Your Eminence, in Germany many Catholics are leaving the Catholic Church as a public body. Catholics who are faithful to the church are also considering leaving the church so as not to use their taxes to support projects that they cannot reconcile with their conscience. How do you see this matter?New interview by Cardinal Burke
Catholics must bear witness to the truth of the Faith. In the tradition of the Church, a Synod is a way of figuring out how to defend and promote the Catholic faith, not to create a different church and faith. I think these good Catholics must – painful as it is – remain in their communities and fight for the truth of the faith.
Otherwise, if everyone leaves, the Church would fall into the hands of those who are destroying the Catholic faith and its practice. It is important that believers do not leave the Church, because Christ has promised us that he will always be with us in the Church. We remain with Christ, even if we have to be very frank with our own Bishops when they propose something that is not in accordance with the Catholic faith. We must return to sacred tradition.
How can the faithful deal constructively with their minority role in the parishes?
The dynamism of the Catholic faith comes from its continuity. Faith is God’s work and comes to us through the tradition of the apostles. This is not rigidity but fidelity to tradition, and to this the bishops are bound by the oath they took at their episcopal ordination. To describe fidelity to Catholic teaching as rigidity is simply wrong. Believers have the right and duty to express their concerns about the Church. The Faithful should openly exercise this right – it is part of Canon Law
In cases where the Faith is betrayed even within the Church itself, it is even more important for them to insist on Catholic doctrine and practice. They must understand that they are not free but obliged to defend the Catholic faith in these times. Obedience can never command us to do anything contrary to Faith and morality.
Can you give some practical advice?
First of all: using the means of communication to spread the message and, for example, to publish the classic expositions of the Catholic faith – by the Fathers of the Church, the great theologians and the reliable authors of the present day. Insist on discussing these issues with the parish priest