Cardinal Burke: Defend Religious Liberty

By Terence P. Jeffrey | July 28, 2016 | 9:37am EDT

Cardinal Raymond Burke, who has served as archbishop of St. Louis and prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (the highest court of the Catholic Church), said in an interview with that Americans need to “be absolutely wide awake to defend religious liberty.”

Burke, now the patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta, was discussing the new book from Ignatius Press, “Hope for the World: To Unite All Things in Christ.”

The book is an interview of Cardinal Burke by French author Guillaume d’Alançon.

In his interview with, one of the things Cardinal Burke said is that it is necessary "to defend the right of individuals to live according to what a rightly formed conscience teaches them in terms of human life, marriage and the family."

Terence Jeffrey: “Your eminence, another thing that is quite different between the United States in the 1950s and the United States of today is then you had the right to life respected in law in the United States, marriage was unambiguously understood to be the union of a man and a woman. Today, you have government, including the federal government of the United States, attempting to force individuals and institutions to do things that are directly at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church, particularly on life and marriage. Do you see this as a new crisis of civilization, or a major crisis in the history of the United States?”

Cardinal Burke responded: "Absolutely, it is. It is an iniquitous situation, and it requires that all of us be absolutely wide awake to defend religious liberty. In other words, to defend the right of individuals to live according to what a rightly formed conscience teaches them in terms of human life, marriage and the family. No, it’s a critical situation. It has to be addressed, and the church in her service of the world needs to be evermore energetic, ever clearer in defending, for instance, the truth about human life, the truth about marriage and the family, and what this means for us in our daily living.”

In “Hope for the World: To Unite All Things in Christ,” Cardinal Burke discusses his childhood growing up in Wisconsin, the problems he sees confronting the church and the world, and how Catholics should respond to them.

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