Target: Pope Francis
Goal: Commend actions taken by the Pope to relieve a hypocritical and homophobic archbishop of his duties
Cardinal Raymond Burke, the archbishop of St. Louis, unfortunately became popular for his loud criticisms of same-sex marriage and abortion. Burke’s biggest claim to fame is his 2004 statement that he would refuse John Kerry Communion because the then-Presidential candidate was a pro-choice Roman Catholic. In a recent comment to Catholic television network EWTN, Burke said, “I’ve thought about it because I’ve received very severe criticism, both at the time that I was insisting on applying the discipline and also in my writing and other situations. But I have to say that, I think about it again, the discipline itself, and it’s a consistent discipline from the time of St. Paul, from the very first years of the Church, and it makes perfect sense.”
This kind of hypocrisy in doctrine is what Pope Francis has been speaking out against in his interviews since he was installed, and he put his money where his mouth is when he recently relieved Burke of his duties. Cardinal Burke has criticized Pope Francis’s attempts to refocus the doctrine, and has obviously failed to recognize his own hypocrisy in picking and choosing which parts of the Bible by which he abides and judges other people. Pope Francis is working to move the Catholic Church away from this judgmental implementation of the doctrine, and toward a forgiving Christlike doctrine that attempts to solve the real problems in our society such as hunger and poverty. Church officials who focus on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage are distracting from the more important work of helping and serving others.
By signing this petition, you are applauding the actions that Pope Francis has taken to move the Church in a more positive direction. You are thanking him for recognizing the hypocrisy of its positions on hot-button issues and the need for a different kind of doctrine in an era rife with huge socioeconomic gaps.
Dear Pope Francis,
The harsh criticisms of same-sex marriage and abortion coming from Cardinal Raymond Burke and other right-wing public figures only distract from the bigger issues that actually affect a devastating number of human lives, such as poverty, homelessness, and hunger. The Catholic Church absolutely needs to be brought into the twenty-first century, and Cardinal Burke and his ilk are holding it back.
Thank you for relieving Cardinal Burke of his duties and for recognizing that such divisive political opinions as the ones with which he associates have nothing to do with the Catholic faith, and even prevent it from reaching more people. Thank you for standing up against hypocrisy and for refocusing the doctrine on compassion and serving others who need help.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: chilangoco via Flickr