Lisa Bourne and John-Henry Westen
January 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke has again insisted that the four cardinals behind the Amoris Laetitia dubia are doing their Catholic duty in seeking clarity from Pope Francis regarding his ideas on Catholic Church teaching on marriage and the Eucharist.
In a new interview in the Italian newspaper LaVerita, Cardinal Burke notes that there are many more than the four Cardinals who are concerned about Amoris Laetitia, and also says there is no specific timeline for a formal correction.
For the cardinal’s part, on judgment day he would rather be able to stand in good conscience before God than take up concern today over the potential political repercussions against the cardinals for making the request of the pope.
While the idea has been floated that Cardinals Burke, Caffara, Meisner and Brandmueller could, or should, be demoted by Pope Francis — losing their cardinal rank — for what some mistake as disrespect in submitting the dubia, the thought neither troubles nor deters Cardinal Burke.
“I don’t even think about it,” he said. “I mean, certainly, it’s possible. It’s happened, historically, that a cardinal has lost his title. But I don’t think about it because I know what my duty is and I can’t be distracted from it by these kinds of thoughts – you know, worrying about whether I’m going to be in some way persecuted for defending the truth.”
Cardinal Burke said he has been asked directly whether he is afraid to make an issue in this matter, responding that what he feared instead was having the wrong answer for God on the question of whether he’d defended the Lord and His teaching at the end of his life.
The cardinal stated, “And I said that what I’m afraid of is to have to appear before Our Lord at the Last Judgment and having to say to Him: ‘No, I didn’t defend You when You were being attacked, the truth that You taught was being betrayed.’ And so, I just don’t give it any thought.”
Critics of Amoris Laetitia have faced loud pushback from Pope Francis’ defenders, but while there are those who question or criticize the cardinals for submitting the dubia, many others are insisting that this was, in fact, their duty.
Ed Pentin, the respected Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Register, points out this week that there were in fact 30 Cardinals who submitted concerns to the Pope after getting a pre-release copy of Amoris Laetitia.
In the interview with LaVerita, translated by Andrew Guernsey, Cardinal Burke clarifies that there is “absolutely no deadline” on doing the formal correction of the Pope. He suggests that his former comments to LifeSite indicated that it could not happen until after Epiphany.
Moreover, the Cardinal said there is no disagreement among the four Cardinals. “In fact, I never said that a public confrontation ought to occur,” he said. “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 has always taught.”
In a recent interview with The Remnant, Cardinal Burke stressed the need to publicly present the dubia. He said that not raising the concerns would lead Catholics to believe that everything is OK in the Church when it certainly is not.
“But, no, that’s not sufficient (accepting ambiguity because it came from the pope),” Cardinal Burke explained. “Because everywhere I go — and I travel a lot now — everywhere I go people are saying: ‘What’s wrong with you Cardinals? There are these serious questions, and yet you remain silent. You don’t say anything.'”
“And they’re correct,” he continued. “If we were to remain silent, it would most definitely give the idea to the faithful that everything is fine. But everything is not fine.”