FEBRUARY 11, 2013
BY: TIMOTHY WHITEMAN
Raymond Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
"Once referred to Barack Obama as an agent of death..."
Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world when he announced that he would be resigning as Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church at the end of this month, as reported by Fox Newson Feb. 11, 2013.
Before Pope Benedict's echo dissipated at the end of his resignation speech, the rumor mill on who the successor to the Throne of Peter would be had already kicked into high gear.
One of the names being bandied about is that of the man who essentially is in charge of the Vatican's Canon Law version of the Supreme Court, Raymond Cardinal Burke, Wisconsin native and the former Archbishop of St. Louis, Missouri.
Broad shouldered and relatively young (64), the left-of-center blog The Huffington Post gave Cdl. Burke his official conservative street cred when they wrote of His Eminence in October of 2010:
"When some American Catholics worry that the hierarchy is tilting toward the Republican Party, or taking the church back to the 19th century (or earlier), they often point to Cardinal Raymond Burke as Exhibit A."
And Cardinal Burke has given liberals, both secular and Catholic, plenty to dislike.
Long in favor of the pre-Second Vatican II orthodoxy, to include the traditional Latin Mass, he once described the post V2 mindset as "a liberal euphoria."
He's also the same man who angered the Left when he once referred to Barack Obama as an "agent of death."
As reported by Catholic News during the US presidential election of 2004:
"The St. Louis archbishop made headlines earlier this year when he said he would refuse to give Communion to the Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., a Catholic who supports legal abortion. That prompted a debate about the church's role in electoral politics and about the liturgical rules on denying Communion.
The archbishop later wrote a pastoral letter saying Catholics should not vote for politicians who support abortion or other anti-life practices."
In an April 2012 interview with Fox News, Cardinal Burke pulled no punches when he stated it was a sin for any Catholic to cooperate with the Obama Administration's health care mandate popularly known as ObamaCare.
In a land that was once solidly Catholic, but since Vatican II has all but abandoned it's Catholicism in favor of secularism, Cdl. Burke ruled a mere three days ago that Catholic clerics in Ireland had a duty to refuse the Sacrament of Holy Communion to politicians who favored abortion.
As reported by the Catholic news portal EWTN.com:
"Cardinal Burke said that the local bishop and parish priests must ensure that Holy Communion is properly received to avoid 'the grave sin of sacrilege' from those like Catholic politicians who receive Communion in spite of 'grave moral evil.'
The bishops and clergy must also prevent the 'scandal' caused by this kind of reception because it 'gives the impression that the Church’s teaching on the intrinsic evil of abortion is not firm.'"
During his stint as the Archbishop of St. Louis, Cdl. Burke took heat when he urged the Jesuit-run St. Louis University to take disciplinary action against head basketball coach Rick Majerus, after he publically spoke out in favor of embryonic stem cell research, abortion as well as supporting abortion advocate Hillary Clinton for president.
As he said:
"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 spokesman Jeff Fowler responded saying, "Rick's comments were his own personal view. They were made at an event he did not attend as a university representative."
Never one to mince words, the then Abp. Burke responded:
"It gives scandal to other people, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, if they hear a Catholic give an interview to the media, saying that I am proud to be a Catholic but at the same time I hold these views."
When asked about his plain spoken manner in what consider taboo subjects, he responded:
"Is there something unusual about a bishop saying that it’s wrong to be in favor of procured abortion?
I’m a Roman Catholic priest and bishop.
What else would you expect me to say?"