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Cardinal Burke Calls Upon Pope to Clarify Synod Reports

Cardinal BurkeCardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, is expressing concern about several aspects of the Synod, including the push for changes in the handling of Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics as well as the way that information about the Synod is being "manipulated".

In an exclusive interview with Carl E. Olson, editor of Catholic World Report, Cardinal Burke explained how information about the Synod is being either manipulated or partially reported to the public.

"The interventions of the individual Synod Fathers are not made available to the public, as has been the case in the past. All of the information regarding the Synod is controlled by the General Secretariat of the Synod which clearly has favored from the beginning the positions expressed in the Relatio post disceptationem of yesterday morning," the Cardinal explained.

"While the individual interventions of the Synod Fathers are not published, yesterday’s Relatio, which is merely a discussion document, was published immediately and, I am told, even broadcast live. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to see the approach at work, which is certainly not of the Church."

The Relatio purports to report only the discussions that took place among the Synod Fathers but, as the Cardinal explains, it actually advances positions which many Synod Fathers do not - and cannot - accept as faithful shepherds of the flock and is the reason why "a great number" of the Synod Fathers found it to be objectionable.

"The document lacks a solid foundation in the Sacred Scriptures and the Magisterium," Burke said. "In a matter on which the Church has a very rich and clear teaching, it gives the impression of inventing a totally new, what one Synod Father called 'revolutionary' teaching on marriage and the family. It invokes repeatedly and in a confused manner principles which are not defined, for example, the law of graduality."

For this reason, the Cardinal says a statement by the Pope is needed in order to address the growing sense that the Church is on the cusp of changing her teaching on various essentials points about marriage, remarriage, and same-sex unions.

"In my judgment, such a statement is long overdue. The debate on these questions has been going forward now for almost nine months, especially in the secular media but also through the speeches and interviews of Cardinal Walter Kasper and others who support his position," he said.

"The faithful and their good shepherds are looking to the Vicar of Christ for the confirmation of the Catholic faith and practice regarding marriage which is the first cell of the life of the Church."

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