I am personally in a state of more than irritation over the most recent remarks of retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. For the life of me, I cannot understand why the media would report the garbage I am about to tell you in the first place, but here it goes.
The Catholic News Agency reports that in comments relating to Archbishop Raymond Burke's treatise on Canon Law 915, Cardinal McCarrick "has recommended that the Catholic Church forcefully preach the pro-life message to presidential candidates rather than following Archbishop Burke's suggestion of denying them Communion."
This statement relegates Canon Law 915 and Archbishop Burke's brilliant analysis of it to something akin to a personal opinion. And that, my friends, is astounding to me. Archbishop Burke is a canon lawyer who is so adept at interpreting those Church laws that Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to serve on the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, a body that has been described as the Supreme Court of the Catholic Church.
It is therefore remarkable that Cardinal mcCarrick would relegate Archbisbop Burke's teaching to nothing more than a suggestion. However Cardinal McCarrick's viewpoint is not surprising to me, for I am someone who has been the brunt of his opinions and know that in some political circles his comments carry a great deal of weight.
However at the end of the day it is even more encouraging to note that Archbishop Burke relies on the wealth of Catholic teaching to make the statements that he does, including this small excerpt from his presentation:
the burden is on the minister of Holy Communion who by the nature of his responsibility, must prevent anything which profanes the Blessed Sacrament and endangers the salvation of the soul of the recipient and of those scandalized by his unworthy reception of Holy Communion.
Let us hope that over time Cardinal McCarrick comes to realize that as a shepherd he has never retired from his responsibility to reach out to others in a manner that enables the salvation of souls and the protection of Christ from sacrilege.
When that happens the Cardinal will agree with Archbishop Burke and begin the process of educating the errant Catholics who currently hold or are seeking public office as they scoff at Church teaching and perhaps feel no compunction to save their own souls.