Two articles from the local Jesuit University newspaper cover the recent promotion of Archbishop Burke.
The first article, “Burke’s Controversial Legacy“, by Adam Tamburin, is a thoughtful piece on the nature and importance of the Archbishop’s battles to safeguard the faith. An excerpt:
…Some say Burke hard-headed. Others say he’s faithful.
Regardless of where your loyalties and feelings lie regarding Burke, it must be admitted that he challenged his flock. He challenged us to consider our beliefs and take sides on some of the most controversial topics of our time.
This role is vital. Burke fulfilled his duties as an archbishop by upholding the laws of the church, and he provided an excellent crucible whereby we, as citizens, could test our views.
To the next archbishop, and to religious leaders everywhere: Challenge us. Don’t be afraid to take a firm stand. Learn from Burke. His battles weren’t with Biondi, Majerus, Kerry or St. Stanislaus. He waged battle with ambiguity and apathy.
The second article, “Archbishop Raymond Burke goes to Rome“, by Kenneth Parker, is more like you’d expect. Parker thinks the Archbishop led only a portion of the flock– the part that happened to agree with him. It is as though defending the faith occurred to him merely because he happened to agree with the tenets of the faith by accident of birth. Oh, and the article implies that the author drank the SNAP kool-aid. An excerpt:
…I hope for a man who comprehends the pain of a flock that has been wounded by wave after wave of revelations that bishops-our bishops-have conspired in the concealment of the sexual abuse of our children; a leader who understands, in this context, the genuine concern over hierarchical decisions that affect parish property and resources. I pray that the next archbishop will not make our archdiocese notorious as a haven for priests who have faced sexual-abuse charges elsewhere.
I hope for a godly man, who appreciates and celebrates the pastoral roles played by women and lay men in the absence of clergy. May he be a churchman who feels compelled to press for the means to provide the faithful with an abundance of ordained persons who can administer the sacraments we require for our salvation and sanctification.
I hope, above all, for an archbishop who will engage his whole flock, who will not be afraid to listen to voices that are not in harmony with his own. May he value the Catholic educational institutions in his jurisdiction and engage them as partners in building the kingdom of God…
OK, pop quiz: which of these authors is a professor of theology at SLU?