01 October 2014, The Tablet

Burke lashes out at Kasper over divorce and remarriage

Cardinal Raymond Burke has hit out at claims that German Cardinal Walter Kasper “spoke for” Pope Francis when he backed communion for divorced and remarried people.

Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, said in a conference call with journalists on Tuesday that he found it “amazing” that Cardinal Kasper claimed to speak for the Pope.

“The Pope doesn’t have laryngitis. The Pope is not mute. He can speak for himself. If this is what he wants, he will say so,” Cardinal Burke said.

“But for me as a cardinal to say that what I am saying are the words of Pope Francis? That to me is outrageous.”

Cardinal Burke added that whatever Francis thinks about a more lenient approach on Communion for remarried Catholics, he cannot change current church teaching – a view endorsed in the build-up to the Synod by Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller and Cardinal George Pell, as well as a number of other cardinals.

Kasper told The Tablet last month that it was his “impression” that the Pope would like to see an “opening” in the area of allowing Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics.

Meanwhile, speaking to the US Catholic publication America and Argentina’s leading daily La Nación on Friday Cardinal Kasper said he thought his opponents feared “a domino effect – if you change one point all would collapse. That’s their fear. This is all linked to an ideological understanding of the Gospel, that it is like a penal code.”

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