Catholic lawmakers must vote pro-life: Bishop Burke

.- As practicing Catholics, Catholic lawmakers cannot support legislation that is "anti-life," said Bishop Raymond L. Burke in letters that he sent recently to Catholic politicians, reported the Journal Sentinel.

The bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, urged Catholic legislators to change their voting patterns, which contradict the Church’s teachings on abortion and assisted suicide. Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Burke, who served La Crosse for nine years, archbishop of St. Louis Tuesday.

If legislators were to continue to vote against the pro-life position, “I would simply have to ask them not to present themselves to receive the sacraments because they would not be Catholics in good standing," the bishop told the Journal Sentinel in an interview. "They can't promote any legislation, which would either continue or worsen the anti-life practices," he added.

"As a faithful member of the Catholic Church, you have an obligation to fulfill the duties of your office with regard not only to the laws of the state, but also with regard to the moral law," Burke wrote in a two-page letter sent to Sen. Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point).

Lassa recently voted against a bill that would have allowed health-care professionals to refuse to participate in procedures that violate their personal or spiritual beliefs.

In the letter, dated Aug. 29, Bishop Burke stressed that bishops have a duty to "enlighten the consciences of political leaders to the protection of life, especially political leaders who are Catholics.” He also cited a statement by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops entitled "Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics" and included a copy of the 26-page document, reported the Journal Sentinel.

Bishop Burke asked Lassa to study the statement and schedule a meeting with him to discuss it. Lassa told the newspaper that she never scheduled a meeting with Burke and was surprised to receive the letter from him.

Elected to the Assembly in 1998 and to the Senate in a special election in May, Lassa said she sometimes feels a conflict between her personal values and beliefs and the need to represent her constituents' views.

"When I was elected, I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, and that means I have to represent all the people of all faiths in my district," Lassa was quoted as saying in the newspaper. "But I can't let my religion take precedence over my duties as a legislator.”

The subject of Catholics in politics has become a hot topic this past year. The U.S. bishops created a new committee to look at the issue after the Vatican issued a doctrinal note on the issue earlier this year. The committee submitted a report at the semi-annual meeting in Washington, D.C., this fall.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A state without territory elects new government
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage

Liturgical Calendar

July 24, 2014

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Gospel:: Mt 13: 10-17

Saint of the Day

St. Charbel Makhlouf »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: