Cardinal Burke promises to correct situation over Amoris Laetitia confusion

Tells crowd that forces of evil will not prevail over the Church

American Cardinal Raymond Burke with Pope Francis during the general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican September 2, 2016. (Credit: Paul Haring/CNS.)

Cardinal Raymond Burke once again has promised to “correct the situation” over confusion surrounding Pope Francis’s controversial 2016 document on marriage and the family, Amoris Laetitia.

The American cardinal was speaking March 24 during a Q&A session after a presentation at Saint Raymond of Peñafort parish in Springfield, Virginia.

Burke, formerly the head of the Vatican’s highest appellate court until removed by Francis, currently serves as the patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, although that position is largely nominal at the moment given the pope’s appointment of a personal delegate to the order.

In Virginia, Burke reiterated he “sincerely hoped” the pope would eventually respond to the dubia.

Burke reiterated that if an answer does not come, he and the other cardinals “simply will have to correct the situation.”

“Again, in a respectful way, that simply can say that, to draw the response to the questions from the constant teachings of the Church, and to make that known for the good of souls,” he said.

Francis himself, soon after the dubia were published, said critics of Amoris Laetitia suffered from “a certain legalism, which can be ideological.”

During his talk in Virginia on March 24, Burke insisted the publication of the dubia was done with “great respect,” and happened only because of the questions he and other cardinals were receiving from ordinary laypeople.

“Many people because of this confusion are becoming very upset, and understandably so,” Burke said, “I have become upset myself at times, but must always remember that Christ…has promised us that forces of evil will not prevail over the Church.”

Full story from Crux.


  1. As a priest who counsels people both in penance and marriage situations and who helps form consciences according to Scripture and Tradition, I welcome clarity to help people overcome their confusion which is why they come to the priest in the first place.

  2. Re Amoris Laetitia. The nature of marriage is indeed important in Catholic doctrine, but the fuss regarding the status of divorce and remarriage pale in comparison to the existential threat posed by the concept of a “Living Church” pushing Social Justice as it’s primary tenet. As defined by most of the Church leaders, social justice theory is rapidly approaching Marxism.

  3. Jane Dunne-Brady says:

    I for one am very grateful for Cardinal Burke and the other cardinals, in their efforts to ask for more clarity on these issues. I applaud his courage. I know that the Holy Spirit will continue to protect and guard the Church and bring clarity and truth.

    • I agree with Jane Dunne-Brady. I respect and appreciate Cardinal Burke for his courage to protect the Church by asking for clarification. Only wish more Cardinals and Bishops had the courage and backbone that Burke possesses.

  4. Your Fellow Catholic says:

    The notion that people are some how “confused” about the mercy of Christ is a failure of our Church to proclaim the Gospel. Especially during Lent, there should be zero confusion about Christ’s call to reunite with his Sacred Heart and to rise with him on Easter.

    • Ann Malley says:

      People are confused thanks to the overt attempt to confuse mercy with something else. The Church, however, is not at fault. Church men, the same who are charged with proclaiming the truth, whole and entire, not in bits and pieces, are guilty. Those in the flock who only want to be affirmed in their own sins are at fault. But you are right, YFC, in that there “should” be zero confusion about Christ’s call to reunite with His Sacred Heart.

      And yet, 2 Timothy 4:3 For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears

  5. Linda Maria says:

    Christ’s teachings are holy, and a big responsibility! If we commit to follow Him, we must be aware of our responsibilities to Him, and be very faithful to follow what He says! If His teachings seem hard for some, they must know, that Christ always gives us the grace, if we but ask, to carry out His teachings, in difficult situations! His teachings are Divine, and are for our very best and highest welfare!! I always pray for Cardinal Burke– wish he could be our Pope!

  6. The head of the Vatican department for the family, former Bishop of Dallas, has said that too much emphasis is placed on one footnote and the rest of the publication is ignored. There is more to the teachings of the Church about the family than just the “divorced issue.” Let’s start with a definition of family in the modern world, children of same-sex unions, children of divorced parents, foster children, adoptions, education and faith formation, and the list goes on. The coming world assembly on the family will deal with all of these issues and more. I just find it difficult to think that a short footnote in the whole document is causing this much of a problem.

    • The fact that the teaching in the footnote is causing a problem is very real. It has been taken by some bishops in their dioceses such as San Diego, Germany, and Malta as a right to give communion to the divorced and remarried in intimate relationships. Indeed there is so much good in the document too, that I have published that good in my church bulletin for the edification of the faithful. Still the teaching in the footnote needs to be addressed because it is not consistent with the scripture and tradition of the Church.

      • Fr. Richard, I always enjoy reading your comments; focused and on point. I continue, however, to have problems accepting the concept that ALL divorced and remarried people should be treated the same. I think, particularly of the wife who divorced a brutal and harmful husband. Should she suffer the same tainting as the husband? What of the husband, trying to raise his family, whose wife is sleeping around? The local Pastor knows the circumstances of the divorce and can treat people on a case-by-case basis. Why can’t there be some local judgement involved? “Just because” isn’t a helpful answer.

        • We priests minister to all people. To those who choose sexual activity outside sacramental marriage, following Jesus’ teaching on marriage and divorce, we encourage all to refrain from physical intimacy and learn to love chastely.

        • Ann Malley says:

          Nobody is offering a “just because” answer. The reality is that Sacramental Marriage is binding until death. People, however, sin. They make bad choices. So while you may justly sympathize with those who have been sinned against, hurt, mistreated, etc, sin doesn’t negate the reality of the marriage bond.

          If what you imply is true, that there is somehow no marriage because of these sins, then those who weather these storms, by God’s grace, would by this mode of thinking no longer be truly married. They would have to remarry their spouse because, by your mode of thinking, the bond of marriage would have been dissolved due to sin. That also would imply what God joins together can be broken – by sin. This is contrary to what Our Lord…

          • Ann Malley says:

            … has decreed.

            So perhaps your issue is with Our Lord, not with priests. Priest are after all only passing down the Faith as it has been received.

        • Anonymous says:

          Bob One, divorce is not the issue. Re-marriage is.
          Father Perozich, thanks you so much for looking to find the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the document. As you well know, the media and the internet loves controversy.
          So does the devil.

  7. Most people are not “confused”about the Catholic Church’s teachings on marriage. This is fake news. It is interesting that those in the clerical state hold the laity to a much higher standard than they hold for themselves.

  8. For example, why are priests who molested children (in some cases, numerous) allowed to celebrate the Mass and partake of Holy Communion while a divorced and remarried lay person cannot? Both have broken their vows.

    • Anonymous says:

      No one who has committed a grave sin should receive communion (unless it has been forgiven in sacramental confession.)

  9. Cardinal Burke would do well to re-read the Gospel stories about the Samaritan woman at the well (multiple husbands) and the woman caught in adultery. Jesus did not turn them away but encouraged them to follow him. Jesus is the Savior, not a canon lawyer!

    • And you would do well, Harold, to read St. Paul to the Corinthians in his first letter chapter 11 as well as Jesus’ own words in Matthew 19. In John 4, Jesus came to convert the Samaritan woman, not to confirm her and her 5 former husbands and her life with the man who currently was not her husband. If I want mercy for myself, I have to repent first of the sin for which I am asking for pardon and a lesser sentence rather than the justice of the punishment due to me for my transgression.

  10. Father Perozich: I agree with your comments about repentance; however, you did not respond to my question nor to Bob One’s questions. Instead of defending the good Cardinal (whom you like because he shares your conservative views), how about ministering to the large numbers of Catholics who find themselves divorced, often through no fault of their own. If there is mercy for priests who are molesters than there must be mercy for the laity.

    • Ann Malley says:

      Harold, you speak of mercy. But where is the mercy in pretending that what God has joined can now be put asunder? That is not aiding the flock in following God, but in remodeling God into their own image and likeness.

      We all must carry our cross. Sometimes that cross comes in the way of being sinned against and wounded by our spouse. Even as Our Lord was wounded deeply and betrayed by His closest associates – St. Peter and Judas.

  11. Catherine says:

    How transparent, yet clever a temptation, to insert an atom bomb into a footnote. Please, re-read the informative link below, where another faithful Cardinal spoke up to uphold the fullness of truth on a crucial teaching which involved another form of grave disobedience to God. This particular disobedience also allowed the temptation/permission slip to rationalize mortal sin. Thank you, Cardinal Burke and Cardinal Stafford! Thank you, Father Perozich! Thank you, CCD for sharing this informative article below. May God continue to fortify his faithful shepherds who are keeping us from falling even deeper into the abyss.


    • Catherine says:

      ‘In 1968, something terrible happened in the Church’

      Cardinal reflects on how dissenters to Humane Vitae tore the Church apart – and how rift left scars that remain to this day.


      • Catherine says:

        Humanae Vitae

        The Year of the Peirasmòs — 1968
        By Cardinal James Francis Stafford

        “Lead us not into temptation” is the sixth petition of the Our Father. Peirasmòs, the Greek word used in this passage for ‘temptation,’ means a trial or test. Disciples petition God to be protected against the supreme test of ungodly powers. The trial is related to Jesus’s cup in Gethsemane, the same cup which his disciples would also taste (Mk 10: 35-45). The dark side of the interior of the cup is an abyss. It reveals the awful consequences of God’s judgment upon sinful humanity. In August 1968, the weight of the evangelical Peirasmòs fell on many priests, including myself.”


        • Catherine says:


          “Diocesan presbyterates have not recovered from the July/August nights in 1968. Many in consecrated life also failed the evangelical test. Since January 2002, the abyss has opened up elsewhere. The whole people of God, including children and adolescents, now must look into the abyss and see what dread beasts are at its bottom. Each of us shudders before the wrath of God, each weeps in sorrow for our sins and each begs for the Father’s merciful remembrance of Christ’s obedience.” – Cardinal James Francis Stafford


    • Ann Malley says:

      Our Lord is clear about what constitutes adultery. So this push to pretend He didn’t mean what He said is disingenuous and nothing but a push to put forward the lowly teachings and woeful confusion of mankind.

      What blocks the path towards heaven is the pretense that Jesus Christ didn’t mean what He said.

      • Catherine says:

        “Our Lord is clear about what constitutes adultery.”

        That is absolutely true! Thank you, Ann Malley, for responding to the grace of a God given ability to see through the weeds/machinations, that are being sold under the guise of a merciful bill of goods to the trusting, the gullible and the vulnerable. Eve also fell for clever machinations under the guise of mercy. Eve was told that she would be able to mercifully improve on God’s design for mankind and then she sold that fateful scheme to Adam, who tragically fell for it too.


        • Catherine says:

          Please read the article linked below and discover the real machinations that are being applied to silence the truth. Unlawful secret oaths are now gong to be be pushed on the faithful. Jesus did not teach by forcing unlawful secret oaths on his lambs. This link below is very similar to the true story of Bishop Tod D. Brown arranging a secret oath that would enable and hide the terribly sinful actions of a priest, (who at the time was Director of Evangelization) while living with his homosexual partner. At the time this same priest was even paid to wreckovate many churches and hide Tabernacles. Do you see how they have rationalized hiding Our Lord?


          • Catherine says:


            Yes, they even scheme to hide Our Lord and they say, “Let’s place our crucified Lord off in that dark broom closet or side chapel and watch how we get away with it! We’ll accomplish this grave insult under the guise of “respect”. Our next machinations that insult Our Lord will have to be disguised as something quite different. I know! Let’s use the word “mercy” to pull this one off.”

            When you can rationalize hiding Our Lord in his own house, then it will become a piece of cake for the conscience to rationalize giving Holy Communion to adulterers or to others who are living in sinful arrangements.


          • Catherine says:


            Faithful priests have always reached out in mercy and love to help those who live in these circumstances. Please read the article linked below and discover the same type of machinations that are being applied to silence the truth. The secret oath scheme that is exposed in the link below is no different than the day we witnessed the same kind of secret oath request that would continue to enable and hide mortal sin. Unlawful secret oaths are being pushed on the faithful. Jesus did not teach by secret oaths that enabled sin.

            Defendant in Annulment Case – Unlawful Oath of Secrecy | Mary’s Advocates


          • Ann Malley says:

            Thank you for the link, Catherine. This business of shunting Jesus to the corner in His own House has been going on for some time. And the sheep follow, some stridently persecuting those who they’ve been told are evil. The crime? Wanting the fullness of the Truth.

  13. Here is a simple question: should priests who molest children or engage in relations with a married person be allowed to celebrate the Holy Mass and recieve Holy Communion? Yes or No.

    • Anne T. says:

      One reason is that sooner or later their unbelief is going to show in their sermons and advice because they will find it hard to condemn sins they are doing repeatedly without true repentance and change of behavior.

    • Larry Northon says:

      Should priests who molest children be allowed to celebrate the Holy Mass? In my opinion, they should be put entirely out of the priestly ministry; in other words, no. Should they be allowed to receive Holy Communion? After having repented sincerely and been absolved in confession, yes–as with all sinners. Should priests who engage in relations with a married person (etc)? If they end the behavior, repent in confession and receive absolution, yes to both. If the behavior is repeated, perhaps they should be removed from the ministry. But any sinner may receive communion after repenting.

  14. Anne T. says:

    Harold, I will leave it to others go give a more detailed answer, but as for me I would never go to confession to a priest whom I knew was not faithful to his vows of chastity and certainly not to one who had been accused and convicted of child or teen molestation. Nevertheless, someone else’s sins does not excuse ours.

  15. Larry: thank you for your response. Absolutely agree with you. Every sinner who repents of their sins should be allowed to receive the Holy Eucharist, including those who are divorced and remarried.

    • Larry Northon says:

      I take it you also agree with my caveat, “if they end the behavior.” That is an integral part of repentance: “if they END the behavior.” That means your divorced-and-remarried couple, if previous marriages cannot be annulled, must LEAVE each other. If there are reasons why they cannot leave each other, they must agree that there is to be no more sex. If they are planning to repeat the sin of adulterous intercourse, then by definition they are NOT repentant and cannot be absolved. Consequently, they cannot receive communion.

  16. Bohemond says:

    Every sinner who repents of their sins should be allowed to receive the Holy Eucharist, including those who are divorced and remarried. Jesus Christ said otherwise and your words mean nothing

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