Action Alert!
Catholic World News

Cardinal Burke pulls out of English conference; cites controversy

June 03, 2011

Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Apostolic Signatura, has withdrawn from a scheduled speaking appearance in London, citing the controversy raised by the sponsoring organization and its criticism of the country’s bishops.

Cardinal Burke had been scheduled to speak on June 18 at a conference organized by Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice. But the American-born prelate wrote to the group’s chairman, Daphne McLeod, to say that he felt obliged to cancel because his appearance would be interpreted as “a direct criticism of the Bishops of England and Wales.”

In his letter, the cardinal pointed to statements such as one that appeared on the conference registration form, saying that “our bishops are obdurate in their refusal to allow our glorious Catholic faith to be taught in our schools.” Cardinal Burke explained to McLeod that since he represents the Holy See, “it is not right for me to give a presentation in any place which in any way would reflect the lack of respect for the Office of Bishop in that place.”

In a reply, Daphne McLeod voiced her regret at the cardinal’s decision but did not soften her organization’s stance, saying that Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice has acted as a “whistleblower” to expose problems in the Church, and candidly saying that the organization has discouraged enrollment in Catholic schools because of catechetical problems.


Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Steve214 - Jun. 04, 2011 9:45 AM ET USA

    I wonder: is truth a defense? Are Catholics EVER called to ignore or deny the truth when souls are at stake?

  • Posted by: tmsharel5764 - Jun. 03, 2011 9:11 PM ET USA

    It's too bad that Cardinal Burke feels he has to withdraw from this conference when he probably agrees with the position taken by the sponsoring organization. In Denver, the Catholic schools use the Sadlier Catechetical series, one of the worst. Archbishop Chaput could remedy that problem in one stroke by ordering the Baltimore Catechisms to replace the highly defective Sadlier. I suspect that a similar problem, easily remedied by a similar solution, exists in England and Wales. Why not?