By John Jalsevac and Kathleen Gilbert

San Diego, October 27, 2010 ( – As Americans approach the eve of election week, Cardinal-designate Raymond Burke has said in a new interview that they must recognize their solemn obligation to defend their unborn brothers and sisters when approaching the voting booth.

“You can never vote for someone who favors absolutely the right to choice of a woman to destroy a human life in her womb or the right to a procured abortion,” the archbishop told Thomas McKenna, President of Catholic Action for Faith and Family, in an interview released this week.

McKenna interviewed Cardinal-designate Burke in Rome on Oct. 20 literally hours after it was announced he would be elevated to cardinal.

(Click here to send a note of congratulations to the archbishop)

The archbishop told McKenna that, “As a bishop it’s my obligation in fact, to urge the faithful to carry out their civic duty in accord with their Catholic faith.” Catholics, he said, have “a very serious moral obligation in voting to vote for those candidates who would uphold the truth of the moral law, which of course also serves the greatest good of everyone in society.”

“You may in some circumstances where you don’t have any candidate who is proposing to eliminate all abortion, choose the candidate who will most limit this grave evil in our country,” he explained, “but you could never justify voting for a candidate who not only does not want to limit abortion but believes that it should be available to everyone.”

In recent years Cardinal-designate Burke, who is prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Church’s “supreme court,” has taught repeatedly that Catholic politicians who support abortion rights may not receive Holy Communion and that Catholics who know of the politicians’ voting record on these issues cannot vote for them and retain “a clear conscience.”

In the recent interview, the archbishop explained that such politicians create “scandal,” which he defined as “doing something or omitting to do something that leads other people into confusion or error about the moral good.”

“Here’s the perfect example of Catholics who betray their Catholic faith in political life, as legislators, as judges, or whatever it may be, leading other people to believe that abortion must not be the great evil that it is, or that abortion is in fact a good thing in certain circumstances.”

To those who would vote for pro-abortion politicians because they agree with those politicians on other issues, the archbishop said he would say, “Do you follow the golden rule that was taught to us by the Lord himself in the Gospels?”

“In other words,” he explained, “do you do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. Do you really consider it fair to advance some interest you have, which may be a good interest – whether it’s the environment, or whatever it might be – at the cost of denying to other members of society, especially those who depend upon us completely for life itself, to deny them the right to life?

“I think that if most people would reflect in this way, simply in terms of the golden rule, they would realize that no, it can never be right.”

The archbishop also pointed out that while some criticize the Church for upholding traditional marriage as a form of “discrimination” against homosexuals, such critics fail to recognize that, “The Catholic Church, in teaching that sexual acts between persons of the same sex are intrinsically evil – are against nature itself – is simply announcing the truth, helping people to discriminate right from wrong in terms of their own activities.”

While racial and other types of discrimination may be unjust, he said, “There is a discrimination which is perfectly just and good, and namely that’s the discrimination between what is right and what is wrong.”

In a press release announcing the interview, McKenna commented, “Millions of Catholics have no idea it’s a sin to vote for candidates who favor these grave evils, which attack the very foundations of society.” In his interview, said McKenna, “[Cardinal-designate Burke] makes it very clear what the responsibility of every American Catholic will be next Tuesday.”

The videotaped interview is available in two five-minute videos on YouTube, and a 25-minute Q&A video interview that is available for broadcast at

See related coverage:

Major Pro-Life Leaders “Elated” at Archbishop Burke Elevation to Cardinal

Vatican Archbishop Burke: Public Repentance is Required for Pro-Abort Politicians