Catholic Cardinal Raymond Burke recently made the case for pro-abortion politicians like President Joe Biden to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church because of their “open and aggressive” apostasy.
Biden’s radical pro-abortion agenda coupled with his insistence that he is a devout Catholic have caused massive controversy in the Catholic Church. Some bishops, including Burke, have said the president should not receive communion unless he repents, but others disagree.
Burke, a leading expert in Canon Law and former head of the Vatican’s highest court, discussed the controversy in a March interview with Thomas McKenna of Catholic Action for Faith and Family.
When asked how the Catholic Church should address the problem of a pro-abortion Catholic leader like Biden, Burke outlined several steps, including confronting the individual and urging them to repent, CNS News reports. If the individual obstinately persists in doing evil, they could face excommunication, the cardinal said.
“The question is, that such a person who claims to be a Catholic and yet promotes in such an open, obdurate and aggressive way a crime like procured abortion is in the state, at least, of apostasy,” Burke told McKenna.
“In other words, to do this is to draw away from Christ and to draw away from the Catholic faith,” he said. “And so the second action, which needs to be considered, is a canonical penalty, a sanction, for the crime of apostasy, which would be excommunication.”
Their discussion began when McKenna brought up how many of Biden’s policies on life and family contradict church teachings. He also noted how often Biden and his press secretary mention the president’s Catholic faith and its influence on his life.
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“What can be done now? … What can be done other than saying something? Is there a next step?” McKenna asked.
Burke said Biden’s claims of faith and his open defiance of church teachings are misleading people. He said many people, not just Catholics, are questioning why the church continues to give the holy sacrament of communion to someone who openly promotes the evil of abortion.
One of the first things that the church can do in response is to tell Biden not to present himself for communion, Burke said.
“A person who obstinately and publicly denies truths of the faith and actually acts against the truths of the faith or of the moral law, may not present himself or herself to receive Holy Communion,” the cardinal said.
“And, at the same time, the minister of Holy Communion, usually the priest, is not to give them Holy Communion, should they present themselves,” he continued. “Now, normally speaking, people should understand that the crime of procured abortion is a grievous violation against the first precept of the moral law, namely the safeguarding and promoting of human life.”
Burke said the priest should warn the person first about not receiving communion until he or she repents, and “should the person present himself, he should be denied.”
He described abortion, the intentional killing of an innocent unborn child, as one of several “horrible crimes against moral law.” And, Burke noted, it is just one of several immoral things that Biden is promoting.
“We just talk about abortion, but there are other issues, too,” Burke said. “The integrity of the family. Also, he’s threatened to act against religious freedom by trying to force the Little Sisters of the Poor, and so forth, to pay for insurance for immoral practices.”
The cardinal explained that the purpose of denying communion to someone is not about punishment but about “a worthy reception of the sacrament. It’s simply the discipline that is necessary because of the reality of the Holy Eucharist.”
He continued: “The Holy Eucharist … is the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. And to receive the body of Christ knowingly and willingly in the state of sin is a sacrilege. It’s one of the worst sins.”
Quoting 1 Corinthians 11, Burke said: “‘He who eats the body and blood of Christ without recognizing it, eats his own condemnation.’ And so, in order to prevent a commission of a sacrilege, we have to insist that such people not approach to receive Holy Communion.
“It’s not only for their own salvation, certainly, but also then to avoid the scandal given to others who see someone who’s publicly promoting grievously immoral acts and yet presents himself to receive Holy Communion,” he said.
This is not the first time that Burke has called out Biden for supporting the destruction of innocent life in violation of church teachings. In an August interview, Burke said Biden should not receive communion unless he repents.
Then, in a Jan. 24 homily, he described Biden’s plan to expand abortions by “codifying” Roe v. Wade as a “program of lies and murder” that comes from Satan.
“In our own nation, the federal government wants to codify as law the totally unjust decision of the Supreme Court, which made legal abortion on demand, and to impose upon schools the teaching of the iniquitous gender theory,” he said. “We live in times when it can seem that the Evil One is succeeding in his program of lies and death.”
By “codifying” Roe, Biden would ensure that killing unborn babies in abortions without restriction would remain legal even if the Supreme Court overturns its infamous ruling. “Codifying” Roe also could invalidate life-saving state laws that restrict abortions after viability, ensure mothers receive informed consent and ban sex-selection abortions.
Biden already is making abortions a priority in his administration. Just a week after taking office, he rescinded the Mexico City Policy and restored tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which kills babies in abortions around the world and lobbies to legalize abortions in pro-life countries.
He also began rolling back President Donald Trump’s Title X policy, which defunded the Planned Parenthood abortion chain of more than $50 million taxpayer dollars.