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Cdl. Burke: It’ll be ‘hard’ to vote for next pope since cardinals no longer know each other

Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

October 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The College of Cardinals tasked with one day electing Pope Francis’s replacement is “in a very bad way” in terms of being connected, Cardinal Raymond Burke said recently – this, at a time when the world needs a strong Church.

Burke said that while the College was responsible for advising the pope, Francis has not convened a meeting of the full group of cardinals in nearly four years. 

The cardinals don’t talk anymore, the cardinal said in a report from The Australian.

The former prefect for the Apostolic Signatura was in Australia last week to visit the new Benedictine monastery in Tasmania, to address the Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy and to also confirm 32 young people and adults at the John Henry Newman parish in Caufield North, Melbourne.

Francis has created 59 of the current 124 voting cardinals, the report, also picked up by the Vatican-based Italian news website Il Sismografo, said, but few of those created by either Benedict XVI or Pope Saint John Paul II know the newer cardinals and many of the newer cardinals do not know each other. 

“It will be hard to vote,’’ Burke said. “We need regular meetings.”

At the last full meeting of the College in 2014, German Cardinal Walter Kasper suggested allowing divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion. 

Kasper’s proposition, which came to be known as the infamous “Kasper proposal,” dominated the contentious Extraordinary Synod on the Family later that year and the subsequent Ordinary Synod following in 2015. 

The Synods paved the way for Pope Francis’ 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia (AL), the ambiguity of which has opened the door for Kasper’s proposal to be put into action by bishop’s conference’s willing to take AL’s tacit green light for Communion for those living in objectively sinful situations.

Burke, and three other cardinals, Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, and the now late Cardinals Carlo Caffarra and Joachim Meisner, had submitted four dubia, or doubts, to Francis in the months following his exhortation’s April 2016 release, asking for clarification on AL.

Francis has yet to answer.

It is thought the dubia were the driving reason behind Francis having canceled the pre-consistory meeting of cardinals in November 2016, so as to avoid having to answer them should they be resubmitted during the gathering with other cardinals.

The pope canceled the following pre-consistory meeting with the cardinals in June 2017 as well.

The consistory this past June involved an ordinary public consistory, considered to be ceremonial in nature and attended by cardinals residing in Rome.

As the Church continues to reel from its sexual abuse crisis, punctuated by former U.S. Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s testimonies implicating high-level Churchmen up to and including Francis as knowing about and covering for accused serial pederast Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, Cardinal Burke offered a straightforward solution.

He told The Australian that better seminary formation for priests and adherence to Church teachings was the way forward. 

“We need very strong, sound, good shepherds,’’ Burke said.

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