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Cardinal Raymond Burke: Trump will defend human life from conception

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke attends a news conference by the conservative Catholic group Voice of the Family in Rome on Oct. 15, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

ROME (RNS) President-elect Donald Trump will uphold Christian values, a prominent U.S. cardinal has said.

In an interview published in the Italian conservative daily Il Giornale on Thursday (Nov. 10), Cardinal Raymond Burke said he believed the election result reflected a long-running crisis in the U.S. and hoped the country can rediscover the “right path to follow.”

Burke, a conservative prelate who served previously as archbishop of St. Louis, said Trump understood the values of fundamental importance to Catholics and would do anything possible to halt abortion.

“I am convinced as he said he will hold the defense of human life from conception … and put in place every action possible to fight abortion,” Burke said.

On immigration, he said “prudence” was needed and “an awareness about whom immigrants are, the reasons that force them to emigrate and the capacity of communities to accept them.”

“I don’t think the new president will be inspired by hatred in his handling of the immigration issue,” Burke said.

Burke has openly challenged Pope Francis’ conciliatory approach to gays and the divisive issue of offering Communion to Catholics who remarry after divorce. He created a furor in 2014 when he likened the church under Francis’ leadership to “a ship without a rudder” in a Spanish media interview.

In November 2014 the pope removed him from his role as head of the Vatican’s highest judicial body and appointed him patron of the Knights of Malta.

According to the Pew Research Center, Catholics and evangelical Christians played a critical role in Trump’s election — 52 percent of Catholics voted for Trump.

On a visit to Rome on Thursday, Cardinal-elect Blase J. Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, said there was no doubt that a majority of Catholics had voted for Trump but he declined to comment further.

Cupich joined the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, at the launch of a new book featuring the homilies and speeches of Pope Francis from his years as archbishop of Buenos Aires (1998-2013).

Cupich has urged those from opposing political sides in the U.S. campaign to come together.

“We must never tire of living our tradition of service to the needy, to those at society’s margins,” he said in a statement released Wednesday. “Our common goals must be to demonstrate our commitment to those ideals, to recover our solidarity as a nation.”

Parolin, who is second in the Vatican hierarchy after the pope, said the Holy See had not extended an invitation for Trump to visit and said the Vatican does not typically extend such invitations to heads of state.

(Josephine McKenna is RNS’ Vatican correspondent)

About the author

Josephine McKenna

Josephine McKenna has more than 30 years' experience in print, broadcast and interactive media. Based in Rome since 2007, she covered the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and election of Pope Francis and canonizations of their predecessors. Now she covers all things Vatican for RNS.

62 Comments

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  • “He will defend life from conception” …and ignore it after birth.

    Yes, we know that is the position of fetus worshipers already.

  • But a true vicar of Christ , Pope Benedict put him where he was because he ONLY teaches what Church really teaches!

  • Trump and the Pope together: Candidate Trump declared, “I will make absolutely certain religious orders like The Little Sisters of Poor [who the pope visited in the US] are not bullied by the federal government because of their religious beliefs” about contraception. The pope said: “Migrants should be treated according to certain rules, because migration is a right, but one which is highly regulated … And if a country is only able to integrate 20 [refugees], let’s say, then it should only accept that many. If another is able to do more, let it do more,” he said. His Sect. of State Cardinal Parolin congratulated Trump: “The future leader has already spoken like a leader.” Trump and the Pope also agree on abortion and denying LGBTQI persons equal right.

  • Have you not realized that the Affordable Care Act is simply not working…Listen carefully…NOT WORKING. It’s time to reassess and try again.

  • How so? I am just curious, sincerely. I only know 4 people who have benefited (now have health care and had pre-existing conditions) from the ACA and none who have been negatively affected. But I did know one person who could not get coverage because they missed the open season, and that seemed problematic to me.

  • Oh goody! Little Donnie will protect life from conception, but after birth, well … I guess they’re just going to have to fend for themselves.

  • If any one saith, that the ceremonies, vestments, and outward signs, which the Catholic Church makes use of in the celebration of masses, are incentives to impiety, rather than offices of piety; let him be anathema. — Council of Trent, Session XXII, Chapter IX, Canon VII.

  • Of course. Neither Trump nor Burke has any respect for women, women’s rights of conscience, women’s health, women’s religious liberty, or science. — Edd Doerr

  • and once born won’t do sh/t for ’em. how is it these Roman clerics and their groupies keep missing that part?

  • Actually, Trump is in no position to spend much time “defending life from conception.”

    As a new president with no professional-politician experience, Trump’s plate is ALREADY full, and that’s not counting the upcoming war that the biased, Hard-Leftist, revenge-hungry national news media wants to unleash on him. Also there’s a ton of liberal activist judges out there.

    So while I appreciate Cardinal Burke’s sentiments, the reality is that Trump will only be able to grant a little protection and grace-time to pro-life Catholic groups like “The Little Sisters Of The Poor.” That’s about all he will have time for.

    Such assistance will be far better than what pro-death Hillary Clinton would have done. But the fact remains that the hard work of “defending life from conception” will really have to be done by the Catholics themselves, NOT by looking for President Trump to do it for them.

  • One of the most common complaints I have heard is that even under the ACA, premiums when required, and out of pockets are still too high for many of the economically disadvantaged. On a point of full disclosure, my adult daughter who has “issues” which make it difficult, if not impossible , to work; under the Oregon Health Plan, which is the state’s implementation of the ACA, she has received coverage at no cost, but her situation reflects her non-income status. The working poor are having a more difficult time. Your reference to the open season is a very valid one, I’ve never understood that provision which also applies to Medicare. It is a symptom of bureaucratic lockjaw.

  • Re: “… Trump’s plate is ALREADY full, and that’s not counting the upcoming war that the biased, Hard-Leftist, revenge-hungry national news media wants to unleash on him.”

    Look up the term “hostile media effect” to discover the reason you feel the media are “biased” against you and your Dear Leader. (I’d provide Web links, but RNS won’t permit them in comments … for some reason.)

    Re: “… Trump will only be able to grant a little protection and grace-time to pro-life Catholic groups like ‘The Little Sisters Of The Poor.’

    The Little Sisters of the Poor don’t need “protection” from anyone but themselves. All they needed to do was sign a form … which they petulantly, and irrationally, refused to do.

    Re: “… the hard work of “defending life from conception” will really have to be done by the Catholics themselves …”

    Ah, so it’s up to Catholics to run around imposing themselves on others, and intruding in their own bedrooms? And here I’d thought we lived in a free country where people were able to live their private lives as they saw fit. But clearly you want Catholics to assume the role of “personal conduct monitor” and stick their noses into everyone else’s lives.

  • An abortion supporter complains of others “imposing themselves on others”. Ha. Imposing death on the defenseless is fine then. And let’s force nuns to pay for abortions. That’s respectful. No imposition there, huh? Why to the killers always try to hide the killing as if everybody doesn’t know why they want to murder the very young. And the killers would be so happy if the rest of us would just let the killers go on the kids in the womb.

  • The Canadian system is vastly better , covers everyone and for about half as much money as the US medical money machine charges. Infant mortality in the US is third world level.

  • Your terminology indicates your intent to deceive and deflect from the killings. And we do have a duty to help the lives we save. Maybe read a little western history sometime.. the origins of hospitals. ..scholas..or schools as we now call them. Being a bigot isn’t much of an achievement.

  • The pope is just fine. We just live in the time of genocide against blacks, Jews and the youngest and most helpless.

  • Who said it was “murder”? That’s a definition you cooked up, in order to rationalize running around controlling everyone else’s lives.

  • Re: “An abortion supporter complains of others ‘imposing themselves on others’. Ha.”

    I’m no “abortion supporter,” but if it makes you feel better to call me one, then go right ahead. Your feelings, after all, are the most important thing in the world.

    Re: “Imposing death on the defenseless is fine then.”

    No, allowing women to run their own lives and control their own bodies, is fine.

    Re: “And let’s force nuns to pay for abortions.”

    Except, they wouldn’t have done so! Signing a document would have relieved them of that. They chose not to do so … for no rational reason.

    Re: “No imposition there, huh?”

    Nope, none. Not one bit.

    Re: “Why to the killers always try to hide the killing as if everybody doesn’t know why they want to murder the very young.”

    Who’s “hiding the killings”? The only reason you’re calling them “killings” is because you, subjectively, have defined them as such. The rest of us aren’t subject to your subjective definitions, however.

    Re: “And the killers would be so happy if the rest of us would just let the killers go on the kids in the womb.”

    Newsflash: Those wombs don’t belong to you! They’re not yours to control.

  • Using the word ‘genocide’ in your context actually demeans the word. The real genocide is Christians in the Middle East, but that does not fit the global agenda of Pope Francis.

  • It works for millions of people who now have insurance; who can’t be denied because of preexisting conditions. So are you just going to throw all these people off insurance? What do you plan to replace it with? The Republicans have had years to come up with a replacement and haven’t produced one yet. Other than, die quickly.

  • So what are you going to do. Force every fertile female into internment camps? Monitor each menstrual cycle? Offer prenatal care? Child Care? Did you know forced birth is a war crime?

  • It is absolutely unwise for any churchman to be out there publicly musing that Trump will advance Catholic concerns such as abortion. Trump has been an amoral mostly liberal his whole life. I hope he advocates for good policies, but lets not get ahead of ourselves here.

  • Either bring something to the table to show this great concern for those who are born from your side of the fence or STHU. I have yet to see a fetus worshiper who gave a damn about mothers or born children beyond their own agenda.

  • The anti-abortion view is dependent on treating women as chattel property of them or the government. Somehow a womb is their property as opposed to the woman it is attached to.

  • As the president elect has stated, he is prepared to retain the pre-existing condition feature of the present law, as well as offspring staying on their parent’s plan until age 26, both provisions I think are sound; as to the question of affordability, I don’t think the evidence demonstrates that to be the case for a substantial number of people. There’s nothing that says we can’t continue to try and improve the ACA.

  • Are you really this ignorant? Catholic NGO’s do more around the world than any other, including in the US. Did you think Mother Theresa ran health spas for the wealthy? Catholic financial reports are readily available on the net. I’m sure you’re deeply concerned about the integrity of your remarks and anxious not to slander any persons or groups.

  • Hahahaha.. Women’s health… you mean killing babies.. right, great respecter? Ha! Do you think anybody fails to see through such frankly moronic posts?

  • Oh.. so intentionally and knowingly killing an innocent human being is not murder? Interesting line of reasoning. .. .

  • Re: “Oh.. so intentionally and knowingly killing an innocent human being is not murder?”

    Intentionally killing an “innocent” human being certainly could be “murder.” Which people, exactly, have been “murdered”? Can you name them for me, please?

  • Do you really think this ducking and weaving and lying and avoidance is fooling even the people who use the same lies? I don’t expect much from someone content to kill babies, but you do know that your phony protestations are just painting a not very attractive picture of you. One of the great problems with lying, is that the person actually becomes the lie. It becomes your identity.. it defines you.

  • Some folks just don’t get what apostolic authority means. It’s frankly how dumb the comments are that is the most disappointing. But I suppose there’s a direct and inescapable correlation between being intelligent and not making dumb, bigoted posts.

  • Not true. Not even close. Francis is a very good and very orthodox pope. But he thinks that the church’s message is not just the culture wars. It’s a message of mercy for all.

  • My brother I think you misunderstood my comment. I was speaking of so-called pro-life politicians–not of Roman Catholic organizations

  • Re: “Do you really think this ducking and weaving and lying and avoidance is fooling even the people who use the same lies?”

    … says the guy who refused to answer a direct question.

    Re: “I don’t expect much from someone content to kill babies, but you do know that your phony protestations are just painting a not very attractive picture of you.”

    Nor do I expect much from someone content to claim possession of women’s wombs. Oh, and please know that your own phony protestations are painting an even more unattractive picture of you.

    Re: “One of the great problems with lying, is that the person actually becomes the lie.”

    When, exactly, did I lie? Please cite me and substantiate that I “lied.”

    Re: “It becomes your identity.. it defines you.”

    … says a guy who uses his own subjective definitions to seize control over other people. Nice. Hypocrite much?

  • Re: “So what are you going to do. Force every fertile female into internment camps? Monitor each menstrual cycle?”

    For many of the “pro-life” crowd, the answer to your first question is a resounding “Yes!” Fewer of them might answer the second affirmatively, and they may not do so with much eagerness, but a lot of them would — in fact — go that far.

    Re: “Offer prenatal care? Child Care?”

    The answer to those is a resounding “No!” They will say it’s not their job to care for all the children they demand be born. In general, this crowd objects to paying for anything that doesn’t end up belonging to them or their churches (which is why they view taxation as theft rather than a social obligation).

    Re: “Did you know forced birth is a war crime?”

    Calling “forced birth” a “war crime” is a definition they’d reject, out of hand. They tend to reject any and all definitions they haven’t, themselves, conjured up. At the same time, they happily demand that everyone else on the planet unconditionally capitulate to their own definitions. Because god, or something.

    … and yes, they definitely are raging hypocrites, even though their Jesus explicitly forbid them ever to be hypocritical (e.g. Mt 7:3-5, Lk 6:42, Rom 2:21-22, etc.). They have no problem with that, even though their own Jesus might (e.g. Mt 7:21-23).

  • I have known only 3 truly pro-life activists in my life: they worked against abortion, actively against war, actively against the death penalty, and actively helped poor mothers. Everyone else is simply pro-fetus, or as Sr. Elizabeth Chitester says, “pro-birth.”

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