December 26, 2005
Burke is back!
Do yourself a favor. Hit our search button and put in Raymond Burke's name. You will find the reading fun and troubling. Burke, you may recall, was Catholic Bishop of La Crosse. He ordered priests to deny communion to Dave Obey, Julie Lassa, and other Catholic politicians who follow the U.S. Constitution rather than Vatican dictates. When he was promoted to archbishop of St. Louis we offered to help him ship his goods down the Mississippi. He declined our offer.
But he is back in the news. You must read the Washington Post account of Christmas Eve mass. Believe it--he ruled that anyone attending the mass, offered by a priest who had been excommunicated, would be guilty of committing a mortal sin! Whoa Nelly! A mortal sin to miss mass or a mortal sin to go. Some choice.
The church was overflowing, so others watched on closed circuit TV. (Was their sin less than mortal?)The priest said, "To be Catholic is to receive the sacraments. I will give them the sacrament of reconciliation, the Eucharist, and I will visit the sick and bury the dead. I will laugh with those who are laughing and cry with those who are crying."
Thank you Father Marek Bozek. When he walked in the "congregation rose and greeted him with thunderous applause." A wonderful Christmas story.
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