Catholic Archbishop Burke: War Not Same as Abortion, Democrats Pro-Death

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 4, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Archbishop Burke: War Not Same as Abortion, Democrats Pro-Death

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 4
, 2008

The Vatican ( — Archbishop Raymond Burke, the former St. Louis Catholic leader who was recently given a special retirement position in the Vatican, expanded on comments he made early saying the Democratic Party has become too pro-abortion. He also said abortion is more important than the war in voting.

In a new interview with Inside the Vatican, the Catholic official condemns the party’s pro-abortion views, says abortion is a more important political issue than war and defends single-issue pro-life voting.

Archbishop Burke said he wasn’t engaging in partisan politics in his earlier comments and said he wished both Republicans and Democrats were pro-life.

"The Democratic Party, however has, over the years, put forth and defended a political agenda which is grievously anti-life," he said.

For Burke and the Catholic Church, abortion trumps war as a political issue in terms of voting priorities.

"One can legitimately question the wisdom of the decisions taken in the war in Iraq, but war in itself is not always and everywhere evil, as are, for example, procured abortion, human cloning, embryonic stem-cell research…," Burke told Inside the Vatican.

"Engagement of the nation in a war cannot be placed on the same moral level as the nation making laws which permit the wholesale killing of the unborn or the artificial generation of human life or experimentation on embryonic human life," he explained.

Asked if Catholic leaders were taking single-issue pro-life voting too far, Burke said putting any other issue ahead of abortion is morally bankrupt.

"To make economics or the environment the fundamental political issue, when life itself, in its most innocent and defenseless form, remains unprotected is morally irresponsible," he said.

"Yes, the government of the United States must address a number of critical issues, including the current and most serious economic crisis. But it must address first its duty to promote the common good by defending the life of every human being, from the moment of its inception," Burke added.

Burke says American voters should be "deeply concerned about any candidate for the presidency who supports legislation which permits the destruction of human life at its very beginning."

"The safeguarding and promoting of human life, from the moment of its inception," is a fundamental concern, Burke said.

Burke told the magazine that Catholics should make voting pro-life a priority — "A good citizen must support and vote for the candidate who most supports the inalienable dignity of innocent and defenseless life."

"To do otherwise, is to participate, in some way, in the culture of death which pervades the life of the nation and has led to so much violence," he concluded.

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