The former archbishop of St. Louis and now a member of the highest judicial authority in the Roman Catholic church said former Vice President and Democratic nominee for president Joe Biden – and others – should not receive Holy Communion because of his long-stated position on abortion.
Cardinal Raymond Burke made the comments to Catholic Action for Faith and Family in an Aug. 31 interview in its “Catholic Voting Guidance” video.
“Certainly, he is not a Catholic in good standing, and he should not approach to receive Holy Communion,” said Burke, who was the bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, from 1995 to 2004 and the archbishop of the St. Louis Dioceses from 2004 to 2008.
Burke served as the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura at the Vatican in Rome for six years until 2014, where he is now a rank-and-file member of the Catholic tribunal.
“I don’t intend to get involved in the recommending any candidate for office, but simply to state that a Catholic may not support abortion in any shape or form, because it is one of the most grievous sins against human life, and has always been considered to be intrinsically evil,” Burke said. “And therefore, to support the act is a mortal sin.”
Burke added that politicians can’t claim to be good Catholics and support abortion. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, also has openly declared support for abortion.
“I don’t know why Catholics who are involved in politics can’t get this straight in their heads,” he added.
Catholics are expected to be “in a state of grace” to receive Holy Communion, considered to be the body and blood of Christ.
Biden was denied Holy Communion at Mass last October by Rev. Robert E. Morey of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, South Carolina, an incident the former vice president refused to comment about.
Additionally, during the Republican National Convention in August, former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz called Biden and Democrats who claim to be Catholics as “Catholics in name only” over their position to support abortion.
Biden scoffed at the criticisms.
“I think it’s kind of preposterous to a guy who hardly ever darkens the door of a church,” Biden said on MSNBC in a reference to President Donald Trump.
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