When I first read about Archbishop Burke's interview with Randall Terry, I thought, "This will not go as the Archbishop thinks it will." And it didn't.
Archbishop Burke is a smart man. What's more, he is a good man. Upon learning that his interview was not being used as he expected it would be, that he was being made to appear to be doing something he in fact was not doing, he set the record straight. Here is his statement:
“Recently, Mr. Randall Terry and some of his associates visited me in Rome and asked to videotape an interview with me to share with pro-life workers for the purpose of their encouragement. The interview was conducted on March 2, 2009.
“Sadly, Mr. Terry has used the videotape for another purpose which I find most objectionable.
“First, Mr. Terry issued a media advisory which gave the impression that I would be physically present at the press conference during which he played the videotape, when, in fact, I was in Rome.
“Second, I was never informed that the videotape would become part of a press conference.
“Third, I gave the interview as a Bishop from the United States to encourage those engaged in the respect life apostolate, not as the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
“Fourth, I was never informed that the videotape would be used as part of a campaign of severe criticism of certain fellow bishops regarding the application of Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law.
“If I had known what the true purpose of the interview was, I would never have agreed to participate in it.
“I am deeply sorry for the confusion and hurt which the wrong use of the videotape has caused to anyone, particularly, to my brother bishops.”
(Most Rev.) Raymond L. Burke
March 26, 2009
I hope this incident does not confuse people about the force of Archbishop Burke's argument regarding Canon 915. He has not withdrawn the argument and his case for the meaning and the application of the canon remains as cogent as ever. The attempt to hijack that argument in favor of another argument and someone else's agenda should not be seen as having any effect on Burke's case. Whether it will or not remains to be seen. That is one of the many problems the abuse of the Archbishop in this recent incident has brought with it.