Cardinals Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, Timothy M. Dolan of New York, and Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, talk as they walk through Paul VI hall before the morning session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 16. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Late yesterday, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, the Prefect of the Supreme
Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, responded to questions sent as a
follow-up to his October 14th interview with Catholic World Report. He confirmed that he is leaving his positiion as Prefect, remarked on the reactions against the Relatio released this past Monday, reflected on the importance of the texts issued by the ten small groups, and commented on the recent controversy over an interview given by Cardinal Walter Kasper of Germany.
Not to discount or question other reports, but can you confirm that you
will indeed be leaving your position as Prefect of the Supreme
Tribunal? If so, do you have a sense of the timing of that move?
Although the transfer has been communicated to me orally, I have not
received the official decree of my transfer. I suspect that the decree
will be issued before the beginning of November.
CWR: When we corresponded a few days ago, you spoke of the manipulation behind the Relatio.
Many reports have shed more light on that since then. What is your
impression of the responses of individuals such as Cardinals Pell and
Napier (among others)?
Cardinal Burke: I
wholeheartedly agree with what Cardinal George Pell and Cardinal Wilfrid
Fox Napier have stated regarding the manipulation of the Synod Fathers
by means of the Relatio post disceptationem. It is clear that whoever wrote the Relatio
has an agenda and simply used the authority of a solemn meeting of
Cardinals and Bishops to advance his agenda without respect for the
discussion which took place during the first week of the Synod.
fact that none of the interventions of the Synod Fathers were permitted
to be published and that their content was filtered through the daily
briefings organized by Father Lombardi facilitated the manipulation.
How important was it, do you think, that the ten groups issued texts
that criticised and corrected, in various ways, statements and
approaches in the Relatio?
Cardinal Burke: I
consider the publication of the reports of the ten small groups of
critical importance, for they demonstrate that the Synod Fathers do not
accept at all the contents of the Relatio. The small group of
which I was a part spent hours rewriting the entire text. From what I
understand, the other small groups did the same.
There was an
attempt not to publish the reports and to have Father Lombardi once
again filter their contents, but the Synod Fathers, who up to that point
were not given any direct means of communication with the public,
insisted that the reports be published. It was critical that the public
know, through the publication of the reports, that the Relatio is a
gravely flawed document and does not express adequately the teaching and
discipline of the Church and, in some aspects, propagates doctrinal
error and a false pastoral approach.
has been quite a commotion over remarks by Cardinal Kasper about African
bishops that he then deniedbut were then substantiated by an audio
recording. Do you have any remarks on that situation?
It is profoundly sad and scandalous that such remarks were made by a
Cardinal of the Church. They are a further indication of the
determination to manipulate the process of the Synod to advance Cardinal
Kasper’s false positions, even by means of racist remarks about a
significant and highly respected part of the Synod membership. That this
incident has taken place, especially in the context of such an
important event in the life of the Church, has deeply saddened me.