Catholic politicians who support abortion legislation should be refused Holy Communion, says Cardinal Raymond Burke, who heads the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican's highest legal tribunal that rules on canon law.Cardinal Burke, an official of the Vatican, a foreign sovereign state, is out of order when he threatens Irish politicians if they cast votes of which he disapproves.
"There can be no question that the practice of abortion is among the gravest of manifest sins,” The American cardinal told the Irish newspaper Catholic Voice in an interview published recently.
Cardinal Burke said that Catholic politicians must support legislations that will "most reduce the evils which attack human life and the integrity of marriage."The legislation, which allows for the termination of a pregnancy when the life of the woman is in danger is in response to the horror story of a pregnant woman who died of blood poisoning in an Irish hospital.
Savita Halappanavar, 31, a dentist who was 17 weeks pregnant, went to the hospital with back pain on October 21.How does allowing Ms Halappanavar to die "reduce the evils which attack human life". Where is compassion in the cardinal's judgement? He says Ms Halappanavar's death was tragic, but, according to the Vatican rules, there was nothing to be done by the doctors but stand by and watch her die. I'm sick and tired of the Vatican's interference in the governance of countries around the world. I hope the politicians in Ireland vote their consciences and put a stop to such barbarous treatment in Irish hospitals.
Her husband Praveen Halappanavar said she was told she was miscarrying, and after one day of severe pain she asked for a medical termination.
But her repeated requests were refused for three days, he said, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they said they were legally unable to perform the abortion.
Mr Halappanavar said his wife was "in agony" the whole time.
Eventually the foetal heartbeat stopped and the foetus was removed. But Ms Halappanavar was by now seriously ill, and was taken to the high dependency unit and then the intensive care unit, where she died of septicaemia (blood poisoning triggered by infection) a week after she first arrived at the hospital.
And if the cardinal thinks so highly of the integrity of marriage, why isn't he married?