Cardinal Burke, praying the Traditional Latin Mass.
The following is my unofficial translation of extracts from original Italian text of Alessandro Gnocci’s interview with Cardinal Burke, which will appear in full in Italian tomorrow in Il Foglio:
Q. What do you see behind the curtain hung by the press around the Synod?
A. There is emerging a worrisome tendency, because some are sustaining the possibility of adopting a praxis which departs from the truth of the Faith. Even if it should be evident that one cannot proceed in that directly, many are encouraging, for example, dangerous openings on the question of communion conceded to the divorced & remarried. I do not see how one can reconcile the reformable concept of the indissolubility of Matrimony with the possibility of admitting to communion those who live in an irregular situation. Here one is puting directly in discussion what Our Lord has said when He taught that he who divorces his own wife and marries another commits adultery.
Q. According to the reformers, this teaching of Our Lord is too hard.
A. They forget that Our Lord has promised the help of grace to those who have been called to live Matrimony. This does not signify that there will not be difficulties and sufferings, but that there will always be divine help to confront them and to remain faithful even unto the end.
R. I do not understand how the Briefing is to be understood, but it seems to be that something is functioning well if the information is being manipulated in a manner to give support only to one thesis instead of reporting faithfully the various positions as expounded. This is very worrisome to me because a consistent number of Bishops do not accept the idea of opening the praxis, but few know of it. They are speaking only of the necessity of the Church opening Herself to the insistence of the world, as expressed in February by Cardinal Kasper. In reality, his thesis on the themes of the family and on a new discipline for communion for the divorced & remarried is not new, and it has already been discussed 30 years ago. Then, in February, it returned in force and was faultily allowed to grow. But all this needs to stop, because it is provoking grave damage to the Faith. Bishops and priests are telling me that there are now many remarried who are asking to be admitted to communion because Pope Francis wants it. In reality, I take note, that, instead, up to this point he has not expressed himself on the point.
Q. But, it seems evident that Cardinal Kasper and all those holding to his line, are speaking with the support of the Pope.
A. That is true. The Pope has nominated Cardinal Kasper to the Synod and has left the debate progress along these lines. But, as he has said to another Cardinal, the Pope has not yet pronounced. I am awaiting his pronouncement, which can be only in continuity with the teaching given to the Church throughout all Her history. A teaching which has never changed, because it cannot change.
D. Admitting the divorced & remarried to communion undermines the Sacrament of Matrimony, and also that of the Eucharist. Does it not seem to you, to also touch upon the heart of what it means to be the Church?
A. In the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, chapter 11, the Apostle teaches that he who receives the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin, eats unto his own damnation. To approach the Eucharist signifies to be in communion with Christ, to be in conformity to Him. Many argue contrariwise, that the Eucharist is not the Sacrament of the perfect, but this argument is a false one. No man is perfect and the Eucharist is the Sacrament of those who are fighting to be perfect, according to what Jesus Himself said: to be perfect even as Our Father in Heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48). Even the one who is fighting to reach perfection sins, and if he is in the state of mortal sin, he cannot take communion. To be able to do so, he needs to confess his sin with repentance and with the proposal of not committing it again: this is true for all, even the divorced and remarried…