(LifeSiteNews): Contraception is at the root of the culture of death and the defense of family is inseparable from the defense of life, Cardinal Raymond Burke says in a broad book-length interview.
In his lengthy interview with French journalist Guillaume d’Alançon, titled Hope for the World: To Unite All Things in Christ, the American cardinal calls gender theory “madness,” addresses the question of Communion for the divorced and remarried, and offers remedies for the crisis in the Church.
Burke is the patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the former Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court.
“I do not see how it is possible to talk about the family without talking about the defense of human life,” Burke said. “It is fundamental. Contraception and abortion are two stages in the attack on conjugal love. In contraception there is a fear of new life, and this practice often leads to abortion. It is of fundamental importance to associate works on behalf of the family with pro-life works, because marriage is the source of new life.”
“The Lord created man and woman to love each other and to marry, and they express their love more fully in conjugal union, which is by nature procreative,” Burke explained.
“Gender theory” is an attack on this truth, he said.
“Gender theory is an invention, an artificial creation. It is impossible to have an identity that does not respect the proper nature of man and that of woman,” Burke said. “It is madness that will cause immense damage in society and in the lives of those who support this theory. With gender theory, it is impossible to live in society. Already today, in certain places in the United States, anyone at all can change identity and say, ‘Today I am a man; tomorrow I will be a woman.’ That is truly madness. Some men insist on going into the women’s rest rooms. That is inhuman. In the schools, you can imagine the confusion. … Nowadays there is enormous confusion, which is based on the false idea that there are practically an infinite number of possible sexual orientations. The twofold expression of the human person is not heterosexuality and homosexuality, but male and female. This is the authentic theology of anthropology: that God created man: ‘male and female he created them.’”
Burke warned that Christians must defend the natural law from legislative attacks that contradict what “is inscribed in the heart of man by the sovereign will of God.”
“Not to speak about the natural law is to deny reason,” he said.
Similarly, people who experience same-sex attraction deserve authentic pastoral care, Burke said, care that doesn’t cause them harm by encouraging them to follow “inclinations against the natural law.”
Homosexual acts ultimately cause suffering, he said, because they go against the natural “complementarity of the sexes and the sexual faculty’s potential for procreation.”
But the Church offers those with same-sex attraction the opportunity to “discover what authentic love means,” Burke said. He cited the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that people attracted to the same sex must be “accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” (CCC 2358).
In addition to the dismantling of natural law, Burke said Islam’s inability to peacefully coexist with other religions and President Obama’s attacks on religious liberty pose threats to the Catholic Church.
“President Obama wants to push the Church back behind the walls of her church buildings and to prevent her from applying her law to her own hospitals and schools,” the cardinal cautioned. “He claims that the Church may not intervene on the question of abortion, of homosexuality, but that the State alone must manage these questions.”
The U.S. government “wants citizens to obey unjust laws,” he said, such as requirements that Catholic hospitals commit abortions and dispense contraceptives. “To that, I reply: We cannot do it,” because “there are situations in which the Christian must disobey when civil law commands an action contrary to the moral law.”
‘There is no justification for saying that a certain percentage of marriages are null’
“It is impossible to say anything other than what Pope John Paul II said” on the question of whether non-abstinent divorced and remarried couples may receive Holy Communion, Burke insisted.
He addressed the controversial topic that has been the source of a heated debate within the Catholic Church by quoting the late Pope’s exhortation Familiaris Consortio, which reiterated the Church’s longstanding teaching of not admitting to the Sacraments the divorced and civilly remarried unless they live as brother and sister.
“The state of life of divorced-and-remarried Catholics is not consistent with the mystery of the union of Christ and the Church,” Burke said.
Liberal prelates such as Cardinal Walter Kasper pushed for the Church to admit the divorced and remarried to Communion at two contentious synods on the family. Pope Francis brought up the topic in his April 2016 exhortation.
Many see Pope Francis’ exhortation Amoris Laetitia as having poured gasoline on this fire with its seeming suggestion that in some cases the Church will allow those living unrepentantly in situations it labels objectively sinful to receive Holy Communion.