By Gudrun Schultz

  ST. LOUIS, Missouri, April 26, 2007 ( – St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke took a strong stand this week against a Catholic charity’s decision to book singer Sheryl Crow for a benefit concert, publicly condemning the move and withdrawing from his position on the board.

  Crow’s advocacy for legal abortion and embryonic stem cell research would make her appearance at the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation event a “scandal” that could confuse others and lead them to evil, Archbishop Burke said.

  At issue was Crow’s public advocacy for “actions which result in the deliberate killing of innocent human beings,” Archbishop Burke said in a Question and Answer statement on the issue released by the Archdiocese.

“Sheryl Crow is an outspoken abortion advocate and campaigned for the passage of Amendment 2, which created the right to clone human beings and destroy human beings, as embryos, for research. She continues to speak on behalf of legislation in support of abortion and destructive embryonic stem cell research.”

“The performer’s appearance at an event whose principal purpose is to raise funds for a health care apostolate ‘guided by the moral tradition of the Church’ (Ethical and Religious Directives, no. 1) casts doubt on the consistency of the commitment of the Church to the fundamental right to life. When that inconsistency occurs, the Church is required, through the Archbishop, to clarify or correct the misunderstanding out of respect for the spiritual well-being of the members of the Church and others.”

  The Archbishop communicated his concern over the CGCF’s decision to showcase Crow as soon as he became aware of the situation, the release stated, but the Foundation’s board of governors informed him they did not intend to address the issue. Archbishop Burke then made a public statement against the scheduled event and submitted his resignation to the board.

“The Archbishop believes he cannot be publicly associated with the event taking place,” the Archdiocese said. “He has made his objections known to the Board, and he feels by remaining as a member of the board, he would be lending his support to the event.”

“By teaching the truth, the action taken by the Archbishop is meant to unify the faithful and preserve Communion with the universal Church. The Church’s particular directives governing the administration of Catholic health care services state the Archbishop stands at the center of unity in the archdiocese and is coordinator of ministries in the local Church. It is his responsibility to address moral and pastoral matters in Catholic health care and assist Catholics in understanding the healing ministry of the Church. (Ethical and Religious Directives, General Introduction)”

  Along with the information released by the Archdiocesan office, the communications department of the office posted a video statement by Archbishop Burke on YouTube.

  The Archbishop expressed his “deep appreciation” for the staff of the Foundation, but said, “It is unacceptable to the church that it feature any person who is in such grave error regarding the natural moral law and the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of all human life from the moment of its inception to the moment of natural death.”

“As Archbishop of St. Louis I have a very serious responsibility to avoid giving scandal. Scandal involves leading others to be mistaken about what is right or wrong or even leading to doing what is wrong. For the Church to give any kind of platform to a person who promotes abortion rights or promotes embryonic stem cell research could easily confuse both the faithful of the church and other persons of good will regarding the Church’s stance on the inviolable dignity of every human life.”

“I pray that through this difficult time in which we are living… the mission of the Church—the protection of all human life—will become ever clearer and better known, and that all of us will be recommitted to the service of human life through all stages of its development.”

  See Q. & A. from Archbishop Burke’s office:

  See YouTube comments from Archbishop Burke:

  See also
  Archbishop Burke Warns US Legal Infanticide, Euthanasia are Next
  Calls for an awakening of the national moral conscience


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