Cardinal Burke On The Scandal At Notre Dame

One Cannot Oppose The Natural Moral Law And burke8Receive Awards From Catholic Institutions!

Interview By: Thomas McKenna,

Thomas McKenna, president of Catholic Action for Faith and Family, interviewed Cardinal Raymond Burke about this position taken by Bishop Rhoades in an effort to further clarify the issue for the public.
Philadelphia – April 3, 2016

Thomas McKenna:  Your Eminence, recently the University of Notre Dame announced that it was going to bestow their Laetare Medal which is presented “in recognition of outstanding service to the Church and society,” to Vice President Joseph Biden. Vice President Biden is on record consistently supporting abortion rights and same sex marriage. Recently Bishop Kevin Rhoades, the ordinary of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend where Notre Dame is located, released a public statement declaring:

“I believe it is wrong for Notre Dame to honor any “pro-choice” public official with the Laetare Medal, even if he/she has other positive accomplishments in public service, since direct abortion is gravely contrary to the natural law and violates a very fundamental principle of Catholic moral and social teaching: the inalienable right to life of every innocent human being from the moment of conception. I also question the propriety of honoring a public official who was a major spokesman for the redefinition of marriage. I disagree with awarding someone for ‘outstanding service to the Church and society’ who has not been faithful to this obligation.”

Does Your Eminence agree with the position taken by Bishop Rhoades and could you comment on it?

Cardinal Burke:  Bishop Rhoades is simply exercising his responsibility as a teacher of the faith and as a bishop who has the care of a prominent Catholic university in his diocese, and what he says is absolutely true and most commendable. I find it difficult to imagine that a Catholic university would assign its highest honor to any politician who favors abortion and who also advocates for the recognition of the sexual liaison of two people of the same sex as equal to marriage. It is even more difficult to imagine that the university would confer such an honor upon a Roman Catholic who supports these anti-life and anti-family policies and legislation. It is my hope that Notre Dame University will hear the voice of their shepherd, the successor of the Apostles in their midst, and change this gravely wrong and most scandalous decision.

Thomas McKenna:  The university of Notre Dame says that it is bestowing this award to honor Vice President Biden for his public service in politics and that they are not recognizing him for his positions regarding support for abortion and same-sex marriage. What would Your Eminence respond to this?

Cardinal Burke:  Well, we honor people for the integrity of their lives. Notwithstanding the fact that Vice President Biden may have sound views on other matters, his positions with regard to human life and marriage are contradictory to the natural moral law and obviously, therefore, to the teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ. So, as much as one may want to praise certain positions which he has taken, at the same time one must realize that other positions are in the most grievous violation of the moral law and therefore make him ineligible to receive such an award from a Catholic university.

Thomas McKenna:  Bishop Rhoades explains that he is opposed to Vice President Biden receiving the award by stating:

“My principal concern about this whole matter is scandal. In honoring a “pro-choice” Catholic who also has supported the redefinition of marriage, which the Church considers harmful to the common good of society, it can give the impression to people, including Catholics in political office, that one can be “a good Catholic” while also supporting or advocating for positions that contradict our fundamental moral and social principles and teachings.”

Could you please comment on this scandal and the implications it may have?

Cardinal Burke:  As St. John Paul II observed in his apostolic exhortation on the laity, one of the greatest evils of our times is the tendency of Catholics to separate their faith from their daily living. And this is exactly what we have here. So we have the impression, given to other Catholics and to the population in general, that one can believe one thing and act in a completely contrary way. The fact of the matter is that most people will simply conclude that the Catholic teaching with regard to the inviolable dignity of innocent and defenseless human life and the integrity of marriage as the faithful, indissoluble and procreative union of one man and one woman, is not very firm and that it can easily be violated. Therefore it is a great scandal within the Church, but it is also a great scandal within society in general which depends upon the Church to give a witness to the truth about human life and the family.

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4 comments to Cardinal Burke On The Scandal At Notre Dame

  • Richard Reilly

    Thank you for the information on Bishop roads and Cardinal Burke I’m sorry to say that until we get the Pope the Cardinals and all the Bishops to stand up in a very strong and vocal prayerful loving way explaining and holding true to the teachings of the church there’s going to be no change because we’re so wishy-washy in fact I had a statement one time when a priest said something to someone and they said well they’ll just go find a priest or Bishop that agrees with them the same goes for divorce and annulment I had an attorney to say to the tribunal if you let me go back far enough I’ll find something that they should not have been married for and get them an annulment as long as the church stays silent and refuses to stand firm on its ground by all its leaders by all its teachings we are fighting a confusing misleading Direction May the Holy Spirit come upon us guide us and Enlighten us and unify us in our walk with Jesus Christ to proclaim the truth God bless

  • james mellon

    Cardinal Burke and Bishop Rhoades are trying to do the right thing. They are good shepherds and we should all heed their direction.
    Unfortunately, the Bishop of the Scranton Diocese, in Scranton, Pennsylvania would not agree with them. Bishop Bambera thinks it is fine to openly and warmly welcome Scranton Bob Casey to the altar railing for the reception of the Holy Eucharist, when Senator Bob Casey openly professes to be a Catholic and continually votes for Planned Parenthood, the leading provider of Abortion in the United States. I get nowhere when I discuss this with Bishop Bambera. Perhaps someone out there can appeal to Bishop Bambera to do the right thing.
    Jim Mellon
    Lake Ariel, Pa.

  • Karin

    Thank you, Bishop Rhoades and Cardinal Burke,for your explicit Catholic teaching on the” non-negotiables” of human life, and marriage between a man and a woman. Any Catholic who brings scandal by endorsing these issues would be “better for them if they had never been born.” May God have mercy on their souls.

  • Mariann

    Cardinal Burke states Church teaching and the Church’s calling in the world so clearly and succinctly! Truly a gem of a successor to the Apostles. May God bless him always! Thanks for this interview and for sharing it.

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