Catechesis, not confusion, needed to reclaim families for Church, says Cardinal Burke

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Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura (the Church’s highest judicial authority, has given a wide-ranging and particularly hard-hitting interview to Vatican Radio. Every part of the interview is valuable, so it is hard to choose the most important quotations. Here is our best selection:

“One of the biggest challenges is the defective catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church—I can speak from my experience in the United States—for the past 40 to 50 years. Children and young people are not well catechized with regard to marriage. Coupled with that is the recent entrance of a so-called “gender theory” that alienates human sexuality from its essentially conjugal meaning. This is now being brought into schools along with the advancement of the homosexual agenda. This is a big challenge for families. It is only in the family that the true sense of who we are as man and woman is taught effectively both by the example of the father and mother, but also in catechesis to amplify that and assist the parents in the fuller teaching of the faith.”

“The family today has to be especially alert to the subtle influences of the secularized culture…”

“Marriage is part of our human nature and therefore it is taught by natural law.”

“It would be a big mistake to approach the situation simply from the point of view of trying to figure out how to admit persons in irregular unions to the sacraments. This is a contradiction in itself and would truly miss the point of the authentic pastoral care that these couples need.”

“[T]here has been built up this expectation that the Church is now going to change Her teaching with regard to the indissolubility of marriage and permit now second and third marriages and that for those in irregular unions there will be access to the sacraments. These kinds of expectations are unreal. They are not true to the work of the Synod in the first place and, in a more profound sense, not true to what Christ himself has taught us, the truth that human nature itself teaches us.”

“I’m hoping that [the Synod] will take up again the great papal Magisterium, which is a gift to us, beginning with Casti connubii of Pope Pius XI, the teaching of Pope Pius XII, then in more recent times, the prophetic and heroic teaching of Humanae vitae of Pope Paul VI, soon to be beatified at the end of this Synod, as well as the teaching of Familiaris consortio of St John Paul II. Fundamentally, what I hope will emerge from the Synod is this beautiful truth about the human person, who has written into his nature the call to union and communion between man and one woman, which is faithful, which is indissoluble, and which by its very nature is procreative…”

Voice of the Family is an international lay coalition of major pro-life and pro-family organizations that has formed to offer expertise and resources to leaders of the church, the media, NGOs, and governments before, during, and after the Catholic Church’s Synod on the Family. The Synod will be held from October 5 to 19 in Rome. Read more about Voice of the Family

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