Biased media attack on Abp Burke

Biased media attack on Abp Burke

Very often, it seems that courageous bishops stand alone against the onslaught of a culture that doesn’t appreciate their “meddling” influence. Of course, they don’t stand alone because—even if sometimes it seems there aren’t enough of them—there are bishops who will stand up and do what’s right.

Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis is one of those bishops who has been a courageous witness to the Gospel and the obligations of Catholics in the public square. For that he has earned a biased attack in the Washington Post that has now spread through syndication.

NewsBusters blogger Michael Chapman points out that reporter Peter Slevin’s report offers ignorance right from the lede when he says: “When it comes to expressing his views of church values, Roman Catholic Archbishop Raymond Burke has a habit of making headlines, not always to the satisfaction of his flock.” Of course, they are not just the archbishop’s views, but the Church’s teachings. That his stance might be unpopular with the flock is of little consequence because his job is not to be popular, but to offer the truth. As a father, I’m not worried about being popular with my daughter if what I’m saying or doing is meant to protect and guide her. Chapman writes:

Abp. Burke has spoken out against abortion; against politicians who support abortion; against entertainers who support anti-Catholic teachings but also want to perform at Catholic functions; against using embryonic stem cells for research; and so on. And this is what apparently ticks Slevin and his editors off: A Catholic Bishop who actually tells his flock the Truth about Catholic teaching and how Catholics must strive to seek holiness and save their souls.

Critics and “some supporter”

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  • Slimiest?  Compared to what’s running here in Missouri, this looks like a piece from the Archbishop’s PR office.  The Anti-Archbishop forces are in fine form here in the “Rome of the West”.  There’s not a single media outlet in St. Louis that hasn’t piled on since the Cheryl Crow incident.

    I had the privilege of being on the altar with the Archbishop a couple of weeks ago.  The good news is that the criticism doesn’t seem to bother him.  He’s right.  He knows he’s right.  He prays for his critics.  He’s a remarkable, holy man.

  • We would love for Archbishop Burke to come out east and replace the retiring Cardinal Egan. Would the New York press be able to handle a guy like Burke? Probably not, all the better, I say.

  • Chris,

    I wouldn’t want his enemies in St. Louis to have the satisfaction of seeing His Excellency leave.  A red hat?  Now that would be a thumb in the eye.  St. Louis has seen red before.  Why not again?

  • It’s a telling shame that the Archbishop, by simply being Catholic, is viewed as extraordinary.

  • Here is a copy of the Letter to the Editor I sent the Washington Post:

    Why does the press never report incidents where Orthodox Christian bishops, Protestant Pastors or Jewish Rabbis stand up and defend with vigor the tenets of their religion when members of their faith openly defy or deny them?  Why are Catholic popes and bishops ridiculed and caricaturized when they challenge the rank and file to remain faithful to the doctrines and disciplines they solemnly professed to God at baptism and confirmation they would always uphold?  Archbishop Burke is no fanatic.  He is orthodox in his teaching in that he repudiates false doctrines.  He is pastoral in his ministry in that he is willing to risk being unpopular in order to exert paternal correction on members of the fold who have gone astray in thought, word or deed.  When Archbishop Burke reminds Catholics that abortion is an intrinsic evil and grave mortal sin, he is only teaching what his religion espouses.  When he reprimands Catholic voters, candidates and politicians who support abortion or euthanasia that they make themselves ineligible for Holy Communion, he is only exercising his apostolic authority.  Would the medical profession look kindly at a chief of surgeons who tolerated the practice of doctors not using sterile instruments for operations?  Would the board of trustees allow a college president to permit plagiarism among his faculty?  Then why are Catholic popes and bishops asked to tolerate theological dissent or to refrain from disciplining the wayward?  Is it not malpractice for those with spiritual authority to say and do nothing? 

    Rev. Fr. John Trigilio, Jr.
    Confraternity of Catholic Clergy