On July 22, U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke spoke important words to us at the “Church Teaches Forum” in Louisville.
Burke, one of the Church’s leading canon law experts, preached on the fact that “the confusion and error which has led human culture in the way of death and destruction has also entered into the Church, so that she draws near to the culture without seeming to know her own identity and mission, without seeming to have the clarity and the courage to announce the Gospel of Life and Divine Love to the radically secularized culture.”
He particularly discussed the twin dangers of either idolizing every word that comes out of the pope’s mouth on the one hand vs. desiring to leave the church altogether on the other.
Burke, who has previously called the Pope’s controversial 2016 Amoris Laetitia “not an act of the magisterium” but a “personal reflection of the Pope” noted, “It is simply wrong and harmful to the Church to receive every declaration of the Holy Father as an expression of papal teaching or magisterium. “
“The faithful are not free to follow theological opinions which contradict the doctrine contained in the Holy Scriptures and Sacred Tradition, and confirmed by the ordinary Magisterium, even if these opinions are finding a wide hearing in the Church and are not being corrected by the Church’s pastors as the pastors are obliged to do,” he added.
He warned that Catholics in anguish over the current situation within the Church much not even think about schism and laid out a number of practical ways we can respond positively:
- Pray for an increase of faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ “Who is alive for us in the Church and Who never fails to teach, sanctify, and guide us in the Church” and whose “teaching does not change.”
- “Study more attentively the teachings of the faith contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and be prepared to defend those teachings against any falsehood which would erode the faith and thus the unity of the Church.”
- Gather together to “deepen their faith and to encourage one another.”
- Go to the Blessed Virgin Mary…in order to seek her maternal intercession.
- Invoke frequently throughout the day the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel.
- Pray daily to St. Joseph, especially under the title of “Terror of Demons” for the “peace of the Church, for her protection against all forms of confusion and division which are always the work of Satan.”
- Pray for the Pope, especially through the intercession of St. Peter.
- Pray for the Cardinals of the Church that they be of “true assistance to the Holy Father in exercising his office.”
- “Remain serene because of our faith in Christ who will not permit the ‘gates of hell’ to prevail against his Church.”
- “Safeguard especially our faith in the Petrine Office and our love for the Successor of Saint Peter, Pope Francis.”
Read the full text here: