Funeral Rites Should be Denied to Publicly Pro-Abort Catholics: Vatican Official Says Catholics also "should have the courage to look truth in the eye and call things by their common names"

I wonder what Father Rosica will say now?

Given the comment below from Archbishop Burke, one can only wonder if our bishops will ever stand up for what the Church teaches. On the other hand, of course, maybe what she teaches is that we all get to interpret things for ourselves, that after all is exactly what the bishops are doing on these questions.
“Neither Holy Communion nor funeral rites should be administered to such politicians, … To deny these is not a judgment of the soul, but a recognition of the scandal and its effects.”


Is Archbishop Burke saying that pro-abort Catholic politicians should be forbidden ANY funeral rites whatsoever – no Masses, no prayers at the wake, no burial in consecrated ground, no public prayers of any kind allowed for them – or simply that no PUBLIC funeral rites should be offered?

Even mobsters, executed mass murderers, etc. are allowed to have private funeral rites for just the immediate family. What if they have observant Catholic relatives and friends who really, really want to pray for them, knowing they are likely to need those prayers worse than most people? :confused:

I understand totally the reaction to Ted Kennedy’s funeral – that was WAY overboard and loaded with liturgical abuses. He should have had a small, private funeral, definitely not a broadcast extravaganza complete with politically correct Prayers of the Faithful :eek:
However, let’s not go overboard the other way and decide that any politician who ever casts a “wrong” vote, and their surviving family members, should be totally denied the prayers and consolation of the Church when they die.

Perhaps the REAL problem is that people no longer understand what the purpose of a Catholic funeral Mass is. It is NOT to “canonize” the deceased or “celebrate their life” on the presumption that they are already in heaven; it is to pray for the soul of the deceased on the presumption that they will have to spend at least some time in purgatory, and remind those in attendance to be mindful of their own mortality.

There’s a huge problem with the manner in which Burke has done this. He didn’t issue an official communication of canonical interpretation to the world’s bishops. Instead he gave a speech to a pro-life group. So it is still questionable if this is to be understood as a new universal application of canon law or if its just Burke’s personal opinion.

I’m not sure why everyone is picking on the US Bishops. Show me where in Europe bishops are denying funeral rites?

Why didnt the Vatican speak up during the funeral of a pro-abortionist and murderer Ted Kennedy?

Because, according to media accounts that quoted the priest in question by name, and backed up by Kennedy’s Ordinary, he was washed clean in the Sacrament of Reconcilation and restored to good standing in the Church.

If you believe all that Catholic “forgiveness” stuff, that is . . . .

This is untrue. The Church since the Council of Trent has required public penance for someone who has sinned in a grave, public way … just the way Kennedy sinned by supporting abortion. Since there was no public comment from Kennedy that he had recanted his position he was not in good standing with the Church. This was Burke’s point.


Really? Do you have any authority for that position? Canon law is quite clear: the Sacrament of Penance is a private matter. There’s no exception to the effect of “The Sacrament doesn’t count if you’re a public figure unless you tell all to the media.”

I agree that public sinners should manifest their repentance publicly; that would be good and helpful for all involved. But it is clearly not required.

You said that Trent requires public penance; this is all I could find on it in the documents of Trent:

For the rest, as to the manner of confessing secretly to a priest alone, although Christ has not forbidden that a person may,–in punishment of his sins, and for his own humi liation, as well for an example to others as for the edification of the Church that has been scandalized,–confess his sins publicly, nevertheless this is not commanded by a divine precept; neither would it very prudent to enjoin by any human law, that sins, especially such as are secret, should be made known by a public confession.

Trent Session XIV, ch. V.

CANON VI.–If any one denieth, either that sacramental confession was instituted, or is necessary to salvation, of divine right; or saith, that the manner of confessing secretly to a priest alone, which the Church hath ever observed from the beginning, and doth observe, is alien from the institution and command of Christ, and is a human invention; let him be anathema.

Trent Session XIV, canon VI.

Unfortunately the on-line version of the Catechism of Trent I’m using doesn’t have the sections all that well identified but the following is from the section on the Sacrament of Penance, Third Part of Penance, Advantages and Satisfaction:

*The Church, therefore, with great wisdom ordained that when anyone had committed a public crime, a public penance should be imposed on him, in order that others, being deterred by fear, might more carefully avoid sin in future. This has sometimes been observed even with regard to secret sins of more than usual gravity.

** But with regard to public sinners, as we have already said, they were never absolved until they had performed public penance.***


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