Burke: If Francis Won’t “Clarify Serious Error,” Cardinals Must Take Corrective Action November 16, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, Francis, General Catholic, horror, Revolution, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
Put another, less diplomatic way, what Cardinal Burke is essentially saying is that, if Francis will not abjure the errors, or, at the very least, extremely dubious assertions, of Amoris Laetitia, Burke and others will move to try to correct him according to canon law, which could include the convoking of a general council to make a judgment of the pope’s adherence to the Sacred Deposit of Faith. I can’t imagine how that would play out in any way that would lead to a negative judgment against Francis, given the state of the Church today and with so many prelates clearly given over to his view of things, but it’s most definitely a very serious warning. I can’t really even see a sufficient number of prelates to be in agreement with Burke and other more faithful bishops – which are not inconsiderable in number, but I would think far short of a majority – to even call a general council against the will of the pope. The last time such a thing occurred there were kings and princes with the ability to summon councils, but such do not exist any more.
After joining a group of four cardinals in releasing a call for Pope Francis to clarify grave errors in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, Cardinal Raymond Burke has now indicated the cardinals are contemplating a “formal correction” should the pope fail to address their concerns.
The cardinals had written to the pope with their concerns on September 19, but after failing to receive a response for nearly two months, they released the letter publicly on Monday morning.
Now, in an interview with the National Catholic Register’s Ed Pentin, Burke discusses the next steps should the pope fail to address the cardinals’ concerns. Here is Pentin’s question and the cardinal’s response:
What happens if the Holy Father does not respond to your act of justice and charity and fails to give the clarification of the Church’s teaching that you hope to achieve?
Then we would have to address that situation. There is, in the Tradition of the Church, the practice of correction of the Roman Pontiff. It is something that is clearly quite rare. But if there is no response to these questions, then I would say that it would be a question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error. [So, Burke is claiming that Amoris Laetitia contains more than mere vague or confusing statements, but actually promotes and contains serious error. In the history of the Church, there is only one means for dealing with those who persist in manifest, obdurate error (heresy) – and that is a declaration that they are outside the Church. But such has never been formally declared of a reigning pontiff in the history of the Church, has it?]
Burke goes on to insist that in a case of conflict between the pope and Church Tradition, the Tradition is binding. “Ecclesial authority exists only in service of the Tradition,” Burke explains. “I think of that passage of St. Paul in the [Letter to the] Galatians (1:8), that if ‘even an angel should preach unto you any Gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema.’”
Historically, in the rare cases where popes have taught heresy, Burke explains, “It is the duty…, and historically it has happened, of cardinals and bishops to make clear that the Pope is teaching error and to ask him to correct it.” [And on the rare instances this has occurred, the popes in question have, to a man, I believe, had the decency to abjure any errors they professed, or even contemplated, well before the issue got to the level of a formal rebuke. Will such be the case with Francis? The evidence we have to date is not terribly hopeful.]
The September 19 letter, signed by Cardinals Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffarra, and Joachim Meisner, asked the pope 5 short questions which call for ‘yes or no’ answers that would immediately clarify the meaning of the confusion-plagued document on precisely those points where theologians, priests and even bishops have offered contradicting interpretations. [Hey, want to know some other documents where precisely the same confusion reigns, with even prelates taking completely contradictory stands?!? How about Guadium Et Spes, Dignitatis Humanae, Nostra Aetate, etc.]
In the interview, Burke emphasizes that the cardinals have sought to act for “the good of the Church,” which, he says, “is suffering from a tremendous confusion” on the points they have raised especially. He notes, for example, that priests in different dioceses are being given contradictory directions on how to handle the question of access to Communion for those in adulterous unions. [Thus, does a practical schism not exist in the Church today?]
“We, as cardinals, judged it our responsibility to request a clarification with regard to these questions, in order to put an end to this spread of confusion that is actually leading people into error,” he says.
Again, I am heartened to see this, and it will be quite revealing to see this situation unfold. Burke is getting very, very close to stating Francis formally promotes error. Amazing. I pray that the Lord will give abundant strength to Burke, Meisner, Caffara, Brandmuller, and their allies. It is interesting that Cardinal Muller at the increasingly marginalized CDF has not responded, either. For all those who have steadfastly maintained for years that Francis hasn’t promoted any error, nor even made any significant failings of prudential judgment, I must wonder what they are thinking now?
I have been praying for some time that, should push ever come to shove like this, Francis would turn away from his seeming errors and return to the constant belief and practice of the Faith. It’s a longshot, I know, but hope springs eternal. The damage to the Church of a public trial of the pope’s belief – which, again, I can hardly believe would actually happen – would be immense. But what alternative is there, if he keeps on this same course he has been pursuing for nearly 4 years?
It is truly heart-breaking that it has come to this. What a nightmare, for the entire world.