Vatican Radio Talks to Cardinal Burke
Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke of Wisconsin is one of the 24 men to be created Cardinals in Saturday’s consistory. He and Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., are the only two Americans who are being promoted to the College of Cardinals in this consistory. In this, part two of a two-part interview, Cardinal-designate Burke spoke to Tracey McClure about some of the challenges faced by the Church in the United States.
Cardinal-designate Burke has a reputation for being outspoken about the moral rectitude of the Catholic faithful and the clergy. McClure asked him if he ever feels discouraged because people "aren’t getting the message."
Burke: “I think it is only natural to be tempted to discouragement and I’ve had those temptations. For instance, on the question of a person who publicly and obstinately espouses the right of a woman to choose to abort the infant in her womb receiving Holy Communion strikes me as something very clear. In the two thousand years of the Church’s tradition, She’s always firmly held that a person who is publicly and obstinately in grave sin should not approach to receive Holy Communion and if she or he does, should be denied Holy Communion.”
“It is discouraging that either members of the Church claim not to understand this or they claim that in some way there is an excuse for someone who is publicly and obstinately in grave sin to receive Holy Communion.”
The Cardinal-designate argues that this response on part of “many in the Church” stems from living “in a society that’s completely secularized. The God-centred thinking which has marked the discipline of the Church is not easily understood by those who are bombarded day-in and day-out with a kind of God-less approach to the world and to many questions. So, I try not to get discouraged but try to continue to speak the message in a way that people can understand.”
"It's difficult... it hasn't been easy for me to face this question with a certain number of Catholic politicians. And, I've had a number of priests speak to me and tell me how difficult it is when they have individuals in their parish who are in a situation of public and grave sin... and so, they look ...to the bishop for encouragement and inspiration in dealing with this."
"So, when a bishop takes appropriate pastoral measures in this regard, he's also helping very much brother bishops, and also the priests."