Thursday October 21, 2010

Pro-Life, Pro-family Leaders Congratulate Pro-Life Hero Archbishop Burke

By Patrick B. Craine

Note: To send a personal note of congratulations to Archbishop Burke, visit

ROME, October 21, 2010 ( – Catholic, pro-life, and pro-family groups are praising Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to elevate pro-life hero Archbishop Raymond L. Burke to the status of Cardinal.

“Cardinal-designate Burke is one of the Church’s greatest defenders of faith, and one of the pro-life movement’s greatest allies,” said Jim Hughes, vice-president of International Right to Life.

Burke, 62, who serves as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura (the Vatican’s highest court), was named yesterday as one of 24 prelates who will enter the College of Cardinals in a consistory on November 20.

The prelate said in a statement yesterday that he is “deeply humbled and honored” by the news and he asked for prayers to help him fulfill the “weighty responsibilities” he is to be given. “I express my deepest gratitude to His Holiness for the great confidence which he has placed in me, and I renew my commitment to serve Him, as Shepherd of the universal Church, in total fidelity and with all my being,” he said.

“I am deeply conscious of the critical importance of the loving witness of the Church to the truth, revealed to us by God through both faith and reason, which alone is our salvation,” he added.

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, where Archbishop Burke serves as archbishop emeritus, said the archdiocese is “very proud.” “Cardinal-designate Burke’s faithfulness and service to the Church have served the people of St. Louis well, and we proudly extend to him our congratulations, best wishes, and promise of prayerful support,” said Archbishop Carlson.

Pro-Life Wisconsin, a legislative and educational group in Archbishop Burke’s native state, also offered their congratulations. “This is such a blessing for the Church and the faithful,” said Peggy Hamill, the group’s state director. “Pro-Life Wisconsin is honored to enjoy his express support of our life-saving mission.”

Archbishop Burked served as Bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin from 1995-2003, before his service in St. Louis.

“The Church, Her faithful and society at large can only benefit from Archbishop Burke’s commitment to defending innocent human life,” added Hamill. “We pray for Archbishop Burke and wish him all the best.”

Patrick J. Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, prayed that God would grant the Cardinal-designate “many more fruitful years in His service.” Archbishop Burke serves as ecclesiastical advisor for CNS’ Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education.

“Your seat among the princes of the Church is surely a sign of encouragement for Catholics around the world praying for a deeper commitment of our institutions to their Catholic identity,” said Reilly.

Reilly told Catholic News Agency that the Archbishop “has been a tireless advocate for the renewal of Catholic higher education and a proponent of strong Catholic identity.”

“Catholic colleges are expected to conform to Ex corde Ecclesiae, an application of Canon Law, so we greatly value the perspective of the Prefect of the Catholic Church’s highest court,” he continued. “And as cardinal and counselor to the Holy Father, his keen insight into American education, culture and politics becomes even more valuable to the Church.”

The Cardinal Newman Society has set up a website, to allow Catholics and pro-lifers to send a personal note of congratulations to the archbishop, which is co-sponsored by The notes will be personally delivered to the archbishop at his office in Rome.

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

Jim Hughes of Campaign Life Coalition praised the appointment, saying Archbishop Burke has been “one of the strongest voices exhorting the Church to maintain her consistent witness on the dignity of human life.”

“He’s a gentle giant who is forceful in what he says and at the same time shows great compassion,” Hughes continued. “We thank the Holy Father for his wise and praiseworthy decision, and offer our heartfelt prayers to Cardinal-designate Burke as he takes up his new responsibilities.”

See related coverage:

The New Cardinals and Their Statements on Life and Family

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

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