Local Bishops Skip National Catholic Breakfast

By Jacqueline L. Salmon Washington D.C. Archbishop Donald Wuerl and Arlington, Va., Bishop Paul Loverde will attend neither the National … Continued

By Jacqueline L. Salmon

Washington D.C. Archbishop Donald Wuerl and Arlington, Va., Bishop Paul Loverde will attend neither the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. on Friday nor the accompanying Mass tomorrow night. The featured speaker at the breakfast and the celebrant at the Mass is Archbishop Raymond Burke, who recently made some very public comments criticizing Wuerl and Loverde.

In a recent videotaped interview, Burke implicitly reproached Donald Wuerl and Loverde for giving communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights. Many of those politicians worship in their jurisdictions. “It is weakening the faith of everyone,” Burke said in the interview. “It’s giving the impression that it must be morally correct to support procured abortion.”

But Washington archdiocese spokesperson Susan Gibbs said today that Wuerl’s absence from the event has nothing to do with Burke’s recent remarks. The breakfast events were scheduled late, and Wuerl had already committed to attend a teacher recognition dinner on Thursday night and has meetings Friday morning, she said. Same with Loverde, said his spokesperson Joelle Santolla. Loverde has a confirmation Thursday night and meetings Friday.

Relations are said to be cool between Wuerl and Burke. Burke, a former St. Louis bishop who now heads the Vatican supreme court, later apologized for his remarks, saying the interview he made with anti-abortion activist Randall Terry used out of context, although he did not retract his comments.

The outspoken Burke has long advocated for bishops to deny communion to public officials who defy the church’s anti-abortion stance. Loverde and Wuerl’s policy has been to follow the wishes of a politician’s hometown bishop.

The prayer breakfast on Friday, organized by conservative Catholics, will be a prominent platform for Burke and it will be interesting to hear what he has to say. Also speaking will be Supreme Court Justice and Catholic Antonin Scalia. Don’t expect either to soft-peddle his remarks.

  • usapdx

    Was Burke promoted to a job in the Vatican to get him out of Saint Louis account his doings with the Polish parish? He was a big pusher of ” DON’T GIVE COMMUNION TO KERRY ” so that the CATHOLIC VOTE whould go to BUSH . Burke knows his game plan well for he got around I.R.S. tax exampt rules. The ” DON’T GIVE COMMUNION TO KERRY ” was started by the this pope from his old job at the Vatican from a memmo to a U.S.A. cardinal and a fellow up memmo again “that America bishops are in harmony with us”. Is this Friday prayer breakfast a P.R. stunt?

  • BeatusEst

    This is terribly irresponsible reporting. The writers fail to mention that Burke repudiated Terry for that same interview. Like so much yellow journalism, he too used an interview out of context. As Abp. Burke says himself: “I was never informed that the videotape would be used as part of a campaign of severe criticism of certain fellow bishops regarding the application of Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law.”“If I had known what the true purpose of the interview was, I would never have agreed to participate in it.”Please quit trying to create controversy where there is none. Randall Terry rightly deserves rebuke for muckraking, so should the post.