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To: Jaded; american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; Polycarp; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; ...
Thans for the ping! Heard this on EWTN last night. From the LaCrosse web site:

The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, announced Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2003, that Bishop Raymond Leo Burke, Bishop of La Crosse, has been named as the new Archbishop of St. Louis. He will be installed as Archbishop on January 26, 2004.

Bishop Burke has issued a notification for Catholic Politicians (pdf file is linked on the right side of their web site)


11 posted on 01/09/2004 12:05:00 AM PST by NYer
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To: NYer
Here's the article that is in the SLPD this morning. It is the lede in the Metro Section.

Burke denied communion to lawmakers
By Ron Harris and Patricia Rice

St. Louis' incoming archbishop has ordered priests in his diocese in La Crosse, Wis., to refuse communion to state and federal lawmakers who are Roman Catholic and support abortion rights or euthanasia.

Under Bishop Raymond Burke's "notification," made public Thursday, priests of parishes where lawmakers attend Mass must withhold communion from them until they publicly "renounce" their support of abortion rights and euthanasia.

"Catholic legislators, who are members of the faithful of the Diocese of La Crosse and who continue to support procured abortion or euthanasia, may not present themselves to receive Holy Communion," Burke wrote. "They are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, should they present themselves, until such time as they publicly renounce their support of these most unjust practices."

The decree was dated Nov. 23, nine days before Burke was named as the new archbishop in St. Louis and 11 days before it became public that Burke had sent letters to three Catholic politicians in his diocese. In those letters, Burke told the politicians that if they didn't change their positions on abortion, he would ask them not to present themselves to receive communion because they would not be Catholics in good standing.

In a letter Aug. 29 to Wisconsin state Sen. Julie Lassa, Burke wrote, "It is a grave contradiction to assume a public role and present yourself as a credible Catholic when your actions on the fundamental issues of human life are not in accord with Church teaching."

Burke, who is to be installed as the St. Louis archbishop on Jan. 26, acknowledged at a news conference last month in Wisconsin that he wrote the earlier letters to the politicians suggesting they not seek communion. But he did not mention his decree barring them from doing so.

Burke previously has said that if necessary, he would send similar letters to Catholic politicians in the St. Louis Archdiocese who are out of step with the church's positions. But it was unclear whether he plans to issue a decree here. Burke could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Most Catholic politicians in the St. Louis area have not been at odds - at least publicly - with the church's position on abortion and euthanasia.

Missouri Auditor Claire McCaskill, a Catholic convert who is challenging Gov. Bob Holden for the Democratic nomination for governor, is probably the state's most recognized Catholic in favor of abortion rights.

McCaskill declined to discuss Burke's notification Thursday.

"I prefer not to react to something put in writing hundreds of miles away and would like to wait until I have an opportunity to visit with the bishop," said McCaskill, who attends Mass at a parish in West County and another in Jefferson City.

St. Louis Archdiocesan Administrator Joseph Naumann, who has been leading the archdiocese since the departure of Archbishop Justin Rigali in October, said he doesn't expect Burke to issue a similar notification immediately.

"Archbishop-elect Burke will have to evaluate the situation here, as it is," Naumann said.

Judie Brown, president of American Life League, a Washington-based anti-abortion group, praised Burke for "using the authority of his office to deal with a grave public scandal."

"By issuing a formal decree barring pro-abortion Catholic politicians from receiving Holy Communion, Bishop Burke is not only enforcing Church law but is courageously stepping forward in defense of innocent human beings," Brown said.

In an interview with the Catholic Times published online Thursday, Burke said the notification became necessary because none of the three lawmakers he wrote to had accepted his invitation for a private meeting to discuss their voting records and that their letters to him showed they were not open to changing their positions.

"After several exchanges of letters, it became clear in all three cases that there was no willingness to conform to the teaching of the Church," he said in the interview. "So the notification became a necessity in order that the faithful in the Diocese not be scandalized, thinking that it is acceptable for a devout Catholic to also be pro-abortion."

The St. Louis Archdiocese has not refused communion to public figures who say they are Catholic and have supported abortion, said Naumann, who Wednesday was named coadjutor archbishop of Kansas City, Kan.

The St. Louis Archdiocese's leaders have never formally written to Catholic legislators to dissuade them from their public support of abortion and euthanasia, said Naumann, who led the archdiocese Pro-Life Committee for many years.

"We are not at that point here," he said.

Naumann said that refusing communion to Catholic lawmakers after they have continued to proclaim themselves Catholic while separating themselves from the "basic Catholic teaching" on abortion and euthanasia is a way to help the individuals, for the good of their own souls, to realize how serious their differences with the church are. The ban also helps more Catholic parishioners in the Wisconsin diocese understand the breach between the church's teaching on abortion and euthanasia, he said.

"It speaks a clear message that these legislators don't define what it means to be Catholic," he said.

Naumann said he was not surprised that Burke has not publicly talked about refusing communion to Catholic officials who differ from the church's position on another human-life issue: capital punishment. The church's stand opposing capital punishment - in nearly all cases - was developed under the current pope, unlike the church's long-standing opposition to abortion and euthanasia, he said.

28 posted on 01/09/2004 6:30:02 AM PST by Desdemona (Kempis' Imitation of Christ online!
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To: NYer
35 posted on 01/09/2004 6:59:22 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: NYer
Well, I hope he'll take his crusade with him down the Mississip.
41 posted on 01/09/2004 8:24:09 AM PST by Barnacle (A Human Shield against the onslaught of Leftist tripe.)
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