Archbishop Raymond Burke was Bishop of St. Louis prior to his recent appointments to Rome by current Pope Benedict XVI. He is now Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, which makes him similar in ecclesiastical weight to the of Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In Catholic circles, it means that after the Pope, Burke holds the highest judicial office in the Roman Catholic Church. he is not someone to be sneezed at. So, when he speaks, Catholics should listen, and not just American Catholics.
The Archbishop wrote an article published in insidecatholic.com titled Reflections on the Struggle to Advance the Culture of Life, a wonderful reflection piece. LifeSiteNews.com referenced it and added its own comments here, and John Pacheco at SoCon or Bust picked up on both here. I guess I will be surprised to see if or how Fr. Tom Rosica over at Salt & Light responds to it.
Early on I gave Fr. Rosica some credit for his past work with World Youth Day, and his other good work, but he has been on a rant, claiming some kind of executive privilege to which he has no right, and has been cutting down LifeSiteNews, and bloggers who are seeking the truth, ever since Ted Kennedy tried to die and be gone from this mortal coil. He got fairly short shrift from The Catholic Register recently, though he did get published when he took his rant to them here.
But, back to Archbishop Burke. He is calling them as the Church sees them. Here is his introductory salvo:
It is clear that we are experiencing today a period of intense and critical struggle in the advancement of the culture of life in our nation. The administration of our federal government openly and aggressively follows a secularist agenda. While it may employ religious language and even invoke the name of God, in fact, it proposes programs and policies for our people without respect for God and His Law. In the words of the Servant of God Pope John Paul II, it proceeds "as if God did not exist".By the way, it's not much different here in Canada. For secularism, we can't be beat with our use of Human Rights Commissions to resolve disputes that are invented in the heads of many people.
He next hits the nail on the head for those involved in the nasty dispute going on over the sort of demise of the man who is more alive now that he is dead than he was in recent years, the Tedster recently:
At the same time, there is a lack of unity among those dedicated to advance a culture which respects fully the gift of human life and its origin in procreation, that is, in the cooperation of man and woman with God through the conjugal union and through education in the home which they have formed by marriage. Recent statements, occasioned by the Rites of Christian Burial accorded to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, have manifested profound disagreement and even harsh criticism among those who are publicly committed to the Gospel of Life.He says further:Our tireless promotion of the culture of life, in fact, responds to the deepest longing in every man, and in every society. It anticipates and prepares "a new heaven and a new earth," which Our Lord Jesus Christ will inaugurate at His Final Coming (Rv 21:1).That's a good thing, right.
So, why does Fr, Rosica think he is peeing on everyone else because they disagree with him? Who died and made him God? Ted Kennedy? Just Asking.
What he goes on to say soon after has profound meaning for us here in Canada, particularly as it relates to the most secular of our institutions, our HRCs and HRTs. He spoke of the contributions that Christians had made to the building of America, as they had to the building of Canada as well. Read on:
Articulating the context in which I place my reflections, I do not, in any way, deny the contribution which other religions and persons of good will have made to the life of our nation. To acknowledge the Christian faith which inspired the foundation of our nation and has sustained our nation is not a declaration of intolerance toward persons who are not Christians. It is, in fact, of the very nature of the Christian faith to love all men, without boundary or exception. The Golden Rule, taught to us by Our Lord Jesus, expresses the Christian embrace of all men, without boundary or exclusion (cf. Mt 7:12). For Christians, the acceptance of others who are not of the Christian faith is not a matter of tolerance, but of love which adheres to the truths of the faith while respecting the beliefs of those who are not Christian, as long as those beliefs are coherent with the natural moral law, that is, coherent with the respect for the "inalienable rights" with which God has endowed every man. 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 nationThe bolds are mine, as they are the pieces I most relate to as a Canadian, though it is all good.
Now he gets to the nub of Faith and Political Life and opens with this paragraph:
Regarding the faith and political life, there has developed in our nation the false notion that the Christian or any person of faith, in order to be a true American citizen, must bracket his faith life from his political life. According to such a notion, one ends up with Christians, for example, who claim personally to be faithful members of the Church and, therefore, to hold to the demands of the natural moral law, while they sustain and support the right to violate the moral law in its most fundamental tenets. We find self-professed Catholics, for example, who sustain and support the right of a woman to procure the death of the infant in her womb, or the right of two persons of the same sex to the recognition which the State gives to a man and a woman who have entered into marriage. It is not possible to be a practicing Catholic and to conduct oneself politically in this manner.What he says next has as much to do with Canada as it does the United States, though in particular he was referring to his homeland:
Presently, in our nation, the Christian faith has a critical responsibility to articulate clearly the natural moral law and its demands. Under the constant influence of a rationalist and secularist philosophy which makes man, instead of God, the ultimate measure of what is right and good, we have become confused about the most basic truths, for example, the inviolable dignity of innocent human life, from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death, and the integrity of marriage between one man and one woman as the first and irreplaceable cell of the life of society. If Christians fail to articulate and uphold the natural moral law, then they fail in the fundamental duty of patriotism, of loving their country by serving the common good.Again, the bold is mine. Although the Bishop takes some time and some very well chosen words to draw to conclusion about the scandal of the Ted Kennedy funeral, he does so here:
When a person has publicly espoused and cooperated in gravely sinful acts, leading many into confusion and error about fundamental questions of respect for human life and the integrity of marriage and the family, his repentance of such actions 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 repair of 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.He pulls no punches. All that he says is worthy of reading and thought, not only by Catholics, but by all people of good will.
For our nations of North America to return to right thinking, we need more people with godly wisdom like Archbishop Burke, and with authority to speak truth for us to rally around, to further form and strengthen our consciences.
God Bless You Archbishop Burke.