What does Cardinal Raymond Burke think about our Pope?
The answer might surprise you and is one many want to know.
In an interview with EWTN’s World Over program, Cardinal Raymond Burke said, “The whole question, the idea that, yes, you can have freedom of religion but it’s reduced now to freedom of worship, you can do whatever you want in the four walls of your church but, beyond that, what you believe in the depth of your heart is of no importance to the government of the United States of America—which, by the way, is an absolute contradiction of the founding principles of this nation.”
By, Don Fier (Editor’s Note: Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome, who formerly served as bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis., and archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Mo., recently spent some time in the United States. The Catholic Servant was granted the opportunity to interview His Eminence in mid-July on a variety of topics at Eternal Life’s The Church Teaches Forum in Louisville, Ky. The Catholic Servant — a Minneapolis- based newspaper — gave The Wanderer permission to reprint the interview. (Don Fier serves on the Board of Directors for The Catholic Servant and he writes the Learn Your Faith column for The Wanderer.)
Q. Six years ago, Pope Benedict issued Summorum Pontificum, which allowed for the usage of the Tridentine Mass on a wider scale in the Church. In his accompanying letter to the bishops, the Holy Father stated that “the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching.” Do you see concrete benefits that have come to the Church in the past several years because ofSummorum Pontificum?
A. I have witnessed a number of benefits. First, there is now a much stronger sense of the divine action in the Ordinary Form. There was a certain tendency in the celebration of the Ordinary Form to center attention on the priest and the congregation rather than on Christ, Who comes into the midst of the congregation through the ministry of the priest acting in His Person to give the gift of His life as He first gave it on Calvary and to make that sacrifice new for us in each holy Mass.
Another closely connected benefit is an appreciation of the true reform of the liturgy desired by the Council, namely a reform that would be in continuity with the centuries-long tradition of the Church, not a renewal that would be a break from that liturgical tradition. The celebration of the two Forms of the Roman rite have led to a growing consciousness of the need to retrieve some of the elements of the liturgical tradition too quickly discarded after the Council, contrary to the intention of the Council.
In other words, what Pope Benedict XVI had in mind was to promote the reform as it was truly desired by the Council, namely a reform in continuity with the centuries- long tradition of the Church and not a rupture. The renewed reformed rite of the Mass is not a new Mass, but is in continuity with the holy Mass as it has always been celebrated.
Burke On Pope Francis
Q. It has been about four months since Pope Francis became the 266th Roman Pontiff. From the vantage point of your office in Rome, have you observed any tangible changes in tone or day- today operation in the Vatican? What is the role of the group of eight Cardinals formed by Pope Francis?
A. Certainly Pope Francis, as is the case with every Pope, has his distinctive style which is not the same as Pope Benedict’s. Everyone is adjusting to that. It is a style that has very much appealed to the faithful in terms of the number of pilgrims coming to Rome and their positive and overwhelming response to the new Holy Father. He has a way of communicating with people that is direct and which demonstrates his fatherly concern for them as individuals. When people see the fatherly and spiritual care that he gives to others, they understand that he also has the same care for them.
With regard to changes, the Holy Father has indicated that he wants to study a reform of the Roman curia and that would necessarily mean also a reform in his way of relating to the particular churches throughout the world. He is studying all of that at the present moment. Those of us who hold offices in the Roman curia have been confirmed provisionally until he has finished this study. As Pope Francis has himself said, he was not part of the Roman curia and is just now coming to know the operation of the curia, and that takes time. He has only been in office for four months, so we are waiting to see.
The group of eight Cardinals Pope Francis named [ to advise him on the reform of the Roman curia] is the result of a suggestion made during the general congregation before the conclave and is actually a suggestion that was discussed some years ago. The norms for the functioning of the body have not yet been published and so I cannot say exactly what will be the scope of the considerations presented to the group or precisely how it will operate. I imagine that that type of document will be forthcoming and then we will know more about it. What seems clear is that the Holy Father wants to have a group of close and highly qualified advisors to consult with in carrying out his responsibilities.
Pope Francis And Our Lady Of Fatima
Q. On May 13 Pope Francis consecrated his papacy to Our Lady of Fatima. What is the significance of this action?
A. I think it is deeply significant. First, it is an expression of profound devotion to Our Blessed Mother which clearly marks the life of Pope Francis. From the very beginning of his pontificate, he has repeatedly invoked the intercession of Our Blessed Mother whenever he offers holy Mass. He always reverences the image of the Blessed Mother in the sanctuary, not only by incensing her or praying before her — he will always reach up and touch the image in an act of special affection and devotion.
With regard to Our Lady of Fatima, we know well the prophecies that were given to the three seers at Fatima which have all now been published and what they indicate with regard to the attacks of Satan upon the Roman Pontiff. I am sure that Pope Francis has this clearly in mind and is invoking the intercession of Our Lady for her protection even as she protected Blessed John Paul II from an assassin’s bullet. It was on Our Lady of Fatima’s feast day that the dreadful attemptoccurred, and John Paul was fully convinced that she interceded to save his life. I believe that Pope Francis is imploring that same intercession and protection from her at this time.
By Don Fier. (Editor’s Note: Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome, who formerly served as bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis., and archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Mo., recently spent some time in the United States. The Catholic Servant was granted the opportunity to interview His Eminence in mid-July on a variety of topics at Eternal Life’s The Church Teaches Forum in Louisville, Ky. The Catholic Servant — a Minneapolis- based newspaper — gave The Wanderer permission to reprint the interview).
Q. Things seem to be declining at an accelerating rate in our country. For example, it is shocking how quickly things happened in Minnesota. A year ago it seemed almost certain that a November ballot referendum would constitutionally define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Despite a heroic effort by Archbishop John Nienstedt and many other Church leaders, it failed. Just four months later a law was enacted making Minnesota the 12th state to legalize so- called same- sex marriage. How did we get to this point? Aside from prayer and fasting, what can the faithful do?
A. First of all, I would underline the need for much prayer and fasting. The alarming rapidity of the realization of the homosexual agenda ought to awaken all of us and frighten us with regard to the future of our nation. This is a work of deceit, a lie about the most fundamental aspect of our human nature, our human sexuality, which after life itself defines us. There is only one place these types of lies come from, namely Satan. It is a diabolical situation which is aimed at destroying individuals, families, and eventually our nation. How did we get to this point? The fact that these kinds of “ arrangements” are made legal is a manifestation of a culture of death, of an anti- life and anti- family culture which has existed in our nation now for some time. We as Catholics have not properly combatted it because we have not been taught our Catholic Faith, especially in the depth needed to address these grave evils of our time.
This is a failure of catechesis both of children and young people that has been going on for fifty years. It is being addressed, but it needs much more radical attention. I can say this because I was the bishop of two different dioceses. After fifty years of this, we have many adult voters who support politicians with immoral positions because they do not know their Catholic Faith and its teaching with regard to same- sex attraction and the inherent disorder of sexual relations between two persons of the same sex. Therefore, they are not able to defend the Catholic Faith in this matter. What has also contributed greatly to the situation is an exaltation of the virtue of tolerance which is falsely seen as the virtue which governs all other virtues.
In other words, we should tolerate other people in their immoral actions to the extent that we seem also to accept the moral wrong. Tolerance is a virtue, but it is certainly not the principal virtue; the principal virtue is charity. Charity means speaking the truth, especially the truth about human life and human sexuality. While we love the individual, we desire only the best for one who suffers from an inclination to engage in sexual relations with a person of the same sex. We must abhor the actions themselves because they are contrary to nature itself as God has created us. The virtue of charity leads us to be kind and understanding to the individual, but also to be firm and steadfast in opposing the evil itself. This confusion is widespread. I have encountered it many times myself as a priest and bishop. It is something we simply need to address. There is far too much silence — people do not want to talk about it because the topic is not “ politically correct.” But we cannot be silent any longer or we will find ourselvesin a situation that will be very difficult to reverse.
Q. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, when recently questioned at a press briefing about the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did in murdering a baby born alive at 23 weeks as compared to the practice of aborting a baby moments before birth, refused to answer. Instead she is reported to have responded: “ As a practicing and respectful Catholic this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics.” How are we to react to such a seemingly scandalous statement? Is this a case where Canon 915 might properly be applied? [Editor’s Note:Canon 915 of the Church’s Code of Canon Law states that those who are “ obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”]
A. Certainly this is a case when Canon 915 must be applied. This is a person who obstinately, after repeated admonitions, persists in a grave sin — cooperating with the crime of procured abortion — and still professes to be a devout Catholic. This is a prime example of what Blessed John Paul II referred to as the situation of Catholics who have divorced their faith from their public life and therefore are not serving their brothers and sisters in the way that they must — in safeguarding and promoting the life of the innocent and defenseless unborn, in safeguarding and promoting the integrity of marriage and the family.
What Congresswoman Pelosi is speaking of is not particular confessional beliefs or practices of the Catholic Church. It belongs to the natural moral law which is written on every human heart and which the Catholic Church obviously also teaches: that natural moral law which is so wonderfully illumined for us by Our Lord Jesus Christ by His saving teaching, but most of all by His Passion and death. To say that these are simply questions of Catholic Faith which have no part in politics is just false and wrong. I fear for Congresswoman Pelosi if she does not come to understand how gravely in error she is. I invite her to reflect upon the example of St. Thomas More who acted rightly in a similar situation even at the cost of his life.
Q. Many faithful Catholics are troubled when high- profile political figures with unconcealed antilife, anti- family positions are honored in such ways as receiving invitations to speak at Catholic university commencement ceremonies and given honorary degrees or memorialized at public Catholic funeral Masses without having renounced their immoral positions. Faithful Catholics, at the same time, are taught they have committed a serious sin if they vote for these same candidates. How are those who are seriously trying to live out their faith to reconcile this apparent contradiction?
A. You cannot reconcile it — it is a contradiction, it is wrong, it is a scandal, and it must stop!We live in a culture with a false sense of dialogue — which has also crept into the Church — where we pretend to dialogue about open and egregious violations of the moral law. Can we believe it is permissible to recognize publicly people who support open and egregious violations, and then act surprised if someone is scandalized by it? For Catholic institutions or individuals to give recognition to such persons, to honor them in any way, is a source of grave scandal for which they are responsible. In a certain way, they contribute to the sinfulness of the individuals involved. There is no way to reconcile it; it simply is wrong.
The abuses of the sacred liturgy that followed the reforms of the Second Vatican Council are “strictly correlated” with a great deal of moral corruption that exists in the world today, says Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke.
In an exclusive interview with ZENIT on the sidelines of Sacra Liturgia 2013, a major international conference on the liturgy held in Rome at the end of June, the Vatican’s most senior American says poor liturgies have also led to “a levity in catechesis” that has been “shocking” and left generations of Catholics ill prepared to deal with today’s challenges.
In a wide-ranging discussion, Cardinal Burke, who serves as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, also explains the importance of liturgical law, Pope Francis’ approach to the liturgy, and why the sacred liturgy is vital to the New Evangelization.
ZENIT: Your Eminence, what were your hopes for this conference?
Cardinal Burke: My hope for the conference was a return to the teaching of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council on the sacred liturgy. Indeed, [I was hoping for] a deepening and appreciation of the continuity of the teaching practised with regard to the sacred liturgy throughout the Church’s history, and which is also reflected in the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council – something that was obscured after the Council. I believe in large part that has been achieved.
ZENIT: Are we coming out of that period now?
Cardinal Burke: Yes, already Pope Paul VI after the Council in a very intense way, and then John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, laboured diligently to restore the true nature of the sacred liturgy as the gift of worship given to us by God and which we owe to God in the very way He teaches us how to worship. So it’s not man’s invention, it’s God’s gift to us.
ZENIT: How important is a sound understanding of the liturgy in today’s Church. How can it help evangelization?
Cardinal Burke: To me, it’s fundamental. It’s the most important area of catechesis: to understand the worship accorded to God. The first three commandments of the Ten Commandments are to do with this right relationship to God, especially with regards to worship. It’s only when we understand our relationship with God in offering worship that we also understand the right order of all the other relationships we have. As Pope Benedict XVI said in his wonderful magisterium on the sacred liturgy, and which he expressed so often, [it consists of] this connection between worship and right conduct, worship and law, worship and discipline.
ZENIT: Some argue the liturgy is mostly about aesthetics, and not as important as, say, good works done in faith. What is your view of this argument that one often hears?
Cardinal Burke: It’s a Communist misconception. First of all, the liturgy is about Christ. It’s Christ alive in his Church, the glorious Christ coming into our midst and acting on our behalf through sacramental signs to give us the gift of eternal life to save us. It is the source of any truly charitable works we do, any good works we do. So the person whose heart is filled with charity wants to do good works will, like Mother Teresa, give his first intention to the worship of God so that when he goes to offer charity to a poor person or someone in need, it would be at the level of God Himself, and not some human level.
ZENIT: Some also say that to be concerned with liturgical law is being unduly legalistic, that it’s a stifling of the spirit. How should one respond to that? Why should we be concerned about liturgical law?
Cardinal Burke: Liturgical law disciplines us so that we have the freedom to worship God, otherwise we’re captured – we’re the victims or slaves either of our own individual ideas, relative ideas of this or that, or of the community or whatever else. But the liturgical law safeguards the objectivity of sacred worship and opens up that space within us, that freedom to offer worship to God as He desires, so we can be sure we’re not worshipping ourselves or, at the same time, as Aquinas says, some kind of falsification of divine worship.
ZENIT: It offers a kind of template?
Cardinal Burke: Exactly, it’s what discipline does in every aspect of our lives. Unless we’re disciplined, then we’re not free.
ZENIT: As a diocesan bishop in the United States, how did you find the state of the liturgy in the parishes you’ve been in charge of? What, in your view, are the priorities for liturgical renewal in diocesan life today?
Cardinal Burke: I found, of course, many wonderful aspects – in both dioceses in which I’ve served – a strong sense of participation on the part of the faithful. What I also found were some of the shadows as Pope John Paul II called them, a loss of Eucharistic faith, a loss of Eucharistic devotion and certain liturgical abuses. And as a diocesan bishop I needed to address them and I tried as best I could. But in addressing them you always try to help both the priest and the faithful to understand the deep reasons for the Church’s discipline, the reasons why a certain abuse is not only unhelpful for sacred worship but is in fact blocking it or corrupting it.
ZENIT: It’s said love for the sacred liturgy and being pro-life go together, that those who worship correctly are more likely to want to bring children into the world. Could you explain why this is so?
Cardinal Burke: It’s in the sacred liturgy above all, and particularly in the Holy Eucharist, that we look upon the love which God has for every human life without exception, without boundary, beginning from the very first moment of conception, because Christ poured out his life as he said for all men. And remember he teaches us that whatever we do for the least of our brethren, we do directly for Him. In other words, he identifies himself in the Eucharistic sacrifice with every human life. So on the one hand, the Eucharist inspires a great reverence for human life, respect and care for human life, and at the same time it inspires a joy among those who are married to procreate, to cooperate with God in bringing new human life into this world.
ZENIT: Sacra Liturgia has been about liturgical celebration but also formation. What basis of liturgical formation do we need in our parishes, dioceses and particularly in our seminaries?
Cardinal Burke: The first important lesson that has to be taught is that the sacred liturgy is an expression of God’s right to receive from us the worship that is due to Him, and that flows from who we are. We are God’s creatures and so divine worship, in a very particular way, expresses at the same time the infinite majesty of God and also our dignity as the only earthly creature that can offer him worship, in other words that we can lift up our hearts and minds to him in praise and worship. So that would be the first lesson. Then to study carefully how the liturgical rites have developed down the centuries and not to see the history of the Church as somehow a corruption of those liturgical rites. In the true sense, the Church over time has come to an ever deeper understanding of the sacred liturgy and has expressed that in several ways, whether it be through sacred vestments, sacred vessels, through sacred architecture – even the care for sacred linens which are used in the Holy Mass. All of these are expressions of the liturgical reality and so those things have to be carefully studied, and of course then to study the relationship of liturgy with the other aspects of our lives.
ZENIT: You’re known for celebrating the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Why did Pope Benedict make this freely available and what role does it have to play in the Church of the 21st century?
Cardinal Burke: What Pope Benedict XVI saw and experienced, also through those who came to him, who were very attached what we now call the Extraordinary Form – the Traditional Mass – was that in the reforms as they were introduced after the Council, a fundamental misunderstanding took place. Namely, this was that the reforms were undertaken with the idea there had been a rupture, that the way in which the Mass had been celebrated up until the time of the Council was somehow radically defective and there had to be what was really violent change, a reduction of the liturgical rites and even the language used, in every respect. So in order to restore the continuity, the Holy Father gave wide possibility for the celebration of the sacred rites as they were celebrated up until 1962, and then expressed the hope that through these two forms of the same rite – it’s all the same Roman rite, it can’t be different, it’s the same Mass, same Sacrament of Penance and so forth –there would be a mutual enrichment. And that continuity would be more perfectly expressed in what some have called the “reform of the reform”.
ZENIT: Pope Francis is a different person to Benedict XVI in many ways, but it’s hard to believe there are substantial differences between them on the importance of the sacred liturgy. Are there any differences?
Cardinal Burke: I don’t see it at all. The Holy Father clearly hasn’t had the opportunity to teach in a kind of authoritative way about the sacred liturgy, but in the things he has said about the sacred liturgy I see a perfect continuity with Pope Benedict XVI. I see in the Holy Father, too, a great concern for respecting the magisterium of Pope Benedict XVI and his discipline, and that is what Pope Francis is doing.
ZENIT: This conference is reflecting on the 50 years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and 50 years ago this December its constitution on the sacred liturgy was promulgated. You’ve already mentioned how liturgical renewal was not as the Council desired, but how do you see things progressing in the future? What do you envision, especially among young people?
Cardinal Burke: Young people are going back now and studying both the texts of the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council with its serious texts on liturgical theology which remain valid also today. They’re studying the rites as they were celebrated, striving to understand the meaning and various elements of the rite and there’s a great enthusiasm for that and a great interest in it. All of it, I believe, is directed to a more intense experience of God’s presence with us through the sacred liturgy. That transcendent element was most sadly lost when the reform after the Council was, so to speak, side-tracked and manipulated for other purposes – that sense of transcendence of Christ’s action through the sacraments.
ZENIT: Does this mirror the loss of the sacred in society as a whole?
Cardinal Burke: It does indeed. There’s no question in my mind that the abuses in the sacred liturgy, reduction of the sacred liturgy to some kind of human activity, is strictly correlated with a lot of moral corruption and with a levity in catechesis that has been shocking and has left generations of Catholics ill prepared to deal with the challenges of our time by addressing the Catholic faith to those challenges. You can see it in the whole gamut of Church life.
ZENIT: Pope Benedict said once that the crises we see in society today can be linked to problems of the liturgy.
Cardinal Burke: Yes he was convinced of that and I would say, so am I. It was, of course, more important that he was convinced of it, but I believe that he was absolutely correct.
By, Cindy Wooden – A weakening of faith in God, a rise in selfishness and a drop in the number of people going to Mass can be traced to liturgical abuse or Masses that are not reverent, two Vatican cardinals and a consultant have said.
US Cardinal Raymond Burke, head of the Vatican’s supreme court, said: “If we err by thinking we are the center of the liturgy, the Mass will lead to a loss of faith.”
Cardinal Burke and Spanish Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, spoke at a book launch in Rome.
The book, published only in Italian, was written by Fr Nicola Bux, who serves as a consultant to the congregations for the doctrine of the faith and for saints’ causes and to the office in charge of papal liturgies.
The English translation of Fr Bux’s book title would be, How to Go to Mass and Not Lose Your Faith.
Cardinal Burke told those gathered for the book presentation that he agreed with Fr Bux that “liturgical abuses lead to serious damage to the faith of Catholics”.
Unfortunately, he said, too many priests and bishops treat violations of liturgical norms as something that is unimportant when, in fact, they are “serious abuses”.
Cardinal Cañizares said that while the book’s title is provocative, it demonstrates a belief he shares. “Participating in the Eucharist can make us weaken or lose our faith if we do not enter into it properly,” and if the liturgy is not celebrated according to the Church’s norms, he said.
“This is true whether one is speaking of the Ordinary or Extraordinary form of the one Roman rite,” the cardinal said.
Cardinal Cañizares said that at a time when so many people are living as if God did not exist, they need a true Eucharistic celebration to remind them that only God is to be adored and that true meaning in human life comes only from the fact that Jesus gave his life to save the world.
Fr Bux said that too many modern Catholics think the Mass is something that the priest and the congregation do together when, in fact, it is something that Jesus does.
“If you go to a Mass in one place and then go to Mass in another, you will not find the same Mass. This means that it is not the Mass of the Catholic Church, which people have a right to, but it is just the Mass of this parish or that priest,” he said.
The Local Bishop And Parish Priest Must Ensure That Holy Communion Is Properly Received To Avoid The Grave Sin Of Sacrilege!
1 Corinthians 11:29-For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
Dublin Irelan, February 8, 2013, EWTN News – As the Irish parliament considers legalizing some abortions, Cardinal Raymond Burke says that local Catholic politicians who support the procedure should be refused Holy Communion in hopes of inspiring their conversion.
“There can be no question that the practice of abortion is among the gravest of manifest sins,”Cardinal Burke told the Irish newspaper Catholic Voice in an interview published Feb. 1.
Once “a Catholic politician has been admonished that he should not come forward to receive Holy Communion,” the cardinal added, “as long as he continues to support legislation which fosters abortion or other intrinsic evils, then he should be refused Holy Communion.”
The American cardinal heads the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest legal tribunal that rules on canon law.
Cardinal Burke said that the local bishop and parish priests must ensure that Holy Communion is properly received to avoid “the grave sin of sacrilege” from those like Catholic politicians who receive Communion in spite of “grave moral evil.” The bishops and clergy must also prevent the “scandal” caused by this kind of reception because it “gives the impression that the Church’s teaching on the intrinsic evil of abortion is not firm.”
The Fine Gael-controlled Irish parliament has said it will introduce legislation to legalize abortion where the mother’s life is at risk to conform Irish law to a December 2010 ruling from the European Court of Human Rights. That ruling itself is based on a 1992 Irish Supreme Court decision which was never codified into law.
Opponents of the proposed change support current Irish practice which distinguishes morally wrong direct abortion from medical treatments that may indirectly put an unborn baby’s life at risk. They say proposals to allow abortion for women who threaten suicide would allow abortion on demand
The push for a change to Ireland’s laws on abortion comes in reaction to the death of Savita Halappanavar, an Indian woman who died at a Galway hospital after miscarrying. She reportedly asked for an abortion and later died of a severe infection. The cause of her death is still under investigation, although abortion advocates seized on the case to claim legal abortion would have saved her life.
Cardinal Burke said Halappanavar’s death is “tragic.” However, he said this does not mean “an innocent and defenseless human life can be justifiably destroyed in order to save the life of the mother.”
He warned the Irish people and the Irish government to be alert for this kind of justification for abortion.
Even if Halappanavar did request an abortion, he said, “her request would not have made it right for the law to permit such an act which is always and everywhere wrong.”
The cardinal said Catholic politicians have the duty to support all legislation that will “most reduce the evils which attack human life and the integrity of marriage.”
Politicians cannot vote for any legislation which would confirm or advance “evil,” but a politician may support legislation to reduce such evils if he acknowledges these evils and the need for his voters to work to eliminate them.
Cardinal Burke stressed that the Catholic Church’s rules on the need to receive communion worthily are based on Christians’ relationship with Jesus Christ.
Someone who persists in “manifest grave sin” should not receive Holy Communion “because of his love of our Lord and his sorrow for the grave sin which he is committing against our Lord and His Holy Church.”
Recognizing this “grave offense” against God will “most inspire a conversion of heart” in Catholic politicians who support abortion, the cardinal said. He cited St. Paul’s admonition in the First Letter to the Corinthians that those who receive communion unworthily “eats and drinks judgment upon himself.”
Cardinal Burke also lamented the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down abortion laws nationwide. He said the legalization of abortion contradicts the “fundamental principle” of safeguarding human life and has done “incalculable harm.”
“It is not possible to comprehend all of the devastation worked by procured abortion on demand during these past forty years,” the cardinal told the Catholic Voice.
Cardinal Raymond Burke (Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, has presented a wonderful pastoral letter on voting that clearly states what a Catholic voter’s moral obligation is. Here is the Catholic News Agency’s (CNA) coverage from two years ago. The letter is two years old, but it is of utmost importance in the present political climate. At the time of the letter Cardinal Burke was Cardinal-designate Burke.
Catholic Voter’s Must Defend Life And Traditional Marriage!
Cardinal-designate Raymond Burke stressed to Catholic voters in a recent interview that they have a “very serious” obligation to uphold the truth of “moral law” in the upcoming mid-term elections. He specifically cited protecting unborn children from abortion and defending traditional marriage.
The American Vatican official, who was recently named by the Holy Father as a future cardinal, spoke on Oct. 20 to Thomas McKenna, president of Catholic Action for Faith and Family, just hours after the Pope’s announcement.
Cardinal-designate Burke opened his remarks by saying that “as a bishop it’s my obligation, in fact, to urge the faithful to carry out their civic duty in accord with their Catholic Faith.” Clarifying that he does not endorse particular candidates, the prelate also spoke of his duty to relay “principles” to the faithful to help inform their vote.
Speaking on the contentious topic of abortion in the upcoming mid-terms, Cardinal-designate Burke said one “can never vote for someone who favors absolutely the right to choice of a woman to destroy a human life in her womb or the right to a procured abortion.”
“You may in some circumstances where you don’t have any candidate who is proposing to eliminate all abortion, choose the candidate who will most limit this grave evil in our country,” he explained, “butyou could never justify voting for a candidate who not only does not want to limit abortion but believes that it should be available to everyone.”
The Vatican prelate also addressed the issue of same-sex “marriage,” asserting that maintaining the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman is not unjust discrimination.
“Where there is unjust discrimination – “for instance, where you say that a fellow human being, because of the color of his skin, is not a part of the same race as someone, say, who is a Caucasian, that is a kind of discrimination which is unjust and immoral,” he said.
However, he added, “there is a discrimination which is perfectly just and good, and that is the discrimination between what is right and what is wrong.”
“Between what is according to our human nature and what is contrary to our human nature. So the Catholic Church, in teaching that sexual acts between persons of the same sex are intrinsically evil, are against nature itself, is simply announcing the truth, helping people to discriminate right from wrong in terms of their own activities.”
In his interview, Cardinal-designate Burke also urged Catholic politicians who have caused “scandal” by endorsing positions contrary to moral law to repent through a “genuine reform of heart.”
“That’s done through the Sacrament of Penance,” he said, adding thatpolitical figures must publicly “renounce” their errors, recognizing and recanting the “evil” they have promoted.