10 November 2007

The Archbishop speaks

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke has responded very well and appropriately to the widely publicized attempted ordination of two St. Louis women in his newspaper column this week. His Excellency writes:

Given the most sacred nature of the sacraments which will be simulated, the women involved and any Catholic who knowingly and deliberately assists them risks the eternal salvation of their souls. They commit mortal sin. Because of the most grave, public and obstinate nature of the proposed act of attempted ordination, the Church automatically applies medicinal penalties to the parties who complete the act. Medicinal penalties, for example, excommunication and interdict, are aimed at calling the persons away from their sin and to reconciliation with Christ and His Church. The women involved have been duly admonished regarding the penalties which they will incur, should they proceed with the attempted ordination. Any medicinal penalties or censures incurred will be appropriately declared, so that the ecclesial status of the parties involved may be clear for all.

I urge you, therefore, to offer fervent prayers for the women involved, that they will repent and be reconciled with the Church. Please pray, too, for all who will be confused and led astray by their sinful action.
Be sure to keep the Archbishop in your prayers, as well, and his brother Bishops, that all might faithfully and clearly teach the Catholic faith.

Why does Archbishop speak so forcefully? He is concerned not only for the salvation of the women involved, but for all those who hear of it, as well. He is also pastorally concerned to be certain that the truth of the Faith and the teachings of the Faith are well presented to the faithful. Archbishop Burke clarifies the situation, saying:

Although the attempted ordinations will produce no sacramental reality, that is, will be sacramentally empty, they will be the cause of much confusion among the faithful and others who are not members of the Roman Catholic Church.
He concludes his column with these words:

I hope that the above helps you to understand better my response, as archbishop, to the most sad situation of the attempted ordinations. I hope that it also leads you to seek a deeper understanding of the Church’s teaching in the matter and helps you to be able to respond to the inevitable questions which will be raised to Catholics by friends and acquaintances. I thank you, in advance, for whatever you can do to help others to understand the Church’s teaching and practice.

Above all, I hope that my reflections will lead you to pray for the conversion of heart of the women involved, for the sake of their eternal salvation and for the sake of the many whom they will lead into confusion about the Church’s teaching and practice. Prayer can accomplish more than we ever imagine, and the present situation needs the help of many prayers.
The entire article is well worth a read. Hat tip to Diogenes.

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