“Gays, Remarried Catholics Are Just As Sinful As Murderers.” – Cardinal Raymond Burke

“Gays, Remarried Catholics Are Just As Sinful As Murderers.” – Cardinal Raymond Burke

When Pope Francis last year effectively demoted U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke by moving him out of a senior post in the Vatican to a largely ceremonial role as head of a Rome-based Catholic charity, it was viewed as a way to sideline one of the pontiff’s most outspoken critics on the right.

But the move seems to have left Burke free to air his conservative — and pointed — views on efforts to change church practices, not that he was ever terribly hesitant about speaking his mind.

Now the American churchman has spoken out again, telling an interviewer that gay couples and divorced and remarried Catholics who are trying to live good and faithful lives are still like “the person who murders someone and yet is kind to other people.”

“If you are living publicly in a state of mortal sin, there isn’t any good act that you can perform that justifies that situation: the person remains in grave sin,” Burke said in an interview with LifeSiteNews, a U.S.-based web service focused on battling abortion and promoting other conservative causes.

“And to give the impression that somehow there’s something good about living in a state of grave sin is simply contrary to what the (Catholic) Church has always and everywhere taught,” said Burke, who spoke to LifeSiteNews in Rome.

Asked if being “kind” and “generous” and “dedicated” is enough, Burke replied: “Of course it’s not. It’s like the person who murders someone and yet is kind to other people.”

The lengthy interview was published on Tuesday (March 24).

On the surface, Burke’s comments break little theological ground; the church has always taught that sin is sin, and some sins are especially serious. For example, cohabitation, homosexual relations and adultery (which is how the Catholic Church views the relations of a couple who are divorced and remarried without annulling the first marriage) are viewed as mortal sins, as is murder.

But comparing those situations in any context is unusual, and certainly out of step with the pastoral tone that Francis has set in his papacy. Moreover, reformers argue that a murderer — or almost any other sinner — can go to confession, receive absolution, and take Communion in a state of grace. But there is no such option for a gay person or those who are divorced and remarried, except permanent celibacy.

The cardinal’s comments take on added weight in the context of the increasingly heated debate that Francis opened over how the church should respond to rapid changes in family life in the modern world.

The issues were heatedly debated at a global summit of bishops and cardinals at the Vatican last October, and the debates have continued as both sides jockey for position ahead of a follow-up synod this October. Those who back reforms in church practices and attitudes — especially toward gay couples and those who are divorced or cohabiting — are opposed by those who see any changes as tantamount to undermining doctrine.

During last fall’s synod, several high-ranking churchmen spoke about the lives of unmarried or remarried couples as having value that the church should recognize.

Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, for example, repeatedly stressed that the church should “look at the person and not the sexual orientation.” He cited the case of a gay couple he knew in which one partner cared for the other through a long-term illness in a way that was “exemplary. Full stop.”

Similarly, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, a senior adviser to Francis, said that “one simply cannot say that a faithful homosexual relationship that has held for decades is nothing.”

“We just mustn’t lump things together and measure everything with the same yardstick, but must differentiate and take a closer look, which doesn’t mean that I endorse homosexuality as a whole,” he said.

But such language sounded alarm bells for traditionalists like Burke, who after the synod was named to the largely ceremonial post of patron of the Order of the Knights of Malta. In his earlier post in the Roman Curia, Burke was automatically included in the synod discussions; he will probably not take part in this fall’s meeting.

In this latest interview, he repeated his earlier claims that reformers were manipulating the synod discussions and waging a media campaign “to justify extra-marital sexual relations and sexual acts between persons of the same sex” that would undermine church teaching.

Burke, 66, has raised eyebrows, and made headlines, with previous comments. Earlier this year, he argued that the church has become too “feminized” and he blamed the introduction of altar girls more than 20 years ago for the decline in vocations to the church’s all-male priesthood.

The cardinal also blamed gay clergy for the church’s sexual abuse crisis, saying priests “who were feminized and confused about their own sexual identity” were the ones who molested children.

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17 Comments

  1. Pete
    March 29, 06:12 Reply

    I have followed most of this cardinal’s public utterances. He’s only regurgitating what he has been taught. No new thing here.

    • MacArdry
      March 29, 06:34 Reply

      Taught by who,Pete?.Certainly not the church I know and I’m part of.The Catholic Church is not perfect,sure,but it does not teach such nonsense as spouted by Burke.

      • Pete
        March 29, 06:57 Reply

        Read the article again. It’s the church’s teaching.

        On the surface, Burke’s comments break little theological ground; the church has always taught that sin is sin, and some sins are especially serious. For example, cohabitation, homosexual relations and adultery (which is how the Catholic Church views the relations of a couple who are divorced and remarried without annulling the first marriage) are viewed as mortal sins, as is murder.

  2. handle
    March 29, 06:28 Reply

    Getting tired of the poisonous words these guy preaches; always claiming that people like me are flawed from the beginning and organizations that used its authority to infringe on the sexual choices(what happens in the bedroom not orientation) of others.

    I know “Original Sin” is central to Christian theology, a doctrine that states that man’s very nature is sinful.

    As Christopher Hitchens invoked this tension in his 2010 debate with former British PM Tony Blair about the role of religion in global affairs:

    Once you assume a creator and a plan, it makes us objects in a cruel experiment whereby we are created sick and commanded to be well

    *humming Hozier – Take me to church*

  3. Mitch
    March 29, 06:37 Reply

    The man has way too much bile in his gut. Do I sense internal issues?

  4. Dennis Macaulay
    March 29, 06:48 Reply

    Abeg not again today! I wont argue over yet another retard. I am closely following election results and if GMB wins I shall throw a house party!

    • Pete
      March 29, 06:58 Reply

      Getting ready to drive to PH for the said party

  5. Sinnex
    March 29, 07:29 Reply

    This is no news. He is just reiterating what the bible says or better still what the church has been saying.

  6. tobby
    March 29, 08:46 Reply

    Why do we take these clowns seriously?..

  7. Teflondon
    March 29, 11:58 Reply

    What the guy is saying to some extent is correct.. (according to most doctrines) It depends tho* on individual beliefs.. I don’t really see anything wrong in what he is saying. He is just speaking what he believes.. It’s left for the general public to accept it or not.

    That said.. If I could meet the man one on one, face to face right now..
    I’ll just tell him what Jesus said
    “Let he/she without sin, cast the first stone”

    Leave judgement to God and spare us all the bullshit we already know.

    • Khaleesi
      March 29, 13:06 Reply

      Gurlll, you have some serious shit going on in your head – get help, fast! You just agreed with that disgusting bigot and in the same breath stated that he’s spouting bullshit … so, which is it to be? Substance or bullshit?

    • Legalkoboko
      March 29, 13:29 Reply

      Do I sense another quarrel developing today, Khaleesi?

  8. Khaleesi
    March 29, 13:32 Reply

    Rambling clowns clinging desperately to what is fast becoming a relic of history … ***wiggles hips and sashays away****

  9. Gad
    March 30, 18:05 Reply

    Please let’s put things in the right perspective. Cardinal Burke was NEVER DEMOTED. He remains a cardinal not archbishop nor bishop. He was redeployed to another office. That was not demotion pls. Well,whatever he said or says about gay people remains his opinion. I’m sure he is entitled to his opinion no matter how I feel about it.

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