Loading
Catholic public figures who scandalize faithful must repent publicly, Archbishop Burke says
Archbishop Raymond Burke
Archbishop Raymond Burke

.- Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, delivered a speech on September 8 discussing how to advance the culture of life in the U.S. and how to rectify the “scandal” of publicly known Catholics who confuse and distort Church teaching.

At the 14th Annual Partnership Dinner of InsideCatholic.com, Archbishop Burke said that those who have publicly espoused and cooperated in gravely sinful acts lead people into confusion and error about “fundamental questions.” Just as their dissent was public, their repentance must also be public.

“The person in question bears a heavy responsibility for the grave scandal which he has caused. The responsibility is especially heavy for political leaders,” the archbishop added.

Repairing the damage done by such scandal “begins with the public acknowledgment of his own error and the public declaration of his adherence to the moral law. The soul which recognizes the gravity of what he has done will, in fact, understand immediately the need to make public reparation,” Archbishop Burke said.

Particular harm is done by those who profess Christianity but promote policies and laws which “permit the destruction of innocent and defenseless human life” and “violate the integrity of marriage in the family,” he said.

The result of these actions is that citizens are confused and “led into error” about basic moral tenets.

Catholics who contribute to that confusion cause the “gravest harm” to their Christian brethren and also to the whole nation, Burke added.

“In our time, there is a great hesitation to speak about scandal, as if, in some way, it is only a phenomenon among persons of small or unenlightened mind, and, therefore, a tool of such persons to condemn others rashly and wrongly,” he observed.

In the archbishop’s view, it is ironic that those who experience scandal at the “gravely sinful” public actions of a fellow Catholic are accused of “a lack of charity” and of causing division within the Church.

“Lying or failing to tell the truth, however, is never a sign of charity. A unity which is not founded on the truth of the moral law is not the unity of the Church. The Church's unity is founded on speaking the truth with love,” he remarked.

The contrary attitude is characteristic of a society governed by the “tyranny of relativism,” one in which “political correctness and human respect” are the ultimate criteria, he said, warning that Catholics’ consciences have become “dulled to the gravity of certain moral issues.”

Archbishop Burke explained that the disciplines of the Church are not a judgment on the eternal salvation of someone’s soul but are “simply the acknowledgment of an objective truth… that the public actions of the soul are in violation of the moral law, to his own grave harm and to the grave harm of all who are confused or led into error by his actions.

For the archbishop, it seemed clear that the inspiration for the founding of the United States came from “a declared faith in God and in the inalienable rights with which He has endowed man.”

“To deny the Christian foundation of the life of our nation is to deny our very history,” he added, later saying that it is a “false notion” that a Christian or any person of faith must “bracket his faith life from his political life” in order to be a true American citizen.

This habit is not true to the founding principles of the U.S. government, the archbishop stated.

“What kind of government would require that its citizens and political leaders act without reference to the fundamental requirements of the moral law?” he asked rhetorically.

When Christians fail to articulate and uphold the “natural moral law,” Archbishop Burke added, they fail in their fundamental patriotic duty to love their country by serving the common good.

“Christian love does not have its foundation in blind tolerance of others and of what they think and say and do, but rather in the profound knowledge of others and their beliefs, and the honest acknowledgment of differences of belief, especially in what may compromise the life of the nation.”

Archbishop Burke's full speech can be read on InsideCatholic.com.


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

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: