Archbishop Raymond L. Burke is a voice of reason and common sense among bishops. There was a time when you could only count on hearing a dose of truth from Bishops Bruskewitz and Burke (and they were often dismissed like the proverbial "nutty aunt in the closet", or downright vilified by secular media, and among dissident Catholics). Those chaotic days before the election revealed bishops are now acting on a dose of grace in the form of holy boldness.
Let's hope we get some backbone into this by more bishops. CNS has long been the target of complaints by loyal Catholics dismayed at the lack of substance on heavy moral issues.
Exclusive Interview: Leading Vatican Prelate Says Document of US Bishops Partly to Blame for Election of “Most Pro-Abortion President”
Also says Bishops’ Catholic News Service needs to be given "some new direction"
By Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
ROME, January 28, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A document of the US Catholic Bishops is partly to blame for the abandonment of pro-life teachings by voting Catholics and the election of the “most pro-abortion president” in US history, one of the Vatican’s highest officials said in an interview with LifeSiteNews.com.
Archbishop Raymond Burke, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, named a document on the election produced by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops that he said “led to confusion” among the faithful and led ultimately to massive support among Catholics for Barack Obama.
The US bishops’ document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” stated that, under certain circumstances, a Catholic could in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports abortion because of "other grave reasons," as long as they do not intend to support that pro-abortion position. [so many people I know used this as justification.]
Archbishop Burke, the former Archbishop of St. Louis Mo. and recently appointed head of the highest ecclesiastical court in the Catholic Church, told LifeSiteNews.com that although “there were a greater number of bishops who spoke up very clearly and firmly ... there was also a number who did not.”
But most damaging, he said, was the document “Faithful Citizenship” that “led to confusion” among the voting Catholic population.
“While it stated that the issue of life was the first and most important issue, it went on in some specific areas to say ‘but there are other issues’ that are of comparable importance without making necessary distinctions.”
Archbishop Burke, citing an article by a priest and ethics expert of St. Louis archdiocese, Msgr. Kevin McMahon, who analysed how the bishops’ document actually contributed to the election of Obama, called its proposal “a kind of false thinking, that says, ‘there’s the evil of taking an innocent and defenceless human life but there are other evils and they’re worthy of equal consideration.’
“But they’re not. The economic situation, or opposition to the war in Iraq, or whatever it may be, those things don’t rise to the same level as something that is always and everywhere evil, namely the killing of innocent and defenceless human life.”
Archbishop Burke also cited the work of the official news service of the US Catholic Bishops’ Conference, that many pro-life observers complained soft-pedalled the newly elected president’s opposition to traditional morality.
“The bishops need to look also at our Catholic News Service, CNS, they need to review their coverage of the whole thing and give some new direction, in my judgement,” he said. [read that, "overhaul it!]
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I am 46 years of age, and have never heard a priest talk about abortion or other pro-life issues from the pulpit until I got to Assumption Grotto in May of 2005. How can this be, if the very men charged with guarding us from "all sorts of strange teachings" don't identify them and help us to navigate those waters?
There is a crisis of knowledge about the faith on the part of most Catholics today (and I don't think that is an exaggeration). This has permeated many Catholic organizations, including administrative offices in dioceses and in the USCCB where decisions are made on a daily basis on ordinary things that affect how good or bad things are communicated. It affects the so-called "catholic" movie reviews out of the USCCB that have sparked considerable controversy, and reactions from many bishops (recall Brokeback Mountain and the Golden Compass).
There is what the Church teaches, and there is what people think the Church teaches. Moreso, there is what people want the Church to teach, but these folks don't stop to ask themselves if there can be 10 versions of one truth (if each forms truth according to his own opinion). Jesus Christ is Truth itself (John 14:6) and there cannot be more than one Jesus. The Church has 2000 years of experience and wisdom, backed by the Church Fathers, the apostles, Sacred Scripture, and Magisterial teachings.
Many priests will follow their chief shepherd's ways. If he is graced with holy boldness and stands as confident and firm as a captain on the high seas in a gale, his priests will follow his lead. If he speaks with ambiguity and banality on the most pressing moral issues of the day, so will his priests.
If you want to take back the Church, pray for our bishops and priests. Go to adoration, pray a Rosary, make sacrifices and do penance for them.