Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Bishop Burke discusses the letters he sent to Catholic politicians
The Catholic Times, LaCrosse, Wisconsin ^ | 12/11/03 | Bishop Burke

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.

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 one’s 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.

From the 12/12 edition of the St. Louis Review. (emphasis mine)


TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: abortion; burke; politicians

1 posted on 12/12/2003 9:48:16 AM PST by lrslattery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: pseudo-justin; Desdemona
Duuuuuuuude. pseudo-ignatius is a happy boy.

Seriously, though, all signs look good with the arrival His Excellency in St. Louis.
2 posted on 12/12/2003 9:51:43 AM PST by pseudo-ignatius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lrslattery
The link to The Catholic Times is here.
3 posted on 12/12/2003 9:52:54 AM PST by lrslattery (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam - http://slatts.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pseudo-ignatius; claritas; Desdemona; cebadams
Wow :)

4 posted on 12/12/2003 10:19:40 AM PST by pseudo-justin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: lrslattery; pseudo-ignatius; pseudo-justin
Okay, question - since the most name recognized Catholic pro-choice politician around here died last month, or the month before (Westfall), do you all think he's going to single out Lacy Clay? Or is he going to concentrate on the state reps.

This has been a question for a while for me as there are a number of name reps who aren't Catholic.
5 posted on 12/12/2003 10:21:50 AM PST by Desdemona (Kempis' Imitation of Christ online! http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/imitation/imitation.html)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: lrslattery
Please make this guy a cardinal and put him in New York or at least DC.
7 posted on 12/12/2003 10:49:56 AM PST by madprof98
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: webwizard
I guess theocrats never learn.

Nor do the atheists, but--blessedly--most of them hang out on the Democrat sites.

8 posted on 12/12/2003 10:52:36 AM PST by madprof98
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: Desdemona
I didn't know Lacy Clay was Catholic. I heard the other day the name of Claire McCaskill bandied about since she has decided to run for the governor's office. From the Post-Dispatch 12/5
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'.

10 posted on 12/12/2003 10:56:08 AM PST by lrslattery (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam - http://slatts.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: madprof98
Please make this guy a cardinal and put him in New York or at least DC.

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.

11 posted on 12/12/2003 10:59:22 AM PST by lrslattery (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam - http://slatts.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: webwizard
Do you think non-Christians should vote Democrat just because they don't believe in the supernatural?

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.

12 posted on 12/12/2003 11:01:57 AM PST by madprof98
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: madprof98
No, you can't have him. He's ours! hehehe
14 posted on 12/12/2003 11:11:43 AM PST by pseudo-ignatius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: pseudo-justin
WOW!!!
15 posted on 12/12/2003 11:31:11 AM PST by RobbyS (XP)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: webwizard
And if your doctor tells you that you are going to die if you don't stop smoking, then he is a physiocrat?
16 posted on 12/12/2003 11:34:19 AM PST by RobbyS (XP)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: webwizard
I guess theocrats never learn.

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 you’re one of the “Bright People”

17 posted on 12/12/2003 11:35:17 AM PST by conservonator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: lrslattery
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."

Honey, wake up. You have been listening to the lies of some false priest.

18 posted on 12/12/2003 11:37:17 AM PST by RobbyS (XP)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: conservonator
"Why would a non-Catholic give a rat's a$$ about what a Bishop says to a member of his flock?"

Because when a Christan leader stands up and hold his flock accountable, I can maybe start to think this country can stop the ride in the hand basket and maybe recover.
19 posted on 12/12/2003 11:53:11 AM PST by redgolum
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: redgolum
Because when a Christan leader stands up and hold his flock accountable, I can maybe start to think this country can stop the ride in the hand basket and maybe recover.

Good point, but I don't think that played a part in the post I was responding too...

20 posted on 12/12/2003 12:05:33 PM PST by conservonator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: lrslattery
Finally,

A true Catholic gets some press. There is no substitute for testicular fortitude and a keen mind. Congrats to Bishop Burke.
21 posted on 12/12/2003 1:46:23 PM PST by johnb2004
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: webwizard
If people commit mortal sins they are at risk of going to hell. That is a truth of the faith and it has nothing to do with politics or theocracy. There is also the little matter of the First Amendment, you know, freedom of speech, religion, etc. Oh, but I guess that traditional religious leaders forfeit their First Amendment rights in this brave new liberal anti-religious world we live in.
22 posted on 12/12/2003 2:21:07 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: pseudo-ignatius; Desdemona
The more I read about your new bishop, the more jealous I am that it is Justin Rigali, and not he, who has come to Philadelphia.
24 posted on 12/12/2003 2:40:59 PM PST by old and tired
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: lrslattery
Burke won't quit. That's beyond question.

I was just curious as to who else around here was Catholic running for office. It's not like it's usually an issue unless it's volunteered.

There are many people who do not believe in denying Eucharist. I worry that Burke's zealousness is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way. I'm waiting to see his comportment and manners and whether or not he understands our brand of class. It seems from his actions in Wisconsin that he does understand what it means to act with manners. It's just a worry I have.
25 posted on 12/12/2003 2:57:01 PM PST by Desdemona (Kempis' Imitation of Christ online! http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/imitation/imitation.html)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: webwizard
It is not a threat, since the clergy does not send anyone to Hell, only God does. The clergy, however, have a responsibility to teach the faithful what is sinful behavior and what the consequences of that are. I'm sorry, but we Christians have rights too, so you can just take your anti-religious bigotry and hatred and stuff it!
26 posted on 12/12/2003 3:02:25 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Desdemona
You have to consider the possibility that some pol leaked the letter to make himself look good in the eyes of hisparty bosses. So much the worst for him/her.
27 posted on 12/12/2003 3:49:12 PM PST by RobbyS (XP)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: lrslattery
The Deadly Dozen
Canadian Prime Minister Taunts Church: "I Am A Catholic And For Abortion"
Catholic Church asks Tom Daschle to stop calling himself a Catholic
On Catholic Politicians and Faith
Vatican Urges Catholic Politicians to Vote Along Church Lines
Senator Santorum on Being Catholic and a Politician
William E. Simon, Sr. and Jr. Devout Catholics, Philanthropists and Politicians
Deadly Dozen senator taken to task over claims of Catholicism
THE BISHOP AND THE SENATOR [author links to FR thread regarding Daschle in her online column]
Blood On Their Hands: Exposing Pro-abortion Catholic Politicians
MI Gov Granholm Proclaims June "Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month"
Colorado Governor To Media:'WE LOVE OUR CHURCH' [Gov. Bill Owens
U.S. Senator Brownback and Commentator Dick Morris Join Catholic Church
PRIEST REFUSES COMMUNION TO KNEELING PRO-LIFE POLITICIAN [Richard Black, Virginia]
Kerry [Catholic} says he'll filibuster Supreme Court nominees who do not support abortion rights
Pope to MPs: Stop gay marriage
Vatican - Considerations regarding ... homosexual persons
CONFUSIONS ABOUT POLITICAL JUDGMENT AND THE MORAL LAW
Prelate says politicians who back abortion shouldn't go to Communion
Bishop draws fire for targeting Chrétien
Kennedy likens Vatican stance on gay unions to 'bigotry' (oh, go get a job, you little creep)
Ignorance or Malicious Intent? "No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to..."
George Weigel on Authentic Catholic Citizenship, and the Duty of Catholic Politicians to Behave as Catholics
Conservative Catholics urge Church to challenge "dissenters"
[Robert F., Jr.] Kennedy to speak at Festival of Faiths (Environmentalism as religion)
Faithful Catholic Politicians
Catholic Bishops Eye Possible Crackdown of Pro-Abortion Pols
PETITION TO EX-COMMUNICATE PRO-ABORTION CATHOLIC ELECTED OFFICIALS
It is Time to Excommunicate the Politicians
Church vows to fight gay marriage: Catholics pressure pols
Should politicians toe their church line?
Church May Penalize Politicans
Catholic politicians facing dogmatic threat
Bishop appeals to Catholic lawmakers [Wisconsin]
New St. Louis Catholic Archbishop Warns Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians of Excommunication.
Bishop Objected to AIDS Walk
Wisconsin Catholic Lawmakers Seek Victim Status In Feud With Bishop
Bishop Burke discusses the letters he sent to Catholic politicians
28 posted on 12/12/2003 3:58:09 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Desdemona
Is Burke actually denying these folks the Eucharist? I thought he just asked them not to present themselves for the sacraments. At any rate, I'm sure there will be renegade priests who will say they are proud to offer the Eucharist to these pro-choice, pro-homosexual marriage politicians.
29 posted on 12/12/2003 5:01:57 PM PST by k omalley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Desdemona
You're forgetting Dick Gephardt. He is a Catholic and a former pro-life politician who jumped ship. As I heard the story, Gephardt met with Ed McCauley and told him that he was strongly in the pro-life camp. The very next day, Gephardt scheduled a press conference and announced that he was changing his position on the matter. He'll probably be first on the list.
30 posted on 12/14/2003 8:43:28 AM PST by claritas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: claritas
Dick Gephardt is a Baptist.
31 posted on 12/14/2003 4:09:36 PM PST by Desdemona (Kempis' Imitation of Christ online! http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/imitation/imitation.html)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Desdemona
"There are many people who do not believe in denying Eucharist"

I fail to see why it matters if the few or many believe such an assertion. What matters is will the bishops correct the wayward and those who cause scandal.

"I'm waiting to see his comportment and manners and whether or not he understands our brand of class. It seems from his actions in Wisconsin that he does understand what it means to act with manners. "

Perhaps you could explain what that means? From my reading this bishop has enough faith to be more concerned with offending Christ than some "catholic" who dissents and causes scandal.
32 posted on 12/15/2003 5:42:31 AM PST by johnb2004
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
Congregation still missing stolen religious sculpture (Sodomites HateCrime Against The Church?) http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1081774/posts

33 posted on 02/19/2004 11:21:11 PM PST by quietolong
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: conservonator
** 2) a Catholic can leave the church at any time there by rendering the Bishops letter moot.**

And a Catholic can always come back to the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church she he/she realize they made a mistake in leaving in the first place.
34 posted on 02/19/2004 11:26:18 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson