WASHINGTON, D.C., September 21, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In an address to InsideCatholic.com’s 14th Annual Partnership Dinner Friday evening, Archbishop Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, said that funeral rites should not be given to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. He also defended the duty of Catholics to speak in charity against the scandal caused by such figures.
The archbishop said that, while “we must speak the truth in charity,” Catholics also “should have the courage to look truth in the eye and call things by their common names.”
“It is not possible to be a practicing Catholic and to conduct oneself in this manner,” he told the crowd of about 200 guests.
Burke hammered home his message of the need for fidelity to Church teaching on the part of Catholics in politics in his 50-minute speech. The archbishop, known for his unwavering and vocal defense of the Church’s teachings on life and family issues, was given a standing ovation at the conclusion of his address.
In what appeared to be a reference to the Kennedy funeral scandal, Burke said that “neither Holy Communion nor funeral rites should be administered to” politicians who support abortion or same-sex “marriage.” “To deny these is not a judgment of the soul, but a recognition of the scandal and its effects,” he said.
Burke said that when a politician is associated “with greatly sinful acts about fundamental questions like abortion and marriage, his repentance must also be public.”
“Anyone who grasps the gravity of what he has done will understand the need to make it public,” said Burke.
Sen. Ted Kennedy, a staunch abortion and same-sex “marriage” supporter, was laid to rest in a highly publicized and laudatory Catholic funeral ceremony in Boston on August 29. Catholic pro-life leaders had pleaded with Cardinal Sean O’Malley not to allow the public ceremony, but the cardinal ultimately presided over the rites. In turn, other leaders in the Catholic community, most notably Fr. Thomas Rosica, the CEO of Canada’s Salt & Light television network, lambasted the pro-life response to the funeral as uncharitable.
About the pro-life leaders and activists who expressed concern about Kennedy’s funeral, Rosica wrote on his blog, “many so-called lovers of life and activists in the pro-life movement, as well as well-known colleagues in Catholic television broadcasting and media in North America, have revealed themselves to be not agents of life, but of division, destruction, hatred, vitriol, judgment and violence.”
Burke, however, defended those who spoke out against such scandal, pointing out that unity within the Church is ultimately based upon the truth.
“The Church’s unity is founded on speaking the truth in love,” he said. “This does not destroy unity but helps to repair a breach in the life of the Church.”
I very much doubt I could have said or written something any clearer or more faithful than what Archbishop Burke said above. The only amazing thing about this whole fiasco is that this is even a debate in the Church. We have officially lost our minds. To hear Archbishop Burke tell us that Catholics “should have the courage to look truth in the eye and call things by their common names” was like a soothing ointment for an aching body. Communication strategy = telling the truth. A wild concept, I know, but it works!
By the way, did everyone catch the reading from the Old Testament Scriptures this past Sunday? I think it is very appropriate to what is going on in the Church today regarding these scandals. Here is the text:
Reading 1, Book of Wisdom 2:12, 17-20 – Let us lay traps for the upright man, since he annoys us and opposes our way of life, reproaches us for our sins against the Law, and accuses us of sins against our upbringing. Let us see if what he says is true, and test him to see what sort of end he will have. For if the upright man is God’s son, God will help him and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies. Let us test him with cruelty and with torture, and thus explore this gentleness of his and put his patience to the test. Let us condemn him to a shameful death since God will rescue him — or so he claims.’
Let he who has ears, hear!
Do you commune with the pro-abortion politician? No, you say?
Then is the Teacher who is telling you that it is acceptable to do so instructing you in the Truth? And if he isn’t instructing you in the Truth, just what kind of Teacher is he?
A friend of mine told me that at her parish this weekend, she observed a communicant receiving the communion host, putting one half of the host in his mouth and the other half in his pocket. She tried to track down the guy, but he was out the backdoor before she could confront him. Later after Mass, she went to tell the priest. The priest confirmed that he had had another complaint about this particular man. He assured my friend that this man will be refused communion the next time he approaches the altar.
This priestly action, my friends, is what will distinguish true Catholic parishes from the false ones in the years to come. If you believe in the sacredness of the Eucharist, PROVE IT.