There is an article at Zenit that you need to read, re-read and then share with every Catholic you love. Archbishop Raymond Burke, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura (Vatican Supreme Court) and previously the Archbishop of St. Louis, recently addressed a congress in Rome hosted by Human Life International. Some highlights:
Obedience to the magisterium and the demands of the natural moral law are not only important for salvation, but are especially required of Catholics if a culture of life is to be advanced in today’s world.
Man is tempted to view the magisterium in relation to his individualism and self-pursuit.
Speaking of bishops: ”When shepherds of the flock are obedient to the magisterium entrusted to their exercise, then surely the numbers of the flock grow in obedience,” he said. “If the shepherd isn’t obedient, the flock easily gives way to confusion and error.” Quoting the Prophet Zechariah, he said the shepherd can be “especially tempted” by the assaults of Satan who, “if he can strike him, the work of scattering the flock is made easy.”
“Where there are problems of chastity, there are problems of obedience.” Rebellion against the moral truth, Archbishop Burke noted, “is a rebellion against God and all that he teaches us.”
The archbishop also stressed that today’s culture “teaches us to believe what is convenient and to reject what is difficult for us or which challenges us,” thus leading to a “cafeteria Catholicism” which “picks and chooses which parts of faith to practice.” He noted how this happened even among some bishops when they dissented from Paul VI’s encyclical “Humanae Vitae.” The consequences of that dissent, he said, has “led many Catholics into habits of sin in what pertains to procreation and the education of human life.”
Archbishop Burke then turned to the exercise of the magisterium in public life. He spoke of the tendency today to compartmentalize the faith, and the “hypocrisy” of some Catholics in politics, medicine, business or other human endeavors, who claim to personally hold to the truth of the faith regarding the inviolability of innocent and defenseless human life, yet cooperate in attacks on the unborn, the infirm, or those with special needs. He also cited “self-proclaimed” Catholics who support state recognition of same sex marriage.
“It is not possible to be a practicing Catholic and conduct oneself publicly in this manner,” he said to loud applause.
To much applause, Archbishop Burke said: “When a person has culpably espoused and cooperated in gravely sinful acts, leading many into error and confusion over fundamental questions regarding respect for life and integrity of marriage and family, his repentance of such actions must also be public.”
He stressed that responsibility is “especially heavy” for political leaders. “To repair the scandal begins with the public acknowledgment of his own error and a public declaration of adherence to the moral law,” he explained. “The soul which recognizes the gravity of what he has done will understand immediately the need to make public reparation.”
God bless Archbishop Burke. Read the entire article here.