Cardinal says Church under Francis like rudderless ship

The US cardinal dubbed the face of opposition to the Pope’s reformist agenda has likened the Church to “a ship without a rudder”.

In an interview with Spanish Catholic weekly Vida Nueva, Cardinal Raymond Burke said he was not speaking against Pope Francis personally.

Rather, he said he was raising concerns about the Pope’s leadership.

“Many have expressed their concerns to me. At this very critical moment, there is a strong sense that the Church is like a ship without a rudder,” Cardinal Burke said.

“Now, it is more important than ever to examine our faith, have a healthy spiritual leader and give powerful witness to the faith.”

Cardinal Burke is the current head of the Vatican’s highest court – the Apostolic Signatura.

But he has indicated his own imminent demotion, with speculation he will be made patron of the Order of Malta, a largely ceremonial post.

“I have all the respect for the Petrine ministry and I do not want to seem like I am speaking out against the Pope,” he said in the interview.

“I would like to be a master of the faith, with all my weaknesses, telling a truth that many currently perceive.

“They are feeling a bit seasick because they feel the Church’s ship has lost its way,” he added.

When the synod on the family signalled a more welcoming tone to gay and lesbian Catholics, Cardinal Burke was among those who pushed for a less conciliatory approach in the final report.

In his latest interview, Cardinal Burke said the Church was “the pillar of marriage” and challenged the Pope’s revolutionary “Who am I to judge?” remark on gay people.

“The acts must be judged; I do not think that the Pope thinks differently. They are sinful and unnatural,” Cardinal Burke said.

“The Pope never said we can find positive elements in them. It is impossible to find positive elements in an evil act.”

In another interview last month, Cardinal Burke said a lack of clarity on where the Holy Father stood regarding marriage and Communion was causing harm.


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