A message from Archbp. Burke

It is my privilege to present a message:

Dear Members of the Marian Catechist Apostolate,
Today is the 36th Anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous decision in the cases Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, by which the highest court of our nation took away the safeguard of the most fundamental of all rights, the right to life, from the most vulnerable members of the human family, the unborn.  Rightly, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has, for some time, designated this day as a Day of Penance for Violations to the Dignity of the Human Person, and of Prayer for the Full Restoration of the Legal Guarantee of the Right to Life. January 22nd is to be observed “as a particular day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion, and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 373).
The legacy of the just-mentioned decisions has been an unconscionable decline in the respect for all human life.  By now, you are familiar with the latest and most heinous anti-life legislation the people of the United States of America are facing: the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).  The passage of FOCA would lift all restrictions on procured abortion, force taxpayers to participate in the funding of procured abortions; revoke all informed consent, parental notification and conscience protection laws; and force even Catholic hospitals to perform abortions, which clearly would necessitate the closing of Catholic hospitals.  I ask you to pray for the defeat of FOCA and to do all you can to work against its passage, while also working to protect existing pro-life legislation. For more information on how to become involved, please visit the USCCB website at www.usccb.org.prolife.
In a special way, I address you, the members of the Marian Catechist Apostolate, on this Day of Penance. Reflecting on the circumstances in society which give rise to the necessity of a Day of Penance for Violations to the Dignity of the Human Person, I am deeply conscious of the much needed service of the Marian Catechist Apostolate in the renewal of society.  I take the occasion of this most sad anniversary for our nation, to encourage you to redouble your efforts to grow in personal holiness and knowledge of the Catholic Faith, that you may always be equipped to share generously and courageously the richness of the Faith with others, for the transformation of society.
Please join me today and always in calling upon the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe for the transformation of the culture death into a civilization of divine love and life.
Invoking God’s blessing upon you and your home, I am
Yours devotedly in Christ,
(Most Rev.) Raymond L Burke
Archbishop Emeritus of Saint Louis
Prefect, Apostolic Signatura of the Supreme Tribunal

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. JoyfulMom7 says:

    Thanks, Father. I am on my way to the March for Life. Pray for all the pro-lifers at the March!

  2. LCB says:

    My local news-rag only refers to FOCA as, “A bill that anti-choice extremists believe will do (X, Y, and Z), but pro-choice activists explain that it will really just defend a woman’s right to choose and protect her fundamental right to have an abortion.”

    No actual reporting or investigation about the simple facts that FOCA really will close Catholic hospitals, criminalize not providing abortions, remove all restrictions to abortions, etc. And they wonder why they’re going bankrupt?

  3. j says:

    link is;


    too bad it isn’t as a formatted pdf for distribution in Church on Sunday.

  4. Bobby Bambino says:

    For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

  5. TNCath says:

    Very well done! Contrast this with the message from Bishop J. Terry Steib of Memphis. Very interesting. Same old same old.


  6. Ohio Annie says:

    Interesting that the other piece says the seamless garment is like Joseph’s garment, not Jesus’ garment.

  7. ED says:

    Pray that Archbishop Burke gets to appoint his successor in St. louis!!!!

  8. Margaret says:

    So, folks, what are we all doing for this day of penance? Any suggestions?

  9. RBrown says:

    My local news-rag only refers to FOCA as, “A bill that anti-choice extremists believe will do (X, Y, and Z), but pro-choice activists explain that it will really just defend a woman’s right to choose and protect her fundamental right to have an abortion.”
    Comment by LCB

    The fact that they have adopted the lingo of the pro abortion crowd (“anti-choice”) betrays not only their bias but also their journalistic incompetence.

  10. Lee says:

    On TV, I heard Fr. Mitch Pacwa call it the “Freedom of Killing Act,” FOKA. Perhaps we can use that lingo to try to counteract the misleading real title.

  11. I’m a bit confused. what’s wrong with Bishop Steib’s message?

  12. We will be happy to welcome Archbishop Burke here in Lourdes, where conceptions are respected! He’s coming with the world wide pilgrimage of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, on 25-26 April 2009.

  13. Kevin says:

    David: Bp. Steib’s message mentions “consistent ethic of life” and “seamless garment,” which should put one on alert. Sure enough, His Excellency continues, “And if we say that we believe in life, then we must be opposed to abortion, capital punishment, assisted suicide, economic injustice, racism, euthanasia and unjust wars.” See how he interweaves the life issues with social-justice issues? No priority; they all have equal weight. So, if a candidate opposes capital punishment, economic injustice, racism, and unjust wars but supports abortion, assisted suicide, and euthanasia, well, he’s a 4-to-3 favorite. (Of course, I’ve never seen a pro-racism or pro-economic-injustice platform, so the math seems fuzzy.)

  14. TJM says:

    I think the seamless garment approach was designed to give Democrats cover for their intrinsically evil Party Platform. Tom

  15. Archbishop Burke’s letter is clear and speaks the truth. If only all the Bishops’ letters were that way. Naturally the secular press labels anything against the culture of death as “anti.” That’s typical marketing behavior to influence public opinion; to set up the “them (anti) against us (pro).” Satan has to work that way to appear as an Angel of light. You will notice how all moral evils these days are sold as “rights”; a woman’s “right” to choose, a homosexual “right” to marry, the “right” to distribute pornography, etc.

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