The Archdiocese of Saint Louis has posted a Q & A about Archbishop Burke's opposition to outspoken abortion-rights advocate Sheryl Crow's involvement with a fundraising event for Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. The Archbishop also posted a video explaining why he has had to act as he has. The short answer is: he doesn't want to give scandal, which he explains involves confusing people about right and wrong and leading them into doing wrong.
Archbishop Burke obviously thinks featuring such a high profile pro-abortion activist as Crow in a fundraiser for a Catholic children's hospital might confuse people a bit and lead them to think that the Church's stance on abortion can't be all that important. What is perplexing is why his reasoning isn't patently obviously to everyone. The organizer of the event is quoted as saying, in justification of Crow's appearance, that the event isn't about ideology but about helping children. Well, abortion isn't about "ideology"; it's about killing children.
Archbishop Burke's action is courageous. He deserves our prayers and our support.
Here is the press release of the Archdiocese:
ARCHBISHOP BURKE ADDRESSES CONCERNS ABOUT UPCOMING BENEFIT
ST. LOUIS — In a news conference this afternoon, Archbishop Raymond Burke announced that the April 28, 2007, Benefit for SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center requires him to address the issue of moral scandal out of respect for the good of the souls of others. The Benefit is organized by the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation. The management and the executives of the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center are not responsible for planning the event. “As the shepherd of this Archdiocese, I am required to address an issue that could call into question in the minds of the faithful the commitment of the medical center and the Archdiocese to the cause of life.”
“This Saturday, Sheryl Crow is scheduled to perform at the Bob Costas Benefit for the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. Ms. Crow is well-known as an abortion activist. She has lent her celebrity status to the promotion of legislation, such as Missouri’s Amendment 2, that creates legal protection for human cloning and the destruction of human beings who are embryos. Her appearance at a fundraising event for Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center is an affront to the identity and mission of the medical center, dedicated as it is to the service of life and Christ’s healing mission.”
“When there is a significant risk that others could be led to evil, as the one responsible for the spiritual and moral well-being of the faithful entrusted to my pastoral care, I am obliged in justice to act. Only after the Board of Governors of the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation informed me it would not address the issue did it become necessary that I carry out my pastoral responsibility to clarify the matter. Life is the most basic human good and the right to life of every innocent human being must be respected. The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of civil society and legislation. The Catholic Church consistently teaches that actions that result in the direct killing of the innocent, such as deliberate abortion and destruction of human embryos for research, are grave offenses against the right to life found in the natural law and Divine Revelation. When, for economic gain, a Catholic institution associates itself with such a high profile proponent of the destruction of innocent lives, members of the Church and other people of good will have the right to be confirmed in their commitment to the Gospel of Life.”
The Archbishop has asked the Board of Governors of the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation to remove his name from any materials promoting the event, and has resigned as Chairman of the Board.
“This event was organized under the direction of the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation, a fundraising organization for the children’s medical center. I want to express my understanding and compassion for the members of the Board of Governors of the foundation who did not recognize the seriousness of this matter. I want to assure the management and employees of Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital of my continued admiration and support for the wonderful treatment provided at our excellent children’s medical center. I cannot say enough about their commitment to the lives and health of the children they serve.”
The Archdiocese founded the institute that is now sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Mary and is known as the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. Over the past 10 years, the Archdiocese has contributed more than $3 million through the annual collection for the medical center and the Fleur de Lis Ball.