Skip to comments.Bishop Burke discusses the letters he sent to Catholic politicians
Posted on 12/12/2003 9:48:15 AM PST by lrslattery
In this excerpt from his column for the Dec. 11 issue of the Catholic Times, weekly newspaper of the La Cross, Wis., Diocese, Archbishop-elect Raymond Burke discusses the letters he sent to Catholic politicians in Wisconsin:
In the past days, you may have read in your local newspaper about letters that I have been sending to members of the faithful of the Diocese of La Crosse who are also legislators at the federal and state levels.From the 12/12 edition of the St. Louis Review. (emphasis mine)
Although the letters were written in strictest confidence because they dealt with matters of conscience, one of the letters was made public at the time of the announcement of my transfer to the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
Because I wrote the letters as a shepherd to members of his flock, I have refused to identify or confirm the identity of those to whom I wrote. Since the writing of the letters has now been made public, I want to explain to you what prompted me to write them.
All of us have the obligation, according to the first precept of the natural law and the Fifth Commandment of the Decalogue, to protect and foster human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.
Those of us who are public officials have a most solemn duty to safeguard the dignity of every human life and to lead all of society to do the same. Catholic legislators are held to do all within their power to pass laws which safeguard and foster human life.
To take directly a human life or to cooperate in any way with the direct taking of a human life is a mortal sin, one of the most grievous of all sins. I use the word direct to distinguish this kind of killing from self-defense, in which a human life is indirectly taken in order to save ones own life or the life of another.
The Catholic legislator who supports legislation which permits or, at the very least, does not limit the direct taking of a human life commits a mortal sin, risking the eternal salvation of his or her own soul.
What is more, he or she scandalizes others, leading them to believe that it is coherent with the Catholic faith to espouse anti-life politics and to cooperate with those who violate the right to life of others, especially of our most innocent and defenseless brothers and sisters through procured abortion and of our brothers and sisters burdened with advanced years, serious illness or special needs through euthanasia.
Now that the letters have been made public, members of the media have asked whether I regret having written them. I have no regret at all.
When a shepherd sees a member of the flock endangering the salvation of his soul and, worse yet, risking danger to the salvation of other souls, he has the solemn duty to call the person to conversion of heart and mind.
If I had not written to the faithful in question, then I would be full of regret and would have to answer to God for my failure to fulfill my responsibility as shepherd to admonish those in sin.
My letters have been construed by some as lobbying or electioneering. They are nothing of the sort.
They are letters of a bishop to certain members of the faithful in his pastoral care. The letters are directed solely to the conversion of heart of the faithful, to their turning from sin for the salvation of their souls.
Nor do the atheists, but--blessedly--most of them hang out on the Democrat sites.
State Auditor Claire McCaskill is perhaps the state's highest-profile Catholic who is for abortion rights. McCaskill, who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor against incumbent Gov. Bob Holden, belongs to parishes in St. Louis and in Jefferson City.
McCaskill said Burke's stance doesn't upset her.
"I don't want to prejudge the bishop," she said. "I look forward to his arrival. I am praying for his leadership, and I hope he will pray for me."
I'm sure he will not quit. He doesn't strike me as that kind of bishop. I'm not really sure who in the state legislature is Catholic and 'pro-abortion'.
The Holy Father has not consulted with me so I guess we must wait for him. I can understand one's frustration in NY or DC...I wouldn't really want either of them. Not enough spine for my liking.
Most of the "non-Christians" I know certainly do believe in the supernatural. It's just the hardcore atheists like you who wave their contempt for religious faith like a rainbow flag. There seem to be a bunch of them in the Dean campaign; I guess you don't go there because you wouldn't stick out so annoyingly.
Why would a non-Catholic give a rat's a$$ about what a Bishop says to a member of his flock? Two things for the reasoning impaired:
1) this does not pertain a non-Catholic.
2) a Catholic can leave the church at any time there by rendering the Bishops letter moot.
As a Bishop he has not only the right but also the responsibility to instruct his flock.
Let me guess youre one of the Bright People
Honey, wake up. You have been listening to the lies of some false priest.
Good point, but I don't think that played a part in the post I was responding too...