Patrick B. Craine
February 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Priests from countries across the globe united today in an urgent call for Pope Francis to answer a request by four Cardinals, including Cardinal Raymond Burke, to clarify the controversial exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
“A clarification is clearly needed to correct the misuse of the Apostolic Exhortation to undermine sacred Tradition,” write the International Confraternities of Catholic Clergy in a statement today.
The Confraternities in the United States, Australia, Britain, and Ireland represent around 1,000 priests.
“We believe there would be great value in an authoritative interpretation of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia in line with the constant teaching and practice of the Church.”
The four Cardinals’ so-called “dubia” were issued “out of love for the Church and concern for the salvation of souls,” the priests state. “As the Cardinals themselves have made clear, this step has been taken with deep respect for our Holy Father, Pope Francis, and should not in any way be used to foster divisions in the Church.”
The priests insist that the duty to preach the Gospel of Christ amidst the grave pastoral concerns facing the faithful is “is made easier when the Church expounds her teaching boldly and clearly.”
“It is also essential that the Church’s discipline must always follow her dogmatic teaching,” they continue. “In particular, since at the present time there is much confusion, it is necessary to make clear that Holy Communion cannot be given to someone choosing to live in a sexual relationship with a person other than their validly espoused husband or wife.”
“We hope that this request for clarification may be an occasion for the Holy Father to feed and tend the flock entrusted to him by the Lord and to support us, the clergy, in doing the same,” they conclude.