Card. Burke defends the dubia in wake of Card. Müller’s TV interview

Card. Burke defends the dubia in wake of Card. Müller’s TV interview


Cardinal Burke has given an interview to the Italian newspaper La Verità in the wake of Cardinal Müller’s TV interview, in which he answers criticisms of the dubia and his subsequent actions. Without naming his critics Cardinal Burke responded to those who have questioned the validity of, or necessity for, the dubia, the need to formally correct the ambiguities in Amoris Laetitia, and those who have accused him and the other cardinals of creating division in the Church.

On January 8th Cardinal Müller gave an interview on the Italian TV channel Tgcom24 in which he said that a “fraternal correction” of Pope Francis regarding his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia is “not possible” because the document poses “no danger to the faith.” The cardinal went on to say that he felt it was “a loss to the Church to discuss these things publicly”, adding that Amoris Laetitia is “very clear in its doctrine and we can interpret the whole doctrine of Jesus on marriage, the whole doctrine of the Church in 2000 years of history.”

In response to those who insist that there is no need for the dubia because it is in continuity with previous magisterial teaching and, in the words of Cardinal Müller, presents “no danger to the faith” Cardinal Burke answered:

“The confusion in the Church over the interpretation of some passages of Amoris laetitia is evident… that is why I do not see how anyone could be able to say that there is no danger to the faith. Moreover, we have communicated in a very respectful way five dubia to the Pope, and when they were not given a response, we decided, for the good of souls, to make public that there are dubia and that all the faithful are called to pay attention. “

Cardinal Burke expressed agreement with Cardinal Brandmüller that the next phase of the dubia process must be conducted in private with Pope Francis, in the “first instance”:

[In reality there is] “absolutely no deadline.” “Many media have misunderstood. In that interview in the United States they had asked me what would be the next steps with respect to the dubia presented to the Holy Father, and I simply said that nothing could happen at that moment seeing that we were about to enter into the liturgical season of Christmas and of Epiphany. Only afterwards could one possibly think of how to proceed, but it certainly was not an ultimatum for a confrontation with the Pope.”

“In fact, I never said that a public confrontation ought to occur. I agree with Cardinal Brandmüller, the first step would be to ask for a private meeting with the Holy Father to point out to him the unacceptable statements in Amoris laetitia, showing how, in one way or another, they are not adequate to express what the Church He has always taught. “

Cardinal Burke went on to insist that the formal correction of Amoris Laetitia being considered dealt with “error” not “heresy”, explaining the distinction between the two. To the question was the claim that the divorced and remarried who live together “more uxorio ” can approach the Eucharist a heresy Cardinal Burke responded:

“No, it seems to me that it can qualify as an error, but we are dealing with a complex situation. Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt, on the part of the baptized, of a truth that one must believe by divine and Catholic faith. One heresy could be that of one who sustains that there do not exist intrinsically evil acts; to affirm this would be to say something contrary to the doctrine of the Church and would clearly be a heresy. The affirmation about access to the sacraments of which we were speaking a while ago, on the other hand, refers to a practice that contradicts two doctrines: that of indissolubility of matrimony and that of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. At first glance we can say that certainly it’s an error.”

Cardinal Burke also defended the dubia and the Four Cardinals against the accusation that their actions were dividing the Church:

“What divides is falsehood and ambiguity, the truth always unites. It is absurd to say that four cardinals who ask five reasonable questions, and of fundamental importance for all Christians, are acting in a way to divide the Church. We are serving the Petrine office, giving the Pope the opportunity to confirm us in the teaching of the Church, faced with a situation that is proving ambiguous in practice…We are dealing here with a question that concerns the Church in a profound way: matrimony and family,which is its fruit,and they constitute the foundation of the very life of the Church. Our task is not to lose ourselves in difficult or vague questions; we are simply giving our contribution to the growth of the Church in the most elementary cell of life. “

The full interview, courtesy of Andrew Guernsey.

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