American Cardinal Raymond Burke, recently demoted from the highest legal office in the Vatican, told a conference in Ireland that Catholic layman should write to the Pope to voice their opinions about the general Synod of Bishops to take place next October.
Burke told 300 participants in a Catholic Voice conference in Limerick, Ireland that the Pope should take certain controversial issues–communion for those living in adultery, cohabitation and same-sex relationships–off the agenda. These issues roiled the just concluded Synod planning meeting in Rome.
According to the Catholic Herald, Burke said the Devil was “owing confusion and error about marriage, “Even within the Church there are those who would obscure the truth of the indissolubility of marriage in the name of mercy.” Burke was likely aiming his comments at Cardinal Walter Kaspar of Germany who has led efforts in the Church to allow communion for those who are divorced and civilly remarried. Such persons, according to Church teaching, are living in adulterous relationships and therefore not ineligible for communion.
Burke said, “I fail to be able to comprehend how — if marriage is indissoluble and someone is living in a state contradicting this indissolubility of marriage — the person can be admitted to holy Communion.”
Burke criticized the introduction of “gender theory” into classrooms saying he has been brought to tears by the effort. He also criticized the pornography industry, the contraceptive mentality, the homosexual agenda, which he said can only lead to “the profound unhappiness and even despair of those affected by it.”
In an interview with Irish television prior to the conference, it is reported Burke said he would refuse communion to any politician who voted for same-sex marriage.
Burke supporters around the world were dismayed when he was demoted from heading the Apostolic Signature, a kind of Vatican Supreme Court, to the largely ceremonial role as chaplain to the Order of Malta, an organization similar to the Knights of Columbus. They are no doubt buoyed by his obvious determination to continue speaking out. One headline writer said Burke was now “off the leash.”
Burke’s comment came only a few days prior to the commencement of a Vatican conference on man-woman marriage where the Pope reinforced Catholic teaching that marriage can only be between a man and woman and that children have a right to grow up in a family with a mother and a father.
No word from the Vatican at Burke urging Catholics to write directly to the Pope.