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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Archbishop Provides Righteous Model for Clergy

The Archbishop of St. Louis, Raymond Burke, has offered some strong and principled leadership to the Christian community – in contrast to some Idaho clergy.

In the past couple weeks, Archbishop Burke has resigned as Chairman of a charitable board in protest over their indirect association with the Abortion Industry. The clergyman served on the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center Board until the organization recruited singer Cheryl Crow to headline a fundraising event for its cancer center.

Burke said that the pro-abortion performer “promotes moral evils” – including abortion-on-demand, and embryonic stem cell research. Burke said he could not allow someone who “publicly espouses the mass destruction of human beings” to raise money for a Catholic hospital.

Burke had asked the foundation’s board to drop Crow from the event. But they refused. So he resigned, and urged Catholics to boycott the fundraising event.

“What if, for instance, there were someone appearing who we discovered was openly racist and who made statements and took actions to promote racism? Do you think that I would let that go on?” the Archbishop told members of the media.

Burke’s leadership stands in hard contrast to that offered by Meridian’s Father Ritchey. This pastor of one of Idaho’s largest Catholic parishes has recently banned advertising from Idaho Chooses Life in his parish bulletin. We have written the priest to get an explanation – but after a month of silence, it seems likely he doesn’t feel like offering one. Rumors abound that Ritchey’s motive involves a wealthy parishioner who is offended by some of our literature; specifically, our “Guide to Pro-Life Doctors”.

Apparently there is a parishioner at Holy Apostles who is offended by our identification of him as doctor “cooperating” with the Abortion Industry because he is part of a practice that refers women and girls to Planned Parenthood for abortions. One gathers that it is easier for Fr. Ritchey to silence the message, to attack the messenger, than it is to provide sound spiritual direction to a parishioner providing professional, financial and moral support to the nation’s largest abortion provider.

But the righteous example of Archbishop Burke is not limited to the Sheryl Crow scandal.
He has also written a public letter to members of his faith, urging them to avoid giving money to the Susan G. Komen Foundation because of its support of Planned Parenthood.

His letter said that the archdiocese could not support the charity because it gives money to Planned Parenthood, supports embryonic stem cell research and publicly disputes the link between abortion and breast cancer.

We pray that Archbishop Burke’s courage and faithfulness to the Gospel will inspire America’s clergy to a greater commitment as we battle the Culture of Death.

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