LOUISVILLE, KY, Sept. 20, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a wide-ranging interview, Cardinal Raymond Burke has issued an emphatic call for pro-abortion Catholic politicians like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to be denied Communion.

The cardinal also spoke about the rapid advance of the homosexual agenda, the decline in catechesis that, he says, has crippled the Church’s response to pressing moral issues of the day, and the growing danger of Christian persecution under an increasingly “totalitarian” government.

The cardinal, who heads the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura and is America’s most senior prelate, made the comments in an interview published earlier this month by The Catholic Servant, a Minneapolis-based newspaper, and republished by The Wanderer.

Asked about Pelosi, he said, “Certainly this is a case when Canon 915 must be applied.”

Canon 915 states that those who are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

“This is a person who obstinately, after repeated admonitions, persists in a grave sin — cooperating with the crime of procured abortion — and still professes to be a devout Catholic,” the cardinal said. “I fear for Congresswoman Pelosi if she does not come to understand how gravely in error she is. I invite her to reflect upon the example of St. Thomas More who acted rightly in a similar situation even at the cost of his life.”

The cardinal also urged the faithful to practice “much prayer and fasting” to counter the growing threat of the homosexual agenda.

“The alarming rapidity of the realization of the homosexual agenda ought to awaken all of us and frighten us with regard to the future of our nation,” he said. “This is a work of deceit, a lie about the most fundamental aspect of our human nature, our human sexuality, which after life itself defines us. There is only one place these types of lies come from, namely Satan. It is a diabolical situation which is aimed at destroying individuals, families, and eventually our nation.”

“The fact that these kinds of ‘arrangements’ are made legal is a manifestation of a culture of death, of an anti- life and anti- family culture which has existed in our nation now for some time,” he said.

Catholics have not engaged the battle for the family effectively, he said, “because we have not been taught our Catholic Faith, especially in the depth needed to address these grave evils of our time.”

“This is a failure of catechesis both of children and young people that has been going on for fifty years,” he continued. “It is being addressed, but it needs much more radical attention.”

“There is far too much silence — people do not want to talk about it because the topic is not ‘politically correct,’” he added. “But we cannot be silent any longer or we will find ourselves in a situation that will be very difficult to reverse.”

The Cardinal said Catholics risk facing increasing persecution, such as the inability to even work in fields like education and healthcare, if the government remains on its present course.

“If the present government, which can be described in no other way than totalitarian, is not held back from the course it is on, these persecutions will follow,” he said. “It will not be possible for Catholics to exercise most of the normal human services whether in health care, education, or social welfare because in conscience they will no longer be able to do what the government demands: to cooperate in grave moral evil. We are heading in that direction and even see it now.”

He urged Americans to take the example of France, where the people have reacted strongly to government imposition of same-sex “marriage.” “The French people are out on the streets in protest — one demonstration had upwards of two million people,” he said. “There has arisen in France among the people the will to resist the government and that is what we need in this country.”

Asked how Catholics can reconcile the fact that they are told not to vote for political candidates who support grave intrinsic evils, while these same politicians are given honors at Catholic universities and public Catholic funerals, he said, “You cannot reconcile it.”

“It is a contradiction, it is wrong, it is a scandal, and it must stop!” he said. “We live in a culture with a false sense of dialogue — which has also crept into the Church — where we pretend to dialogue about open and egregious violations of the moral law.”

“Can we believe it is permissible to recognize publicly people who support open and egregious violations, and then act surprised if someone is scandalized by it?”

See the full interview with Cardinal Burke at The Wanderer here.