Archbp. Burke on a global problem: marginalizing faith in the “private” sphere

When H.E. Most Rev. Raymond Burke was shifted from the Archdiocese of St. Louis to be Prefect of the Apostolic Segnatura, many people asked me if this was a matter of promoveatur ut amoveatur, that is, to get him out of the way before the November elections in the USA.

I said "No.".

This is in from CNA:

Catholics who support abortion should not receive Communion, says Archbishop Burke

Archbishop Raymond Burke

.- The prefect of the Apostolic Signature, Archbishop Raymond Burke, said this week that Catholics, especially politicians who publically defend abortion, should not receive Communion, and that ministers of Communion should be responsibly charitable in denying it to them if they ask for it, “until they have reformed their lives.”

In an interview with the magazine, Radici Christiane, Archbishop Burke pointed out that there is often a lack of reverence at Mass when receiving Communion.  “Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ unworthily is a sacrilege,” he warned.  “If it is done deliberately in mortal sin it is a sacrilege.”  [When is the last time you heard a bishop speak publicly of sacrilege?]

To illustrate his point, he referred to “public officials who, with knowledge and consent, uphold actions that are against the Divine and Eternal moral law. For example, if they support abortion, which entails the taking of innocent and defenseless human lives.  A person who commits sin in this way should be publicly admonished in such a way as to not receive Communion until he or she has reformed his life,” the archbishop said.

“If a person who has been admonished persists in public mortal sin and attempts to receive Communion, the minister of the Eucharist has the obligation to deny it to him. Why? Above all, for the salvation of that person, preventing him from committing a sacrilege,” he added.

We must avoid giving people the impression that one can be in a state of mortal sin and receive the Eucharist,” the archbishop continued.  “Secondly, there could be another form of scandal, [This is a very important point.] consisting of leading people to think that the public act that this person is doing, which until now everyone believed was a serious sin, is really not that serious -  if the Church allows him or her to receive Communion.”

“If we have a public figure who is openly and deliberately upholding abortion rights and receiving the Eucharist, what will the average person think? He or she could come to believe that it up to a certain point it is okay to do away with an innocent life in the mother’s womb,” he warned.

Archbishop Burke also noted that when a bishop or a Church leader prevents an abortion supporter from receiving Communion, “it is not with the intention of interfering in public life but rather in the spiritual state of the politician or public official who, if Catholic, should follow the divine law in the public sphere as well.”

“Therefore, it is simply ridiculous and wrong to try to silence a pastor, accusing him of interfering in politics so that he cannot do good to the soul of a member of his flock,” he stated.

It is “simply wrong” to think that the faith must be reduced to the private sphere and eliminated from public life, Archbishop Burke said, encouraging Catholics “to bear witness to our faith not only in private in our homes but also in our public lives with others in order to bear strong witness to Christ.”

 

The comment about faith and the private sphere is important.

Pope Benedict, in what I call his Marshall Plan to revive Catholic identity, is working to help Catholics rediscovered who they are and what they believe so that they can also have something vigorous and useful to contribute in the public square.  Catholics have been driven from the public square in the past.  There is great pressure to reduce Christian faith merely to the realm of the private, as if anyone who "believes" must shelve their beliefs before acting and speaking in the public square.

But human beings cannot be so subdivided.

We cannot be forced to leave aside in human affairs that which is fundamental to our human identity.

At the time His Excellency was promoted to Prefect, I made the observation that his voice will now be heard in the more or less daily business of the Curia, since he will soon be a member of many dicasteries which consult on a regular basis.   Archbp. Burke clearly is in close harmony with the aims of the Holy Father.  He will be an important collaborator.

Furthermore, his comments need not be interpreted as being aimed at any particular American politician.

These same issues are being fought out in the whole world.  Italian lefies are constantly screeching about this.  Remember, too, the kerfuffle caused when Pope Benedict on the airplane to Brasil spoke about the Mexican Catholic pols who supported abortion.

This is a global problem.

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45 Responses to Archbp. Burke on a global problem: marginalizing faith in the “private” sphere

  1. Fr Z -

    I agree. Archbishop Burke was moved to Rome to get him IN the way before the elections. [Well... I think this is a possible secondary effect, but he was not made Prefect so that he could influence American elections. - Fr. Z]

    We have the evidence before us.

    This is a promotion. For all of us.

    Benedicamus Domino.

    Fr C

  2. Christopher Milton says:

    Father, would the support of capital punishment (in the United States) and assisted suicide laws also fall into the same category as supporting abortion laws? [Not really. The Church recognizes the authority of the state to use capital punishment under restricted circumstances.]

  3. Brian Mershon says:

    Good points, but…

    Who is going to inform the hordes of “extraordinary” ministers of Holy Communion that they should deny communion to certain people approaching them?

    Because more than 90% of all Catholics probably receive from extraordinary ministers, doesn’t this present a problem?

    Most priests and bishops are not going to deny communion to ANYONE. Do we really believe the eucharistic monsters and monstresses will? [Please don't use this language again on this blog. I don't think we need them either, in most circumstances, but I don't want this language to derail useful discussions.]

    Please…

  4. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Reading this morning’s Catholic news, I couldn’t decide whether I like Abp. Burke more or Abp. Chaput more. They are both so wonderful! Thank God for both of their prophetic voices!

  5. TJM says:

    Father Z, Can Archbishop Burke discipline American bishops who continue to ignore this matter? After all, they are committing
    scandal by doing so and weakening the Faith. Regards, Tom

  6. Tina in Ashburn says:

    I am so comforted to see this publicly stated by a Prelate. May God continue to bless and strengthen Archbishop Burke! Isn’t the Truth beautiful?

    I wonder if this will reduce the numbers of eager lay Eucharistic Ministers who now have been told that they must refuse Holy Communion appropriately. Presently, most distribute Communion freely with the understanding that refusal is the pastor’s responsibility. This recommendation to refuse might frighten away some laymen.

    Here again may be a wonderful method to teach some of our unfortunate undereducated priests that the power of their office gives them the strength to admonish sinners and confers the power of conversion. Although many good Extraordinary Ministers strive to holiness and exhibit exemplary behavior and courage, the layman just doesn’t have the same power that holy ordination gives to our priests.

  7. Bob says:

    And the Archbishop is very clear in spelling out this is a mortal sin. Something not heard often from prelates so directly.

  8. Michael says:

    I have the same question as Christopher and would love to hear people’s thoughts. Are Ministers of the Eucharist then also obliged to deny Communion to, say, a state Governor who, despite a plea from the Holy Father, refuses to commute a death sentence? Does the same logic regarding politicians dictate that ordinary Catholics who vote Democratic receive absolution for doing so before approaching the altar?

  9. Ohio Annie says:

    The Church does not consider abortion, the death penalty, and assisted suicide to be morally equivalent.

  10. Joshua says:

    Well the Church has said that direct abortion is always wrong, but that the death penalty is a right of the state and used justly an act of obedience to the 5th commandment. However, there has been a judgment that in our times the use of the death penalty carries more evil with it than good and should be ceased (whether Cardinal Dulles view that enough innocents die so that the wheat and chaff are not separated or the view, and I should look for it,of John Paul II that modern society does not understand retribution, the proper end of punishment, and therefore that reason, which should be primary, is lost already so that if youcan protect society without the dp you should, because in a culture of death it will have more harm than good)

    Then Cardinal Ratzinger had this to say

    3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.
    (Letter to US Bishops, Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion)

    BTW this letter says we have to deny communion to pro-abort politicians.

  11. Ohio Annie says:

    I think the archbishop is referring only to the ordinary ministers of the Eucharist being the ones to decide to deny people Communion based on morals.

  12. Jenny Z says:

    God Bless Archbishop Burke.

  13. Paul says:

    With this logic, was it then a sacrilege when Priests and/or Bishops were knowingly celebrating the HOLY COMMUNION during the years of sexual abuse cover-up?

  14. John Enright says:

    As an American, I used to think that the promotion of Archbishop Burke to the Church’s chief Judge was the Vatican’s gain and our loss. With this statement from His Excellency, I now realize that it is a win-win situation for the entire Church! God bless Archbishop Burke.

  15. Christopher Milton says:

    Joshua: The “if you can protect society without it” argument was exactly where I was headed, because in the U.S. this is entirely possible. However, Ohio Annie makes cleared this up me in that the Church does not consider these to be morally equivilent.

  16. Jordanes says:

    Brian rhetorically asked: Who is going to inform the hordes of “extraordinary” ministers of Holy Communion that they should deny communion to certain people approaching them?

    It’s true that there’s going to a problem where the “rubber” of moral law hits the “ground” of those who are required to apply it. Still, in our parish there is a local Democratic Party somewhat-of-a-bigwig who supports legal abortion. A few years ago our pastor quietly instructed him not to present himself for Communion for that reason, and instructed all ministers of Holy Communion not to communicate him if he does present himself. It is, after all, the pastor’s responsibility to talk to Catholics who make themselves unfit for Communion and to make sure all Communion ministers know the situation and follow what the Church says. So I know there’s at least one pastor who will do what God wants in these kinds of situations.

  17. Deusdonat says:

    I can only eccho the sentiments of those who have posted before me. God Bless archbishop Burke.

  18. Jim Dorchak says:

    I saw this somewhere else:

    News alert! News Alert! News Alert!

    Some new news directly from the Catholic Church.

    Catholics should be Catholic.

    Formerly, it was comonly known, and acceptable through out the Catholic Church, that catholics could say that they were Catholic and not really act or be Catholic. Until August 2008 it was perfectly Ok to be against everything the Catholic Church teaches, believes and works for, and even be out right anti Catholic.

    What is wrong with the Church don’t they understand what is important?

    Qm2/ss
    _________________
    The NO is like a box of Chocolates………….

    Jim Dorchak

  19. M. A. Labeo says:

    Wonderful words… but they are not backed by action. Just futile, empty, powerless words.

    Mr Manel Pousa, a priest from the Archdiocese of Barcelona (Spain) bragged months ago in an interview about having paid for at least one abortion. Apart from a meeting with Archbishop of Barcelona, Lluis Cardinal Martinez Sistach, which was held not immediately after Mr Pousa’ interview was released and with no known outcome, nothing has been done upon it.

    (BTW; at this point, you will guess why I am simply not able to say Fr. to Mr Pousa.)

    And when I say nothing I mean from Rome, not only from Archbishop Card. Martinez. After several months, all hope that H.E. would duly address the crime (so it is under Canon Law) has been lost long ago.

    But on such a outrageous behaviour from a priest, regarding such grave matter and after Cardinal’s miserable failure on doing anything positive, some reaction from Rome was expected, in vain.

    So excuse me if, when I read about a curial talking about how serious the matter is, how important to prevent scandal is, how much the Mother Church cares about anything that could lead the people to think that it may be not such grave,… well, with due respect to Archbishop Burke, I laugh. Really not; I cry.

    PS. I know it sounds unbelievable but it is true. I do not post links to confirm what I say since they are in Spanish. If wished, I can provide them. You can also google Pousa and aborto (Spanish for abortion).

    PPS. I am serious when I say “with due respect to Archbishop Burke”. He has been recently appointed to his post, he may not know about this and, in any case, it would not be his competence. It does not make the Church’s failure any less sad.

  20. Jim Dorchak says:

    “I think the archbishop is referring only to the ordinary ministers of the Eucharist being the ones to decide to deny people Communion based on morals.

    Comment by Ohio Annie — 20 August 2008 @ 10:22 am ”

    Hey, I thought that extra ordianry monsters were now ordinary now?

    After all are they not called “Ministers” now?

    Jim Dorchak

  21. O.K. This sets up excommunications of bishops and priests et alii for publically perpetrating sacrilege by (1) arrogantly, obstinately giving Holy Communion to public sinners and by (2) thus arrogantly, obstinately encouraging public sinners to commit their own sacrilege by receiving Holy Communion.

    Sacrilege against the Blessed Sacrament is very grave.

    I suffered like hell because I was going way out of my way not to commit this sacrilege of giving Holy Communion to a public sinner. It’s not any wrath of any politician or whoever that is so much of a problem for a priest, but rather the condemnation and severe marginalization received from fellow priests, and the sometimes horrific punishment coming from whatever bishops and cardinals who pander to the lowest common denominator of niceness of all going to hell together nicely.

    Yet, there are always wonderfully good fruits which come from obedience to the law of the Church, nor is the obedient priest forgotten by our Lord, who is always good, always kind, and who always, but always has something a thousand times better for the priest in every way that is good for him.

    Thanks, Ray.

    Cheers!

  22. Matt Q says:

    Joshua wrote:

    “Well the Church has said that direct abortion is always wrong, but that the death penalty is a right of the state and used justly an act of obedience to the 5th commandment. However, there has been a judgment that in our times the use of the death penalty carries more evil with it than good and should be ceased (whether Cardinal Dulles’ view that enough innocents die so that the wheat and chaff are not separated or the view, and I should look for it, of John Paul II that modern society does not understand retribution, the proper end of punishment, and therefore that reason, which should be primary, is lost already so that if you can protect society without the dp you should, because in a culture of death it will have more harm than good)

    Then Cardinal Ratzinger had this to say

    3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.
    (Letter to US Bishops, Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion)

    BTW this letter says we have to deny communion to pro-abort politicians.”

    Ohio Annie wrote:

    “I think the archbishop is referring only to the ordinary ministers of the Eucharist being the ones to decide to deny people Communion based on morals.”

    Brian Mershon wrote:

    “Who is going to inform the hordes of “extraordinary” ministers of Holy Communion that they should deny communion to certain people approaching them?

    Because more than 90% of all Catholics probably receive from extraordinary ministers, doesn’t this present a problem?

    Most priests and bishops are not going to deny communion to ANYONE. Do we really believe the eucharistic monsters and monstresses will?”

    )(

    All of your points lead me to believe nothing will be done. No evil politician will be denied Communion, no bad bishop will ever be reprimanded, solid, authentic and reverent Liturgy will never be said in the majority of churches–just various pockets thereof…

    Is this really all what we can expect of our Church? Lip flapping? Is there no point at the Church will act decisively? If this is so, then we really are wasting our time here and carrying on like altruistic fools.

  23. Matt Q says:

    Fr C wrote:

    “I agree. Archbishop Burke was moved to Rome to get him IN the way before the elections.

    We have the evidence before us.

    This is a promotion. For all of us.

    Benedicamus Domino.”

    Fr C, I don’t see the connection. Since this was the Holy Father’s decision, what does this have to do with the elections and why? An ulterior motive? I would hope not. It then insinuates Burke’s move is a means to an end rather than merely appreciating and utilizing Burke’s greatness of talent.

  24. Brian Walden says:

    Is this really all what we can expect of our Church? Lip flapping? Is there no point at the Church will act decisively? If this is so, then we really are wasting our time here and carrying on like altruistic fools.

    Matt Q., If there’s anyone who has backed up his words with actions it’s Archbishop Burke. What else do you expect the man to do? Neither he nor Pope Benedict can wave a wand and change things overnight, but Archbishop Burke set an example of how a bishop should lead his flock in St. Louis and now he’s got the opportunity to influence many more bishops in the Curia.

  25. Matt Q.,

    The Lord can accomplish many things through one human decision. Providence is the way the Lord uses something which is in all ways good for the Church to also be of good for a small portion of the Church in the U.S. The two ends are not mutually exclusive.

    If what you meant was to say that an election is a very small and insignificant matter in the life of the Church and the world, I agree. But God will use anything for our salvation.

    And I do not think it is merely chance that the Holy Father is appointing Americans as the new enforcers in Rome. He knows very well where the source of the problems are and how to fix them…

    Bless you,
    Fr C

  26. Scott says:

    Promoveatur ut pugnet!

    Now, Deo volente, the good bishop may be able to spread the wealth of his sadly uncommon common-sense.

    Deus Ep.m Burke benedicat!

  27. Neli B. says:

    I am glad with Cardinal Burke decision; it is about time that some ministers of the Catholic Church step in and have their say to enforce the catholic religion as it is. I am appalled when I see the lukerwarm feeling of faithe that prevails in most parishes; and to see in the news people, who by themselves should be avoiding the Eucharistic, going to Communion wihtout a second thought to their views in different moral issues and being served by bishopes that in my point of view are afraid or are ignorant of the catholic faith; in this case the abortion issue (and I do not refer at this moment at other morals issues that plague the world today). I am frustrated to go to the church on Sundays to hear mass and to listen to a lukewarm sermon about the gospel of that day. Priest have the moral right (have to have the courage and moral discipline) to refuse to anyone, who is not in a state of grace, the Holy Communion. People who go to communion knowing fully that they are not in the state of grace have no right to the Eucharistic (doing so shows that they have no respect and do not believe in the catholic dogmas).

  28. Warren says:

    We have to do what we can now, and the Lord has assured us that He will separate the goats from the sheep (Mt 25), the wheat from the chaff (Mt. 3:12). So, we work out our salvation in fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12), providing fraternal correction (Mt. 18:15-18) as best we can with the tools available, praying for those who are putting their souls at risk, asking God’s mercy and forgiveness.

    Meanwhile, anyone want to heap some hot coals on a few politicians? (Romans 12).

    BTW – Praise God for men like Archbishop Burke!

  29. TNCath says:

    Archbishop Burke’s appointment will not “get him out of the way.” On the contrary, I think it will put him even more into the spotlight and will give the Holy Father and the curia an even clearer picture of what’s happening (and not happening) in the Church in the United States. I’d say that bishops who do not agree with Archbishop Burke’s positions (which are the positions of the Church Universal) might find this appointment particularly troubling because he will be even more influential than he was as Archbishop of St. Louis.

  30. Scott W. says:

    With this logic, was it then a sacrilege when Priests and/or Bishops were knowingly celebrating the HOLY COMMUNION during the years of sexual abuse cover-up?

    I’ll take this as a good faith question and not a cynical “gotcha” question that it seems to be.

    Briefly, receiving communion in a state of mortal sin would indeed be sacrilege. However A priest in mortal sin (even with no intention of confessing) celebrating cummunion still confects a valid sacrament. (illicit, but valid). The sacrilege is his and his alone. Naturally, if his crimes come to light, then the whole denial of communion by others kicks in.

    The key difference is this: manifest public sin or manifest public support for evil. By allowing someone with public support for abortion, euthanasia, etc. to take communion, then not just him, but the people who failed to prevent him are guilty of sacrilege.

  31. Patrick T says:

    Ohio Annie wrote:

    “I think the archbishop is referring only to the ordinary ministers of the Eucharist being the ones to decide to deny people Communion based on morals.”

    Arch. Burke holds that this applies to all who distribute Holy Communion. In his somewhat recent canon law paper, he made a forceful case that anyone who distributes Communion has a moral obligation to refuse Communion to anyone who persists in manifest grave sin.

  32. John says:

    Should the VP slot fall to a pro-abort-catholic this situation would become interesting.

  33. What would Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have done vis-a-vis Archbishop Burkes stance on refusing communion to politicians who openly support abortion?
    It is my belief he would have agreed openly, vociferously and not shyed away from controversy of such actions. Above all, he would have behaved like a Catholic, just as we, the faithful expect all our priests to do!

  34. Forrest says:

    Unfortunately, the USCCB does not support Archbishop Burke in this. Their voter guide allows for any Catholic to support a politician if their “vote” is not directly supportive of the evil position. In other words, I can vote for Obama if my intent is not to support his position on abortion. If I think he’s a champion for other issues but disagree with his abortion position, the USCCB has given me a way to support him and keep my concience clear.

    The USCCB position and “instruction” on this and other policy issues is anything but clear. The wording in their guide “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility” is not only not read by the laity, it isn’t even addressed by the clergy. The document is long and opaque and does not specifically direct the faithful how to vote. For instance, the most important paragraph that even comes close to informing Catholics on how to vote has a loophole you can drive a Mack truck through:

    34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so
    important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper
    relationship among moral goods. A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes
    a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s
    intent is to support that position
    . In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity. (To equate abortion and racism as equal morally intrinsic evils is unbelievable, and the USCCB is merely muddying the waters for Catholics, the majority who aren’t serious about the faith anyway. Besides, it gives Cafeteria Catholics an excuse to support Obama, since he’s such a “fighter” against another intrinsic evil, such as racism)

    35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable
    position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons.
    Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to
    advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental
    moral evil.

    As you can see, the document does nothing to clearly instruct Catholics. It gives wiggle room to voters…they now have the bishops’ blessing to vote for an abortionist as long as their not voting for the abortion position.

    It would’ve been best if they issued a one line statement: Catholics Shall Not Vote For Any Politician Who Supports Abortion.

    Our bishops failed us once again.

  35. toomey says:

    Ioannes Andreades, The choice between Archbishop Burke and Chaput is a no brainer. Archbishop Burke has it all over Chaput in every way.

  36. God Bless Archbishop Burke for taking a stand.

    People act as if the USCCB is everything, they have no gifts of infallibility, they’re just an extra bureaucracy that’s there to be in the way.

    I agree with everyone whose sided with Abp. Burke and the positions of the Church

  37. Ave Maria says:

    Archbishop Chaput is certainly talking the talk. Now to firmly walk the walk and many eyes are upon him. There is the pro abortion governor and at least one senator and representative and some state representatives that claim to be Catholic and have CAtholic supporters but vote every chance they get to protect and promote the murder that is abortion. They should be publicly called on this. We all know it anyway.

    Archbishop Burke is in a holy class almost by himself. Angels protect him!

  38. Gump says:

    “People act as if the USCCB is everything, they have no gifts of infallibility, they’re just an extra bureaucracy that’s there to be in the way.”
    –Comment by Joe of St. Thérèse

    I certainly do not agree the USCCB is “everything”, but as part of the magesterium, you’d expect them to be more assertive and definitive in their instruction to their “sheep” wouldn’t you?

    If we hold to the truth that the magesterium is the teaching authority of the Church, and the USCCB (collectively part of the magisterium) is NOT teaching, but merely giving “guidance” that is fairly gray, then the result is what Luther wrought…Catholics are now authorized to interpret Catholic teachings they way they want.

    Why can’t we bring back the days of great Popes who made it abundantly clear (…”let them be anathema”) on how the faithful should follow the laws of the Church. Why do we not have Popes or Bishops that publicly excommunicate “Catholic” politicians for the sake of the Bride of Christ?

    Can any clergy (you too Father Z) explain to us why the courageous and correct actions of the bishops & popes of yesteryear have vanished? Are our bishops cowered by PC, money, or power, or are they stained with liberalism? We hear of scandalous “wimminprysts” being excommunicated (rightfully so) for their scandal, but when it comes to politicians like Pelosi, Kennedy, Biden, there isn’t even a peep from our bishops!

    And we wonder why some lose the faith…

    The Church needs to make it painfully clear that a vote for a pro-abortion politician is anathema…if that’s Her position.

    The silence from our bishops is scandalous

  39. Fr. Angel says:

    Gump:

    American Catholic bishops for years did not challenge public leaders openly because of the hatred which most Americans had of the Catholic religion. The bishops had to be careful because at one time this hatred was even manifested in violent acts like the burning of Catholic churches and convents.

    Even after Catholics no longer carried the stigma of being secret traitors attempting to overthrow American democracy, the bishops were already accustomed to a careful and prudent discussion of public debates.

    One bishop once called anti-Catholicism the “unholy ghost” and said that the sense that they are not “real Americans” and therefore do not possess the right to criticize still affects the bishops. A bishop has to have a staunch sense of his American rights and a thought out philosophy of politics to enter a public fray even with Catholic politicians. The reason is that even good Catholics are pretty brainwashed to believe that any words directed at politicians is a violation of the separation of church and state.

    That is one theory, at least, although at heart I find it mysterious that more bishops don’t confront their wayward Catholics in politics.

    God bless Archbishop Burke.

  40. Carter says:

    I agree with Archbishop Burke, and this is meant as a legitimate question, not a “gotcha” one:

    Should ministers of Communion also deny Communion to Catholic politicians who support the legal right of people to divorce and remarry? Am I incorrect that this is also a mortal sin?

  41. Seamas O Dalaigh says:

    I look forward to seeing Archbishop Burke dressed in red.

    James Daly

  42. John says:

    Here’s a quote from the encyclical Pascendi, 23, describing Modernist views; ‘Every Catholic, from the fact that he is also a citizen, has the right and the duty to work for the common good in the way he thinks best, without troubling himself about the authority of the Church, without paying any heed to its wishes, its counsels, its orders – nay, even in spite of its reprimands. To trace out and prescribe for the citizen any line of conduct, on any pretext whatsoever, is to be guilty of an abuse of ecclesiastical authority, against which one is bound to act with all one’s might.’ Sound familiar?

  43. Limbo says:

    I agree with Brian Mershon, How is this ever going to be implemented.

  44. Dan Hunter says:

    Archbishop Burke for His Eminence and furthermore the first American Holy Father!

  45. CK says:

    Now that we know what is expected of the laity – to not receive Communion in such circumstances, what sin then does the priest himself commit when he knows the rules, knows the public scandal of the figure coming before him to receive and still, for whatever personal reasons, gives him the Eucharist? EEMs may believe that they on their own do not have the authority to refuse the Eucharist unless instructed by the priest in charge of the parish where they have the EEM position. They may feel that they are not up to snuff on the exact present circumstances of the person and his/her relationship to the Church. There should be more explicit instruction to the priest re: his communication of this procedure to his ministers…more responsibility placed on his role in this matter. And does he have to wait for instruction by his bishop re: any particular public person within his parish, or visiting his parish in such circumstance? Some people may just not be aware if someone has publicly recanted his position.