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Cardinal Raymond Burke on EWTN March 25, 2021.EWTN / Youtube screen grab

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ROME, March 29, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke said that defiance to the Vatican’s “no” to blessings for homosexual couples by various priests and bishops from different parts of the world — and even suggestions that the Pope did not approve of it — make it necessary for the Holy See to state clearly that Pope Francis approved the declaration and he stands by it.

“The blowback is simply an expression of a worldliness, a mundanity, which has entered into the Church by which the aggressive homosexual agenda is now dominating even in certain ecclesial circles and even among certain bishops,” the Cardinal, who is the former head of the Vatican's highest court and one of the world’s foremost canon lawyers, told EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo last week.

Earlier this month, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a decree stating that the Catholic Church does not have the “power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex.” Pope Francis “was informed and gave his assent to the publication” of the decree, according to the CDF document.

The Congregation stated that it is “not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex.”

God “does not and cannot bless sin,” the decree stated.

Vatican observers speculated that Pope Francis was distancing himself from the CDF decree in his March 21 Angelus Address, where he said that Christians must sow “seeds of love, not with fleeting words but through concrete, simple and courageous examples, not with theoretical condemnations, but with gestures of love.”

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A senior Church prelate is strongly opposing a new Vatican proposal to ban private Masses and restrict traditional rite Masses at the world's premier church, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Cardinal Raymond Burke said that the new directions, issued by Pope Francis’ Secretariat of State, should be "rescinded" since they are "contrary to" and in "direct violation of" universal Church law.

Therefore, we ask you to SIGN and SHARE this petition, which is directed to Pope Francis and the current and just retired Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica (Cardinals Mauro Gambetti and Angelo Comastri, respectively), and which asks them to rescind the new directive banning private Masses and restricting traditional rite Masses at St. Peter's.

On March 12th, the Vatican’s Secretariat of State circulated a note with details of new dispositions restricting all “individual” Masses in Saint Peter’s, with special, even more restrictive measures for the traditional rite.

The note, which was unsigned, stated among other things that "individual celebrations are suppressed."

In response, Cardinal Burke said the new rules cause the faithful, and above all, priests, the "deepest concerns."

In particular, he addresses the celebration of private or "individual" Masses at the Basilica, something that the new document appears to target, writing:

The document imposes concelebration upon priests who wish to offer the Holy Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica, which is contrary to universal Church law and which unjustly conditions the primary duty of the individual priest to offer the Holy Mass daily for the salvation of the world (can. 902).

In what church more than in the Basilica of Saint Peter would a priest desire to offer the Holy Mass, which is the most perfect and fullest way in which he carries out his priestly mission? If an individual priest wishes to offer the Holy Mass in the Basilica, once the directives in question are in force, he will be constrained to concelebrate, in violation of his freedom to offer the Holy Mass individually.

Quoting from the Council of Trent, Burke then emphasized the fact that the whole Church benefits spiritually from every Mass that is said, whether with people attending or without, stating:

The holy council would certainly like the faithful present at every Mass to communicate in it not only by spiritual devotion but also by sacramental reception of the Eucharist, so that the fruits of this most holy sacrifice could be theirs more fully.

But, if this does not always happen, the council does not for that reason condemn as private and illicit Masses (can. 8) in which only the priest communicates. Rather, it approves and commends them, for they too should be considered truly communal Masses, partly because the people communicate spiritually in them and partly because they are celebrated by a public minister of the Church, not for his own good alone, but for all the faithful who belong to the body of Christ’ (Session XXII, Chapter 6).

Please SIGN now and support the call to Pope Francis and the current and just retired Archpriest of St. Peter's to rescind the new directives which would severely restrict priests from offering private and traditional rite Holy Masses at St. Peter's Basilica.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Cardinal Burke: Vatican’s ban on private Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica should be ‘rescinded’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-burke-vaticans-ban-on-private-masses-in-st-peters-basilica-should-be-rescinded

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Cardinal Burke said in his interview with EWTN that it’s not “unreasonable” to interpret the Pope’s Angelus address, as the Jesuit-run America Magazine did, as a reaction to the CDF’s declaration, but it remains, nevertheless, “unclear” what the Pope meant.

“I think it should be made clear that, you know, the Holy See, seeing that the official Jesuit journal in the United States of America makes these claims, the Holy See should make clear that the Pope, indeed, approved this declaration and that he stands by it,” he said.

Earlier in the interview, Burke praised the CDF statement as “most welcome and necessary.”

“It simply states what the Church has always taught and practiced with regard to same-sex attraction and when it leads then to acts which are intrinsically disordered, not according to God's plan. And so, from that point of view, there's nothing in it about which to be surprised.”

Burke said that one phrase in the decree that speaks about “positive elements” in such relationships requires a necessary clarification.

“When it speaks about ‘positive elements’ in a same-sex relationship, this has to be properly understood. If the ‘positive elements’ are having to do with something apart from the same-sex union, or, in other words, the same-sex liaison, then it's understandable that the persons remain good persons, even though they are living in a life which is disordered and sinful. But if it's interpreted that the relationship itself has ‘positive elements,’ that, of course, would be problematic.”

Burke went on to say that bishops who openly defy the decree, specifically mentioning at one point Belgian Bishop Johan Bonny, should voluntarily “renounce” their office.

“The bishop, if he's pained by what's declared by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, then he must examine himself with regard to his own coherence with the Catholic faith. And, if he is not holding to the Catholic faith, then he should renounce his office. He has to be relieved of his office as diocesan bishop, because this is simply unacceptable. It can’t be,” Burke said.

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