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Cardinal Raymond Burke confects the eucharist in Croatia, Oct. 23, 2016. John-Henry Westen/

November 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke defended the Extraordinary Form of the Mass as on equal footing with the Ordinary Form after Pope Francis described the former as an “exception” and said his predecessor's freeing up of its availability was “magnanimous.”

Speaking to La Fede Quotidiana, Burke, the former Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura–the Vatican's highest court–said the Church's traditional, pre-Vatican II rite “is no exception.”

“It is the Mass of the Church of all times and therefore it can not be overthrown and has equal dignity,” said Burke. “For the rest, the motu proprio of Pope Benedict XVI is sufficient. It is unambiguous.”

IMPORTANT: To respectfully express your support for the 4 cardinals' letter to Pope Francis asking for clarity on Amoris Laetitia, sign the petition. Click here.

Pope Benedict XVI's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum clarified the right of priests to offer the Traditional Latin Mass without having to request permission from his bishop. 

 “There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal,” the pope emeritus wrote, and both rites are permitted.

However, Pope Francis said this was a “fair and magnanimous gesture to meet a certain mentality of some groups and people who had nostalgia. … But it is an exception.” 

In the same interview, the pontiff criticized the “rigidity” of youth who are attached to the Traditional Latin Mass.

Burke is one of the most well-known defenders of life, marriage, and Catholic orthodoxy. He is the patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta and one of the signers of a recent formal request for moral clarity on Amoris Laetitia from Pope Francis.

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