Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Hot off the press  I think we can say a cardinal speaking this way is a bit of a bombshell, but I hate using that word of course!

Cardinal Burke: No change in divorce, annulments

Not only should Catholics who have divorced and remarried not expect permission to receive Communion following the upcoming synod of bishops, but any streamlining to make the annulment process easier is unlikely, too.

That was the message from Cardinal Raymond Burke earlier today, in which he blasted those who advocate for change to the church’s prohibition on divorce and the loosening of the annulment process. He said any changes would “only further encourage a defective view of marriage and the family.”

Speaking with reporters on a conference call hosted by Ignatius Press, Burke said that restructuring the annulment process — which some say is church discipline open to adjustment and not core doctrine — would lead Catholics to believe that the church isn’t serious about its prohibition on the “insolubility” of marriage.

“It’s a very deceptive line of argument,” Burke said.

Burke, who heads up the Vatican’s Supreme Court, upped his public feud with another cardinal, Walter Kasper, dismissing Kasper’s proposal that the church restructure its annulment process.
“The Kasper positions have been discussed some decades ago,” Burke said, and “we came to the conclusion that the solution proposed by Cardinal Kasper is fundamentally flawed.”

“They claim to know on their own what truth is, but Catholic doctrine is not a closed system, but a living tradition that develops,” Kasper told the Italian daily Il Mattino. “None of my brother cardinals has ever spoken with me. I, on the other hand, have spoken twice with the Holy Father. I arranged everything with him. He was in agreement. What can a cardinal do but stand with the pope? I am not the target, the target is another.”

Burke, who was removed from the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops last year by Pope Francis, bristled at this characterization.
“I find it amazing that the cardinal claims to speak for the pope,” Burke said. “The pope does not have laryngitis. The pope is not mute; he can speak for himself.”
Burke said proposals like Kasper’s are “disobedience to, or a non-adherence to, the words of the Lord himself.”

According to church teaching, Catholics who remarry civilly without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriage may not receive Communion unless they abstain from sexual relations, living with their new partners “as brother and sister.”
Critics say the annulment process can be expensive, demeaning, and take too long. Some Catholics have expressed hope that the synod may streamline the annulment process, and Kasper has been at the forefront of that movement.

“He is proposing a direction that in [its] whole history, the church has never taken,” Burke said.
James Hitchcock, a professor at St. Louis University, said that a change in the church’s prohibition on Communion for the divorce and remarried could alienate those living by the current teaching.

“There are people who have lived heroically by the teaching of the Church. They have not received Communion in living in the teaching of the Church, and they cannot be brushed away,” he said.
Burke defended his public challenge to Kasper and other bishops.

“For everyone to simply be silent while they see things being said that are not true, how can this be construed as being charitable?” he asked.

Rev. Joseph Fessio, a Jesuit priest and head of Ignatius Press who also was on the call, agreed. He called the focus on divorced and remarried Catholics a “very important, but very small issue” that Kasper’s ideas have amplified.

Still, he said that the public dispute was a blessing for the church.

“I don’t think it’s a bad thing these disputes are known; in fact, I think it’s a good thing,” he said.
“Remaining in the Truth of Christ,” which Ignatius Press will publish Oct. 1, includes essays in response to Cardinal Kasper’s proposal by three synod fathers: Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, and Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna, Italy.

On the same day, Ignatius Press will also publish two other books in which synod fathers respond to Cardinal Kasper’s proposal: “The Hope of the Family,” an extended interview with Cardinal Muller; and “The Gospel of the Family,” which features a foreword by Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy. (Cardinal Kasper’s address, published by Paulist Press, is also titled “The Gospel of the Family.”)

Burke believes he said continuing the ban on divorce will strengthen marriage, and that the stakes are high.

“If the family is not strong, and the institution of marriage is not strong, society is in danger,” he said.
Material from Catholic News Service was used in this report.


MR said...


Anonymous said...

Cardinal Burke isn't a prophet. Cardinal Burke is a faithful Catholic bishop obedient to Christ and His church. Why should anyone listen to what Cardinal Kasper or any of his progressive bishop friends in Europe. Mass attendance in Germany and Belgium is about 4% due to men like Kasper and Daneels, men who are praised by Francis. Oh Mass attendance is about that low in Argentina also. It's time for the nonsense to stop. Either the pope and his cardinals will uphold the faith or they will betray Christ. And if they choose to betty Christ they need to resign their positions. God bless Cardinal Burke.

Православный физик said...

It's not that the teaching will change, it can't the Church has zero power to so. Perception can however change, and that alone can undermine any unofficial change....see Vatican II for a perfect example of this. No teachings changed, heck, even the Liturgy didn't change, but the perception that it would did far more damage than the actual council did itself (and by bringing the modernists out of hiding, that did cause damage to the Church)

Anonymous said...

This man will indeed be the next Pope!!! His Grace truly is the Holy Roman Churches salvation.

George said...

It is testimony to the benevolence, mercy, and generosity of God through His Holy Church that we have the annulment process at all. Difficult cases will always be encountered. Doesn't this go back to the beginning?-to our first parents who could have anything they wanted except to eat from the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In the Roman Church priests have to accept that they cannot marry. Women have to accept that they cannot become priests. And so on. Some teachings of the Church can be difficult. There are those of the faithful do accept and obey. In our civil and criminal courts, in our legal system judgements are rendered. Those on the losing side of the decision must accept and abide by it. This is how things work. In the canonical process, difficult cases are encountered and a judgement is rendered. Those seeking an annulment will not always get the resolution they desired. Those engaged in the process should pray for guidance and be willing to accept whatever the decision is no matter how difficult. Accept it and offer it up. There are those faithful Catholics who do so. They constitute a powerful witness to the Faith. One of the hallmarks of our age is the unwillingness to accept difficulties. These things can be hard on parish priests who have enough other things to deal with.

Catholic Mission said...

October 1, 2014

All the Cardinals at the Synod on the family in their catechesis will use the irrational right hand column in the intepretation of Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church

rcg said...

Whatever Cardinal Burke's current assignment and status I don't think I would want to get into a public debate with him.

Tevye said...

I'm a pretty old guy...probably older than most of you. I can't recall anybody I've known who went through the process who didn't get the annulment. I guess there are some. I haven;t seen one.

Some I have known who got annulments (I have even filled out lengthy forms for one) had absolutely no discernible reasons...for instance..two practicing Catholics, each with 12 years of Catholic education, no alcohol, emotional or mental or financial problems...well adjusted children attending the parish school...chose not to stay married, had it undone. One of them re-married shortly after the successful annulment. Go figure...