(The Catholic Thing) - A few days ago Archbishop Burke gave an interview to the San Diego-based organization Catholic Action for Faith and Family, during which he took the gloves off about Sebelius, who has been nominated to head the massive U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He noted her “public association with some of the more notorious agents of the culture of death.” This, of course, was a reference to her hosting a party for the late-term abortionist George Tiller, currently on trial in Kansas for nineteen infractions of abortion restrictions.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I don't know how to put this subtly, and any kindergartner could point it out if the evidence were presented to him. The pope opposes President Obama's administration on so many levels. What the Obama administration doesn't understand is that Archbishop Burke is practically acting as a mouthpiece for Pope Benedict XVI. Burke is to Benedict, what Ratzinger was to John Paul II - God's rottweiler! At least he is as far as the United States goes, and perhaps western Europe as well. You see as an American, Burke has some insight into American politics and the problems that plague U.S. Catholicism. He's made it very clear over and over again, that the bishops MUST deny communion to pro-abort Catholic politicians, and don't think for one second that this isn't coming with the approval of the pope. There can be no reasonable doubt that Pope Benedict XVI is a fierce opponent of President Barack Obama and his entire administration.
Burke commented on her fitness for office, saying that for Sebelius to be “placed in charge of the federal office with responsibilities for health and human services” is “sad for our nation” and a “source of great embarrassment.”
He also spoke about her relationship to the Church, and pointed out that Sebelius’s bishop in Kansas had properly instructed her about the dangerous ground she treads. Archbishop Joseph Naumann offered her pastoral counseling on the teachings of the Church related to abortion and urged her to accept them. She declined. Only then did Naumann instruct her not to approach the altar rail for Communion. Burke said this fulfilled “one of the most solemn duties as a pastor, namely, the care of the Most Blessed Sacrament and of the worthy reception of Communion.”
Burke closed the interview by issuing a challenge to his brother bishops, most notably Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C.: “Every bishop is held to the same universal discipline which has been in force since the time of St. Paul the Apostle and is stated in canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law.” And then this: “Whether Governor Sebelius is in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, or in any other diocese [italics mine], she should not present herself for Holy Communion because, after pastoral admonition, she obstinately persists in serious sin.”
You can see why the Obama administration might get upset about this. They played footsie with pet Catholics of left and right last year and thought they had this kind of problem covered, since some of them have already offered cover for Sebelius. Two groups created to offer such services, Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance, started a petition drive saying Sebelius was really pro-life.
And now there is word that someone who is well known among Republicans, and who has served in previous Republican administrations, is reaching out on behalf of the Obama administration to get the Holy See to quiet Burke, or at least to make it clear he speaks not for the Church, but only for himself....
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Obama has sought to draw cover from the Vatican onslaught by appointing as many pro-abort Catholic politicians to the Whitehouse as possible. There is no question Obama is anti-Catholic, but his anti-Catholicism is subtle. Obama doesn't oppose Catholics just because they identify themselves as Catholics, but rather, he opposes them when they start acting like Catholics. In other words, the only good Catholic is a bad Catholic. So long as a Catholic politician opposes Church teaching on human life and traditional marriage, that politician will always have a friend in the Obama administration. However, just as soon as a Catholic politician starts backing the teachings of the Church on life and family, the Obama administration immediately pushes that politician to the sideline. The Obama administration's opposition to Catholicism however, is not limited to members of the Catholic Church. It is well known the Catholic Church leads the pro-life movement in the United States, and because of this, any other pro-life Christians (regardless of denomination) will also find themselves marginalized by the Obama administration.
Not since Pope John Paul II's struggle with the communists in Poland has there been such an adversarial relationship between a reigning pontiff and a head of state. It is a moral and philosophical battle that cuts down to the very core of human nature and the role of government. The pope seeks to preserve human life in the womb, the president seeks to destroy it. The pope seeks to promote the culture of life internationally, the president seeks to export abortion-on-demand around the developing world. The pope seeks to preserve the traditional family, the president seeks to extend marital rights to gay couples. the pope seeks to promote worldwide fiscal responsibility, the president seeks to promote out-of-control government spending worldwide, starting with the United States. The pope seeks a truly just international order based on subsidiarity, the president seeks to consolidate power in the Whitehouse and create a massive central government. The two could not be more polar opposites. There is virtually nothing they have in common.
Those who long for the days of John Paul II have forgotten history. Pope John Paul II played the exact same game as Benedict XVI, its just that his focus of it was in Eastern Europe. Americans didn't get a chance to see the warrior side of John Paul II, but Eastern Europeans did. He played the game of "good cop - bad cop" with the communists. Back then it was John Paul II who played the role of the good cop while the "infamous and sinister" (sic) Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger played the bad cop. Together with one mind they orchestrated the internal demise of communism in Eastern Europe. Now it's Ratzinger's turn to play the good cop as Pope Benedict XVI, while Burke is put out as today's front man to play the role of the bad cop. This time however, it is not the Soviet Union the Vatican is tinkering with. This time it's the United States of America, and for the first time Westerners are getting a chance to see the warrior papacy in action. What the Obama administration doesn't realize (or doesn't want to see) is that they've just been put into a political game the Vatican has been playing for longer than the United States has even existed. The Whitehouse has taken the bait. Archbishop Burke (a.k.a. "bad cop") is now the target of Obama's frustration, and so the plea is made for the pope to pull back on Burke's leash. Don't expect the Vatican to comply however, without some reciprocity. There is always a little give and take in these games. If the Whitehouse is going to get what it wants, even for a short time, it's going to have to give up something. It's going to be interesting to see how this turns out.
If the Whitehouse refuses to cooperate with the Vatican's demand for reciprocity, we can expect Burke to ratchet up the rhetoric quite a bit. Of course the pope is behind this. Nothing Burke says hasn't already been privately discussed with the pope. The two are of the same mind. If the Whitehouse complies with the Vatican's demand for reciprocity, Burke will tone it down (but not disappear from view completely). However, even if the Whitehouse complies, the restructuring of the American Church will take place anyway, right under the president's nose, reorganized by the pope for the purpose of fighting this administration (and Democrat controlled Congress) from the inside. It's a lose-lose situation for the Whitehouse. The only way to battle this kind of warfare is to engage in outright persecution against the Catholic Church, and that itself will backfire as well. No, there is only one way to beat the warrior pope, and that is to join him, and make an ally of him. This is something Obama and the Democrartic Party will never do. Make no mistake about it, the Vatican has begun an undeclared war on the Obama administration, Nancy Pelosi's Congress, and the whole Democratic Party. Grab some popcorn and have a seat. Things are about to get interesting.