Dallas Morning News describes Archbishop Raymond Burke as “one of the most outspoken (some would say zealous) defenders of the Catholic prohibition against abortion.”
Shortly before Fr. James Haley–one of the best homilists I’ve ever heard–was suspened by Bishop Paul Loverde, he said, “People say I’m too zealous.”
When did “zealous” become a bad word? It’s apparently a bad word in the minds of many Catholics, who call zeal “extremism” or “fanaticism.”
First, let’s look at the Psalms. The Church encourages us to base our prayers on them, but if you try quoting them (particularly Psalm 15 or Psalm 127) in Catholic circles, watch out!
“Because zeal for your house consumes me, I am scorned by those who scorn you. ” (Psalm 69:10, quoted as “zeal for your house will consume me” in John 2:17).
“I am intensely jealous for Zion, stirred to jealous wrath for her. ” (Zechariah 8:2)
“[Elijah] I have been most zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts, but the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to the sword. I alone am left, and they seek to take my life.” (1 Kings 19:10; Carmelite Motto)