catholics whose marriages have, in some way, been broken, but who, believing in the grace of the Sacrament, continue to live in fidelity to their marriage. They look to the Church for that accompaniment which helps them to remain faithful to the truth of Christ in their lives.

Second, the quotation from no. 84 of Familaris Consortio is misleading. At the time of the 1980 Synod of Bishops on the Family, as throughout the history of the Church, there has always been pressure to admit divorce because of the painful situations of those in irregular unions, that is, those whose lives are not in accord with the truth of Christ on marriage, as He clearly announced it in the Gospels (Mt 19, 3-12; Mk 10, 2-12). While, in no. 84, Pope Saint John Paul II acknowledges the different situations of those who are living in an irregular union and urges pastors and the whole community to help them as true brothers and sisters in Christ by virtue of Baptism, he concludes: “However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried.” He then recalls the reason for the practice: “the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist.” He also rightly notes that a different practice would lead the faithful “into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.”

Thirdly, the citation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 1735) regarding imputability must be interpreted in terms of the freedom “which makes man responsible for his acts to the extent that they are voluntary” (CCC, no. 1734). The exclusion of those in irregular matrimonial unions from the Sacraments does not constitute a judgment about their responsibility for the breakdown of the matrimonial bond to which they are bound. It is rather the objective recognition of the bond. The Declaration of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts of June 24, 2000, which is also cited is in complete accord with the constant teaching and practice of the Church in the matter, citing no. 84 of Familiaris Consortio. That Declaration also makes clear the finality of the conversation with a priest in the internal forum, that is, in the words of Pope Saint John Paul II, “a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage” (Familiaris Consortio, no. 84). The Church’s discipline provides ongoing pastoral assistance for those in irregular unions who “for serious reasons such as for example the children’s upbringing, …cannot satisfy the obligation to separate,” so that they may live chastely in fidelity to the truth of Christ (Familiaris Consortio, no. 84).”



Go here to read the rest.  One can see why the Pope feared the presence of Cardinal Burke at the Synod.



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  1. Burke is so right–and that’s what makes him a target of the enablers of sodomy and adultery in our highest offices.
    Being a faithful Catholic does have that problem as default these days. Martyrs come in all forms and degrees. Diversity–Roman Catholic style. Some might even insult him by referring to his faith as being from a “Pharisee.”
    There will be a reckoning at the end, and I fear that it won’t be a joyous day for a lot of wayward shepherds.

  2. DonL. Agree wholeheartedly.
    Cardinal Burke is one of my favorites.
    The late Fr. John Hardon SJ had a great fondness of Burke and the feelings were mutual. Hardon was not a weak minded Jesuit.

    I have a good feeling orthodox priests are on the up…new blood. How many? Never enough!

  3. Few things so heartening as a Cardinal speaking the truth….may God continue to strengthen our good Fathers, and please, convert our bad ‘uns by the bucketful.

  4. I notice that Cardinal Burke’s opinion is written clearly and logically, without resorting
    to vague phrases and ambiguities. The good Cardinal has the truth on his side, so he
    needn’t hide behind jargon and bureaucratese. Imagine how relaxing it would be for
    Fr. Lombardi over at the Vatican Press Office if Cardinal Burke had been elected Pope–
    none of the scrambling and overtime he’s had to do since Francis was elected.

  5. Thank God for Cardinal Burke. He is a beacon of truth on the sea of ambiguity that has been the reign of Pope Francis.

  6. Forgive me, I’m being overly picky, but I’m a bit obsessed with that word, “ambiguity” as it is insufficient to explain what is going on. I noticed that some of the very people causing this mess are too fond of using it. (It means failing to choose between two contradictory things.)
    I fear that the problem is that more than one shepherd did choose, wrongly, and in direct contradiction to all that the Church has taught for millenniums. There are other words to better describe that.
    The result has caused but diabolical confusion for the faithful, and endangers their very faith. “No man follows an uncertain trumpet.” God’s truth cannot be divided into acceptable contradictions.
    Are we to become the church of ambiguous doctrine?

  7. i just slimed my way thru Cardinal Pell’s poor , untrustworthy ‘on its face explanation’ of doc 85 of the synods output . I think he thinks he is believable. go here


    What a difference with Card Burke. , who is so clear and convincing in his detail, as is truth when you stare it in the face – as is the Christ in scripture … no wonder they said John 7:46 ” No man ever spoke like this ” . As light is to night, as west is to east …. T-U Don!

  8. why is it so obvious you’re hearing a catholic bishop?
    when you hear Burke or Fellay as here….

    As for marriage, God provided for the increase of the human race by instituting marriage, which is the stable and perpetual union of a man and a woman.[4] The marriage of baptized persons is a sacrament, since Christ elevated it to that dignity; marriage and the family are therefore institutions that are both divine and natural.
    The primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children, which no human intention should prevent by performing acts contrary to it. The secondary end of marriage is the mutual assistance that the spouses offer to each other as well as the remedy to concupiscence.
    Christ established that the unity of marriage would be definitive, both for Christians and for all mankind. This unity possesses an indissoluble character, such that the conjugal bond can never be broken, neither by the will of the two parties nor by any human authority: “What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.”[5] In the case of the sacramental marriage of baptized persons, this unity and indissolubility are further explained by the fact that it is the sign of Christ’s union with His Bride.
    Anything that human beings may decree or do against the unity or indissolubility of marriage is not in keeping with the requirements of nature or with the good of human society. Moreover, faithful Catholics have the serious duty not to join together solely by the bond of a civil marriage, without taking into account the religious marriage prescribed by the Church.
    The reception of the Eucharist (or sacramental Communion) requires the state of sanctifying grace and union with Christ through charity; it increases this charity and at the same time signifies Christ’s love for the Church, which is united with Him as His only Spouse. Consequently, those who deliberately cohabit or even live together in an adulterous union, contrary to the laws God and of the Church, cannot be admitted to Eucharistic Communion because they are giving the bad example of a serious lack of justice and charity, and they are considered public sinners: “He that shall marry her that is put away committeth adultery.”[6]
    In order to receive absolution for one’s sins within the framework of the Sacrament of Penance, it is necessary to have the firm resolution to sin no more, and consequently those who refuse to put an end to their irregular situation cannot receive valid absolution.[7]
    In keeping with the natural law, man has a right to exercise his sexuality only within lawful marriage, while respecting the limits set by morality. This is why homosexuality contradicts natural and divine law. Unions entered into apart from marriage (cohabitation, adulterous, or even homosexual unions) are a disorder contrary to the requirements of the natural divine law and are therefore a sin; it is impossible to acknowledge therein any moral good whatsoever, even diminished……….

    is it the simple stating and restating of truth? impressive in its clarity for sure – recall true pastoral mercy is shown in teaching the Truth, no other way. no matter how hard for many to hear. thanks Don!

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