Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Catholics who support abortion should not receive Communion, says Archbishop 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.”

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, 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

The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy unequivocally supports His Grace in this unambiguous response to those Catholics who support abortion and still approach the Sacred and Most Holy Eucharist. We are proud to have been called the "Burke Brigade" last year in the secular press when we visited the Archdiocese of St. Louis. God save and bless Archbishop Burke.


Ponte Sisto said...

I'm so grateful to Abp Burke for having the courage to make such a public stand. I think the American Church will miss him greatly.

Abortion is so incredibly evil, yet so many Catholics are scared to speak out, and take a stand for the unborn, for fear of "womens' rights". Murder, is murder!

The Lord must have great plans for the archbishop and maybe he needs him to be in Rome, close to the Holy Father, in order for those plans to come to fruition!

Anonymous said...

What common sense! Congratulations to Archbishop Burke on his recent appointment in Rome. Thank you Archbishop for tirelessly defending the rights of the unborn babies. May God bless and protect you always.

Anonymous said...

Is Archbishop Burke's opinion/comments binding at all or will they have any affect on the behavior our bishops? Does his office have jurisdiction at all, and what is are it's limits? Frankly before he was in the position I never heard of it before.

BG45 said...

An excellent post about an excellent man. Continuing to remind all of us that abortion is wrong, it sends a very strong message to us all, even if we are not Catholic.

Dad29 said...

Perhaps you can confirm this.

A commenter on my blog (same issue) stated that ESM's are NOT "ministers of Communion;" that only priests and ordained Deacons fit that description.

Are you familiar with Canon on that point?

tjb said...

Dad29, See the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, # 154
"...Hence the name “minister of the Eucharist” belongs properly to the Priest alone. "


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