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Cardinal Burke: ‘the perennial newness of the Gospel of life’

Catholic World News - May 06, 2014

In a May 3 address at an international pro-life conference, Cardinal Raymond Burke called for a renewed attention to St. John Paul II’s encyclical Evangelium Vitae [The Gospel of Life] as “the inspiration and guide for all labors to overcome the culture of violence and death and to advance the civilization of life and love.”

“The first and most fundamental way of radiating the truth which Our Lord Jesus never fails to teach us in the Church is a strong witness to the inviolable dignity of all human life, from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death,” said the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura. “The personal conversion and the transformation of the world to which we are called by Christ must, first of all, find expression in the safeguarding and fostering of every human life, especially of ‘the least of these my brethren,’ in accord with Our Lord’s Parable on the Last Judgment.”

Cardinal Burke also discussed the scandal created by the reception of Holy Communion by political figures who support abortion:

I cannot fail to note the grave scandal caused by legislators, judges, and political leaders who profess to be Catholic and who present themselves to receive Holy Communion, while, at the same time, they uphold and even promote laws which violate the moral law in its most fundamental tenets.

The Church’s discipline, from the time of Saint Paul, has admonished those who obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin not to present themselves for Holy Communion. The discipline is not a punishment but the recognition of the objective condition of the soul of the person involved in such sin. It prevents them from committing sacrilege by violating the incomparable sanctity of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, and safeguards the Christian community and the community at large from scandal, that is, from being led to believe that the violation of the moral law, for example in what pertains to the inviolable dignity of human life, the integrity of marriage and the family, and the freedom of conscience, is not sinful, does not gravely break communion with Our Lord.

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