Cardinal Raymond Burke, the patron of the Order of Malta, this evening offered these words of tribute to Cardinal Carlo Caffarra whom he described as a “true man of the Church”:

“With the death of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra the Church has lost the earthly presence of an exemplary priest, Bishop and Cardinal. Having enjoyed the great gift of knowing Cardinal Caffarra over many years and of working very closely with him during the these last years in the safeguarding and promoting of the Church’s constant teaching and practice regarding Holy Matrimony and the Holy Eucharist, I can testify that he was completely and solely inspired by a deep and pure love of Christ and of Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church. His purity of heart was always evident to me and was an unfailing inspiration. His knowledge of the Church’s doctrine and discipline was the fruit of years of study, which he continued until the end, for the sake of giving the best possible care to souls. Just recently, he related to me how he was studying the texts of Blessed Cardinal John Henry Cardinal Newman on conscience in preparation for a public lecture in England. While I mourn deeply the loss of his earthly presence, I am confident that his love of Christ and of the Church will continue. I count upon the help of his prayers in carrying out my weighty responsibility as a teacher of the faith and a doctor of souls. May the good and faithful Cardinal rest in peace.”

Cardinal Caffarra unexpectedly died today at the age of 79. Along with Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, and Cardinal Joachim Meisner (who died in July), Cardinal Caffarra respectfully submitted dubia (five questions) to Pope Francis last September in order to obtain clarification on Amoris Laetitia. Francis has yet to respond to the questions.