(CNSNews.com) – Catholic Archbishop Raymond Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis, Mo., and now prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court, issued a statement Thursday objecting to the way that a videotaped interview of him was put to use by Catholic activist Randall Terry.
Terry screened the interview at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. At the screening, Terry criticized pro-abortion Catholic politicians who still receive Communion at Mass and certain Catholic bishops who he said were not doing enough to stop this practice.
Archbishop Burke has written extensively about why Communion should be denied to Catholics who “obstinately persevere” in a state of “manifest grave sin.” In 2004, Burke said he would, for example, deny Communion to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) because of his pro-abortion views, and this year he said that Kathleen Sebelius, nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, “should not present herself for Holy Communion because, after pastoral admonition, she obstinately persists in serious sin,” as reported in The Washington Times.
Archbishop Burke’s statement concerning Randall Terry is published below:
"Recently, Mr. Randall Terry and some of his associates visited me in Rome and asked to videotape an interview with me to share with pro-life workers for the purpose of their encouragement. The interview was conducted on March 2, 2009.
"Sadly, Mr. Terry has used the videotape for another purpose which I find most objectionable.
"First, Mr. Terry issued a media advisory which gave the impression that I would be physically present at the press conference during which he played the videotape, when, in fact, I was in Rome.
"Second, I was never informed that the videotape would become part of a press conference.
"Third, I gave the interview as a Bishop from the United States to encourage those engaged in the respect life apostolate, not as the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
"Fourth, 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.
"I am deeply sorry for the confusion and hurt which the wrong use of the videotape has caused to anyone, particularly, to my brother bishops.
"(Most Rev.) Raymond L. Burke
March 26, 2009"
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