The Catholic World Report interview.
Another interview. Repeating many of the same things. In this case saying, kind of sort of, 'Yes, I am saying no, we are not accusing the Holy Father of heresy.' To be clear and to quote the exact words in the article:
CWR: Some critics say you are implicitly accusing the Pope of heresy.
Cardinal Burke: No, that's not what we have implied at all. We have simply asked him, as the Supreme Pastor of the Church, to clarify these five points that are confused; these five, very serious and fundamental points. We’re not accusing him of heresy, but just asking him to answer these questions for us as the Supreme Pastor of the Church.
CWR: In raising these questions you've been accused implicitly by the Pope and explicitly by others of legalism, of being Pharisees and Sadducees. [Smiles, chuckles] You smile because you get this all the time. Why is this not legalism?I know, you won't agree with me. Yet CWR says critics accuse Burke of implicitly accusing the Pope of heresy.
Burke's response makes clear that he (they) have not implied that at all. Though he accepts the CWR opinion that he (Burke) and the others have been implicitly accused of legalism and Pharisee-ism by the Pope himself. So when did the Pope accuse Burke of being a Pharisee or accuse him of legalism? When did he say that? When did he signal Burke out for that public humiliation?
Cardinal Burke is a canonist, he was the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, that was his job, so naturally he would be concerned about canon law and legalities. So why would he assume the Pope was pointing the finger at him? When did the Pope condemn him or Canon Law? Considering Cardinal Burke's position and experience, as well as his expertise, seeking a clarification from the Holy Father is perfectly in order. Nothing wrong with that. Did the Holy Father condemn him for it? I never read that.
As an under-educated Catholic layman with an opinion, it seems to me, what is actually going on, is that they are building a case against the Pope; what is happening seems to be a sort of pre-trial debate - a grande jury style investigation as it were, albeit public and well reported, to determine if indeed there is a case against the Pope. While pretty much implying that there could be a case, it then gets reinforced by social media and traditionalist supporters of Burke and Bishop Schneider, two of the most official and notable opponents of the Holy Father's policies and Amoris Laetitia.
Undoubtedly there is now - more than ever, a need for clarification - and the Cardinals have already publicly and directly asked for that:
The letter stated, in part, that "we the undersigned, but also many Bishops and Priests, have received numerous requests from the faithful of various social strata on the correct interpretation to give to Chapter VIII of the Exhortation" and asked the Holy Father "as supreme Teacher of the faith, called by the Risen One to confirm his brothers in the faith, to resolve the uncertainties and bring clarity..." - CWRNothing wrong with that.
So what is the problem? The Holy Father has not directly responded, as yet - no doubt he will.
In the meantime many followers of the Four Cardinals continue to imply something is wrong with the Pope, and some of these critics of the Holy Father's not only imply, they even directly and publicly accuse the Holy Father of heresy, of being an anti-pope, and illegitimate. These accusations grow with every interview Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider do - especially when they extrapolate on how a Pope could automatically separate himself from the Church and cease being Pope.
Sensationalist bloggers such as Vox Cantoris, Ann Barnhardt and several others, though marginal and on the fringe of Catholic life, exploit and expound upon the Cardinal's statements, and thereby instigate a deeper division within conservative circles, already made distrustful of the hierarchy since the sex abuse scandals. Less extreme bloggers and news aggregates, pick up the thread and these stories take on a life of their own, feeding an appetite for the average conspiracy theorist, bordering on calumny and outright detraction, while fomenting general mistrust of the Magisterium.
When Cardinal Burke makes it clear he is not accusing the Holy Father of heresy, he pretty much makes it clear that an accusation has already been leveled against the Pope - somewhere, by someone(s) - they've already has implied as much - but not Cardinal Burke. Cardinal Burke appears to disassociate himself on that count. Yet Cardinal Burke says he has become their spokesman.
CWR: In hindsight, with all of the controversy that has surrounded this, should you have kept these concerns to yourself and just waited for His Holiness to answer your dubia?
Cardinal Burke: No, not at all, because the faithful and priests and bishops have the right to have these questions answered. It was our duty as cardinals, when the Pope made it clear that he would not respond to them, to make them public so that the priests and the lay faithful who had these same doubts might know that their doubts are legitimate and that they deserve a response.
I think it would be prudent for the Cardinal to avoid interviews and statements to the press on where they might go from here, if the Pope doesn't cooperate with their timetable. The interviews need to stop. The implications, speculation, and projections need to stop. The letter is now public, the whole world knows, and is watching. The Cardinals can indeed go to Rome and resist the Holy Father to his face with a formal correction, but they need to stop sensationalizing the dubia and hyping the Holy Father's delay, in the Catholic press and on social media, they need to stop giving more ammunition to the enemies of the Pope.
Just my personal opinion.