WASHINGTON, DC, May 8, 2009 ( – Archbishop Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Vatican’s highest court, the Apostolic Signatura, called on Catholics to “give an uncompromising witness” to the dignity of life and sharply criticized the University of Notre Dame for its planned honor for pro-abortion President Barack Obama during an address this morning to the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. (To read the complete address, see:

The archbishop began his address by noting that he has “the deepest concern for our nation,” and later implored Catholics to be aware of the “godless secularism and relativism” that underlie the Culture of Death.

Commenting on the ongoing scandal of Notre Dame’s planned honor for President Obama, Archbishop Burke received a standing ovation from the crowd of more than 1,200 when he called it “rightly the source of the greatest scandal.”

He also said that “in a culture marked by widespread and ingrained confusion about the most fundamental teachings of the moral law, our Catholic schools and universities must be beacons of truth and right conduct.”

Archbishop Burke added that if “we as individuals are not willing to accept the burdens” of the Catholic witness to life, “we are not worthy of the name Catholic.”

Tom Hoopes, editor of the National Catholic Register interviewed Archbishop Burke about Notre Dame last night and when asked what the Church should do about Notre Dame the archbishop responded:

“What it should do is have Notre Dame come clean. Is it Catholic or isn’t it? A Catholic institution, a Catholic university, cannot give honors to someone who is a promoter of things that are opposed to the most fundamental beliefs of Catholics, and so that’s what needs to happen.”

When asked by Hoopes how the Church could do this, Archbishop Burke said: “There’s an apostolic constitution, Ex corde Ecclesiae, which sets forth the requirements for a university to have the name Catholic. I think that Notre Dame has to either follow those norms or say ‘We’re not a Catholic university anymore.’”



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