Hey, Obama: Hands Off Burke

A reliable source tells me that someone representing the Obama administration is about to put pressure on the Vatican ambassador to the United States to get Archbishop Raymond Burke to be quiet. The Obama complaint is that Archbishop Burke, who is now head of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome, has supported another bishop in his chastisement of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius for her support of abortion.

A few days ago Archbishop Burke gave an interview to the San Diego-based organization Catholic Action for Faith and Family, during which he took the gloves off about Sebelius, who has been nominated to head the massive U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He noted her “public association with some of the more notorious agents of the culture of death.” This, of course, was a reference to her hosting a party for the late-term abortionist George Tiller, currently on trial in Kansas for nineteen infractions of abortion restrictions.

Burke commented on her fitness for office, saying that for Sebelius to be “placed in charge of the federal office with responsibilities for health and human services” is “sad for our nation” and a “source of great embarrassment.”

He also spoke about her relationship to the Church, and pointed out that Sebelius’s bishop in Kansas had properly instructed her about the dangerous ground she treads. Archbishop Joseph Naumann offered her pastoral counseling on the teachings of the Church related to abortion and urged her to accept them. She declined. Only then did Naumann instruct her not to approach the altar rail for Communion. Burke said this fulfilled “one of the most solemn duties as a pastor, namely, the care of the Most Blessed Sacrament and of the worthy reception of Communion.”

Burke closed the interview by issuing a challenge to his brother bishops, most notably Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C.: “Every bishop is held to the same universal discipline which has been in force since the time of St. Paul the Apostle and is stated in canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law.” And then this: “Whether Governor Sebelius is in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, or in any other diocese [italics mine], she should not present herself for Holy Communion because, after pastoral admonition, she obstinately persists in serious sin.”

You can see why the Obama administration might get upset about this. They played footsie with pet Catholics of left and right last year and thought they had this kind of problem covered, since some of them have already offered cover for Sebelius. Two groups created to offer such services, Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance, started a petition drive saying Sebelius was really pro-life.

And now there is word that someone who is well known among Republicans, and who has served in previous Republican administrations, is reaching out on behalf of the Obama administration to get the Holy See to quiet Burke, or at least to make it clear he speaks not for the Church, but only for himself.

Democrats may say that Burke overstepped his bounds by commenting not just on Sebelius and Communion, but her fitness as a nominee for HHS secretary. IRS guidelines, which are even now being tested by the Alliance Defense Fund, say Church officials may not comment positively or negatively on candidates for federal office. But Sebelius is not running for federal office. She has been nominated to a cabinet post by the president. And beyond a mere technical question of IRS guidelines, since when are bishops required to shut up about public policy or to speak only for themselves?

But it’s not just questioning her fitness for office that offends Obama and his Catholics. They are also offended about Burke questioning Sebelius’s fidelity to the Catholic Church, for this strikes at the heart of their appeal to Catholics in the pews. Catholics who believe the Democratic answer to health care is more important than the murder of a million children a year desperately need the fiction that someone like Sebelius is a Catholic in good standing. Burke gives the lie to that assertion.

By trying to stop a bishop from commenting on internal Church matters, the Obama administration wades into dangerous waters. Archbishop Burke is the head of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican office that is charged with interpreting the Code of Canon Law. The proper reception of Communion is proper to the Code of Canon Law, and therefore proper to any bishop, and especially to Archbishop Burke.

The pressure won’t work, of course. Burke is just too smart, and tough. But Obama and his representatives are coming dangerously close to interfering in internal Church matters. More than anything else, the free exercise clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution was intended precisely to protect religious bodies from meddling by the state, even covert meddling by the White House like this. Obama and his pet Catholics should back off – and fast.

Austin Ruse is the President of the New York and Washington, D.C.-based Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), a research institute that focuses exclusively on international social policy.

(c) 2009 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info at thecatholicthing dot org

The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.



  • Antonio

    “And now there is word that someone who is well known among Republicans, and who has served in previous Republican administrations, is reaching out on behalf of the Obama administration to get the Holy See to quiet Burke, or at least to make it clear he speaks not for the Church but only for himself.”

    Does this mean that Kmiec has struck again? Whoever it is this absolutely despicable and a betrayal of the Church. What shame it is to urge the the Holy Church of Christ to bow down to the state!

  • Liz

    Pray for the Church. These are very dangerous times as the line in the sand has been drawn. Bishop Burke is a brave and courageous man – wish we had a few more like him.

  • David Zizik

    I am confident that the President will deal with this issue during his commencement address at Notre Dame, aren’t you?

  • William Dennis

    Catholic Business
    A great article.  I am afraid we will see more attempts to muzzle the Church in the months and years ahead. This is a clear violation of the “establishment clause.”  This attempt of so called Catholics to flaunt anti-life life styles shrouded in a “seamless garment” cloak of rightiousness is enough. Mr. President stay out of Church affairs as we are told to stay out of state affairs. As for Sebelius and her ilk, don’t mock our Church by your sacrilige. “God will save me from the hunter’s snare.’

  • M. L. Hearing

    Government-sponsored persecution of the Church has happened before. And it can happen again–even in this country.

    M. L. Hearing
    http://www.goodcatholicwriting.com

  • Scott

    A great article, Mr. Ruse.

    “IRS guidelines, which are even now being tested by the Alliance Defense Fund, say Church officials may not comment positively or negatively on candidates for federal office.”

    Would this apply to Burke, who is not a figure-head for an American 501(c)(3) but a representative of a sovereign state?

  • Patti Bauler

    The gall. I can hardly believe it! Then again I can. We must pray all the harder for our bishops and priests who are in union with the Holy Mother Church and our Holy Father. God help us all.

  • sundancer2012

    I truly, truly believe, that this thing is bigger than any of us could ever imagine. This entire ordeal is being played out almost as if it were scripted. It appears that this country has become a herd of sheep being sheperd by a man that will lead us to a cliff and force us to jump. I never thought that I would live to see this great country of ours being turned into a socialist nation. We must stand up and say “NO”! “ENOUGH”! Before it is too late.

  • Dan

    With hesitation I offer this comment as it might be viewed as unintelligent and infammatory. I think that it is outrageous that on the one hand we must swallow our new Treasury Secretary’s flaunting of his personal responsibility to IRS regulations and yet must now swallow the use of those same codes to attempt to silence Burke.

  • debby

    Can anyone else hear a voice from history cry out,
    Will anyone rid me of this troublesome priest?
    ahh, yet another Saint was bestowed!
    How about a dance Herod? What will you grant me? Is it too much-the head of a Voice Crying in the Wilderness?
    Problem is, there are so many Herods sitting on so many thrones in our country/world today, & too many in the pews willing to lap dance.
    Personally, I want to wash the feet of the brave bishops & clerics who die for Love w/tears of thanksgiving.

  • John

    Jakubczyk
    Excellent article. There has been a concerted effort by dissident Catholics to undermine Church authority for years. they have largely been successful as witnessed by the decline in Church attendance, increase in divorce, use of contraception, etc. they are now going in for the \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"kill.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" fortunately we have the promise of Christ as lived in men such as Archbishop Burke.

  • Marilyn Bose

    Thank you for all you do. Austin. You will have more penance for the next four years.

  • His Prince Michael

    Prince
    This, immoral AND un-Constitutional act, is a mere microcosm
    of the covert-agenda which this current “administration” pursues.

    Be sure, “Thought type-laws” which restrict sermons by members of
    Clergy, have been proposed.

    Still, THE Battle, has just BEGUN, and GOD, is GREATER!

  • Barbara Didier

    Would that more bishops would speak up about affairs in their diocese. How dare Notre Dame university ask Obama to speak, implying he is worthy of emulating, and even worse, bestowing on him an honorary degree!
    Was that also at someone in the White House’s suggestion?

  • TIM M

    WE NEED TO KNOW WHO THE INDIVIDUAL OR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE PURSUING THIS. THEN WE CAN START A CAMPAIGN TO LET OUR FEELING BE KNOWN AND LET OTHERS KNOW WHO THEY ARE SO WE CAN VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE AND ETC.

  • tony

    I had somehow hoped that Obama would move toward the center when it came to actually governing. What I have seen so far flatly contradicts that hope.
    If there’s any silver lining to this Administration and our current federal representatives, its that we’re learning we have to get off the sidelines and into the game. This Administration can’t silence all of its critics if there are enough of them.

  • Arnobius

    “And now there is word that someone who is well known among Republicans, and who has served in previous Republican administrations, is reaching out on behalf of the Obama administration to get the Holy See to quiet Burke, or at least to make it clear he speaks not for the Church, but only for himself.”

    Why do I get the impression this is Doug Kmiec?

  • Jim

    From Wisconsin
    The morals and economy of our nation are in a sorry state.
    The Obama Administration will only worsen the situation.
    What a shame that so many “Catholics” fell for Obama’s line, and continue to do so.
    If only we could put Bishops Burke and Chaput into a”copy machine” and make replacemants for many of America’s other bishops!

  • Austin Ruse

    If it was Kmiec i would have said so. The person referenced happens to be a friend of mine and I will not mention his name. He is a good man who is confused about the idea of common ground.

  • Thomas Burk

    Mr. Kmiec is still hoping against hope for an appointment to the SCOTUS. Can he be unaware that he will be cast aside as soon as his usefulness to the Obama regime has diminished?

  • JR

    RN
    I was raised to believe that our ancestors decided to separate “State and Church” for a specific reason,…why is it that now the Church wants to decide on what POLITICIANS ARE DOING AND OR ABOUT TO DO???? KEEP THE CHURCH OUT OF THE GOVERNMENTS ISSUES/POLITICS! LET WHAT BELONGS TO CESAR, STAYS WITH CESAR, AND WHAT BELONGS TO GOD,…TO GOD! ISN’T THIS WHAT WE WERE THOUGHT WITHIN THE CHUCH’S TEACHINGS??

  • Patrick

    Catholic
    Obama’s administration has become an administration of death. This is not change I can or will believe in.

  • Dennis Dreyer

    Mr.
    Keep up the good work Archbishop Burke. It is well past the time for all true Catholics to support God’s Word and shed the unfounded notion that we are to keep silent on issues that politicians capture. Silence in the face of evil is playing into the devil’s hand.

  • Jeanne Greenfield

    God bless Archbishop Burke! We need more leaders like him!

    Vis-a-vis Obama – what is that phrase?? “Separation of Church and State???”

  • Dan Kennedy

    CEO
    This attempt to pressure the Church is symptomatic of the whole Obama administration. As the abortion lobby president, this is only the beginning. Of course, politicians and nations have tried this before–it never turns out well.

  • other JR

    JR– What planet was that comment from? The term “separation of church and state” does not appear in the Constitution. The actual language, in the first amendment is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech…” Nowhere does this amendment suggest that the Church cannot comment on the government. It DOES say that the government has no right to interfere in Church business.

  • A Priest

    A priest
    Sir, your reporting looses all credibility when you refuse to tell His Grace, as well as the rest of us loyal Catholics who the “confused” assassin is. You, yourself, loose all credibility when you admit to covering for the assassin because you two boys “hang” together.

  • Lee

    Just reading all of your comments gives me courage. I know the Church can never be destroyed, but it appears at risk at being watered down. There are some great Bishops, Burke, Martino, Chaput, my own Provost, but too few are speaking out. Shame! We must speak out and defend our beloved Church. We are the hands, feet, tongue, etc. Bless all of you!!!

  • Pat Villaescusa

    Mom of a Scranton Priest
    Three cheers for Bishop Martino and Abp. Burke. Their courage nmay lead other American bishops to find their long lost back-bones. If the USCCB doesn’t stand with Burke & Martino on this issue… cut the money to the Judas bishops.

  • Pio

    Not so fast…
    Archbishop Burke apologized to his brother bishops today for the videotaped remarks. We must remember that ALL bishops are rightful successors to the 12 Apostles and it’s not appropriate for us to pick “favorites” or encourage conflict among them. If we do, then we put our own interpretation of doctrine above theirs, and by implication, adopt a Protestant view of church governance. It is the Pope’s job, not ours or Mr. Ruse’s, to determine whether Archbishop Wuerl is out of line.

  • Bernice

    Kansas Girl
    I want to praise the Bishops for being strong. “If you don’t have a backbone you will bend and eventually fall”. I support our Archbishop Naumann in his efforts to reach our Governor. I am proud of the way he handled reaching out to her. Her ears are not open. She needs our prayers.

  • Thomas Chowattukunnel

    Dr.
    This is a complete abomination. Freedom of Speech doesnt exist for Catholics anymore? The bishop is doing his moral duty. It truly is a sad day that freedom is being silenced by the Obama administration. What next? Youth brigades that persecute the religious? Calling us enemies of the state? He truly has no respect for the constitution of united states”one nation under God” lets pray for him

  • John Belmont

    Burke, the only free bish
    Abp. Burke began to speak out fearlessly on political issues as soon as he got to Rome. All diocesan bishops are terrified of what could happen to them if they overstep the line and face punishment from the IRS. But what actually can the IRS do to Burke? Remove the Vatican’s tax-free status? Neither the IRS nor the infamous “wall of separation between Church and State” are relevant in the Vatican. Sure,Obama will threaten: Abp. Burke, stick to your guns!

  • Elizabeth Forshaw

    Homemaker
    All I can say is thank God for Archbishop Burke and for him to be assured of my prayers as well as those of all Catholics and those who value life. What courage!

  • Mary Ann

    Catholic mom
    You keep on speaking the difficult truths, Archbishop Burke!

  • M. Hardey

    We should all be proud of Archbishop Raymond Burke. Now it’s time for Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden to get the same treatment.

  • Anna

    Um…I wouldn’t be so confident that the pressure didn’t work. Didn’t you see the news today?

    Archbishop Burke apologized to his brother bishops regarding statements he made about Canon 915 in his interview with Randall Terry that caused them hurt and suffering.

    Completely out of context and puzzling, given the years he’s spent in the public square about Canon 915 – including the article from a week ago that you cite.

    Very discouraging.

  • Kevin Symonds

    M.A.
    What Terry Randall has done to Burke by putting him in this awkward position is wrong.

  • JOHN ANTHONY PINTABONE

    VERY REV. CANON
    SALUTE TO ALL THE BISHOPS WHO TEACH AND LIVE THE TRUTH IN THEIR LIVES…WHEN WE DONT WALK WITH THE CHURCH….WE ARE NO LONGER PART OF THE CHURCH..

  • Joseph Jaglowicz

    Obama administration asking Sambi to silence Burke? This would be giving too much credence to Burke. This AB likely has no influence within the White House, and he has very little (if any) power within the church. His behavior has cost him dearly.

  • terry campolieit

    On Burke
    I think it is about time that Archbishop Burke attends to his new duties at the Vatican and let the Bishops of the U.S. worry and address the problem of abortion in their dioceses and the Nation. He’s said his piece many times through public sources over the years. His time is over as a Bishop in the U.S and is acting like the older sybling always telling the younger ones he knows all, and whats the best way to deal with every subject under and above the Earth. Stay in Rome and do your job.

  • roxanne

    catholicmom3
    Come on who is it? Friend maybe, confused definitely, traitor to the Church absolutely, beholden to Caesar–no doubt. Let us all pray for this mystery man that he might stop doing Satan,s bidding. “She will prevail against the gates of hell!”

  • Tom Usher

    Thank God for Archbishop Burke. We miss him in St. Louis. Keep up the fight. Maybe other Bishops will follow his lead and stand up for the truth regardless of political pressure and threats. If the Church can stand up to the gates of hell it will surely be able to weather the sad threats of an insignificant politician.

  • william wendt

    God bless Cardinal Burke.

  • Stephanie Fitzpatrick

    Thank you for standing for the truth. I have deep respect and gratitude for the life of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke. Archbishop Burke became the International Director of Marian Catechists when the founder, Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, requested Archbishop Burke’s leadership shortly before he died. I am not alone in saying that Archbishop Burke is a prayerful and fearless defender of the faith, a saintly priest who agonizes and prays for those who have gone astray.

  • thomas warner

    prof.
    Well written, Austin. Archbishop Burke is the right man in the right place at the right time. May God bless him.

  • F.X.C.

    Doctor
    Burke “too smart”? Give me a break. His playing the dupe to Randall Terry embarassed the Vatican, and he won’t be allowed to say anything further on the matter. I deeply admire Sebelius, who has never suggested she is serving as a “Catholic” and who has quietly acceded to the demands of the media-hungry bishops. It’s interesting the bishops were never bothered with Bush, who personally participated in the murder of over 300 death row inmates. Hypocrites.

  • Thomas Warner

    M.D.
    “Ad sacram communionem ne admittantur excommunicati et interdicti post irrogationem vel declarationem poenae aliique in manifesto gravi peccato obstinate perseverantes” Canon 915 , Codex Iuris Canonici, 1983.

  • samuel

    Tell them
    Thanks Arcbishop. Go the mile few want to and many don’t dare, tell them the hard truth for in truth we are set free, let us not forsake it for the earthly positions we hold, even for Biden and Pelosi, let hammer it home, truth never mutate, life is always precious, from conception till natural death

  • Daniel Araujo

    Educator
    What a wonderful indictment on a President whose abortion and embryonic stem cell beliefs contradict traditionally held pro-life positions by both the Church and America. I’m stunned that an outrage on these issues has not ensued but am hopeful that Mr. Obama can be stopped on these positions. May God continue to bless you as you bring matters of importance to the forefront of our Nation. Daniel Araujo, Albany, Georgia (USA)

  • Icahn

    I am troubled that Sebelius’s bishop would make public statement about private conversations with her. Will confessions become public next?

  • terrence netto

    pro-life
    The worst enemies of the Church and the Pope are Catholics and Sebelius.

  • Anna

    Kevin,
    You don’t know what you’re talking about.
    Randall had a camera. It was a public interview. Do you think AB Burke thought we’d all gather in the catacombs to watch it under the radar?

    Archbishop Burke has been saying similar things for years. What do you think his role is over at the Vatican if not to correct doctrinal and dogma errors and enforce the Canons? That’s his job.

    Somebody got to Archbishop Burke. He sold out.

  • Roland Newark

    Architect
    Well done,go get them.

  • Michael Price

    Truth
    Either what he said was true or it was not. If you have different messages to deliver depending on who the audience is… you have a problem with truth.

  • Austin Ruse

    To Pio: I am not telling Archbishop Wuerl to do a thing. I only pointed out that Archbishop Burke’s admonition applies especially to him becuase Sebelius is coming to Washington DC.

    To Anna: Archbishop Burke did NOT apologize for the substance of his remarks. in fact, he let them stand. He apologized for allowing Randall Terry to use him to bash other Bishops. Big difference.

  • Chris Fontanini

    Vocation Director
    This Obama administration is rather scary! Many of us have been deceived by his promise of unity only to discover Gestapo-like tactics used on those who challenge and disagree with his policies, particularly regarding abortion and embryonic stem cells. We need to pray for this Adminstration!

  • Jim Kackley

    Let’s pray for the Archbishop that he keep speaking out for the defenseless and we should pray for a conversion of the heart for wayward Christians like Gov. Sebelius.

  • Andrew

    Parishoner
    The Divine Wisdom that our Archbishop Burke possesses always triumphs in the end. Obama and his leftists need to be exposed to all Catholics in the US by the reading of this article far and wide. It must strike a cord of concern for Obama and Pelosi!

  • Pio

    Comment
    “Judas bishops”…”he [Burke] sold out”…”the worst enemies of the church and the Pope are Catholics…”

    These comments are from good Catholics who claim fidelity to the church and its teachers, the bishops. That is, until a bishop does not live up to their expectations.

    I guess a line for Cafeteria Catholics is now forming on the right.

  • Veronica

    Is this president a tyrant? Why can’t obama handle any disagreement with his radical, socialist ideas? If he wanted the job as president, he should do his job instead of trying to silence religious leaders who have a right to speak out. Burke has a duty to correct those who ignore the Roman Catholic Church’s magisterium. Shame on Obama!

  • Philip

    Mr.
    Archbishop Burke is a bull dog. And…more power to him. It’s about time someone spoke out about Cafeteria Catholics expecially those in public office.

  • Matthew Nunan

    Mr.
    The point here is “Is archbishop Burke expounding Catholic Doctrine.” If he is, and he certainly is, then any criticism of him is irrelevant. It is simply an attack by people who will not serve. They are simply digging their own spiritual graves.

  • mike

    Keep your eyes open. The next move from the Obama administration might be building ovens for Catholics.

  • Bill Kurtz

    Pardon me, but does the L. in Raymond L. Burke possibly stand for Limbaugh? (Another self-promoting blowhard from Missouri)

  • Anastacia

    Thank your Archbishop Burke! Keep fighting the good fight! We are behind you 100%. May God bless you and keep you!

  • Catholic Cody in AZ, USA

    Pray for us
    GO Archbishop Burke, GO! Speak often and loudly to your fellow bishops. Be the voice of Catholic wisdom that we crave and need so much in this crazy, upside down world. We support you 100% and pray for you. Do not be silenced. And could everybody help us pray for our Bishop in Tucson PLEASE? He supports President Obama and Obama policies in the diocese newspaper and even had a pro-abort letter printed in the editorial section right before the election. We really need your prayers here.

  • Wichita Momma

    I wonder why is it so important for the Pres. O to hire or affilcate himself our misguided Catholics..is. …i.e. Sebulis Biden, Pelosi…

    Cafetria Catholics will make the rest of us look bad.

    I know that Our Pope and Archbishop Burke stand for the TRUTH and i strongly support them. God Bless Archbishop Burke!

  • J. C. Tzos

    Someone should tell Obama that the Constitution of the United States entitles all Americans freedom of speech. If he doesn’t like what Archbishop Burke has said, let him refute it with facts. If he can’t, then he should shut up.

  • Kerry Torgerson

    justme
    Mr. Ruse, Thank-you for taking the time to write this article. In reading the many responses, it seems many do not “get” why you wrote it. Only “JR” seems to be on topic. The accusation subject is abuse of power, and acting opposite to the Constitution, and the very foundation of our country – freedom of religion. Well…..after only a few days in office, and here we are already, thinking of impeachment. At least I am. How about you?

  • Maryanne Linkes

    Founder, Catholicsintruth
    God bless Archbishop Burke, a true Shepherd to the flock. He is trying to save us from eternal damnation. I appreciate him always speaking the truth of our faith & know Jesus is protecting him. Being Catholic is not a good thing if you are not a faithful Catholic. A faithful Catholic is one who accepts all teachings of Holy Mother Church, listens to our Holy Father, & takes correction from our faithful Bishops. And this does not describe Ms. Sebelius. Let us pray for her and all the unfaithful.

  • Carol

    Tennessee
    I’m a staunch Lutheran who knows abortion is evil, sinful and ‘Biblically’ incorrect.

  • Bibiana Zweig

    I applaud Archbishop Burke for taking action and sticking to his guns on this all-important matter. It is high-time the Bishops and clergy of the Catholic Church in America rise and take a “united” stand against the atrocity of abortion in this country and worldwide. We would not have this problem had they come together and done so in 1973. We are living in very difficult times now. We are reaping what we have sown—some 50 million lives have been discarded by silence. Lord, have mercy!

  • Rita Lawrence

    RN, MSN
    Governor Serbilius is not fit to take the postion of Sec. for Health & Human Services because of her track record with regards to abortion and taking money from Dr. Tiller who is now standing trial for “misdemeanors” in Kansas. One doesn’t necessarily have to be Catholic to recognize when evil is afoot. A Big Foot has been let loose in Washington! Protect the unborn and keep putting pressure from those who distort the truth. My prayers are with you all as we are united in Christ.

  • Luis Howard

    JMJ

    Yes, sundancer, this is bigger than we can imagine, and we sincerely pray that this is what brings Obama to his knees. He is an incompetent, arrogant hypocrite, PARTICULARLY on the subject of faith.

    We can only hope that if Mary Ann Glendon doesn’t decide that the Laetare honor is tainted by Obama being within a million miles of the occasion and gives her speech, that she will make it clear to Obama, who will be sitting right there, that his toying with Catholics doesn’t work.

  • Luis Howard

    JMJ

    Mr Torgerson, Obama is actually impeaching himself–we see his incompetence, his lack of realism, his arrogance being all of the ingredients for his administration blowing up in his face.

  • Luis Howard

    JMJ

    As to Catholic Cody wanting prayers for the bishop of Tucson, yes, but the man is a pol, a common pol and has forgotten his duties as bishop. He requires a swift kick in the fanny to wake him up. He has shown that he is incapable of providing true, genuine, concrete pro life teaching, not to mention, resources.

  • Stephanie O.

    Catholic Mom from KS
    Thanks for the article. I find it downright scary that our President thinks it’s OK to try to silence others’ free speech. Kudos for all bishops who have the courage to speak the truth, whether it be regarding a politician OR an individual parish matter. AB Burke is simply educating Catholics about an important moral matter, NOT “interfering” in politics, because unfortunately some Catholics are trying to pick & choose their catechism. May God bless everyone who is speaking the TRUTH.

  • Pam

    Cathoilc Wife and Mother
    Some days I worry that the Church has lost all the faithful. Constantly reading about politicians who call themselves Catholic while spewing lies about our church teaching and living their lives as though they have not respect for the faith they claim. Then, I read this, and Praise God that there are truly faithful who do love and protect our Churth. How dare a common man seek to silence the truth of our Holy Church? Our Church does not answer to the President of the USA.

  • tessie

    lay person
    I would like to thank Archbishop Burke for the divine wisdom & courage he is showing everyone. I belong to a diocese whose Archbishop danced around the issue of abortion & the 5 non-negotiable. Consequently, I went into a (mild form of) depression. The day after the election, I woke up with a feeling of DOOM over America. The all time pro-death moves made (& will make) by the current admnistration clearly solidified my feelings. I shall continue praying for TRUE SHEPHERDS of CHRIST, like him.

  • Anna

    “To Anna: Archbishop Burke did NOT apologize for the substance of his remarks. in fact, he let them stand. He apologized for allowing Randall Terry to use him to bash other Bishops. Big difference.”

    No Austin, there isn’t a crumbs worth of difference, other than throwing prolifers under the bus for saying what we all know is true and what he has said himself.

    His “brother bishops” are upset at the content of what was said. What was said was truth and it’s about time we all start saying it.

  • Anna

    Pio, you don’t your biblical history. There’s a difference between Peter and Judas. Both denied him. The article Austin wrote is about AB Burke being pressured into shutting down the defense of the faith. The US Bishops are a disgrace. It’s +Burke’s role to head the highest court in the Church regarding Canons. He’s just told the faithful to keep their mouths shut or he’ll undermine them in the public square and apologize to US Bishops whose feelings we hurt. Put two and two together.

  • Anna

    “is reaching out on behalf of the Obama administration to get the Holy See to quiet Burke, or at least to make it clear he speaks not for the Church, but only for himself.”

    “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.”

    This has already happened. It is accomplished.

  • Barry Morgan

    Mr
    As an observer from Australia I can’t understand how Americans couldn’t see thro’ BO. All I can assume is that the hype from Hollywood, a biased media, voluntary voting and willful blindness on the part of a lot of Christians, let alone Catholics, got him over the line. Now we are reaping the whirlwind. I say we because when America sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold. With our close ties to America this will adverdsely effect Australia too.

  • Patricia

    Communion Minister, Lecto
    What is Obama afraid of? That he cannot be a dictator in the USA? That he cannot control the Catholic Church? He is going with the wrong crowd: Sebelius, Biden, Pelosi….. Whatever he says at Notre Dame will be to try and convince people that he is in tune with Catholic teaching.

  • Molly F

    Pray for our nation
    Right on Archbishop Burke!

  • Molly F

    Think a little
    F.X.C.,
    You must be pro-abortion. Listen to yourself, praising the bad guys, and putting down the good true Catholics. You admire Sibelius. Hahaha… that’s a good one, admire the hypocrites. You should be ashamed of yourself. Oh, and Bush was and is not for killing million of innocent babies, like Obama and Sebelius. Brainwashed.

  • Kevin in Texas

    Molly F, I don’t know if FXC is pro-abortion (although I wouldn’t bet the farm that he isn’t), but I do know he is deeply morally confused when he calls Bush a hypocrite for supporting the death penalty as if it were “murder” while governor of Texas in the 90s. The death penalty certainly has problems in terms of how it’s implemented in the current system, but in NO way has it ever been condemned by the Magisterium as murder. Self-defense practiced by the State is not murder.

  • John Campbell

    To Bill Kurtz: Nice ad hominum attack on Archbishop Burke, a man of great integrity. Typically, it added nothing of value to this thread. You must have mistaken this site for the Huffington Post…

  • Gloria Ramirez

    laity
    I thank and bless Archbishop Burke for the courage to tell politicians that the Roman Catholic Faith is not a political movement open to people’s whims and opinions. I, too share the Archbishop’s shame in having a “catholic” in name only- Sebelius– a “Judas” amongst the The Roman Catholic Church– however, does not surprise me but she brings great dishonor and injustice to OUR LORD.

  • Kathy A. Foht RN,C

    Director of Nursing
    Today we must stand up for our religion and speak out, before these basic rights are taken away from us. Catholics who are purposely going against their faith for the furthering of their careers will one day have to pay the ultimate price of God’s wrath!

  • Fran Drisaldi

    Grndmother and great gran
    God Bless Archbishop Burke.

  • Margaret Boker

    Should Mr. Obama hold truths concerning life and life issues which the Church or its representatives do not, let his appearance at Notre Dame debate those same issues. Upon WINNING the debate, let ND bestow the honor for which Mr. Obama has been called. If not, he should decline the invitation and join Fr. Jenkins in a public apology.

  • Seamus

    I can see it now… You are trying to blame Obama for what Abp. Burke said. It was the Vatican that made Burke apologize NOT Obama. The Holy Father wants to work with Obama to change his ideas on abortion, NOT condemn him. Burke needs to work WITHIN if he doesn’t like Wuerl, but Wuerl is NOT a liberal bishop, but Burke is a Reactionary one…

  • Judy

    RN
    Praise God for Archbishop Burke! I pray that more bishops & priests have the guts to speak out for the Church. We are headed into some tough times. Christians everywhere must stand up and be counted to come against the evil raging in our country and the world.

  • Carol

    Child of God
    A house divided cannot stand. If the Catholics cannot respect those that adhere to the Bible and God’s teachings then how will the Catholic church make it in this century? It will because God is in control and no one else. God uses all of us to accomplish HIS will even if it looks bleak. If president Obama chooses to continue to harden his heart (like Pharo did in Moses time,) for God’s precious little ones, Obama will have to stand before God – thou shall not kill. Pray for Pres. Obama.

  • Jim

    The Roosevelt Administration pressured the Vatican to silence Fr. Coughlin. Archbishop Burke stands on solid theological ground. Pressure from the Administration is outrageous, but not surprising. We in St. Louis were very fortunate to have his leadership, although for too short of a time.

    Maintain the Faith!

  • Barbara Dunnermann

    Ms.
    It is obvious that KS Gov. Sebelius is NOT a true Catholic. And so her excommunication by her bishop & backed by Archbishop Raymond Burke, Apostolic Signatura in Rome, is totally justified. No true Catholic who knows the Bible, could condone abortion when the Bible (see Isah.) clearly says ‘since you formed me in my mother’s womb, you have known me.’ Thus, since the MOMENT of CONCEPTION ‘you have known me.’ Sebelius? NOT qualified!

  • Barbara Dunnermann

    Ms.
    It is obvious that KS Gov. Sebelious, is not a true practicing Catholic. It would appear that she abandoned her Catholicism some time ago, having adopted a more liberal philosophy and only dragging out her ‘Catholicism’ to try to get conservatives to back her!

  • Christine Gichure, PhD

    Professor
    Thank God for people like you Austin, people with clear mind,expression and easy pen. May God bless you. In this year of St. Paul, like the saint, go on telling the whole truth even to Obama. I will pray for you.

    I am Christine

  • Barbara Dunnermann

    Ms.
    Joe Biden is another one of those who call themselves Catholic, but ignore canon law by supporting those things which the Catholic Church teaches are wrong. Abortion is not only sinful, IT IS A CRIME!!! IT IS MURDER!!! And sexual relations with another of your own gender IS SIN!! Too many people do not read the Bible.

  • gary sutherlin

    pipefitter
    The facade of doing good for the masses while selectively crushing the innocent is elementary policy of satan. King Herod, Hitler, Saddam, Pol Pot, Kim jung Ill etc, have ruled murderously by the satanic policy of eliminating the opposition to evil via the sword.
    I suggest that President Obama is in the satanic grips that promote the murder of the innocent (unborn) while offering earthly gains to those who promote him. The Notre Dame President is a Benidict Arnold.
    Jesus help us. Vivat Jesus

  • tom

    First of all, it’s University of Notre Dame and not Notre Dame University. Raymond Burke speaks for a small group of catholics and certainly not all. His opinions and interpretation of Catholicism as it relates to politics is interesting but misguided and not productive. I appreciate people who are candid and direct. And I also have the greatest respect for the men who dedicate their lives to serving others in the form of priesthood, particularly those who lead the catholic church and our direction as Catholics.

    After reading about several issues, I decided to share some thoughts with the spirit of open dialogue. As an Archbishop who shares enthusiam for Pro-Life platforms, I hope his office also is opposed to Catholics who support our military intervention in Iraq where more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed and more than 1,000,000 have been driven out of their homes.

    I also hope his office supports young high school girls who give birth to children instead of shaming them like many fellow catholics. I also hope his office supports political candidates who give our impoverished a blanket of hope and programs to build lives instead of candidates who cut programs and transfer wealth from the low and middle income families to the very wealthy in the United States.

    I am a practicing Catholic with two retired uncles (deceased) who collectively celebrated 98 years of service to the Milwaukee Archdiocese. Additionally, I am proud to be Catholic and proud to support candidates who dedicate themselves into lifting the hopes of the marginalized and the disenfranchised. I am also proud of candidates who work to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and work to reduce the number of abortions. It is one thing for a candidate to say he/she is Pro Life. It is altogether a different, to be a candidate whose actions are consistently Pro Life.

    Tom

  • mercy

    percy
    Bishop Burke should concentrate on the correcting the fallings of the catholic church, ie pedophile priests, Vatican bank which hides money for gangsters. People please be informed and read
    books such as Vatican Exposed by P Williams, take your blinders off.
    Why doesn’t the church concentrate on helping those children that are brought into this world? Maybe if they did there would be no abortions! Instead of spending so much money on the pope’s trips helping the people in the countries he visi

  • Pio

    ARCH BISHOP BURKE KEEP UP
    Your Grace, I write to encourage you to keep up the good work the Lord is doing in your life. The word of God says: “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” Really, no matter what the Obama admin. is trying to do, do not give up or even be shaken, for the Lord has to prevail over all HIs foes.

    We are behind you and praying for you.
    Pio from the Pearl of Africa.