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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Catholic public figures who scandalize faithful must repent publicly, Archbishop Burke says

Washington D.C., Sep 29, 2009 / 06:11 am (CNA).- Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, delivered a speech on September 8 discussing how to advance the culture of life in the U.S. and how to rectify the “scandal” of publicly known Catholics who confuse and distort Church teaching.

At the 14th Annual Partnership Dinner of InsideCatholic.com, Archbishop Burke said that those who have publicly espoused and cooperated in gravely sinful acts lead people into confusion and error about “fundamental questions.” Just as their dissent was public, their repentance must also be public.

“The person in question bears a heavy responsibility for the grave scandal which he has caused. The responsibility is especially heavy for political leaders,” the archbishop added.

Repairing the damage done by such scandal “begins with the public acknowledgment of his own error and the public declaration of his adherence to the moral law. The soul which recognizes the gravity of what he has done will, in fact, understand immediately the need to make public reparation,” Archbishop Burke said.

Particular harm is done by those who profess Christianity but promote policies and laws which “permit the destruction of innocent and defenseless human life” and “violate the integrity of marriage in the family,” he said.

The result of these actions is that citizens are confused and “led into error” about basic moral tenets...

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Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.