New interview: Cardinal Burke says ‘I will never be part of a schism’
August 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – In a new interview, Cardinal Raymond Burke has revealed that he and other “serious-minded” Church leaders are calling on Pope Francis to release a document correcting the confusion emanating from his recent apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia. He also decried characterizations that he is an "enemy" of Pope Francis.
The cardinal says clarification of Amoris Laetitia is essential “for the sake of souls” because of the rampant confusion right now.
“I trust that something will have to happen also because some very formal calls for clarification are in process and they simply will demand a response,” Burke told Religion News Service’s David Gibson in an interview published today. “Not in any kind of hostile or aggressive way, but simply for the sake of souls because people are getting confused.”
“I do believe very strongly that we need to have a clearer direction, a clearer enunciation of the faith and its practice,” he added. “That way would also help to settle down this confusion and the division which follows from it.”
With the growing concern over Pope Francis’ remarks and initiatives, some have speculated that the Church could be approaching schism. But Cardinal Burke insists that he will “die a Roman Catholic” and be no part of dividing the Body of Christ.
But when asked directly, Burke is equally firm that whatever happens, he has no intention of leading a breakaway, schismatic movement, an option some on the Catholic right have contemplated.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “I will never leave the Catholic Church. No matter what happens I intend to die a Roman Catholic. I will never be part of a schism.
“I’ll just keep the faith as I know it and respond in the best way possible. That’s what the Lord expects of me. But I can assure you this: You won’t find me as part of any schismatic movement or, God forbid, leading people to break away from the Catholic Church. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the church of our Lord Jesus Christ and the pope is his vicar on earth and I’m not going to be separated from that.”
He also strongly rejected the characterization that he is an "enemy" of Pope Francis, saying he has never "shown disrespect to the papal office." “I know about all these depictions. People call me ‘the enemy of the pope’ and so forth. I have never been, and I am not presently the enemy of the pope,” Burke told RNS.
“I’ve said to the pope himself, in conversations with him - and these by the way are friendly conversations - I told him, ‘Holy Father, the only way I can serve you is by speaking the truth in the best and clearest way possible.’ His response to me is: ‘That’s what I want.’”
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