Cardinal Burke condemns Biden’s reception of Holy Communion as ‘sacrilege’ – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Raymond Burke condemned President Joe Biden’s reception of Holy Communion as a “sacrilege” during an interview with Pints with Aquinas host Matt Fradd.

Discussing how American Catholics can “better revere” Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, Cardinal Burke stressed the importance of a “deepening of faith” in the Blessed Sacrament. He pointed out that one sign that this is “lost” is that someone like Biden, who unrepentantly supports legal abortion – the killing of innocent babies – is permitted to receive Communion by American clergy.

Cardinal Burke noted that Biden “claims to be a devout Catholic and yet is in favor of aborting babies even in the birth canal” and is also “in favor of… [the] transgender agenda, which is a complete rebellion against God’s plan for us.” 

“And then that he approaches to receive Holy Communion – this is not possible, because he denies Christ in these very blatant public ways,” said Cardinal Burke. 

“This is a sacrilege,” he continued, adding that it should not be permitted both “for his own sake and for the sake of the whole Church.” He added that, contrary to the claims of some, insisting that a politician who supports grave sin should not receive Communion – which he pointed out is Christ Himself – is “not making the Communion rail a battleground” but is “simply respect for our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Cardinal Burke suggested that clergy use a “pastoral approach” by which they simply tell Biden that as long as he supports “policies and programs and laws that are in violation of the Divine Law,” he “may not approach to receive Holy Communion,” and then simply refuse him Holy Communion if he does approach. 

He pointed to the fact that the apostle St. Paul himself considered the worthy reception of Holy Communion an extremely important issue, so much so that he taught Christians that if they eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ “unworthily,” they eat and drink their own damnation. 

Fradd made more explicit the significance of allowing a public sinner to receive Holy Communion: He noted that it sends a message to Catholics and “teaches” them something about the Eucharist. Fradd then asked Cardinal Burke what it would take for American bishops to come to a consensus on the importance of refusing Communion to politicians like Biden.

“It’s a question of a misunderstanding of the nature of the Church itself,” said Cardinal Burke, explaining that the Church is the “Body” of Christ and that “we are living members grafted onto the vine, Who is Christ.” In forgetfulness of this truth, the idea developed that “it was being kind to people not to deny them anything,” and Catholics began to neglect to examine their consciences or go to Confession regularly in order to prepare themselves to receive the Eucharist.

Cardinal Burke called for more teaching on the issue, adding that in his book Respecting the Body and Blood of the Lord: When Holy Communion Should Be Denied, he showed how the Church was “consistent” “from the time of St. Paul throughout all the centuries” in insisting upon “proper preparation to receive Holy Communion.”

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF)’s 2004 memo states that a politician “consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws” manifests “formal cooperation” with grave sin and must be “denied” the Eucharist.

Canon 915 of the Catholic Code of Canon Law also explicitly forbids those in mortal sin from receiving Communion: “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

Cardinal Burke recently stated that the practice of giving Holy Communion to people like Biden leads to a de facto position of assuming that Catholic teaching has changed: “It gives the impression that the Church has changed its teaching with regard to these crimes, these previous sins, and it leads people to be very lax in their own conscience.”

You can imagine if somebody who is a pro-abortionist is receiving Holy Communion freely, are people going to be inclined to examine their consciences as they should, before they approach to receive the Sacrament? It dulls consciences.

Today we can’t take anything for granted because we’re dealing with six or seven decades of poor catechesis. Many Catholics today, not through their own fault, don’t know their own faith.

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