Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cardinal Burke’s new book: Now we know why he leads the fight on denying communion to pro-aborts

by John-Henry Westen

May 25, 2012 ( - A new book to be released June 7 by Vatican Cardinal Raymond Burke contains within the secret of his motivation in leading the fight to have the bishops of the United States, and indeed the world, refuse Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians. 

Prior to his appointment to the head of the Catholic Church’s highest court in the Vatican, Cardinal Burke, as a U.S. archbishop not only led by example in willingness to refuse Communion to pro-abortion politicians but also said publicly that bishops had no other choice in the matter due to the stipulations of canon law.

His stature as a doctor of canon law and reputation were untouchable while he was still in the US, and his elevation to head of the Apostolic Signatura has solidified that reputation.  But what drove him to withstand the criticism and disdain even of some of his brother bishops over his insistence on such a controversial point?

Upon reading “Divine Love Made Flesh: The Holy Eucharist as the Sacrament of Charity,” the answer becomes obvious.  It is Cardinal Burke’s profound love and devotion to the Eucharistic Lord that caused him to champion defense of the Eucharist even in the midst of the most unwelcoming circumstances.

As my good friend Judie Brown, President of American Life League put it: “This small book is a love story, shared from the heart of a man who exemplifies devotion to Christ in the Eucharist in a way few American prelates have ever exhibited.  Cardinal Burke helps us plumb the depths of the truth as it relates to the Eucharist in a way that I would never have imagined possible.”

“Divine Love Made Flesh” notes that for both clergy and laity, the Eucharist is of utmost importance, and indeed necessary, to all aspects of Christian life.  The work links the rich theology of the Church with pastoral practice and the spiritual life.

While mainly a theological reflection, Divine Love Made Flesh does indeed reiterate the point: “We are witnesses to the scandal caused by Catholic politicians who present themselves to receive Holy Communion and, at the same time, consistently support legislation which violates the natural moral law—for example, legislation which permits procured abortion, human cloning, embryonic stem-cell research, euthanasia or ‘assisted suicide,’ so-called ‘same- sex marriage,’ and other violations of fundamental human rights.”

Cardinal Burke adds: “The Holy Father reminds Bishops of their duty to reaffirm the relationship of the Holy Eucharist to the moral life, especially for those who have responsibility for the common good. For Bishops to do less constitutes a failure to shepherd the flock entrusted into their care.”

The book, while totally accessible to the man and woman in the pew (and even the teen preparing for confirmation), is nevertheless a deep reflection suited to seminarians, priests and theologians and liturgists alike.

Divine Love Made Flesh is published by Thomas McKenna, a longtime friend of Cardinal Burke, and is available by pre-order from Catholic Action.

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