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Cardinal Raymond Burke draws a crowd at San Francisco Mass

new 06 Burke PAGEWell-wishers greet Cardinal Raymond L. Burke after Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral on March 15. He was the presenter at all three days of the Western Region Canon Law Meeting sponsored by the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and delivered the homily at a 5:30 p.m. Mass celebrated by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone for the canon lawyers who attended from Western states. (Photo by Valerie Schmalz/Catholic San Francisco)

March 23, 2017
Valerie Schmalz

 “The fundamental struggle of our life in Christ ... is the struggle to live the truth in love in a world which could deceive us into thinking that we can love even while we violate the truth,” Cardinal Raymond Burke said in his homily March 15 at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

The cardinal, who was the presenter at all three days of the Western Region Canon Law Meeting sponsored by the Archdiocese of San Francisco, delivered the homily at a 5:30 p.m. Mass celebrated by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone for the canon lawyers who attended from Western states. The Mass was concelebrated by Auxiliary Bishop William J. Justice and a number of priests.

Cardinal Burke, a former prefect of the Catholic Church’s top judicial court, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, was treated like a celebrity by many who attended the Mass from the area and who lined up after the Mass to greet him, and in many cases, ask for his autograph.

Last year, Cardinal Burke was one of four cardinals who publicly asked Pope Francis to clarify what the prelates said were confusing aspects of the pope’s apostolic exhortation on marriage and family, “Amoris Laetitia,” regarding whether divorced and remarried Catholics should receive Eucharist if their marriage was not declared null by the church. Cardinal Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, did not address that controversy either in his homily or during his presentations at the canon law conference.

At San Francisco’s cathedral, Cardinal Burke emphasized the importance of the “humble” practice of canon law for the “salvation of souls.”

“Canon law is not in contrast with the many works of divine grace in the church but rather assures that the work of divine grace will be received into souls formed in accord with the mind and heart of Christ,” Cardinal Burke said.

“We do not study and respect the law for its own sake but for the sake of the sacred realities which it safeguards and fosters. We serve the justice which is the minimal and irreplaceable requirement of divine love,” Cardinal Burke said.

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