Tuesday, October 9, 2007

On Archbishop Burke

Recently, Archbishop Burke of St. Louis published an article in a Canon law Journal (I don't think in English, however) that discussed the obligation of Catholic Bishops to deny the Eucharist to Catholic politicians who support abortion, or other serious, sinful positions.

This is somewhat in opposition to the statement of the USCCB, saying essentially that the individual bishops should do what they want. The Canon law, however, is fairly clear about this position:
Can. 915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.
The important part here is the line "manifest grave sin". The word manifest here comes from the meaning of public. If they persist in a sin which is public, not private, then they are "not to be admitted to holy communion". This, Archbishop Burke, argues, is the reason that all bishops should be united on this front.

I heard him speak on the radio the other day, and it was quite good.