LA CROSSE, December 8, 2003 ( – Bishop Raymond Burke of La Corsse, who was selected by Pope John Paul II last week to become the Archbishop of St. Louis, was is in the news again today defending Church teaching on life and family to the joy of the faithful and the disdain of dissidents.  Last week, The Journal Sentinal obtained copies of the Bishop’s private letters to pro-abortion Catholic legislators warning them of the spiritual danger they have placed themselves in.  This week the paper uncovered letters from Bishop Burke to a Church-supported AIDS charity asking them to stop participating in an AIDS march which raised funds for some groups that promote homosexuality.  The March is a huge fundraiser for AIDS-related groups and raises over half a million dollars for the groups.  However two of the groups celebrate homosexuality and promote it among youth with ‘gay’ youth groups and similar programs.

The diocese-supported Central Wisconsin HIV/AIDS Ministry has taken part in the annual march. Bishop Burke wrote the director of the Ministry objecting to its participation. “By participating in AIDS Walk Wisconsin, the Central Wisconsin HIV/AIDS Ministry would be cooperating materially with groups that act against the moral law,” wrote Bishop Burke. “What is of graver scandal, they both promote homosexuality among young people.”  The Catholic group reluctantly agreed to pull out of the march thereby ensuring that it will continue to receive the $17,000 annual funding it receives from the diocese.  Responding to wide-ranging criticisms of his letters to the pro-abortion politicians within his diocese, Bishop Burke told a press conference: “I have no regret whatsoever. It was my duty as bishop to write those letters.  The letters address the good of the soul of the legislators and the souls of those who may be scandalized by their votes against the teachings of the church.”  See the Journal Sentinel coverage: