His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke, distinguished canonist and head of the Church’s “Supreme Court” gave his contribution to the Synod of Bishops. The theme he touched on, all too briefly, alas, was topic also examined at a canon law conference I attended a a few years ago, an annual conference now which Card. Burke organizes at the Shrine in LaCrosse, WI.
- H. Em. Rev. Card. Raymond Leo BURKE, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (VATICAN CITY)
The Instrumentum Laboris reminds us that witness to the Christian faith is a valid response to the pressing problems of life in every age and culture, especially because that witness overcomes the false separation existing between the Gospel and life (cf. no. 118). However, so that witness to the faith will have a place, which today’s world urgently needs, cohesion is needed within the Church between life and faith. [We must be coherent. We must live our Catholic identity at all times, not just in private or in worship.]
Among the most serious wounds of society today is the separation of legal culture from its metaphysical objective, which is moral law. [BINGO. Think of this also in terms of the virtue of religion.] In recent times this separation has been much accentuated, manifesting itself as a real antinomianism, which claims [in error] to render actions which are intrinsically evil as legal, for example, abortion on demand, artificial conception of human life with the aim of carrying out experimentation on the life of a human embryo, the so-called euthanasia of those who have the right to our preferential assistance, legal recognition of same-sex unions as marriage, and the negation of the fundamental right to conscience and religious liberty. [Have you ever heard a Catholic politician defend abortion because its "legal"?]
This antinomianism embedded in civil society has unfortunately infected post-Council ecclesial life, [NB: "post-Council"] associating itself, regrettably, with so-called cultural novelties. Excitement following the Council, linked to the establishment of a new Church which teaches freedom and love, has strongly encouraged an attitude of indifference towards Church discipline, if not even hostility. The reforms of ecclesial life which were hoped for by the Council Fathers were therefore, in a certain sense, hindered, if not betrayed.
Devoted to present-day new evangelization, we have the task of laying the foundation for awareness of the disciplinary tradition of the Church and respect of the law in the Church. An interest in [NB] the discipline of the Church is not to be equated with an idea contrary to the mission of the Church in the world, but to a correct attention to cohesively witnessing to faith in the world. This service, certainly humble, of Church Canon Law is also absolutely necessary. How indeed will we be able to witness our faith in the world if we ignore or neglect the demands of justice within the Church? Salvation of the soul, the primary goal of a new evangelization, must also always be in the Church “the supreme law” (can. 1752).
Fr Z kudos to Card. Burke.