The last interview in which Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke suggested a “formal correction” of an alleged error the Pope made in his Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” has sparked a heated discussion.
By brandishing “formal correction”, an institute
that cannot be found in canon law, Burke seemed to be presenting Francis
with some form of an ultimatum in light of the five “dubia” over the
interpretation of the “Amoris Laetitia”.
In an interview with Vatican Insider,
another of the three signatories of the “dubia”, German cardinal Walter
Brandmüller, was keen to point out that a potential “fraternal
correction” of a point made by the Pope must take place “in camera
caritatis”, in other words not in public by means of published acts or
written documents .
Readers will recall that the five “dubia” regarding
the “Amoris Laetitia” were made public just a few days before the final consistory, less than two months after they had been presented.
“The ‘dubia’,” Brandmüller stated, “seek to encourage debate in the
Church, as is indeed happening. In his original interview in English
(unlike what was reported in Italian media) Cardinal Burke did not
specify a deadline but simply responded that we must now focus on
Christmas and the issue will be dealt with afterwards.”
Burke “did not say,” Brandmüller was also keen to point out, “that a
potential fraternal correction – such as the one quoted in Galatians
2:11-14 must be made publicly”.
The passage that was mentioned by the
German cardinal is the one from the Letter to the Galatians in which St.
Paul describes his disagreement with Peter because the latter wanted to
impose Jewish traditions on pagans.
“I believe,” Brandmüller adds, “that Cardinal Burke is convinced that
a fraternal correction must in the first instance be made in camera
caritatis”. In other words not publicly. “I must say,” he explained,
“that the cardinals has expressed his own opinion in complete
independence and may of course be shared by the other cardinals too”.
Brandmüller thus leads us to believe that in the interviews following
the publication of the “dubia”, Burke was not speaking as a spokesman
for the four cardinals who signed the document.
The German cardinal concluded by saying: “We cardinals expect a
response to the “dubia”, as the lack of a response would be seen by many
within the Church as a rejection of the clear and articulate adherence
to the clearly defined doctrine.”