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Pope Francis I may not be exactly willing to discuss the doctrinal issues surrounding the Catholic Church’s stance on same-sex marriage or homosexuality, but he has been adamant about softening the language being used and to treat LGBT people with dignity. Of course, Cardinal Raymond Burke does not seem to have gotten that message.
Burke is currently the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome. He was once the bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin and the Archbishop of St. Louis, Missouri.
In a recent interview, Cardinal Burke used the phrase ‘satanic’ to describe homosexuality.
Burke was asked about the recent passage in Minnesota of a law granting same-sex couples marriage equality. The interviewer asked “Despite a heroic effort by Archbishop John Nienstedt and many other Church leaders, it failed. Just four months later a law was enacted making Minnesota the 12th state to legalize so- called same- sex marriage. How did we get to this point? Aside from prayer and fasting, what can the faithful do?”
Burke responded that “First of all, I would underline the need for much prayer and fasting. The alarming rapidity of the realization of the homosexual agenda ought to awaken all of us and frighten us with regard to the future of our nation. This is a work of deceit, a lie about the most fundamental aspect of our human nature, our human sexuality, which after life itself defines us. There is only one place these types of lies come from, namely Satan. It is a diabolical situation which is aimed at destroying individuals, families, and eventually our nation.”
He went on to say that “How did we get to this point? The fact that these kinds of ? arrangements? are made legal is a manifestation of a culture of death, of an anti- life and anti- family culture which has existed in our nation now for some time. We as Catholics have not properly combatted it because we have not been taught our Catholic Faith, especially in the depth needed to address these grave evils of our time. This is a failure of catechesis both of children and young people that has been going on for fifty years. It is being addressed, but it needs much more radical attention. I can say this because I was the bishop of two different dioceses.”
He continued “After fifty years of this, we have many adult voters who support politicians with immoral positions because they do not know their Catholic Faith and its teaching with regard to same- sex attraction and the inherent disorder of sexual relations between two persons of the same sex. Therefore, they are not able to defend the Catholic Faith in this matter.”
And also said that “What has also contributed greatly to the situation is an exaltation of the virtue of tolerance which is falsely seen as the virtue which governs all other virtues. In other words, we should tolerate other people in their immoral actions to the extent that we seem also to accept the moral wrong. Tolerance is a virtue, but it is certainly not the principal virtue; the principal virtue is charity. Charity means speaking the truth, especially the truth about human life and human sexuality. While we love the individual, we desire only the best for one who suffers from an inclination to engage in sexual relations with a person of the same sex. We must abhor the actions themselves because they are contrary to nature itself as God has created us.”
And concluded by saying “The virtue of charity leads us to be kind and understanding to the individual, but also to be firm and steadfast in opposing the evil itself. This confusion is widespread. I have encountered it many times myself as a priest and bishop. It is something we simply need to address. There is far too much silence ? people do not want to talk about it because the topic is not ? politically correct.? But we cannot be silent any longer or we will find ourselves in a situation that will be very difficult to reverse.”
Part of the problem for Cardinal Burke is that much of the Western world has hit the point where theocratic thinking is no longer welcome. Beginning back around 1688 and the overthrow of Charles II in Britain, the movement has been away from the Divine Right of Government to a rational government that comes from the People.
The problem for the Catholic Church is that their position on same-sex marriage and homosexuality, while logical when it was imposed on a group of people living in the desert where life was very grim, no longer makes sense, and given that logic is ruling over religion at this point, it is becoming more and more difficult to impose the belief that homosexuality is immoral or wrong when compared to those things which truly hurt people- like raping children, protecting pedophiles, and the like.
While people like the idea of the Church helping those in need, they are also getting tired of the Church interfering in temporal politics. They don’t care if the Church wants to scream about homosexuality being wrong. They just want them to stop trying to make laws based on their religious beliefs since many Western nations have some form of religious freedom.