Unfortunately, during the 1960s and early 1970s, while most of Christendom slept, the atheists raided their castle and stole their thunder. Caught unawares of the threat, Christianity has been fighting an uphill battle, to regain the hearts and minds of humanity, ever since. And no one has fought harder or with more zeal and forthrightness than Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke. In fact, there are times when he seems to be the only warrior with his helmet on straight.
Cardinal Burke was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin and attended Catholic schools and Catholic college. He was ordained a priest in 1975 by Pope Paul VI, became the Bishop of La Crosse in 1994 and was elevated to Archbishop of St. Louis in 2003. In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of Apostolic Signatura in Rome. Bishop Burke became a Cardinal in 2010 and was appointed Cardinal-Deacon of Sant’ Agata de’ Gotihas at the Vatican as well. When his 5 year term as Prefect expired Pope Francis recently confirmed Cardinal Burke as Perfect for another five years.
As canon lawyer and Prefect, Cardinal Burke is the highest sitting judicial authority within the Catholic Church, other than the Pope. As such, he is the leading expert on the Catholic Church’s Canon Law. And, as the presiding judge, he has a reputation for being outspoken, and frank, when it comes to “Catholics” who do not obey those laws.
While the Bishop of La Crosse he made an example of “Catholic” Vice President Joe Biden, who is a pro-abortion, pro gay marriage politician. Cardinal Burke rebuked Biden for receiving Communion in violation of Canon Law 915 which specifically says, that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” (canon 915) Despite the liberal press’ negative reactions, Cardinal Burke has never faltered in his convictions. Recently, he was quoted as saying in response to his denial of Holy Communion to pro-choice advocates, “Right and I would consider myself less than an honest canon lawyer not to insist on this.” He further explained during an interview with EWTN, “The Holy Eucharist is the most sacred reality. It is the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. And I simply wouldn’t approach to receive Holy Communion if I was in the state of sin and neither would I give Holy Communion to someone who I knew was in the state of sin.”
Cardinal Burke has never compromised himself, or his position, by placating or excusing the behavior of a Catholic who is “a Catholic in name only.” During the 2004 Presidential elections, Cardinal Burke stated in his pastoral letter that he would not give the Eucharist to “Catholic” VP candidate John Kerry due to his pro-abortion stance.
More recently, Cardinal Burke’s pronouncement from Rome addressed another pro-abortion, pro gay marriage “Catholic”, American, politician by the name of Nancy Pelosi. This radical, second-wave feminist is the Minority Leader for the House of Representatives in Washington, DC. In her case, Cardinal Burke ruled that Ms. Pelosi was to be denied Holy Communion for her continued support for abortion and gay marriage despite multiple requests from the Church to reverse her positions.
YIPPEE! And, this couldn’t happen to a more despicable woman. I’m sure she’ll go to hell for dozens of lying, cheating, stealing and dishonest reasons but it’s nice to know the process begins now.
Cardinal Burke has been blessed by the Holy Spirit with the courage of his convictions. Those convictions have included his personal involvement, and verbose opposition, to many politically correct, short-sighted and anti-Catholic decisions made by Catholic University and Catholic Hospital administrators. The following is a summary of those events from Wikipedia.
Sheryl Crow concert
When Sheryl Crow, an abortion rights supporter, was scheduled to perform at a benefit concert for the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, Burke stated that to have the hospital host Crow would give “the impression that the Church is somehow inconsistent in its teaching.” He asked that her invitation be privately removed, and resigned from the board on April 25, 2007 when Crow’s performance was confirmed.
Saint Louis University staff
In 2008, Burke urged Saint Louis University to take disciplinary action against its head basketball coach, Rick Majerus, after Majerus publicly supported abortion and embryonic stem cell research at a campaign event for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Burke stated that “When you take a position in a Catholic university, you don’t have to embrace everything the Catholic Church teaches. But you can’t make statements which call into question the identity and mission of the Catholic Church.” St. Louis University supported Majerus’s right to publicly expound on his own personal views when made at an event he did not attend as a university representative.
Ordination of women
In June 2008, Burke applied an interdict, which excludes a person from church ministries and the sacraments, to a Sister of Charity, Louise Lears, judging her guilty of three grave canonical offenses against the Catholic Church’s faith and teachings. Lears, a pastoral worker and educator, had publicly stated her belief that all of the church’s ministries, including the priesthood, should be open to women. Lears received the interdict after attending an attempted ordination of a woman to the Catholic priesthood at a Jewish synagogue by the WomenPriests movement.
Violations of liturgical norms
On March 2, 2011 Burke declared that liturgical abuses damage the faith of Catholics: “If we err by thinking we are the center of the liturgy, the Mass will lead to a loss of faith. Unfortunately, too many priests and bishops treat violations of liturgical norms as something that is unimportant, when, in fact, they are serious abuses.”
End-of-life palliative care and euthanasia
At a July 23, 2011 conference on end-of-life care sponsored by the St. Gianna Physician’s Guild, Burke said that suffering does not cause a person to have less meaning in his life, nor does it give the government the right to decide if that person should live or die: “No matter how much a life is diminished, no matter what suffering the person is undergoing, that life demands the greatest respect and care. It’s never right to snuff out a life because it’s in some way under heavy burden.”
In a July 2007 apostolic letter “Summorum Pontificum“, Pope Benedict XVI authorized wider use of the older Tridentine Mass. Restoration of some parts of the traditional Mass has been supported by Burke as part of a “reform of the reform”, modifying what he sees as deficiencies of the liturgy introduced under Pope Paul VI.
The 2012 Synod of Bishops meeting focused on “The New Evangelization”. In written comments to the synod, Burke criticized “antinomianism“- the belief that grace exempts Christians from obedience to moral law, stating that it is “among the most serious wounds of society today,” and is responsible for the legalization of “intrinsically evil” actions such as abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, euthanasia, and same-sex marriage.
I love and admire Cardinal Burke because of his intestinal fortitude as a protector of Jesus’ Church. The role he has been asked to play by God, in this overtly secular world, is a very trying and difficult one. I would ask that you pray for his continued strength, and perseverance, against these overwhelming odds.