Cardinal Burke Speaks on the “Formal Correction”

Cardinal Burke Speaks on the “Formal Correction”

Steve Skojec March 25, 2017

Last night at Saint Raymond of Peñafort parish in Springfield, Virginia, Cardinal Raymond Burke gave a talk in which he addressed questions about the long-awaited “formal correction” promised by the Four Cardinals in the event that Pope Francis does not respond to the dubia submitted to him last September and made public in November.

Before the video (courtesy of Andrew Guernsey) begins, the pastor of the parish, Fr. John De Celles, asked about the dubia:

Fr. De Celles: There are a lot of rumors circulating about the dubia, which you and four other esteemed cardinals sent to the Holy Father about divorce, marriage, and communion and the like. Do you know if there will be a response to the dubia from our Holy Father or from the CDF?

Cardinal Burke: I sincerely hope that there will be because these are fundamental questions that are honestly raised by the text of the apostolic…the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. And until these questions are answered, there continues to spread a very harmful confusion in the Church and one of the fundamental questions is in regards to the truth that there are some kinds that are always and everywhere wrong – what we call intrinsically evil acts – and so, we cardinals are, will continue to insist that we hear a response to these honest questions.

After rejecting the idea that the dubia are disrespectful or arrogant, and asserting that this is the traditional method of seeking clarification from the pope on the Church’s constant teaching, Burke addressed why, when there was no response after the initial submission of the dubia – and after the cardinals were told by the CDF that there would be no response – they made the dubia public.

The video below begins part way into the answer to the question, so we are providing the transcript of the full audio of that section before the video, which begins at “we have these questions”:

Cardinal Burke: We judged it necessary to make public the question[s] [of the dubia] because so many of the faithful were approaching us, saying, having these questions and saying well, what’s the wrong, we have these questions and it seems like, that none of the cardinals who have a great responsibility to assist the holy father has these questions and so…we published them, and that also was done with great respect.

Fr. De Celles: If there is no response, will, what will your response be, the Four Cardinals?

Cardinal Burke: Then we simply will have to correct the situation, again, in a respectful way, that simply can say that, to draw the response to the questions from the constant teachings of the Church and to make that known for the good of souls.

You can see a video of the full talk on the LifeSiteNews Facebook page here.

Several days ago, one of our readers, Marie Pruden, posted a comment in which she recounted her own experience with Cardinal Burke when he visited California earlier this month:

Cardinal Burke was in Oakland, California last Sunday, March 19, where he celebrated a Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form at St. Margaret Mary’s Church early in the afternoon, after which he blessed a newly-opened clinic of the Knights of Malta.

Later he held a public reception at Oakland’s Cathedral of Christ the Light before celebrating a solemn Benediction. It was at the reception line that I got to speak with the Cardinal briefly. Here’s how it went:

I genuflected as he blessed me and I kissed his ring. Standing up, I held on to his hand and asked, “Eminence, are you pushing through with the formal public correction on the errors of Amoris Laetitia?”

Before I could even finish my question came his answer, “Don’t worry about it. We’re looking into it. We’re working on it.”

I had wanted to ask a follow-up question but there’s a line behind me and it was time to go down to the church for Benediction.

From the little answer he gave, it feels like his group of four Cardinals hasn’t really given up on the Dubia.

She expounded, in a later comment:

I went to the reception purposely to ask Cardinal Burke the question.


I’m Filipino and am very conscious of my accent and my verb tense and prepositions, so I had to make my question as short and as clearly stated as possible. That was probably why the Cardinal didn’t wait for me to finish my sentence. He was anticipating it. Perhaps other people ahead of me had asked the same question.

With the addition of the video, her eyewitness account adds further credibility to the notion that the formal correction is most certainly not off the table, and may in fact be anticipated at some point in the future.

With this latest video of Cardinal Burke saying that the formal correction may yet come — but with no deadline attached — it would seem that most likely nothing has transpired yet. Amoris Laetitia was a year old as of March 19, 2017 (the official date of its signing) but will not have its first anniversary as a public document until April 8. This means that a year after the release of this document that has caused, in Cardinal Burke’s own words, “a very harmful confusion in the Church”, we are still waiting for an official defense of the Church’s traditional teaching on marriage, family, Catholic sexual ethics, and sacramental discipline.

And while it is reasonable to conclude that such an action, insofar as it is almost unprecedented, would take careful study and caution in its execution, the pace, in relation to current events, is practically glacial. Further, we are forced to wonder what, if any, effect such a correction would have. Would it change anything, or would it simply be an objection, on the record, to what appears to be a blatant and unrepentant miscarriage of Church teaching on the part of the pope and a growing number of bishops and cardinals? Would, in other words, such a correction actually have any teeth?

Further, we are left to wonder what is being done to address the many other troubling and possibly heretical statements from Pope Francis, some of which we cataloged in our article on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of his election?

While it is a Maxim of Catholic thought that the Church moves slowly, even timelessly, because she deals in eternal truths, it is nonetheless undeniable that the damage that is being done by Pope Francis and his allies exceeds by an exponential factor the efforts to reign in and correct that damage through official ecclesiastical channels.

Souls are at stake. We do not have the luxury of time, and admonitions that these things must simply be ignored as we put our faith in Christ’s promises ring painfully hollow when every day the faithful watch people they know and love being led astray, or discouraged to the brink of despair.

In Luke 18:8, Our Blessed Lord famously asked if, when He returned, he would find faith on the earth. At the present moment, one is forced to wonder if that question applies equally to the end of this pontificate.

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5 comments on “Cardinal Burke Speaks on the “Formal Correction”

  1. Souls are at stake.

    I hate to be flippant, but seriously, who cares? Four cardinals, maybe a dozen bishops, maybe a few hundred priests and maybe a few thousand lay folks, like you and me meandering on the internet. That’s it. In other words, this is the pope that 99.99% of Catholics want. It’s the pope the world wants. And the Good God, Who is already deeply offended, has cut us loose, giving us the evil vicar our sinful hearts desired.

    The picture is rather discouraging. It’s going to get worse. To borrow from Hilary White, no one is coming to help us. No one, save Our Lady, who will come in due time. The world is just as bad a situation. The great orange hope, The Donald, just tried his best to give us more government “health” including abortion funding. We got wound up for nothing there, too.

    Yes, pray very much, but don’t expect any solution that will be visibly apparent.

  2. Just keep repeating,”It gonna be OK. It’s gonna be OK.” Burke’s going to keep us on the straight and narrow. Trump’s going to drain the swamp.

    Nothing against C. Burke, but he has no power to help us. One thing he’s not helping with, the same that the NeoCats aren’t helping with, the same that “conservative” media aren’t helping with, is the constant gaslighting from the pope, government leaders, and recently Trump. In fact, they’re part of the problem.

    What cuts through gaslighting? The truth in blazing, burning hot white light. It’s the wakeup call that never comes. The faggots and obfuscators and smiley faces keep saying to hang in there, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It’s been this way in the Church since the Council – ALL the popes and cardinals have gone along with it, they coddle those who go along and chastise those who don’t. It’s been the same in gov’t, with the only glimmer of light being Reagan, 30 years gone. No one today in any position of authority is doing what is right, and is being honest and transparent. No one.

    So, hahahaha, Burke teases us with this “correction” stuff, and we all go oooooh!

    Where is St. John the Baptist?

  3. Bravo!, Cyprian. I wasn’t able to say it like you did, so Bravo!

  4. [Hat-tip to Canon212: “Mundabor on the Dubia: Let the Cardinals speak and be done with this farce!”]

    Enough With The Waiting
    MAR 26 ‘2017
    Posted by Mundabor

    For some reason, Francis wasn’t scared of them…

    If you visit the page of Canon212 (something which you should do every day, as I do) you will see, scrolling down on the left hand side column, the

    “number of days since Francis received the Cardinal’s Dubia on Amoris Laetitia”.

    As I write this, the count is 188.

    I will not, on this occasion, be silent about another fact: that even the Dubia came after an extremely long, certainly gravely culpable silence from the clergy en masse. Amoris Laetitia was published on 8 April 2016. Heck, it’s almost a year, and we are still awaiting for the first (cough) blessed Cardinal to openly say that the encyclical is rubbish.

    Now, the Church is normally slow. She is slow because she is prudent, and she is slow because in many situations slowness is a good course of action. But you see, slowness must then be prudent and/or a good course of action. Slowness isn’t good in itself.

    The Church is also traditionally slow because, traditionally, information used to travel very slowly. When the one or other heretic started to get notoriety in some more or less obscure part of Europe it would take months (or years) before the thing got to the ears of Rome. Then it would get an awful lot of time only to reliably confirm the information and get more details. Then there might be other distant bishops and cardinals to consult with. In short, the slowness wasn’t there because people just slept one year at a time on well-known facts. The slowness was there because that was the way the entire world was.

    Today is different. A published encyclical will be read all over the planet in a matter of hours. A papal tweet (boy, what has the world come to!) is spread worldwide instantly. Information is exchanged with extreme rapidity.

    The Cardinals knew as a fact, when they decided to make the Dubia public, that they had been told that Francis would not answer them. How does waiting six months change any of this? They were told. They got the memo. The decision was made.

    If a private correction was to be made, the time was very fast after getting the news that the Pope had decided not to answer. There was no need for the crème de la crème of Catholic theology to assemble at the Sorbonne, after consulting with who knows how many others. There was no need to visit the King of France and procure his support (financial, if needed) for the planned action.

    The correction should have been officially made a week or two after being informed the man does not want to do his job, and a very public rebuke and accusation of promoting heresy should have come a week or two after that. All the rest is meowing of scared kitten.

    What it would seem it might happen now is that the mountain will give birth to a country mouse: a shame for the church as a whole and something that makes the Four Cardinals look, if possible, even worse than those who have shut up from the beginning; then the latter have at least not tried to make themselves beautiful with faithful Catholics and smuggle themselves as the defenders of Catholic orthodoxy.

    Francis must be laughing all the way to the porta potty at seeing that his opponents are such little boys, so fearful and so scared of him that they will not dare to do anything after showing a very, very, very big mouth. To add insult to injury, we are made to wait even for the country mouse, as if a banal reassertion of Catholic doctrine (something I have heard in church, and even in V II churches, in no uncertain terms at least a dozen times since the publication of Amoris Laetitia) were such a momentous event showing anything but the monumental cowardice of these supposed Princes.

    I might still be wrong, of course. The kitten might still wake up lions one day. But what I keep hearing is only the most disgraceful meowing.

    Let the Cardinals speak and be done with this farce. If they speak plainly, then let the serious battle begin. If they limit themselves to the meowing the longer the wait, the worse the shame.

  5. [More from Mundabor on the Dubia]

    The Correction That Won’t Be One?

    MAR 26 ’17
    Posted by Mundabor

    This one here was on the twitter account of Canon 212.

    You will forgive this native Italian for not understanding exactly what the Cardinal says, but what I could acoustically get is this:

    ~If there is no response the Cardinals will “correct the situation”, in a “respectful way”.

    ~they will, in this case, “draw the response to the question from the constant teaching of the Church”

    This means, to put it plainly, that there will be no correction.

    What there will be is only a sort or reminder, or integration. Something every Bishop can do every day. “The Pope has not answered the Dubia, so we will do it for him”. No demand that the Pope speaks himself. No ultimatums. No warning that the Pope is, by refusing to answer the Dubia, promoting heresy. Merely a faint meowing.

    This will open the floodgates for more heresies and more perverted encyclicals letters, in which Francis implies all sorts of abominations and shuts up when asked to correct them. After which, a handful of kitten will tell us what we already know without the slightest need for them to remind us of the obvious. In the meantime, the heretical Pope will go on spreading heresies, and these people will seriously try to make us believe that they have fulfilled their duty.

    Mind, it might come out differently in the end. It might be that the Cardinal does not want to show his hand right now.

    However, if this were to be the situation it seems to me that Fra’ Cristoforo is absolutely right: no correction at all; with the addition of some blabla so that the Cardinals may try to save face.

    These here are supposed to be Princes of the Church. In what miserable state we are.

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