Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 14 June |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Francisa de Paula de Jesus Isabel
home iconChurch
line break icon

Cardinal Burke: “I Don’t Ever Put Myself in Opposition to the Successor of St. Peter”

AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

Diane Montagna - published on 11/07/14

At the Synod, when the interim report came out, some said it was a disaster.

It was a total disaster.

The final report noted the need for “sensitivity to the positive aspects” of civil marriages and, “with obvious differences, cohabitation." The Church, it says, “needs to indicate the constructive elements in these situations.” The paragraph, number 41, passed the requisite two-thirds majority. Do you find it disturbing that this paragraph gained a two-thirds majority among the bishops? 

The language is at best confused, and I’m afraid that some of the Synod Fathers may not have reflected sufficiently on the implications of that, or maybe because the language is confused, didn’t understand completely what was being said. But that is disturbing for me. And then the whole matter: that even though [certain] paragraphs were removed, and rightly so, although contrary to practice in the past the document was printed with those paragraphs included, and one had to go and look at the votation to see that certain paragraphs had been removed. It’s disturbing to me that even those sections which were voted to be removed still received a substantial number of votes.

Juridically, when those three paragraphs did not receive the two-thirds majority, were they to be removed from the document?

Absolutely. We couldn’t have any discussion on that text, but we voted paragraph by paragraph, and what’s the point of voting paragraph by paragraph except to either accept a paragraph of have it removed. This is just one more disturbing aspect about the way in which Synod of Bishops was conducted. 

Do you see this agenda continuing through the coming year? They aren’t going to change course?

No, because the General Secretary has identified himself very strongly with the Kasper thesis, and he is not hesitant to say so and has gone around also giving talks in various places. He’s less outspoken than Cardinal Kasper but nevertheless it’s clear that he subscribes to that school. So no, this is going to go on and that’s why it’s important that we continue to speak up and to act as we are able to address the situation.

A question about language: in the interim document the word “accogliere” was repeatedly used, especially in the three paragraphs regarding homosexuality. As you know, “accogliere” can mean many things in Italian. Initially in English it was translated as “welcome.” Then, two days later, it was changed to "provided for," and then it was changed back. What is the proper understanding or rendering of “accogliere” if that word is to be used?

I’m not sure that “accogliere” is the correct term to use, because it can, I believe — and I’m no expert in Italian  it can be understood that they are welcomed as persons who are living in this way. We welcome them as children of God, as brothers and sisters of Christ, but we don’t welcome their lifestyle, so to speak, or the way in which they are living. And so if you have, for instance, two men or two women who are living together openly in a homosexual relationship, yes, you care for them, and perhaps “care for pastorally” is the better expression. You care for them but one has to be very careful in the Christian community that the impression is not given to the rest of the faithful that somehow their relationship is morally right and that the Church welcomes that relationship too. No, it doesn’t. That’s the delicate thing. I remember in our small discussion group that certain bishops had an objection to the word “welcome,” and I understood it just for that reason.

And so I think the language itself is not correct, and I think we need to find a different way. And again, I’m not an Italian but I don’t think “accogliere” is the right term.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
CatholicismHomosexualityMarriageSynod on the Family
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
Miracle prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
Philip Kosloski
Offer your heart to Jesus with this prayer
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
The short prayer Pope Francis says every night
Philip Kosloski
5 Things to know about the Sacred Heart feast
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.