…Burke said there was “a uniting link” to the topics in Benedict’s address. “It was his concept of telling us as bishops that religion cannot be divorced from public life,” Burke said. “Our religious convictions have to serve the common good. He touched a wide range of issues — immigrants, human life, the evil of pornography — and emphasized for us to be creative and courageous in addressing the Gospel to the circumstances of everyday public life.”
On Thursday, Benedict will meet with the heads of Catholic colleges and universities, and the superintendents for Catholic education for all 195 U.S. dioceses. Burke said he hoped the pope would encourage his efforts to keep Catholic schools in the archdiocese going, especially those in financial difficulty.
Burke also said he hoped the pope would speak about Catholic identity at Catholic schools, specifically at the university level where the faculties are made up largely of non-Catholics.
“The church has always believed that a solid body of professors at a Catholic university should be Catholic,” he said. “It’s not fair to expect the body of a faculty who don’t have a significant number of Catholics to sustain a Catholic identity…It’s simply a contradiction where you have a university and someone can speak openly against fundamental teachings of Catholic church.”
Burke said that he would take Benedict’s address to heart and bring home to St. Louis the message that the pope brought to his American bishops. “These are directions that come to us from the highest authority in the church,” he said. “They will become meditations for me in my own pastoral activity in the archdiocese.”
Someone should send His Grace a copy of the latest St. Louis University Newsletter.