During an interview with Mass of Ages, the quarterly magazine of the Latin Mass Society, Cardinal Raymond Burke who is the patron of the Sovereign Military order of Malta said that if the family synod opened the way for divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion then it has “departed from Catholic teaching in a very fundamental matter”.
The teaching of the indissolubility of marriage is based on the very words of Our Lord in the Gospel.” He said. “If in fact, the Synod is taking this position, then it has departed from Catholic teaching in a very fundamental matter”.
The cardinal when asked by Dylan Parry an interviewer, what concerned Catholics should do he said:
“I think Catholics should simply say ‘I cannot accept this teaching as it goes against what the Church has always taught and practiced.’ I don’t think that Catholics should permit themselves to be driven away from the Church by those who are not upholding the Church’s teaching.”
The Cardinal took issue with a summary of the Synod’s work written by the editor of the Jesuit Journal La Civilta Cattolica, Father Antonio Spadaro, who said the Synod “had laid the foundations” for remarried Catholics to be admitted to Communion. Cardinal Burke insists that the solution claimed by Father Spadaro is impossible. “The fact is,” he wrote, “that the Synod could not open a door which does not exist and cannot exist.”
The cardinal also said that Pope Francis’s annulment reform was a “radical departure” from Church practice.
The cardinal, a leading canon lawyer and former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest judicial authority in the Church apart from the pope, said: “The reforms are radical and they are a radical departure from what has been the consistent practice with regard the examination of a claim of nullity of marriage.”
He said also bishops should not be asked to decide marriage nullity cases, as will be the case under the Pope’s reforms.
“Many bishops are not canon lawyers and there is nothing wrong with that, but they shouldn’t be asked to do things they haven’t been prepared to do,” he said.
The cardinal said he was “not an enemy of the Pope and never will be”, explaining: “You won’t find a single statement of mine in which I am speaking against the Holy Father. I just don’t do that.”
Cardinal Burke when asked in an interview “If Pope Francis insists on this path, what will you do?” “I will resist. I cannot do anything else. There is no doubt that this is a difficult time, this is clear. He said answered. “You won’t find a single statement of mine speaking against the Holy Father. I just don’t do that. I would not want to make of the Pope an enemy, certainly” he added.