Pop singer Sheryl Crow performed in St. Louis at an April 28 benefit concert for the Bob Costas Cancer Center at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, chairman of the board of governors of the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation (which raises money for the Medical Center), resigned from the board to protest Crow’s appearance.
Because Crow is an ardent abortion-rights supporter, and because the board would not cancel her appearance, Burke felt that he could not in good conscience remain on the board.
Once again, practicing Catholics who do not live in St. Louis were envious of the privileged position that Catholics in that wonderful city enjoy. Time and again, Archbishop Burke has proven to be one of the most prominent voices of moral clarity inside and outside the Catholic Church in the United States.
For a Catholic leader to give cover to someone who is not just incidentally pro-choice, but is a rabid abortion-rights activist, would be morally unconscionable. To wit: Crow campaigned in Missouri for the right to clone human beings and destroy nascent human life, thus making her presence at a Catholic event morally incoherent. Those who criticized Archbishop Burke—saying he should have demurred given the money being raised for a worthy cause—should explain how they would react if David Duke spoke at a fundraiser to fight sickle-cell anemia in East St. Louis.
What Archbishop Burke did was unfortunately controversial. It was unfortunate because his courage stands in stark contrast to the moral lassitude that is exhibited by religious and secular leaders throughout the nation.
Three cheers for Archbishop Burke—and thumbs down to the St. Louis media. The controversy over Burke’s decision had them in a frenzy.
Burke’s resignation was a legitimate media story. What was not legitimate was the voyeurism of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KMOV (CBS affiliate) and others: they had the general public weigh in on the situation.
After Burke’s resignation, the Post-Dispatch invited non-Catholics to opine about an internal matter of the St. Louis Archdiocese, beckoning anti-Catholic bigots to post their hatred on its website. It even ran a punch line cartoon on this issue, asking the public to submit a caption.
On April 27 KMOV ran an online article, wanting to know why Archbishop Burke did not object to other fund-raising celebrities who were arguably offensive. The Archbishop was too mannerly to say what we were not afraid to say—take a walk, it’s none of your business. KMOV played voyeur by asking non-Catholics to stick their noses into the affairs of another religion.
In fact, KMOV was so obviously obsessed with Catholicism that in May it boasted four surveys on its website on the Catholic Church. No other religion was open for question, however.
The Post-Dispatch and KMOV tried to manipulate the Catholic Church—that’s what was behind their silly surveys. Guess they didn’t understand who we are and what they’re up against.