Rorate Caeli

Le Figaro on the Vatican "Secret War"
- Cardinal Burke's interview to Le Figaro

The weekly magazine of major French daily Le Figaro dedicates this week's issue to what it calls the "Secret War in the Vatican: How Pope Francis shakes up the Church". The general theme is that already mentioned elsewhere, of an authoritarian pope, his strong decisions, and individuals who are dissatisfied or merely puzzled with his procedures and ideas - and are therefore eliminated one by one.

There are interesting passages such as the following:

Did not this pope, who feels himself to be first of all the bishop of Rome - the word 'pope' rarely comes out of his lips - reproach one of these days the cassock of a prelate whom he received for a work meeting? A sober suit and a clerical collar suffice.

We will have more on the article shortly. The special also includes the following interview granted by Cardinal Burke.

Cardinal Burke: "I'm very worried."

Jean-Marie Guénois
Le Figaro Magazine
December 19, 2014

Named by Benedict XVI prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, a dicastery of the Roman Curia, American cardinal Raymond Burke was discharged from this mission by Francis, and named chaplain of the Order of Malta. An extremely rare event in the history of the Church, he dared to criticize publicly the method followed by the Pope during the Synod on the Family.

Le Figaro Magazine - Can a cardinal be in disagreement with the pope?

Cardinal Burke - It is certainly possible for a cardinal to be in disagreement with the pope on matters of procedure or of a pastoral line. But it is on the other hand impossible for there to be a divergence on a matter of doctrine and discipline of the Church. This means therefore that a Cardinal, in certain situations, has the duty to say what he truly thinks to the pope. Obviously, he must always express himself in a respectful manner, because the pope represents the petrine ministry. But if the pope has cardinals around him, it is precisely in order to give him advices.

Was too much significance given to the divergences noticed during the Synod on the Family?

That which is strange in this dossier of the remarried divorcees is that those who recalled and supported that which the Latin Church has always taught have been accused of being against the Holy Father, and of not being in harmony with the Church... It is amazing! That being said, the Church has always known theological disputes and strong confrontations in which theologians and cardinals were led to give their views. If therefore I published, along with other cardinals, a study on this theme to express my opinion, it is in the spirit of providing a true theological discussion to to reach the truth.

Were you shocked with what took place in the Synod?

The synod was a difficult experience. There was a line, that of Cardinal Kasper, we might say, behind which lined up those who had in their hands the direction of the synod. In fact, the intermediate document [relatio post disceptationem] seemed to have had already been written before the interventions of the Synodal Fathers! And according to a single line, in favor of the position of Cardinal Kasper... The homosexual question was also introduced, which has no relation with the question of marriage, by looking for positive elements in it. Another highly troubling point: the intermediate text made no reference to Scripture, nor to the Tradition of the Church, nor to the teaching of John Paul II on conjugal love. It was therefore highly off-putting. As also the fact that in the final report were kept paragraphs on homosexuality and the remarried divorcees that had not however been adopted by the requisite majority of bishops.

What are the stakes in what has become a controversy?

In an age filled with confusion, as we see with Gender Theory, we need the teaching of the Church on marriage. Yet, we are on the contrary pushed towards a direction for the admission to communion of divorced and remarried persons. Without mentioning this obsession with lightening the procedures of annulment of the marital bond. All this will lead de facto to a kind of "Catholic divorce", and to the weakening of the indissolubility of marriage, whose principle is nonetheless reaffirmed. However, the Church must defend marriage, and not weaken it. The indissolubility of marriage is not a penance, nor a suffering. It is a great beauty for those who live it, it is a source of joy. I am therefore very worried, and I call upon all Catholics, laymen, priests, and bishops, to involve themselves, from now up to the upcoming Synodal assembly, in order to highlight the truth on marriage.

- Interview granted in Rome to Jean-Marie Guénois
[Le Figaro Magazine, Dec. 19, 2014 issue, p. 46. Rorate translation]

[Thanks to Secretum meum mihi for reference.]