Considering the seriousness of the questions put to him by the cardinals, Pope Francis’ decision not to respond is incomprehensible. The cardinals have cautioned the Holy Father that consequences will follow his refusal of their dubia. Cardinal Burke explained in his interview with Edward Pentin that the Pope's lack of response may trigger a formal act of correction. Pentin asked, “What happens if the Holy Father does not respond to your act of justice and charity and fails to give the clarification of the Church’s teaching that you hope to achieve?" To which Cardinal Burke replied,
“Then we would have to address that situation. There is, in the Tradition of the Church, the practice of correction of the Roman Pontiff. It is something that is clearly quite rare. But if there is no response to these questions, then I would say that it would be a question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error…”.
Pentin asked a follow up question, “If the Pope were to teach grave error or heresy, which lawful authority can declare this and what would be the consequences?” Cardinal Burke replied,
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