VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, former head of the Apostolic Signatura, criticized the upcoming Synod of Bishops on Synodality for the agenda that stands behind the ambiguity of the prelates charged with leading the Synod.
In a wide ranging EWTN interview that covered the Synod on Synodality, homosexual clerical abuse, the Traditional Latin Mass, and the refusal of Holy Communion to those who persist in manifest grave sin, the cardinal said that in addition to the clear attempts to change the Church’s sexual and moral teachings, one problem with the Synod on Synodality is that the leading cardinals cannot even articulate clearly the meaning of synodality.
“The fact of the matter is that there is no clear idea of what synodality is,” he said. “It’s certainly not a mark of the Church. The marks of the Church are one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic.”
Noting that the lack of clarity about what synodality is has allowed bishops to push a heterodox agenda that is anything but faithful to the constant teaching and practice of the Church, especially regarding sexual morality, Burke said, “In Germany, it was a slogan to advance… teachings and practices clearly contrary to the constant teaching and practice of the Church, and this has caused a tremendous harm in Germany. And the state of the church in Germany is, frankly, alarming, and this now will seemingly become a program in the universal Church by way of the synod.”
Burke related that “the head of the Synod of Bishops recently gave an interview in which he seems to indicate that that he doesn’t have a clear idea of what’s going to happen or a clear idea of even what synodality is. And yet he’s going forward leading this process. And, of course, the president of the session of the Synod on Synodality, [Cardinal Jean-Claude] Hollerich from Luxembourg, has publicly espoused teachings and practices that are clearly contrary to what the Church has always taught in practice.”
“So these are matters of the greatest concern. My own personal prayer every day to our Lord is that somehow he makes it so that the Synod doesn’t take place because I can’t frankly see any good coming from it.”
In reference to the recent claim of the general secretary of the Synod on Synodality, Cardinal Mario Grech, that the synod does not have an agenda other than the Gospel – despite the fact that the German Synodal Way is openly promoting women’s ordination, the blessing of same-sex unions, and other clear departures from Catholic teaching – Burke was asked whether he believed Grech’s assertion there was no agenda for the upcoming synod.
“I certainly don’t believe it, and a number of cardinals and other[s], both the clerics and lay Catholics who are very thoughtful and very devout members of the body of Christ don’t believe it either,” he said.
“Why would you call together representatives from the universal Church to talk about the Gospel unless there’s some particular aspect of the Gospel that you want to address?” Burke asked. “And the Gospel doesn’t come to us except in the Tradition of the Church; it’s handed down to us in the Church.”
“To say we’re going to talk about the Gospel without giving people any clear idea … ‘Well, what part of the Gospel are we’re going to talk about? And what has the Church taught about this, and how can we apply that teaching in our own time?” Burke said, is harmful to souls, with false expectations arising from people “being called together and just asked to say what’s on their mind.”
Earlier this spring, the cardinal similarly condemned the heretical agenda of the German Synodal Way, declaring such a departure from the teachings of Christ and the Church on the part of bishops was a “sin against Christ Himself.”
“Whether it’s a departure, heretical teaching and denial of one of the doctrines of the faith – or apostasy in the sense of simply walking away from Christ and from His teaching in the Church to embrace some other form of religion – these are crimes,” Burke said. “These are sins against Christ Himself.”
“These are human inventions, human ideologies that are being pushed and the Church is being used,” he added. “And what it does is it renders the Church then into some kind of a human agency, almost like a government agency that’s being manipulated to foster certain programs and certain agenda. And so we need to wake up to what is happening.”
Other outspoken bishops and cardinals have also voiced criticism of the upcoming Synod of Bishops on Synodality, with Bishop Athanasius Schneider recently appealing to Pope Francis to rescind the voting rights of laity, which he said runs contrary to the divinely established hierarchical structure of the Church and the entire history of the Church’s tradition.