Cardinal Burke on Antonio Spadaro’s Synod wrap-up

We have noticed, lately, that we have not heard much from Raymond Cardinal Burke regarding the ongoing debate over the possibility of admitting bigamists to communion. We have heard, of course, from Robert Cardinal Sarah and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, both of whom have been prominent commentators on the developments in the Church. Today, Cardinal Burke has a brief essay in the Register, responding to Father Antonio Spadaro’s triumphant essay in the Jesuit periodical La Civiltà Cattolica, whose proofs, we are unfailingly reminded, are corrected in the Secretariat of State (or Santa Marta, as the case may be), which pretty well declared the path to communion for bigamists wide open after the Synod’s conclusion. Cardinal Burke’s essay concludes,

The way of discernment upon which the priest accompanies the penitent who is living in an irregular union assists the penitent to conform his conscience once again to the truth of the Holy Eucharist and to the truth of the marriage to which he is bound. As the Church has consistently taught and practiced, the penitent is led in the “internal forum” to live chastely in fidelity to the existing marriage bond, even if seeming to be living with another in a marital way, and thus to be able to have access to the sacraments in a way which does not give scandal. Pope St. John Paul II described the Church’s practice in the “internal forum” in No. 84 of Familiaris Consortio. The Declaration of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts of June 24, 2000, illustrates the teaching in No. 84 of Familiaris Consortio. Both of these documents are referenced in the final report of the synod, but sadly in a misleading way.

To give the impression that there is another practice in the “internal forum,” which would permit an individual in an irregular union to have access to the sacraments, is to suggest that the conscience can be in conflict with the truth of the faith. Such a suggestion clearly places priests in an impossible situation, the expectation that they can “open a door” for the penitent which, in fact, does not exist and cannot exist.

(Emphasis supplied and hyperlink omitted.) Read the whole thing there.

Those that read the tea leaves might be inclined to note that Fr. Spadaro is a close collaborator of the Holy Father, and there are those who have suggested that his comments might be seen as a preview of the Holy Father’s eventual disposition of the matter. And, of course, there was that get-together at the Villa Malta, to say nothing of the get-togethers at Santa Marta during the Synod. At any rate, Cardinal Burke’s piece is a solid counterweight to Fr. Spadaro’s breakthrough view of the Synod.