Bookmark and Share
My Photo


    Opinions expressed on the Insight Scoop weblog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Ignatius Press. Links on this weblog to articles do not necessarily imply agreement by the author or by Ignatius Press with the contents of the articles. Links are provided to foster discussion of important issues. Readers should make their own evaluations of the contents of such articles.


« Archbishop Burke: "If Crow, no go." | Main | On the Mark »

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Ed Peters

Brumley wrote: "What is perplexing is why [Abp. Burke's] reasoning isn't patently obviously to everyone."

I was gonna say that.

Dim Bulb

We should coin a new phrase: "Burking up the right tree."

Kevin Cary

While I am very grateful for the actions and backbone of the good Archbishop, I can't help but wonder why he had to resign? It is his diocese, the hospital is under his authority (unless I'm mistaken). Why would he have to go and Sheryl Crow stay? Why can't he say, "I'm staying on as Chairman of the Board and Crow has to go."? I think it is better that he do something, but it still smacks of a bishop letting others control his actions. He is reacting to their moves, not the other way around. It is good that he has brought so much attention to the story and many people will realize that it is wrong what the hospital is doing, but he is simply taking himself out of a position of influence, where he could potentially do some good in the future. Oh well, I guess you can't ask for too much, huh?

Ed Peters

Kevin, have you read really the statements by the bishop in this case?


Kevin, it looks to me that the hospital isn't under the direct authority of the bishop - it was founded by the archdiocese but is now sponsored by a religious order. I think he did what he could to proclaim quite loudly his stance. Why to go, Archbishop Burke! Makes me want to move to Missouri.


Archbishop Burke is taking a lot of heat here in St. Louis. Despite the fact that he knows the local media will chew him up he continues to try and set an example that we should all follow. He is truly a shepard concerned about his sheep. We in St. louis are truly blessed to have him.

Kevin Cary

Ed, Yes, I read the statements by the Archbishop. None of them seem to really make clear the relationship between the Archbishop and the hospital and the foundation responsible for the event. It may very well be that through some technicality, Abp. Burke does not have the authority to disallow Sheryl Crow for coming, in which case what he has done is quite likely the best course of action. Don't get me wrong, I am very thankful for what he has done, I simply was wondering if something more could have been done. I think we get too used to Bishops not doing much of anything at all, so that when one does do something that takes a bit of backbone, we are thrilled (as well we should be). It seems as though there will still be some confusion caused over why, if the Archbishop feels it necessary to disassociate himself from the Foundation and event itself, he didn't just say "No" to them bringing Sheryl Crow. Again, perhaps he does not have the authority to do so, but if he doesn't, it sure would help if that were made clear. If he simply doesn't want to take too severe of a stand on this issue, well, that would be disappointing. Whatever the case may be, I am glad that he did something, and that he is being recognized for doing so (both on the MSM side of things and the Catholic Blog side of things). He deserves our prayers and thanks for his service to the Church in St. Louis.

Ed Peters

Kevin, that's fine. I just thought the answers to your questions were clear from the text and context of the statements. It takes too long to drag them out here. As it happens, I too think people are far too quick these days, in general, to pull the "resignation trigger". But Abp. Burke's decision here was right. Exactly right.


Thank you Archbishop, for standing up for the little ones.

Standing up against mirror worshippers takes great courage.

Michael J. Houser

Thy Kingdom Come!

I'm not familiar with the technicalities, but knowing what I know of the man, I'm confident that if the Archbishop had the authority to cancel Crow's appearance altogether, he would have done so. However, the hospital doesn't belong to the archdiocese, and while the by-laws of the Foundation which sponsored the event designate the archbishop as the "chairman", someone else is the "president". This suggests to me that the Archbishop's position was more of an honorary one, and he couldn't really call the shots on an event like this. The only options were to stay on the board and thereby lend his name to something unacceptable, or resign. At least, that's the impression I get from the article in the St. Louis Review, which is posted on the diocesan website.

Susan S. Keller

I fully support Archbishop Burke and have already called Fox 2 News and sent an email re: the bigoted reporting of Mandy Murphy stating that AB Burke called Sheryl Crow evil. I am a true Catholic and believe that evil actions do need to be addressed. I am a professional in health care and would never support abortion or those who promote it. In the future, I will have to reconsider who I will refer children to for health care.


"Takes to long" to explain why the Archbishop couldn't have done more? I don't get it. I think the questions were excellent.

I'm not saying that the Archbishop could have done more or that he should have. But I'd love to know if he could have done more (such as no longer providing the hospital with archdiocesan funding or support) and why he might have chose not to if he could.

And I'd love to know if Catholic institutions run by religious orders are completely independent of the bishop. Can't he do anything, even petition Rome for redress, if he has a religious run institution that is acting up?

Why Mr. Peters doesn't want to enlighten us further about this I don't understand...

Ed Peters

Jeff, Mr. Peters "doesn't want to enlighten [you] further about this" because (a) Mr. Peters does this for a living (canon law is not my hobby, its my job) and (b) he could not possibly answer every question posed to him in comboxes. Yours and Kevin's happen to fall into that category. As do most.

I'm trying to be patient here, but, if people would cruise some civil law blogs, they would not see this presumption that any civil lawyer who posts a comment on a topic owes the world an explanation of the ins and outs of the topic. There are a fair number of folks out there who seem to think that because I have the highest internet profile of any canonist in America (and probably the world, though one chap comes close) that I have some sort of obligation to treat any question that anyone wants to raise for me.

I've learned a lot over the decades, and I think one reason I did learn so much was, from the very beginning, if an expert in a field told me "I wouldn't understand" their answer, I usually took them at their word, and went off and learned enough about the subject to get to the point where I would understand their answer. Then I asked again. I see now how such persons could usually instantly tell I was ready for their answer. And they shared it.

Of course, that was before the internet and blog and comboxes made it look like virtually everybody was, if not an expert with an opinion worth considering, then at least expert enough to deserve an answer according to their preferences.

Here, eg., I can tell by your questions that you don't know, for starters, the difference between the fundraising corporation and the hospital, nor what the civil or canonical relationship is between the abp. and either group. Anyway, if you'd like to get started on this one, check out Book III and Book V of the 83 Code, they're both on-line, and some of the early canons on bishops in Book II, and then religious (same book). Or contact some of the canon law societies I cite on my website for referrals canonists who will answer your questions for free, or charge for their time. There are some excellent ones out there.

Mark Brumley

Thanks, Ed. I appreciate your patience. Laymen in a field are often tempted to importune the experts. And even when laymen discuss topics with other laymen, it is often the case that one person would like a more elaborate discussion of a topic than others are willing or able to provide.

I know from my own experience that you are generous with your time and expertise.

Here is something to consider: because blogs can create a quasi-community spirit, people who are essentially strangers to one another can sometimes feel free to act otherwise. As I might reasonably expect close friendship to afford me some grounds for imposing on another--what are friends for?--so also I might come to think that the quasi-friendship of being co-bloggers provides an analogous basis for imposition. Clearly, it does not.

In any case, thanks for the discussion, folks.


From the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services:
"As pastor, the diocesan bishop is in a unique position to encourage the faithful to greater responsibility in the healing ministry of the Church. As teacher, the diocesan bishop ensures the moral and religious identity of the health care ministry in whatever setting it is carried out in the diocese. As priest, the diocesan bishop oversees the sacramental care of the sick. These responsibilities will require that Catholic health care providers and the diocesan bishop engage in ongoing communication on ethical and pastoral matters that require his attention."

From a strictly pastoral perspective, I think his resignation speaks volumes. By resigning, he does not want to cause scandal because he is not only responsible for the sacramental care of the sick but also for the care of the "souls" in his diocese as well. The ethics of Catholic health care must also apply to the "business" end as well.


I treasure all the information posted here.Many points raised and Ed Peters always sets everybody straight.


Crow giving her time and talent to this cause is no more an endorsement of abortion by Glennon Hospital than Burke is endorsing racism by being on the Board of an institution named for his segregationist predecessor.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Ignatius Insight


Ignatius Press

Catholic World Report


Blogs & Sites We Like

June 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Blog powered by Typepad