His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke, still Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, has been interviewed by Catholic World Report. HERE
The first part reminded me of one of the very last things Pope Benedict said in public. During an audience just before he abdicated, Benedict described how the mass media created a shadow Council and interposed a distorted interpretive lens.
Now Card. Burke. I’ll just post a few bits that popped out at me?
Vatican City, Sep 23, 2014 / 04:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Next month’s Synod on the Family has undergone an attempted hijacking by some media sources, which are fueling expectations that impossible changes will be made to Church doctrine, said the head of the Church’s highest court.
“I don’t think you have to be brilliant to see that the media has, for months, been trying to hijack this Synod,”
In particular, he told CNA in a recent interview, the media has been presenting Pope Francis as being in favor of allowing Holy Communion to be distributed to those who are divorced and remarried, and other such propositions, even though this is not the case.
The danger, Cardinal Burke continued, is that “the media has created a situation in which people expect that there are going to be these major changes which would, in fact, constitute a change in Church teaching, which is impossible.”
The Church’s teaching on the matter, the cardinal said, is merciful, “because it respects the truth that the person is indeed bound by a prior union which the person, for whatever reason, is no longer living.”
“The Church holds the person to the truth of that marriage,” Cardinal Burke continued, “while at the same time, being compassionate, understanding the situation of the person, welcoming them into the parish community in ways that are appropriate, and trying to help them to lead as holy a life as they can, but without betraying the truth about their marriage.”
This, he said, is mercy.
“It simply makes no sense to talk about mercy which doesn’t respect truth. How can that be merciful?”
“It’s very important at this time,” the prelate continued, “to show the splendor of the truth of the Church’s teaching about marriage, which is foundational, obviously, for society, and for the Church itself.”
“If we don’t get it correct about marriage, there’s very little else that we’re going to be clear about.” [Do I hear an “Amen!”? This is what I have been saying for years. If we are not clear in our own minds and hearts about our Faith, if we don’t know our Faith, we can’t articulate anything of interest in the public square. Why should anyone listen to us if we are incoherent?]
“Bishops who regularly visits us at the Apostolic Signatura say that many couples today who are divorced, they don’t care anymore about the question of nullity,” he said. “They simply make a decision to live with another person, if that’s in fact what they are doing.” [My fear is that the way the question is being handled now will exacerbate this problem.]
For those seeking to claim nullity of their marriage, he said, “the Church has to have an apt process to arrive at the truth about that claim,” whereby it can be established whether or not a marriage has been null. “But to simply have people come before what’s called an administrative process, or a so-called ‘pastoral process,’” one in which “people simply tell their story to a priest,” who then makes the decision with regard to their reception of the Sacraments – “how does that respect the truth of our Lord’s teaching about marriage?”
“The marriage nullity process is the fruit of centuries of development, and by various expert canonists, one of the great ones being Pope Benedict XIV,” [Lambertini] the cardinal said. “For us now simply to say we don’t need that anymore is the height of pride and therefore foolishness.”
As current prelate of the Apostolic Signatura, Cardinal Burke’s role at the synod will particularly pertain to the marriage nullity process, specifically in light of the suggestion to streamline the process of annulments, making it faster and easier.
“I wouldn’t be at all opposed to any changes,” he said, “except that a certain amount of complexity is required by the complexity of a claim that a marriage is null. And you cannot simply deal with these kinds of questions by some kind of easy and light-hearted process.”
You can read the whole thing over there.