OK, let’s review.
A few years ago, the Holy Father traveled to Brazil. At the time, Mexico City was considering legalization of abortion. A journalist asked Pope Benedict XVI if he thought politicians who voted to legalize abortion should be excommunicated. Thinking that the reporter was referring to an excommunication that had already happened, His Holiness replied:
“The excommunication was not something arbitrary,” the pope said. “It is part of
the Code (of Canon Law). It is based simply on the principle that the killing of
an innocent human child is incompatible with receiving communion, which is
receiving the body of Christ. Thus, (the bishops) didn’t do anything new or
anything surprising or arbitrary.”
A little later, Fr. Federicoo Lombardi issued a minor correction, based upon the realization that the Pope had misheard the question:
“Legislative action in favor of abortion is incompatible with participation in
the Eucharist.” He said that politicians who vote in favor of pro-abortion
legislation are excluding themselves from communion. He added, however, that the
pope had not set any new policy with his statements. Under Catholic law, being
denied communion is a milder sanction than being excommunicated.
In 2004, Francis Cardinal Arinze, then Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said,
“The norm of the church is clear. The Catholic Church exists in the United
States and there are bishops there. Let them interpret it.”
So, mild apology regarding the Randall Terry thing notwithstanding, how can anyone say that Archbishop Burke is a “rogue” or an “embarrassment”? Now, the idea that the Obama Administration is putting pressure on the Vatican, possibly through Doug Kmiec, is interesting. . . .