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Archbishop Burke repeats: no Communion, no Catholic funeral for pro-abortion politicians

September 22, 2009

Archbishop Raymond Burke, speaking at the Inside Catholic partnership dinner, said that Catholic politicians who support legal abortion should not be allowed to receive Communion or to have Catholic funerals. The American archbishop, who now heads the Apostolic Signatura, explained that this disciplinary approach is not a matter of judging the individual's soul, but "a recognition of the scandal" caused by public support for abortion. He added that in order to remove that scandal, since the individual has taken a public stand in opposition to Church teaching, "his repentance must also be public."

Archbishop Burke, who now chairs the Vatican's top canonical court, said that the Church's policy is clearly indicated by the Code of Canon Law. He rejected the argument that disciplinary action against pro-abortion Catholics would cause division in the Church; on the contrary, he said, it would help "to repair a breach in the life of the Church" caused by the scandal of public dissent. The archbishop said that Church leaders "must speak the truth in charity" for the welfare of their people.


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