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This article was originally published by PerMariam: Mater Dolorosa

NEW YORK (PerMariam) –– Giving forthright comments on a number of current issues in the Catholic Church, Cardinal Raymond Burke condemned the practice of giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians as well as noting that the traditional Mass is in a state of “persecution.”

“This is what is referred to as scandal,” he said April 23, commenting on the practice of pro-abortion politicians receiving Holy Communion.

Cardinal Burke’s comments came at the end of an erudite speech expanding on the teaching of Christ as King given to the New York Men’s Leadership Forum on Tuesday. After outlining the wealth of Catholic teaching on the Kingship of Christ, the cardinal fielded questions on a variety of topics, oriented heavily toward some of the more pressing matters in the Church’s internal debates.

“The fact that politicians, and I don’t need to mention any names, it’s too evident, who claim to be devout Catholics and who publicly promote an abomination like procured abortion or this transgender agenda or whatever else it may be, and they approach for Communion and are given Holy Communion – (it) scandalizes people,” he said in a thinly veiled reference to pro-abortion U.S. President and self-proclaimed “Catholic,” Joe Biden.

READ: EXCLUSIVE: Cardinal Müller joins calls for US bishops to excommunicate Biden

The American cardinal stated that such a practice of giving Holy Communion to these individuals leads to a de facto position of assuming that Catholic teaching has changed: “It gives the impression that the Church has changed its teaching with regard to these crimes, these previous sins, and it leads people to be very lax in their own conscience.”

You can imagine if somebody who is a pro-abortionist is receiving Holy Communion freely, are people going to be inclined to examine their consciences as they should, before they approach to receive the Sacrament? It dulls consciences.

Today we can’t take anything for granted because we’re dealing with six or seven decades of poor catechesis. Many Catholics today, not through their own fault, don’t know their own faith.

“Some express surprise that the Church has a teaching with regard the reception of Holy Communion,” he noted.

The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is always wrong because it kills an innocent human being, thus violating the Church’s prohibition on murder. (CCC 2270-2272.) The CDF’s 2004 memo states that a politician “consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws” manifests “formal cooperation” with grave sin, and must be “denied” the Eucharist.

READ: Cardinal Gregory says pro-abortion, pro-LGBT Joe Biden is ‘very sincere about his faith’

Additionally, Canon 915 of the Catholic Code of Canon Law explicitly forbids those in mortal sin from receiving Communion: “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

Synodal Way is an ‘apostasy’

The cardinal also gave his assessment on the global state of the Church across the continents based on his personal experiences and the assessment of his brother cardinals. While Africa and the Philippines he noted as being marked by growth in the practice of the faith, Cardinal Burke warned that in Europe this is not so readily found.

Indeed, referring to the highly controversial Synodal Way in Germany – which has proposed a number of aspects contrary to Catholic teaching such as same-sex blessings, female deacons – he stated that “this is an apostasy. It is, it’s just an objective fact.”

But he also encouraged that despite the practice of such “apostasy” there still remained many Catholics faithful to ecclesial teaching – a fact, he said, that should serve as an inspiration “to be greater witnesses (to the faith) in our daily life.”

“This gender ideology is an attack on human reason because it goes against our very nature,” he noted, as an aside.

Latin Mass: ‘We need it very badly’

The cardinal, known for his promotion of the Latin Mass and personal celebration of it throughout the world, described the current restrictions on the ancient liturgy as a time of “persecution.”

In recent years, the traditional Mass has come under rapidly increasing restrictions under Pope Francis and Cardinal Arthur Roche’s Traditionis Custodes and subsequent documents curtailing the availability of the Church’s ancient rite.

But the cardinal urged members of the Forum not to be concerned that the Latin Mass would somehow disappear: “But fear not, this form of the Roman rite which practically existed unchanged in little minor things for 15 centuries, and is of incomparable beauty – today young people who never heard anything about it, or never saw it before, they walk into a church and observe the beauty of the Mass, there are conversions.”

Instead, he urged them to “continue to support the apostolates of the Usus Antiquior, the more ancient usage of the Roman rite because we need it. We need it very badly.”

Some of the published justifications for Traditionis Custodes were that there was, supposedly, a widespread spirit of rejection of the Novus Ordo. Cardinal Burke rejected the premise, saying that “I don’t question for a moment the validity of the Novus Ordo Mass, but I lived through the abuses that took place with regard the liturgy and it destroyed the faith of a lot of people.”

Such abuses, he said, served to weaken the faith of many: “One of the principal reasons why the faith in the Eucharist is so diminished today is because of all the abuses surrounding the Eucharist which made it seem just like some kind of everyday thing – an invention of man instead of a supreme gift from God.”

Renewing his appeal to the Forum once again, the cardinal stated about the restrictions that “these sort of things have happened before, but we just have to remain serene, that’s the most important thing.”

“There is a great temptation, when one is fighting for a just cause, to lose your serenity,” he warned. “If we’re co-workers of Christ in the truth, we should be the most serene and therefore also the most charitable. It is never helpful to engage in uncharitable talk. Be steadfast about the work of Christ.”

Reprinted with permission from PerMariam