Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
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Cardinal Burke: Communion for divorced/remarried would be 'fundamental' break from Church teaching

December 03, 2015

Cardinal Raymond Burke has said that a change in the Church’s practice of barring divorced and remarried Catholics from Communion would entail a “very fundamental” change in Church teaching.

“If, in fact, the Synod is taking this position, then it has departed from Catholic teaching in a very fundamental matter,” the American prelate said. “The teaching of the indissolubility of marriage is based on the very words of Our Lord in the Gospel.”

In an interview with Mass of Ages, a traditionalist quarterly, Cardinal Burke was asked how loyal Catholics should respond to such a change, if it took place. He answered:

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.

Cardinal Burke also said that the move by Pope Francis to streamline annulment procedures is a “radical departure” from the Church’s practices. Although his words seemed clearly critical of Pope Francis, the cardinal insisted that he is “not an enemy of the Pope and never will be.”

Cardinal Burke argued, however, that some statements by Pope Francis “can be taken and used against the Church.” He said that “people have pointed this out to him—where he could be more attentive to resist that desire to speak in this way as it does cause confusion.”


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