Cardinal accuses media of trying to hijack synod

A prominent American cardinal in the Roman Curia has accused the media of attempting to hijack next month’s synod on the family.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, who heads the Apostolic Signatura, said the media has created an expectation of changes to Church teaching that can’t happen.

The Apostolic Signatura is the highest judicial body in the Church, other than the Pope.

The danger, Cardinal Burke told the Catholic News Agency, is that “the media has created a situation in which people expect that there are going to be these major changes which would, in fact, constitute a change in Church teaching, which is impossible”.

“That’s why it’s very important for those who are in charge to be very clear,” he said.

Cardinal Burke was one of the contributors to a book called “Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church”, set to be released before the synod.

Among the other contributors is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prefect Cardinal Gerhard Müller.

The Church’s teaching on marriage outside the Church and Communion, Cardinal Burke said, is merciful, “because it respects the truth that the person is indeed bound by a prior union which the person, for whatever reason, is no longer living”.

“The Church holds the person to the truth of that marriage,” Cardinal Burke continued, “while at the same time, being compassionate, understanding the situation of the person, welcoming them into the parish community in ways that are appropriate, and trying to help them to lead as holy a life as they can, but without betraying the truth about their marriage.”

Cardinal Burke said the book seeks to defend marriage at a time when there is “tremendous amount of confusion and even error”, both from outside and within the Church.

Cardinal Burke hopes the synod will “set forth the beauty of the Church’s teaching on marriage, in all its aspects, as a union between one man and one woman, faithful, indissoluble for life, and procreative”.

He also hoped the synod will underline the teaching of Pope Paul VI in “his courageous and very wise Encyclical, Humanae Vitae”.

Paul VI will be beatified at the end of the synod.

Cardinal Burke also cautioned against the Church adopting some sort of “easy and light-hearted” annulment process.


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