Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More Archbishop Burke On Pro-Abortion Politicians

Back in the day, public penance was a fairly common occurrence. Sackcloth, ashes, public beatings, you name it. We're all far too enlightened for that now, but you'd figure that we could at least get a public acknowledgement from the involved party that they did wrong.

Even Jimmy Swaggert managed that much. And if you think you're too good for some public chastisement, ask King Henry II about what happened to him when he got Thomas Becket killed, which was probably an accident on his part anyway. Being royalty didn't get in the way of a sound public beating for his role in the incident.

I'm sure St. Thomas would agree that his own life is a paltry thing next to millions of dead babies. By anyway, just an admission of guilt would be a nice start.

Archbishop Burke thinks it's a good idea, per CNA.

At the 14th Annual Partnership Dinner of InsideCatholic.com, Archbishop Burke said that those who have publicly espoused and cooperated in gravely sinful acts lead people into confusion and error about “fundamental questions.” Just as their dissent was public, their repentance must also be public.

“The person in question bears a heavy responsibility for the grave scandal which he has caused. The responsibility is especially heavy for political leaders,” the archbishop added.

Repairing the damage done by such scandal “begins with the public acknowledgment of his own error and the public declaration of his adherence to the moral law. The soul which recognizes the gravity of what he has done will, in fact, understand immediately the need to make public reparation,” Archbishop Burke said.

Of course, the ultimate problem here is in that last sentence. Not to much sense of sin out there anymore. Great saints used to say that death was preferable to a single mortal sin. Now, Catholics have difficulty even ciphering what a sin is. Surely nothing that they happen to be doing.

His Excellency takes this idea and puts a marvelous spin on it, though. We live in a society that excoriates the notion of "blaming the victim." You see this all the time on talk shows and Law & Order. For Catholics who express concerns about public dissent and the resulting scandal caused by such behavior, though, this is exactly what happens:

In the archbishop’s view, it is ironic that those who experience scandal at the “gravely sinful” public actions of a fellow Catholic are accused of “a lack of charity” and of causing division within the Church.

“Lying or failing to tell the truth, however, is never a sign of charity. A unity which is not founded on the truth of the moral law is not the unity of the Church. The Church's unity is founded on speaking the truth with love,” he remarked.

The contrary attitude is characteristic of a society governed by the “tyranny of relativism,” one in which “political correctness and human respect” are the ultimate criteria, he said, warning that Catholics’ consciences have become “dulled to the gravity of certain moral issues.”

Division is the fault of the orthodox. We're back to the 1984 stuff again. War is Peace. Ignorance is Strength. Freedom is Slavery. Fidelity is Rebellion.

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