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Did Catholic Archbishop Lose Internal Vote Over Abortion, Communion Debate?
Life News ^ | November 19, 2007 | Deal Hudson

Posted on 11/20/2007 6:14:22 AM PST by NYer

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Archbishop Raymond Burke (St. Louis) lost an election at the annual meeting of the U.S. bishops last week.

Over the past three years, Burke has assumed the mantle of the late Cardinal John O'Connor in pro-life matters, challenging fellow bishops to take stronger stances in the defense of innocent life.

Nominated as chairman for the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, 60 percent of his fellow bishops preferred his opponent. As bishops' conference expert Rev. Thomas Reese noted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an auxiliary bishop defeating an archbishop for a conference chairmanship is "very unusual."

Archbishop Burke's credentials as a canonist are widely recognized. In fact, he missed the bishops' meeting because he was in Rome as a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, the Vatican's highest judicial authority.

Burke has been a controversial figure since early 2004 when, as bishop of La Crosse, WI, he began to challenge pro-abortion Catholic politicians publicly on their reception of the Eucharist.

Shortly after moving to St. Louis as archbishop, Burke said he would deny Communion to Sen. John Kerry if he presented himself. Although his position has been backed up by 13 other bishops, Archbishop Burke was clearly straining the boundaries of "collegiality."

Father Reese, former editor of America magazine, says the bishops were sending a message: "Most of the bishops don't want communion and Catholic politicians to be a high-profile issue, and he [Burke] is seen as a man who's pushing that issue. . . . Had he been elected, it could have been interpreted as endorsing his position."

Archbishop Elden Curtiss (Omaha), Archbishop Sean O'Malley (Boston), and Cardinal Francis George (Chicago) went on the record denying that there was any message being sent by the bishops to Burke. And supporters of Archbishop Burke have no reason to regret the selection of Bishop Thomas Paprocki, the Chicago auxiliary, whose reputation and credentials are similar to that of Burke's.

The question still in the air after the bishops' meeting, however, is whether Burke is being punished for not backing down after the controversy surrounding him during the 2004 election.

In response to the Kerry and Communion controversy, the bishops formed a task force, headed by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, to study the issue and present a report. That report, "Catholics in Political Life," differed sharply with Burke, finding that each bishop could decide for himself in such cases.

Archbishop Burke did not back down. Early this year, he published an article on Canon 915 in Italian law journal Periodica de Re Canonica arguing that the McCarrick report was incorrect.

Burke said that a bishop's interpretation of what to do in the face of a pro-abortion Catholic politician "would hardly seem to change from place to place." For Burke, enforcing discipline must go hand-in-hand with teaching:

 
No matter how often a bishop or priest repeats the teaching of the Church regarding procured abortion, if he stands by and does nothing to discipline a Catholic who publicly supports legislation permitting the gravest of injustices, and at the same time, presents himself to receive Holy Communion, then his teaching rings hollow.
 
He gave the names of bishops with whom he disagreed: Cardinal McCarrick, Cardinal Roger Mahony (Los Angeles), and Archbishop Donald Wuerl (Washington, DC). Just as it's very unusual for an archbishop to be defeated by an auxiliary bishop in an election, it's just as unheard of for a bishop to take issue with another bishop by name.
 
In his article, however, Burke spread the net even wider. He argued that any Catholic who administers Communion -- even a lay person -- is required to withhold it from Catholic politicians who know they hold positions contrary to Church teaching.
 
Burke has said publicly that he will not stop addressing this issue. In an interview with Catholic News Service shortly after the 2004 election, he said:
 
It's funny because some people now characterize me as a fundamentalist, or an extremist . . . . But these are questions that are at the very foundation of the life of our country. We just simply have to continue to address them.
 
The archbishop of St. Louis has been true to his word. His article on Canon law formalized his objection to McCarrick's report.
 
If Father Reese is right, the bishops are distancing themselves from a fellow bishop who kept controversy in the air, a controversy most of them would rather see go away.
 
The bishops' own document from last week, "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," was a powerful indictment of Catholics who participate politically without demanding an end to abortion. Archbishop Burke, though he was not at the meeting, and though he will not chair the canonical affairs committee, must be given some credit for the strength of the bishops' corporate voice in this statement.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 11/20/2007 6:14:23 AM PST by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

Ping


2 posted on 11/20/2007 6:14:44 AM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

Ping


3 posted on 11/20/2007 6:14:45 AM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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The question still in the air after the bishops' meeting, however, is whether Burke is being punished for not backing down after the controversy surrounding him during the 2004 election.

In response to the Kerry and Communion controversy, the bishops formed a task force, headed by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, to study the issue and present a report. That report, "Catholics in Political Life," differed sharply with Burke, finding that each bishop could decide for himself in such cases.

Ping for later

4 posted on 11/20/2007 6:32:08 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, for it is an evil time." - Amos 5:13)
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To: NYer
Perhaps the priests believe that IF it is the Holy Spirit calling these pro-abortion Catholics to the Sacrament of Communion they should not interfere with His holy work. Tis a big decision.
5 posted on 11/20/2007 6:37:12 AM PST by tioga (Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go...)
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To: Alex Murphy

American bishops...is there more than one set of balls among them?
Disgusting.


6 posted on 11/20/2007 6:46:15 AM PST by steve8714 (The last actor elected POTUS turned out OK.)
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To: tioga
If it's a spirit, it's not holy . . .

Problem with that theory is that long-time Catholic doctrine -- and St. Paul himself -- make plain that if you eat and drink unworthily, you eat and drink damnation unto yourself. A priest should not be helping a parishioner to damnation.

You may well be absolutely right that that's what some weak-spined clerics may be telling themselves, but what passes for 'reasoning' among liberal and heterodox Catholics is pretty lame.

7 posted on 11/20/2007 6:46:35 AM PST by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: NYer
Archbishop Elden Curtiss (Omaha), Archbishop Sean O'Malley (Boston), and Cardinal Francis George (Chicago) went on the record denying that there was any message being sent by the bishops to Burke.

And of course they'd say so if it were true . . .

8 posted on 11/20/2007 6:49:46 AM PST by maryz
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To: AnAmericanMother
-all the more reason that the local bishop make the decision, since presumably he would be more informed on the state of the souls in his churches. I doubt the veracity of that, but I understand their reasoning.

The Holy Trinity? Father, Son and Holy Spirit? The ONE true God?

I trust the Holy Spirit, but you are right....there are MANY spirits that are evil. A pro-abortion, career politician may have never known the Holy Spirit as evidenced through his actions.

9 posted on 11/20/2007 6:52:25 AM PST by tioga (Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go...)
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To: NYer
a controversy most of them would rather see go away.

Let's see -- they don't want to deal with soi-disant Catholic politicians who support abortion, they don't want to deal with enabling bishops and homosexuals in the clergy, they assume papal directives don't apply to them . . .

Of course, they have more important things to do, like having their own commission on Peace and Justice, offering cement-headed economic pomposities and foreign policy inanities. What, do you expect them to do everything?

10 posted on 11/20/2007 6:55:06 AM PST by maryz
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To: tioga
The statement that "The Holy Spirit is Doing a New Thing" can be used as a cover for absolutely any pernicious nonsense that the speaker wants to promote.

The Episcopal Church was taken over by pagans, New Agers, homosexualists, and political panderers using precisely that argument.

And that's why I don't want to see it happen in the Catholic Church . . . cause I just escaped the shipwreck of the Episcopalians!

11 posted on 11/20/2007 6:55:06 AM PST by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: AnAmericanMother
It wasn't THE Holy Spirit that lead the Episcopalians down the path of destruction. While factions of the Catholic Church have indeed been sinful and evil......the whole church has escaped that fate. It IS the job of the bishops and priests to rein in for God all sinners....including lifelong pro-abortion politicians. BUT allowing them to deceive the faithful and lead them to sin would be wrong. Tis a fine line they must walk. Personally, I think they should be denied Communion. But that’s me and truthfully.....I am a struggling sinner who probably shouldn’t be making those types of decisions. LOL
12 posted on 11/20/2007 7:01:13 AM PST by tioga (Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go...)
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To: tioga; AnAmericanMother; NYer
It's really not a "decision" at all: such open, scandalous, public supporters/accomplices of abortion should be excluded from the Blessed Sacrament of Communion. This is clear both from Scripture and from Canon Law:

1 Corinthians 11:29
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

Canon 915
"Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion" (can. 915).

"Are not to be admitted" means exactly what it says. It is the duty of the pastor, and/or of the Bishop (chief pastor of the Diocese) to apply this canon. There is really no wiggle room.

(1) Most Bishops are acting in flagrant disobedience of Canon Law.

(2) The Sacrament the Holy Spirit is calling the obstinate public sinner to, is the Sacrament of Confession.

13 posted on 11/20/2007 7:02:03 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Justice and judgment are the foundation of His throne.)
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To: AnAmericanMother

AND.......God is God - He doesn’t change. The TRUTH is the truth....IT doesn’t change. It’s the world that changes...for good and bad.


14 posted on 11/20/2007 7:02:58 AM PST by tioga (Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go...)
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To: NYer

**Archbishop Elden Curtiss (Omaha), Archbishop Sean O’Malley (Boston), and Cardinal Francis George (Chicago) went on the record denying that there was any message being sent by the bishops to Burke. **

Glad they made this statement. They just need to bring the other bishops around. (Or, perhaps, this is a message to Pope Benedict XVI to do some more housecleaning among the American Bishops.)


15 posted on 11/20/2007 7:06:43 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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As bishops' conference expert Rev. Thomas Reese noted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an auxiliary bishop defeating an archbishop for a conference chairmanship is "very unusual."

Ah yes, let's quote Reese, the ousted apostate/heretic editor of America who no doubt is still throwing a tantrum over the election of Benedict XVI.

16 posted on 11/20/2007 7:08:00 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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To: Mrs. Don-o
VERY good logic. I agree.

I am remembering what an exorcist/priest once said. IF it is the Holy Spirit calling them, who knows what good Communion can play in leading them back to Christ. It would be MY decision to exclude them. AND the Sacrament of Reconciliation is indeed the proper place for them to repent. AND it is against Church teaching to go to Communion while one is NOT reconciled with God.

17 posted on 11/20/2007 7:08:51 AM PST by tioga (Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go...)
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To: steve8714
American bishops...is there more than one set of balls among them?

Possibly - but if so, you don't want to know what they're doing with them.

One
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six

18 posted on 11/20/2007 7:39:41 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, for it is an evil time." - Amos 5:13)
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To: Alex Murphy; NYer
An important point to remember: Archbishop Burke is not quite 60. Most of the bishops and cardinals who disagree with him (McCarrick, Mahoney, Wuerl and others) are in their late 60s, early 70s, or beyond.

If +Burke remains strong, his view (incidentally also the Church's traditional view) will prevail.

Also remember that the findings of a 'task force' don't hold any authority, even in Vatican circles. Pope Paul VI went against the Papal Commission that looked at birth control when he wrote Humanae Vitae.

19 posted on 11/20/2007 7:51:27 AM PST by GCC Catholic (Sour grapes make terrible whine.)
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To: NYer
"No matter how often a bishop or priest repeats the teaching of the Church regarding procured abortion, if he stands by and does nothing to discipline a Catholic who publicly supports legislation permitting the gravest of injustices, and at the same time, presents himself to receive Holy Communion, then his teaching rings hollow."

Yeah, it "rings hollow" when they surrender Catholic campuses to anti-Catholic secret societies too. What good are policy statements from the USCCB when Catholic colleges are not even run by Catholics? When they stand by and do nothing about this they are giving the consecrated ground of the Church to the forces of evil.

They need to clean house across the board.


20 posted on 11/20/2007 7:56:15 AM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: NYer
Burke has been a controversial figure since early 2004 when, as bishop of La Crosse, WI, he began to challenge pro-abortion Catholic politicians publicly on their reception of the Eucharist.

Sure, he's seen as controversial by the media. But he sure as hell better not viewed as controversial to Catholics and Catholic bishops.

The bishops have a chance to make history by taking a forthright stand against the abortion holocaust. Or they can be quislings. The choice is theirs.

21 posted on 11/20/2007 7:59:08 AM PST by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: tioga
-all the more reason that the local bishop make the decision, since presumably he would be more informed on the state of the souls in his churches. I doubt the veracity of that, but I understand their reasoning.

True, but isn't this an advisory document? What would be the harm in making a strong general recommendation?

22 posted on 11/20/2007 8:00:58 AM PST by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: NYer

The good news about this article is that the number of good bishops is up to 40%. The bad news is that we still need to weed out the other 60%.


23 posted on 11/20/2007 8:04:06 AM PST by Antoninus (Republicans who support Rudy owe Bill Clinton an apology.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Canon 915 "Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion" (can. 915).

Theoretically, at least, Catholic politicians who identify themselves as Catholic could be ignorant of the issue, and thus not culpable morally. That's a pretty slim reed. But even if that is the case, the bishop has erred just as egregiously by not informing these politicians of the gravity of their position. Either way, the bishops have failed.

24 posted on 11/20/2007 8:05:19 AM PST by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: Aquinasfan
They are not even teaching the Catholic faith at the high school and college level. Hence, they are not producing educated and mature believing Catholics. It's pointless to lecture pro-abortion liberals who are already initiated enemies of the faith.

As bishops' conference expert Rev. Thomas Reese noted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an auxiliary bishop defeating an archbishop for a conference chairmanship is "very unusual."

An "expert" from a university controlled by anti-Catholic secret societies...

This is a joke.

"In response to the Kerry and Communion controversy, the bishops formed a task force, headed by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, to study the issue and present a report."

In the future it would help if the people appointed to head task forces for the USCCB are themselves believing Catholics and that the "experts" appointed to write about these things are also believing Catholics with Catholic educations. They are not going to solve the problem of liberal pro-abortion "Catholics" until they start teaching the Catholic faith to Catholics at Catholic institutions. Why is that so hard for them to understand and face up to?

Let's tear the mask off this problem and call it for what it is.

John Kerry is a Skull and Bones member from Yale who participates in cabals that promote genocidal population control which is an article of faith for all Democrats. Acting like this is all just a matter of "Catholics" who simply are having trouble understanding their faith is dishonest. There are enemies of the faith parading around pretending to be Catholics even in the board rooms and faculties of Catholic colleges and universities. Until they address that problem, they can forget about solving the abortion controversy.

They should start with kicking the secret societies off of consecrated ground.

McCarrick was old enough to know better and attended Fordham when, ironically, it was a university still under the control of Catholics and teaching the Catholic faith. Something else explains their treason and apostasy but they don't want to talk about it.

"Ladies and gentlemen, there is an elephant in the room!"

25 posted on 11/20/2007 8:28:34 AM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
They are not going to solve the problem of liberal pro-abortion "Catholics" until they start teaching the Catholic faith to Catholics at Catholic institutions. Why is that so hard for them to understand and face up to?

That is the elephant in the room, isn't it? Maybe it reduces to the desire to be popular. Anyway, we should pray for them and demand orthodoxy when opportunities arise.

26 posted on 11/20/2007 8:36:09 AM PST by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: Aquinasfan

When fruitcake bishops help to make political accomodations for pro-abortion secret society members, sealed with a secret handshake, posed for media cameras and staged for lukewarm Catholics, if they can’t see the elephant in the room, God help them.


27 posted on 11/20/2007 8:46:54 AM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: tioga

Divorced and remarried Catholics without an annulment cannot receive Communion either.


29 posted on 11/22/2007 4:46:46 PM PST by victim soul
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