By Diogenes ( articles ) | Mar 15, 2008
Archbishop Burke of St. Louis has announced two more excommunications-- bringing his total to 5 in two days. The pain these moves cause to a conscientious shepherd of souls is evident in the archbishop's public announcements, and his handling of the cases is-- as we have observed before (and leaving aside his unfortunate tendency to split infinitives)-- exemplary.
The St. Louis archdiocese has even posted an informative Q&A section on its web site to clarify the issues surrounding the excommunications. This item in particular is a "must" read:
Q. Aren't excommunications more divisive than uniting?
A. Excommunication is more than a penalty for past actions; it's really an urgent call to reform one's conduct in the future. Excommunication is classified as a "medicinal penalty" by the Church precisely because its main purpose is to bring about reform in the individual. Having certain actions punished by excommunication demonstrates that certain actions are gravely wrong in themselves and cause deep harm both to their perpetrators and to others. The hope of this excommunication, and all excommunications, is that the parties will be awakened to their offenses and seek to return to full communion in the Church.
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