Cardinal Burke: Joe Biden is not a Catholic in ‘good standing’, should not receive Communion
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ROME, Italy, September 29, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke stated that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is “not a Catholic in good standing” because of his support for abortion and, consequently, he “should not approach to receive Holy Communion.”
“I don’t understand why Catholics who are involved in politics can’t get this straight in their heads, but they should,” said Burke during a Sept. 28 interview with Thomas McKenna of Catholic Action for Faith and Family. The Cardinal made the comment while responding to a direct question about Biden’s pro-abortion activism and voting record.
Burke cautioned that he didn’t intend “to get involved in recommending any candidate for office,” but insisted “that a Catholic may not support abortion in any shape or form because it is one of the most grievous sins against human life, and has always been considered to be intrinsically evil.” The cardinal called any support of abortion “a mortal sin.”
Without mentioning Biden by name, the former prefect of the Church’s highest court said, “And the person in question has not only been actively supporting procured abortion in our country, but has announced publicly in his campaign that he intends to extend that make the practice of procured abortion available to everyone in the widest possible form, and to repeal the restrictions on this practice which have been put in place.”
He would tell Biden “not to approach to receive Holy Communion, out of charity toward him, because that would be a sacrilege and endanger the salvation and his own soul.”
However, for a Catholic politician to present himself for Holy Communion, while at the same time publicly supporting abortion, is not only problematic for the person himself, but also for fellow Catholics, and even others who are not members of the Church.
“If someone says, ‘I’m a devout Catholic,’ and at the same time is promoting abortion, it gives the impression to others that it’s acceptable for Catholic to be in favor of abortion,” Burke warned. “And of course, it’s absolutely not acceptable. Never has been. Never will be.”
“And this isn’t some new idea,” he explained. “Saint Paul already in the chapter 11 of his First Letter to the Corinthians remonstrated with the people who were approaching Holy Communion in the state of sin, and he said he who eats the body of Christ and drinks the blood of Christ in the state of serious sin eats and drinks his own condemnation. And then Saint Paul, too, speaks about the scandal that was given in the wider community.”
“If as Catholics in name only they want to continue to support abortion, then at least they shouldn’t give scandal,” Burke said of politicians.
“We simply have to get this straight,” he emphasized. “This is a most fundamental way in which the Catholic Church can serve the whole of our society by restoring the respect for human life, while, on the other hand, Catholics going around announcing themselves as pious Catholics and then being 100 percent in favor of abortion or being in favor of abortion in any way, give a great scandal.”
Burke went on to define “scandal” as leading others “into wrong thinking and wrong acting by your example,” adding that “if people were perhaps questioning in their mind about abortion and they see this man who announces himself to be a devout Catholic and he’s promoting abortion in the strongest possible way, this leads people into their thinking, well, it must be morally acceptable to commit abortions.”
The cardinal shared a personal anecdote to illustrate how scandal works, talking about “a highly placed government official” who had asked him about abortion being acceptable for Catholics.
“And he said, ‘Well, I think I could name for you 70 or 80 Catholics here in the Congress who regularly vote in favor of abortion.’ And he said, ‘I had to think that it wasn’t that firm a teaching in your Church.’”
“I mean, there it is,” Burke commented. “This is an objectively scandalous situation, and we know it very well in our country. We’ve been witnessing it for far too long. And we simply have to in every way we can put an end to this.”
In early August, Burke had already said that so-called “Catholic” politicians must be denied Communion for advocating policies contrary to natural law and basic Church teaching, including on topics such as abortion and homosexuality.
“They may not present themselves to receive Holy Communion, because they’re not in communion with Christ,” Burke said during an August 8 Fox News interview with Martha MacCallum. “It’s not a punishment. Actually, it’s a favor to these people to tell them don’t approach, because if they approach, they commit sacrilege.”
The cardinal said “Catholic” politicians so often back abortion and pro-LGBT legislation that many non-Catholic leaders of government believe that the Church has changed her teaching on these matters.
“I’ve had non-Catholic leaders of government in this nation tell me that they were certain that the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion and the so-called same-sex ‘marriage,’ and so forth, have changed, because so many Catholics on Capitol Hill are regularly supporting this kind of legislation ... [a]nd that’s a scandal.”