27 December 2016

Cardinal Burke's latest (1)

As we await the text of the Fraternal Correction of the Roman Pontiff which Cardinal Burke has promised, I can share with you a briefer text from his Eminence's pen. A few weeks ago, some younger clergy asked me to put some queries to the Cardinal. I think the reason for this was that I, being old, am perhaps not quite as vulnerable to intimidatory threats and petty episcopal malice as they are. These queries were sent before it was made public that the Four Cardinals had submitted their five Dubia. I received his Eminence's most gracious answers dated 3 December. He responded, he said, "to certain serious questions of the clergy in the present situation of widespread confusion and error in the Church".

My first query, which was followed by the reply, follows below.
Is it licit for a priest to give Absolution or the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist to a person who is living as husband or wife with another to whom they are not, in the eyes of the Church, validly married; when that person makes clear that he or she has no intention of metanoia and of doing their best, with the help of Divine Grace, to avoid committing such adultery in the future?
A priest may not give Absolution to a party who is living in an irregular matrimonial union and has no firm purpose of amendment. If the party has the firm purpose of amendment, pledging, with the help of Divine Grace, to avoid any sin of adultery in the future, then the priest may give Absolution, counseling the party that he should only approach to receive Holy Communion in a place in which there is no reasonable chance of scandal. 

To continue.


Kathleen1031 said...

First of all, Merry Christmas Fr. Hunwicke, and a very Happy New Year to you!

We await hopefully, the issuance of the formal correction. I dislike even imagining what it would be like right now if we had no formal correction to look forward to. Truly this is a disturbing time, as has been said so many times, unprecedented, and we could never have imagined a pope would or could get this far in dismantling our faith. Was there a flaw in God's plan for His Church, in that the pope is fairly "untouchable" even when a raging heretic? I don't know, but as it turns out our hopes are vested in God and also these four Cardinals.
There will be many people suffering a crisis of faith if he goes on much longer. The gates of Hell seem to be prevailing, so if that appears to happen, everything is up for grabs. The pull of the world and the anti-God culture are hard to resist, the Church is the only bulwark, if She falls to a heretic and teaches error, we have no chance. Only the extremely well versed who know the Catechism and rubrics of the church so well will likely survive it.
We hope for a formal correction and schism if that is the only way to bring attention to this heretic and his machinations. It is time for everyone to choose whom we will serve.
God bless you, a faithful priest, in the new year.

modesty still a virtue said...

Thank you for your blog which I enjoy very much.
some questions which occur to me when thinking about the situation of the sacramentally married, but civilly divorced and civilly remarried. Among those who would allow for the reception of communion by those in this situation, I wonder how they consider sexual relations with the original wife? Without an annulment, or unless the civil divorce also effects a divorce in the sacrament, then why would we consider her marital rights to be extinguished? St Paul clearly teaches about these rights in 1 Cor 7:3-5. you can easily
have a situation in this day and age, (and i have known of it happening) where the divorced and remarried husband returns to the original wife, either causually, or more longterm. does this relationship now constitute adultery? would the concession of the continuing rights of the original spouse not imply that she may request and be given her marital rights? (She may, for example desire to get pregnant again). It seems to me distinctly out of touch with the realities of our current culture, to presume that widespread divorce merely leads to serial polygamy, in fact it opens the door to much more confused relationships than that.
Further how can one not accept that it must be less sinful for two unmarried people living together as husband and wife, than for a couple where there is a previous (abandoned) spouse?

Banshee said...

If the unmarried shacked up persons had previously had relations with third persons whom they did not marry, they have wronged and abandoned those other persons. So the number of mortal sins has been compounded then, also.

bombcar said...

Modesty, you're describing the situation in the TV show Justified pretty closely - in the eyes of the Church, "going back" is what you should do, because you're married to her. Now if you're at the same time trying to get an annulment, it would be a very strong indication that you don't believe the marriage is null.

I think everyone should realize that trying to deal with the "divorced and remarried question" is the field hospital for the burn victims of Nagasaki - the real pressing problem is divorce itself.

Jonathan said...

Thanks for sharing these Father. Does anyone know how old is the practice of absolving someone who continues to live with a former sexual partner on the promise that they abstain from future sexual activity? Did St. John Paul II start it, has it been going on since time immemorial, or somewhere in between?

This whole debate has made me think about the current teaching and I can't work out why it is okay. Living under the same roof for the sake of the children can't be viewed as an essential good - an unmarried parent isn't living in sin by not cohabiting with the other parent. If we believe the adulterous acts are grave matter then how can the Church accept someone putting themselves in the path of such dangerous temptation?

RichardT said...

Kathleen1031 said.:
"There will be many people suffering a crisis of faith if he goes on much longer."

Indeed. I wonder how many of the 'reformers' realise what they are doing? If the Church's authority is abused to allow communion for "remarried" divorcees, then that authority is destroyed. How can one believe today what may be changed tomorrow? If the Church's teaching on such a serious matter can be changed, then we can no longer rely on anything the Church teaches, has taught or will teach.

And that's not just on this issue, it's everything; once the Church's authority is destroyed, her witness is worthless. She can no longer be trusted on anything, from sexual morality all the way to the existence of God.

And if the Church's teaching can no longer be relied on, what basis do I have for belief?

If this is going to be saved, this new approach needs to be overturned quickly and decisively, not just with a quiet fudge but by public anathema so that we can all see that the authority of the Faith has been re-established.

Karl J said...


An AMEN to your comment! There is a world of difference between "development" and "license".

The Catholic hierarchy has crossed the line, at least here, to license.

James said...

So clear and Catholic. Unlike the putrid garbage that comes from the mouth and the pen of Pope Francis.