Video interview with Card. Burke about the Five Dubia stemming from ‘Amoris laetitia’

Raymond Arroyo interviewed His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke about the “state of the question” concerning The Questions.  Card. Burke is one of the Four Cardinals who submitted Five Dubia about Ch. 8 of Amoris laetitia to His Holiness Pope Francis.

The letter of The Four is humble and respectful, but clear. They clearly did not want to be adversarial in tone. The Four merely want some clarity about “grave disorientation and great confusion” which has been provoked by now infamous elements of Amoris laetitia.

The Five Dubia:

1. It is asked whether, following the affirmations of “Amoris Laetitia” (nn. 300-305), it has now become possible to grant absolution in the Sacrament of Penance and thus to admit to Holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person “more uxorio” (in a marital way) without fulfilling the conditions provided for by “Familiaris Consortio” n. 84 and subsequently reaffirmed by “Reconciliatio et Paenitentia” n. 34 and “Sacramentum Caritatis” n. 29. Can the expression “in certain cases” found in note 351 (n. 305) of the exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” be applied to divorced persons who are in a new union and who continue to live “more uxorio”?

2. After the publication of the Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” (cf. n. 304), does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s Encyclical “Veritatis Splendor” n. 79, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, on the existence of absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions?

3. After “Amoris Laetitia” (n. 301) is it still possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the one that prohibits adultery (cf. Mt 19:3-9), finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration, June 24, 2000)?

4. After the affirmations of “Amoris Laetitia” (n. 302) on “circumstances which mitigate moral responsibility,” does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s Encyclical “Veritatis Splendor” n. 81, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, according to which “circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act ‘subjectively’ good or defensible as a choice”?

5. After “Amoris Laetitia” (n. 303) does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical “Veritatis Splendor” n. 56, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, that excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience and that emphasizes that conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object?


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  1. Kathleen10 says:

    Beautifully written, crystal clear, no room for ambiguity in the answers, therefore, the dubia have not been answered, unless one counts juvenile tweets from sycophants as answers.
    Let history record what has transpired under this pontificate, we all know what to call it.
    Let history also record there were at least four courageous Cardinals who risked it all to defend Christ and His church. The ones who remained silent, are a scandal to the rest of us.
    God please send the remedy to all this madness soon.

  2. Benedict Joseph says:

    Cardinal Burke’s responses last evening were clear, honest, and sober. How refreshing to see an ecclesiastic behave with adult comportment, with no reference to himself, but only concern for the Truth, for the Church. That anyone would see fit to respond to him with contempt speaks loudly of the critic, not the Cardinal.
    God uphold him and reward him amply.

  3. Maypo says:

    Lord, Have Mercy!
    Christ, Have Mercy!
    Lord, Have Mercy!

  4. Thomistica says:

    Regarding all the talk of schism, I assume the adjective “schismatic”, when applied accurately and with theological precision, carries an assumption about which side to a dispute can truthfully be described as the *agents* of schism. I have seen no reason to think that the authors of the Dubia are remotely interested in schism and in fact are repulsed by the idea, which anyone should be. They are not the agents. By contrast, the Pope’s silence, and the ad hominem attacks of his supporters, are actively promoting the conditions for schism. They want to cleanse the Church of persons who don’t adhere to their “anti-rigidity” “hermeneutic”, whatever these terms are supposed to mean.

    It is critical for the four Cardinals to issue a fraternal correction as soon as possible, as a decisive stroke. Such a move will be preemptive, lest the next Pope promote further confusion. The danger of a tragic division needs to be made clear, to deter or preempt what happen in the next pontificate. Maybe it’s in the offing, but delay will achieve nothing. The lines are drawn.

    Providence will bring something good out of this mess. Taken me a while to develop that attitude. But reading the history of the Church should suffice to underscore that point.

  5. hwriggles4 says:

    Readers and viewers, please be grateful that Raymond Arroyo is a journalist who is not afraid to question actions that have taken place during this Pontificate. His show is one of the few that I watch on EWTN (I like Fr. Pacwa’s show, and I sometimes see The Journey Home and Life on the Rock), and this is about the 5th time I have seen him tactfully and thoroughly ask good, intelligent questions that show concerns, and he brings guests like Fr. Gerald Murray, Bishop Morlino, Fr. George Rutler, and a few others.

  6. Geoffrey says:

    God bless Cardinal Burke!

  7. lmgilbert says:

    Among other counter-schism moves that may be afoot I discovered the following in Prof Michael Waldstein’s CV at Ave Maria University:

    Fr. Bonino, President of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, invited me about six months ago to give one of the plenary talks at the upcoming meeting of the Pontifical Academy at the Vatican, June 2016, about John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.
    Fr. Bonino has observed a tendency among some in the Church to marginalize John Paul II’s con- tribution to the theology of marriage and wants to counteract this tendency.
    The talk will be published in the Academy’s journal, Doctor Communis.”

    Nicely and respectfully understated Fr. Bonino and Prof Waldstein . . . . Those on the hunt for schismatics will have to look elsewhere.

  8. iprimap says:

    I hope in His infinite mercy God sees fit to arrange circumstances such that Cdl Burke becomes the next Pope.

  9. spock says:

    I pray for him every day. A very great man.

  10. Cornelius says:

    Cardinal Burke was wonderful: clear, precise, sincere, lacking any rancor.

    Raymond Arroyo, however, kept using the phrase “irregular relationships” in his questions to describe adulterous relationships, thereby indulging in the very sort of obfuscation of sin that so characterizes the apologists of this madness.

    I wish the Cardinal would have corrected him. “You mean adulterous relationships, don’t you Raymond?”

  11. Kathleen10 says:

    hwriggles…Fr. Apostoli’s program on Sunday Evening Prime, Sunday nights at 8:00 Eastern time, is good as well. I’m not quite sure where EWTN “is” these days, but hopefully they will return to a traditionalist orientation. They can play a great role in educating millions of Catholics in the authentic faith, not modernist claptrap. The NO Mass they offer seems as good as it gets for NO Masses, in my humble opinion.

  12. Cornelius says:

    I don’t mean to carp about the Cardinal’s response, but this sentence bothered me:

    “It’s not a matter of…some speculative idea I may have about how to approach these questions, but how does Christ in His Church address such questions? …until that answer is provided, we remain in a confused state.”

    But we know how Christ in His Church answers this, and it is as He has always answered it. I’m not confused and I know Cardinal Burke isn’t either. So what’s happening here?

    My take: the dubia are how the Cardinals are respectfully asking PF: will you teach what Christ has revealed? Or do you teach something else?

    But . . . how is it possible to hold the Catholic faith in its fullness and yet believe that the Church has gotten the sacraments of Marriage, the Eucharist, and Confession so deeply wrong for 2000 years, wrong in a profoundly unmerciful way? I think it is not possible. The conclusion to draw from that about the present occupant of St. Peter’s chair is too apalling to describe.

    [I think that The Four+ (there were more than Four) want to give His Holiness his due: If the Pope is trying to teach something which might expand on what JP2 taught (for example), he should have every opportunity to do so to attentive ears. The Four+ have attentive ears.]

  13. hwriggles4 says:


    Yes, I do watch the Mass on EWTN. Sometimes on Catholic Radio I listen to Daily Mass. Normally, on Sunday morning before I attend Mass I like to see the Mass, on EWTN since it helps me prepare. I get to hear the readings and listen to a homily. That way, when I go to Mass, I have an idea on the readings and what will be presented. There are some occasions where the EWTN homily is better than what I hear at Mass, and the parishes I go to are normally pretty good Novus Ordo parishes.

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