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Legislators can't have Eucharist, bishop says: Don't serve supporters of abortion rights, euthanasia ^ | 01-08-04 | Tom Heinen

Posted on 01/09/2004 9:20:48 AM PST by Salvation

Legislators can't have Eucharist, bishop says

Don't serve supporters of abortion rights, euthanasia, Burke says

Posted: Jan. 8, 2004

In what one national group called an unprecedented action, La Crosse Bishop Raymond L. Burke has issued a document that says Catholic legislators who support abortion rights or euthanasia should not present themselves to receive Communion and should be refused if they do so.

34639Burke's Notice
Here is an excerpt from Bishop Raymond Burke's notification to Catholic legislators:
A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion or euthanasia, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of the most serious scandal to others. There, universal Church law provides that such persons 'are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.'

Burke's four-paragraph "Notification" was published in the weekly diocesan newspaper Thursday and was posted on the diocesan Web site, along with a 10-page pastoral letter titled "On the Dignity of Human Life and Civic Responsibility."

Citing Vatican doctrine, canon law and teachings by the U.S. bishops, Burke says in the notice that it is his duty as bishop "to explain, persuade, correct and admonish those in leadership positions who contradict the Gospel of life through their action and policies."

The notice says: "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. 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."

Judie Brown, president of the American Life League in Stafford, Va., said of Burke's broad ban, "This is the first time this has ever happened in the history of the pro-life movement, and I am so grateful to Bishop Burke."

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Neb., a former Wauwatosa pastor, excommunicated Catholics in his diocese in 1996 for belonging to groups that support abortion rights and the right to die, but he did not target legislators, Brown said.

Brown's group launched a "Crusade for the Defense of Our Catholic Church" last year, in which it began naming Catholic politicians who support abortion rights and calling for bishops to crack down on them.

Gov. Jim Doyle is among 14 Wisconsin officials on the group's list. Doyle has said that he was obligated to listen to all the state's residents, and that a group in Virginia should not have much say about what is done in Wisconsin.

Burke's pastoral letter says Catholic politicians cannot defend voting for an unjust law, whether it supports abortion rights or an action such as racial discrimination, "on the grounds that they are following their constituency or the will of the 'majority.' "

Pope John Paul II named Burke archbishop-elect of St. Louis on Dec. 2. An installation is scheduled for Jan. 26.

Burke sparked a national church-state debate two days after his appointment, when it became known that he had sent private letters last year to three unidentified Catholic officials from Wisconsin: a member of Congress and two state legislators. The letters warned them that they risked their spiritual well-being if they continued to support "anti-life" legislation involving issues such as abortion rights.

One of the legislators was state Sen. Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point).

U.S. Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.), whose name is on the American Life League's list, said last month that he welcomed clergy to influence him on issues that affect people of all religions. He did not say whether Burke had written to him.

When it became known that he had sent the private letters, Burke said in reply to a question that Catholic politicians in the diocese who refused to mend their ways would be told not to present themselves to receive Communion.

What he did not indicate was that he had signed the pastoral letter and the notification Nov. 23, before his new papal appointment limited his role in La Crosse to that of diocesan administrator.

The Catholic Times diocesan newspaper reported Thursday that "Bishop Burke affirmed that both the letter and the notification carry the full weight of his authority as bishop of the diocese."

How Burke's notification, which was issued on diocesan letterhead, will play out was unclear Thursday night. Neither Burke nor his spokeswoman could be reached for comment.

Father Robert Cook, pastor of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Viroqua, said the notification in the newspaper was the first he had heard of the bishop's directing priests to refuse Communion.

Father Richard Gilles, a canon lawyer and Burke's chief of staff, said: "That is a direct statement to the priests. They have an obligation to not give them (politicians) Holy Communion. But I think any pastor who has any sensitivity or common sense would sit down in private with these people and dialogue and talk to them and ask them not to come to Holy Communion."

Gilles said Burke's document was not as strong as a decree because it essentially reminded legislators and priests of the teachings of the church without making new law. But Burke goes a step further and removes doubt by specifically applying church law and teachings to Catholic politicians, and by saying that those who continue to support abortion rights after such warnings should be denied Communion, Gilles said.

Gilles said that Burke had previously communicated with the pastors of the three legislators who received letters from Burke last year.

On the Web:</A< I>

TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Catholic; Charismatic Christian; Current Events; Eastern Religions; Ecumenism; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion; History; Humor; Islam; Judaism; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Orthodox Christian; Other Christian; Other non-Christian; Prayer; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics; Religion & Science; Skeptics/Seekers; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: abortion; communionwitheld; euthenasia; supporters
This is one reason so many people do not like (hate) the Catholic Church.

Bravo for Bishop Burke!

1 posted on 01/09/2004 9:20:51 AM PST by Salvation
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To: Desdemona
I thought this deserved its own thread.
2 posted on 01/09/2004 9:21:35 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Rank Location Receipts Donors/Avg Freepers/Avg Monthlies
32 Iowa 210.00

Thanks for donating to Free Republic!

Move your locale up the leaderboard!

3 posted on 01/09/2004 9:24:30 AM PST by Support Free Republic (Freepers post from sun to sun, but a fundraiser bot's work is never done.)
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To: All
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
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
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
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
Congressman Places Internal Pro-Abortion Docs in Congressional Record
Flynn: Dems ignore Catholics
Granholm gay rights order "a slap in the face"
Calif. Bishop To Gov. Davis: Pick Abortion Or Communion [formal excommunication?]
California Bishop to Gov: Oppose Abortion or No Communion (New Title)
Sacramento Bishop Challenges Governor on Abortion; Tells Davis to Stop Receiving Communion
Granholm's Bible-thumping Sure to Rile GOP
Bishop: No Communion for Abortion Backers
Legislators can't have Eucharist, bishop says: Don't serve supporters of abortion rights, euthanasia

4 posted on 01/09/2004 9:27:23 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
I can hardly wait to see what happens next.
5 posted on 01/09/2004 9:38:03 AM PST by johnb2004
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To: johnb2004
**I can hardly wait to see what happens next.**

Hard to say......

There is a quote (I think by a saint) something to this effect:

"The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops."

At this point Burke and Bruskewitz will NOT be among those skills.

Otherwise................but who am I to judge?
6 posted on 01/09/2004 9:41:26 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
It is significant that Burke has been promoted to head a large see.
7 posted on 01/09/2004 10:28:09 AM PST by RobbyS (XPqu)
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To: johnb2004
Hell breaks loose (again). Evil always goes on the offensive.

We know who wins finally. It is just a question of how many souls are lost or saved. What pain it must cause Christ to lose even one.
8 posted on 01/09/2004 11:30:56 AM PST by OpusatFR (Al Dean and Howard Gore, the Rainmen, definitely, definitely)
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To: Salvation
Christian love bears evil, but it does not tolerate it.

It does penance for the sins of others, but it is not broadminded about sin.

The cry for tolerance never induces it to quench its hatred of the evil philosophies
that have entered into contest with the Truth.

It forgives the sinner, and it hates the sin; it is unmerciful to the error in his mind.

The sinner it will always take back into the bosom of the Mystical Body;
but his lie will never be taken into the treasury of His Wisdom.

Real love involves real hatred:
whoever has lost the power of moral indignation and the urge to drive the buyers and sellers from the temples
has also lost a living, fervent love of Truth.

Charity, then, is not a mild philosophy of "live and let live";
it is not a species of sloppy sentiment.

Charity is the infusion of the Spirit of God,
which makes us love the beautiful and hate the morally ugly.

9 posted on 01/09/2004 1:59:56 PM PST by johnb2004
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To: johnb2004
Thank you for that wonderful quote.
10 posted on 01/09/2004 10:43:54 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Kudos for Bishop Burke!
11 posted on 01/10/2004 8:38:22 AM PST by Dajjal
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