November 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – God’s law comes before all else, Cardinal Raymond Burke said recently in regard to bombshell testimonies from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò on mishandling of clergy sexual abuse in the Church up to and including Pope Francis. Because of this, the former U.S. papal nuncio was obligated to come forward with what he knew, the cardinal said.
“The evils he had denounced are of the most serious nature,” said Cardinal Burke, and if true, then “he was obliged in conscience” to release the information as he did.
“The law of God in these matters is higher than, for example, the pontifical secret,” Burke said.
Viganò’s testimonies implicating Pope Francis and other high-level prelates in the Archbishop Theodore McCarrick cover-up have further rocked the Church in its abuse crisis, bringing the problem of homosexual clergy to the forefront. His testimonies have also shone light on the fact the abuse was not limited to minors, as many assume, and that widespread cover-up in the hierarchy fostered the abuse.
Viganò has taken criticism for the testimonies from some close to the pope, in part under the guise that Viganò violated the code of confidentiality applying to Church matters of significance.
Some have tried to dispel Viganò’s claims, and also assert the former U.S. apostolic nuncio had personal reasons for publishing the charges against the pope, such as his purportedly not being made a cardinal.
Burke, in an interview with The Wanderer toward the close of the Youth Synod, vouched for both the content of the testimonies and Viganò’s reason for bringing them forward.
“We ought to take very seriously all that he has said,” Cardinal Burke stated, as Vigano has said he has evidence to back his claims. “To do otherwise is to be negligent.”
“I don’t think there’s any doubt” the archbishop did this for the good of the Church, he added.
The cardinal described Viganò’s as “a person of the greatest integrity,” and pointed out that a number of U.S. bishops have issued statements on Vigano’s behalf.
Burke also said ad hominem attacks on Viganò were “completely inappropriate.”
The cardinal, himself a man who has taken criticism for his defense of the Church and her teaching, had called early on for the charges in Viganò’s testimony to be taken seriously and investigated fully.
“The declarations made by a prelate of the authority of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò must be totally taken to heart by those responsible in the Church,” he said. “Each declaration must be subject to investigation, according to the Church’s time-tried procedural law.”
“After the truth of each declaration has been established, then the appropriate sanctions must be applied both for the healing of the horrible wounds inflicted upon the Church and her members, and for the reparation of the grave scandal caused,” Burke said.
Burke touched on a number of other topics in his interview with The Wanderer, including the now two-year-old dubia submitted by him and three other cardinals, two of whom have since passed away, requesting clarification from the pope on ambiguities contained in his controversial document Amoris Laetitia.
Burke said he was not hopeful the pope would address the five dubia, or doubts, about his papal exhortation. However, this does not change or negate them, he said.
“At this point it’s highly unlikely that he will respond,” the cardinal said, though “the faithful deserve a response to these important questions.”
The pope’s lack of a response “doesn’t change the fact that they are real dubia” that concern to “the salvation of souls,” Burke stated, adding, “The dubia remain.”