His Eminence Raymond Leo Card. Burke gave interview to LifeSite. He said that the “formal correction” of Pope Francis he had mentioned before could “probably” be issued sometime after the upcoming Feast of the Epiphany, thus after 6 January 2017
Among the things Card. Burke said were that a “formal correction” was necessary because the Five Dubia submitted by the Four Cardinals about Amoris laetitia Ch. 8 concern the “very foundations of the moral life of the Church” and “the Church’s constant teaching with the regard to good and evil”.
The “formal correction” would be a brief reaffirmation of points raised in the Five Dubia. It could not be much more than that.
As I wrote before, in the past Popes have indeed been “corrected”. Check out this post: Once upon a time, there was this Pope who was “corrected”…. So, what Card. Burke is suggesting is not entirely without precedent.
Furthermore, if the situation is allowed to go forward without some sort of action, the result could be an undermining of the Petrine Office itself, which is so important for the unity of the Church and the safeguarding of teaching on faith and morals. Therefore, what might be undertaken is a service to the Holy Father, not an attack. Far from it.
So, Card. Burke mentioned 6 January, Epiphany. However, in between then and now comes the annual Christmas “Greetings” between the Pope and the Roman Curia. This year it will take place on Thursday 22 December. Benedict XVI used that occasion to make a famous speech about the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture in regard to Vatican II (etc.). O my prophetic soul. And then there was Francis’ own infamous tirade against the members of the Curia in 2014, when he read them his list of 15 “ailments” and ripped them to shreds. HERE
It is impossible not to imagine that Pope Francis will use the Christmas Curia greetings on Thursday to tear the Four Cardinals, and anyone else thinking about associating with them, limb from limb, if not directly and by name, then by innuendo and oblique reference.
Will Pope Francis respond to the Five Dubia? I doubt it. His surrogates will probably continue to put out there that a) if perhaps the doubters heard more confessions, b) didn’t hate the Spirit of Vatican II, c) were not so obtuse, they would see how perfectly the notions proposed in Amoris laetitia Ch. 8 in fact are authentic developments of … you know… doctrine and stuff.
So, I would make plans to tune in to CTV on Thursday to watch the exchange of greetings of Francis and the Roman Curia for Christmas.