Catholic World News

Cardinal Burke decries secularization, lauds traditional families

July 04, 2013

In a recent address, Cardinal Raymond Burke decried attacks on human life and the dignity of the human person.

“The truth regarding the inviolable dignity of every human life is under constant attack in an ever-more secularized world,” the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura said in a June 28 talk. “One only has to read the daily newspaper or turn on the television for the evening news to know that the Christian’s holding to the truth of the moral law is no longer tolerated by many, and that the secularist agenda never ceases in its efforts to overshadow, drown out, and intimidate the witness of faithful Christians.”

“We are conscious that Christian persecution is sadly at a high point throughout the world,” he continued. “We read every day of such persecution, for example, in Syria, Egypt, Eritrea, Nigeria and Indonesia, but we also see examples in our own nations, which have a rich Christian heritage and yet have turned their back on the very foundational truths taught by the Christian faith.”

Lamenting the spread of abortion and same-sex marriage, Cardinal Burke asked:

How can we ensure that the culture of death will not dominate our lives and our society? First of all, those of us who are Christians must all be attentive to laws that safeguard the dignity of the human person. We must support just laws which respect the inviolable dignity of human life. And we must support the political leaders who work for such legislation. Similarly, it is essential that we become aware of the laws and policies which are attacking human dignity and the goods of our Christian faith, some of which I have mentioned earlier.

In addition to the enhanced awareness of public policy, we must work toward a new evangelization regarding human life. We have the magna charta for such a new evangelization in the Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae of Blessed Pope John Paul II. The transformation of hearts by which one truly believes in the dignity of all men, without boundary, is the most fundamental means of a new evangelization.

“An essential way in which we can proclaim the Gospel of Life is through strong, supportive, and traditional families with a mother and father who love their children unconditionally,” he continued. “Children witness the Gospel of Life in the relationship of their parents with one another and in the relationship that their parents have with them. The solid relationships between parents, and between the parents and their children, based on respect for human life, leads to a transformation of hearts in which the gospel of life is learned and lived.”

“Additionally, healthy families depend on a new proclamation of the truth regarding women and motherhood that upholds the virtues of purity, chastity and modesty, and respect for the integrity of marriage and the family,” he added. “These goods are also under attack. We cannot permit such attacks to continue. The family shapes society, and by advocating for and promoting strong, traditional family life, we will continue to replace the culture of death with the culture of life and love for which God calls us to work, even as He gives us the strength to accomplish the work.”

Cardinal Burke concluded by paying tribute to Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, retired president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and honorary president of the institute that hosted Cardinal Burke’s talk:

Your Eminence, your work as Honorary President of this Institute ties together the main themes of all your major accomplishments, from your work at the United Nations for which you were the Papal Nuncio for 16 years (during which you led the successful resistance at Cairo in 1994 to stop the UN from promoting abortion as a method of family planning) to your overseeing of the publication of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, in which you most rightly take great pride. I pay tribute to you tonight, Your Eminence. I am proud as a member of the Sacred College of Cardinals to see one of my brothers so ably demonstrating the very highest dedication to one of the most fundamental of our important responsibilities.

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