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Cardinal Burke at the Rome Life Forum in Rome, May 18, 2018. Steve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews
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Cardinal Burke: Amazon synod working doc is ‘apostasy’, cannot become Church teaching

Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin

August 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke said that the working document used for the upcoming Pan-Amazon synod organized by the Vatican at the request of Pope Francis amounts to “apostasy.”

The Cardinal made this comment when asked in an August 13 Youtube interview whether the working document known as the Instrumentum Laboris for the October 6-27 Synod may become definitive for the Catholic Church. Cardinal Burke replied: “It cannot be. The document is an apostasy. This cannot become the teaching of the Church, and God willing, the whole business will be stopped.” 

Burke made this comment in a wide-ranging interview with Catholic show host Patrick Coffin. The main organizers of the Amazon Synod have been criticized for using the event to push for female deacons and married priests.  

The Cardinal, in a discussion with Coffin over politicians and others who publicly depart from basic beliefs espoused by the Church, defined both heresy and apostasy. 

“Heresy is the denial, the knowing and willing denial of a truth of the faith. For instance, the priest Arius who denied the two natures and one person of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, heresy is pointed towards a particular truth that someone denies, whereas apostasy is a general defection from the faith, a going away from Christ in a general way, and the many truths of the faith,” he stated. 

Burke, in a different interview, commented on remarks that synod organizers made suggesting a relaxation of celibacy in the priesthood for the Amazon region, saying that it would affect the entire worldwide Church. “It is not honest” to suggest that the October meeting is “treating the question of clerical celibacy for that region alone,” he said in June.

Learn more about Cardinal Burke’s views and past actions by visiting FaithfulShepherds.com. Click here.

Pope Francis announced last year that the October Synod of Bishops of the Pan-Amazon region would meet in Rome with the purpose of identifying “new paths for the evangelization of God's people in that region, "especially indigenous peoples who are "often forgotten and without the prospect of a serene future." 

Cardinals Walter Brandmuller and Gerhard Muller have also condemned the Amazon Synod working document.  Cardinal Walter Brandmüller also critiqued the working document, calling it “heretical” and an “apostasy” from Divine Revelation. He called on the hierarchy to “reject” it with “all decisiveness.” 

Cardinal Gerhard Mueller has denounced what he calls the document’s ambiguous terminology and “false teaching.” He also questioned what he termed the document’s “upside-down hermeneutics.” Asking rhetorically whether the Church is putty in the hands of bishops and popes to “rebuild” the Church as an instrument “with secular goals,” Mueller said that the text “presents a radical U-turn from the hermeneutics of Catholic theology.” Rather than underscoring the teachings of the Church or quoting Holy Scripture, Muller wrote that the Instrumentum Laboris instead revolves “around the latest documents of Pope Francis' Magisterium, furnished with a few references to John Paul II and Benedict XVI. 

Leonardo Boff, a Brazilian theologian and laicized priest who is widely credited for being the “theologian of reference” for the synod and an important exponent of Liberation theology, declared that he sees Pope Francis’ election as a “springtime” for the Catholic Church. In his book Francis of Rome and Francis of Assisi, Boff asserted his belief that Pope Francis embodies Liberation theology because of his alleged dedication to the poor. He has stated that the ordination of married men may be an outcome of the synod. In an interview with Deutsche Welt, Boff credited the pontiff with starting a “revolution” in the Church. Liberation theology was specifically condemned by St. Pope John Paul II in 1985 for seeking to reconcile Marxist precepts with Catholic teachings for the supposed purpose of aiding the poor, especially in Latin America.

Cardinal Burke said in his interview with Coffin that secular media and some Catholic media are “glorying” in calling Pope Francis a “revolutionary.” Saying that the office of the papacy is not revolutionary, he said that its primary function is to “safeguard the doctrine of the Faith and the Church’s discipline in order to be the principle and foundation of unity in the Church.” 

Burke added: “If you tell me that the Pope is a revolutionary, I would be very concerned because that has nothing to do with the papacy.”

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