WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The service of the Apostolic Signature, the Catholic Church's highest appeals court, "is intimately connected with the very apostolic character of the church," U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke told a Washington audience March 20.continue at The Boston Pilot
The prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature delivered the 11th annual James H. Provost Memorial Lecture at The Catholic University of America.
A former archbishop of St. Louis, he was appointed to the post by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. He was named a cardinal in 2010.
The Apostolic Signature, in addition to hearing appeals of lower court decisions and administrative decisions by Vatican congregations, oversees the functioning of church tribunals and procedures.
Cardinal Burke encouraged his listeners to study "the church's discipline as it provides an irreplaceable service to every aspect of the church's life."
In his lecture, he addressed the relationship between the Apostolic Signature's Supreme Court and the local church and its "various areas of competence" in relation to the local church. He also reflected on the process of annulments, which he noted will be one of the areas discussed at this October's extraordinary Synod of Bishops.