The former Archbishop of St. Louis and current Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, Cardinal Raymond Burke said in an interview published Thursday that families have a responsibility to protect their children from exposure to LGBT people. Family members or not, he said, people who “suffer from same-sex attraction” are “inherently disordered” and their relationships are “always and everywhere wrong, evil.”
David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement reported that Burke made the series of bigoted statements in an interview published Thursday on antichoice website LifeSiteNews.com.
Alongside headlines like “My husband divorced me for his gay lover — then took our children” and “Medical Board revokes license of notorious abortionist for severely injuring 18-year-old woman,” Cardinal Burke responded to a question by an Australian family as to whether or not their gay son should be invited to the family’s Christmas celebration.
Burke — who ranks second only to Pope Francis in the Catholic church’s judicial hierarchy — said the family should shun and isolate their son, but in a “calm, serene, reasonable and faith-filled manner.” They should do it, he said, because it will harm the family’s youngest members to see someone who is LGBT being treated like a normal person.
“If homosexual relations are intrinsically disordered, which indeed they are — reason teaches us that and also our faith — then, what would it mean to grandchildren to have present at a family gathering a family member who is living [in] a disordered relationship with another person?” he asked.
“We don’t want our children,” Burke said, to get the “impression” that such relationships are normal and acceptable rather than as “gravely sinful acts on the part of a family member.”
“We wouldn’t, if it were another kind of relationship — something that was profoundly disordered and harmful — we wouldn’t expose our children to that relationship, to the direct experience of it,” he went on. “And neither should we do it in the context of a family member who not only suffers from same-sex attraction, but who has chosen to live out that attraction, to act upon it, committing acts which are always and everywhere wrong, evil.”
The family, he said, must find a way to stay close to their gay or lesbian family member so as to “draw the person away from a relationship which is disordered.”
Conservative Catholic organization Voice of the Family echoed Burke’s sentiments in a statement that said, in part, “The unqualified welcome of homosexual couples into family and parish environments in fact damages everybody, by serving to normalize the disorder of homosexuality.”
In July, Burke’s former diocese — the Archdiocese of St. Louis — settled out of court with a woman known as Jane Doe 92, who alleged that the church hierarchy enabled and shielded from prosecution a priest who molested her from the age of 5 to the age of 9.
As part of the discovery process in the Jane Doe suit, the Missouri Supreme Court forced the St. Louis diocese to hand over a list of all of its priests who have been accused of sexual misconduct with children.
The list is sealed, but court records show “a matrix of 240 complaints against 115 priests and other church employees dating back decades.”
Jane Doe’s sex abuse case was only the second suit against the Catholic church in St. Louis history to make it to trial.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Burke’s former archdiocese “has spent more than $10 million on costs related to sexual abuse since 2004, according to its 2013 annual report.”
Watch video of Cardinal Burke’s remarks, embedded below: