Thursday, March 26, 2009

Archbishop Burke was duped by Randall Terry on purpose of interivew...

***Post Updated***

Oh, boy. This is interesting in many ways...

It surprised me that with all of the professional media outlets and worthy pro-life groups, Archbishop Burke would allow such an interview with Mr. Terry. Now we get the much needed clarification. It was a classic case of exploitation.

According to His Excellency, Randall Terry misled him as to how the videotape would be used. In it, the archbishop discussed Canon 915. The archbishop is dismayed with how it is being used to attack his fellow bishops.

Archbishop Burke does not criticize specific bishops in the interview, but in one question - which was somewhat awkwardly asked, Mr. Terry takes a jab at a few archbishops, naming their location and referring to their not denying Holy Communion ahead of the election. In watching the actual video of the interview (which has been added to my original post), I'm wondering if Archbishop Burke caught the jab made by Terry in the question.

Setting aside that question, if you listen to Burke's response it stands well on it's own, not as a criticism of other bishops, but as an invitation for everyone to look closer at Canon 915.

The Archbishop has released this statement:

ROME, Italy - In response to the March 25, 2009 press conference of Mr. Randall Terry in Washington, D.C., the Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop Emeritus of Saint Louis and Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, issued the following statement:

“Recently, Mr. Randall Terry and some of his associates visited me in Rome and asked to videotape an interview with me to share with pro-life workers for the purpose of their encouragement. The interview was conducted on March 2, 2009.

“Sadly, Mr. Terry has used the videotape for another purpose which I find most objectionable.

“First, Mr. Terry issued a media advisory which gave the impression that I would be physically present at the press conference during which he played the videotape, when, in fact, I was in Rome.

“Second, I was never informed that the videotape would become part of a press conference.

“Third, I gave the interview as a Bishop from the United States to encourage those engaged in the respect life apostolate, not as the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.

“Fourth, I was never informed that the videotape would be used as part of a campaign of severe criticism of certain fellow bishops regarding the application of Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law.

“If I had known what the true purpose of the interview was, I would never have agreed to participate in it.

“I am deeply sorry for the confusion and hurt which the wrong use of the videotape has caused to anyone, particularly, to my brother bishops.”

Tom Peters got it right when he suggested that folks in the Vatican start using "google" to do some quick checks.

EDIT 5:00AM March 27th: InPhiladelphia's, The Bulletin, an article, Catholic Archbishop Remorseful for misuse of his comments, points out:

Mr. Terry responded Archbishop Burke knew the goal of the campaign and the interview would be distributed [he just doesn't get it - he exploited the archbishop and the headlines in the news are a manifestation of that exploitation]

While many media outlets are attributing the archbishop with having said President Barack Obama is an “agent of death,” the following is the actual quote given by Archbishop Burke:
“But in any case, no matter who is the President of the United States, here is a world leader with a tremendous capacity to promote the common good, but at the same time sadly, who could — by promoting and implementing anti-life legislation measures — could be an agent of death.”

Here is the full Associated Press version that will be plastered all over the nation this morning - it does not show the context. Note even the title which makes it sound like the Archbishop is sorry for his comments - which were in accord with Catholic teaching - as opposed to being remorseful for the exploitation of his words.

For myself, it is pretty much confirmed, that Archbishop Burke had no clue who he was dealing with in Randall Terry. I'm sure I'm not the only one who was raising an eyebrow about the interview when it was first announced. I always saw Terry as a loose canon, but had not heard anything about him in decades, aside from the fact that he became Catholic in 2005. I thought that perhaps he had lost his militant edge, but it is clear he has not.

In my personal opinion - an opinion I have held for many years, Randall Terry has done considerable damage to the pro-life movement through "in your face" tactics. Exploiting Archbishop Burke to call for Abp Wuerl and other archbishops to be removed from their post for not denying Holy Communion is just one more example. Pray for him, and pray for Archbishop Burke, Archbishop Wuerl and others who were harmed by this stunt.

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!


Anonymous said...

The devil wins, blast him! Here you have one of the best bishops in the world in conflict with one of the best pro-lifers in the world. Aaaaaaargh!


Stan Williams said...

Consider this: What will it take for the bishops to grow some backbone? Do we hide the truth, and their cowardice to practice the teachings of Mother Church (e.g. Canon 915), or do we hide behind political correctness, politeness, and the false need to convey "nice" feelings when "guilt" is the virtue needed. I say CONGRATULATIONS to Mr. Terry. He's clever and wise, and yes he's manipulative in the cause of life and truth. I say BRAVO! Ab. Burke would do well to read Mr. Terry's HUMBLE PLEA in which Mr Terry suggests that they might be more ProLife if bishop's lives were being murdered instead of little, helpless babies. And finally, Mr. Terry's tactics are WELL known by ANYBODY involved in the ProLife movement. That Ab. Burke (an American who has been around all the time of Mr. Terry’s trials and tribulations and battles in the ProLie movement) would chastise Mr. Terry over this is clear evidence that Ab. Burke is naive of the struggle and those involved. Finally, let's not blame Mr. Terry for the typical incompleteness of the mainstream press. But then, just perhaps, the Holy Spirit knows what needs to be done. Shame on the bishops who don't follow Canon 915, and shame on Ab. Burke for putting their feelings and his political statue ahead of holiness.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Sorry Tim, but I have never seen Randall Terry as one of the "best pro-lifers in the world".

His intentions are good, but his ways are not. He has a very militant edge that in my opinion, has done more damage to the authentic pro-life movement.

People don't change their mind about abortion through "in your face" tactics and demands. They change their minds due to prayer and reasoning.

That is why I embrace the approach taken by Helpers of God's Precious Infants.

People cannot be forced into changing their positions.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...


I have to respectfully disagree here too. I am not aiming this at you, but need to say it in general to anyone reading before heading out the door to work (all other comments will be moderated tonight).

The ends can never justify the means. What Randall Terry did to Archbishop Burke, and to Archbishop Wuerl, Loverde and others was wrong. He exploited that interview, causing damage to each of them.

It's not a matter of being politically correct or incorrect when a Catholic exploits something like this interview to publicly denounce certain bishops by name and to call for their unseating, as if the Vatican would ever listen to such nonsense.

Archbishop Burke's words in the interview stand strong on their own. It is why he didn't apologize for them because they are in accord with Catholic teaching. Terry Randall had planted certain things in the minds of the media, in advance, which gave the appearance that the Vatican was actually entertaining the idea of yanking Wuerl and others from their posts. This flies in the face of the virtue of justice and prudence.

The faithful have a right to raise concerns to the sacred pastors. But, to publicly call for their unseating, to me, crosses the line. We can report concerns to the Holy See, but we ought not tell them what to do.

In the video interview, it is clear to me that Archbishop Burke is wanting his brother bishops - all of them - to look closer at Canon 915. This is good. I'm glad I watched the actual video because I didn't see Burke taking a jab at his brother bishops, as opposed to encouraging them to explore the canon more deeply.

Minds will not be changed by ramming it down their throats using the kind of tactics advanced by Randall Terry.

Our bishops are unified on the issue of pro-abort Catholic pols not presenting themselves for Communion - as pointed out by Abp Chaput in an interview with Tom Peters. Where they are not unified is in the application of Canon 915.

A unified position and application is necessary to end the confusion and it would be nice if it happened tomorrow, but it won't.

We are admonished to interpret our brother's actions in the most positive light (read section III of the CCC here). Therefore, I prefer to believe that those bishops who have not applied Canon 915 do not fully comprehend it yet and are well-intentioned. I have not been given a special grace to know their motivation. If tomorrow I die, I would rather face my Maker having given them the benefit of the doubt that they were acting in good conscience with the level of understanding they currently have.

What the bishops don't need is "in your face" tactics, and trickery, to move them. Neither force, nor deceit, were methods taught by Our Lord. The bishops need our prayers and sacrifices to inspire them to dialogue with one another and to shift them to a unified position. As Catholics, we need to recover this lost art of prayer over "in your face" methods to moving the bishops.

If anyone reading this wants to make light of the power of that prayer to move our bishops, I would ask that they do an examination of conscience on the subject of faith. When we believe that words and actions have more power than prayer to move our bishops, it is a manifestation of weak faith.

Stan Williams said...

Diane, Forgive my typo above "ProLie" should be "ProLife" although many will see my blunder as demeaning to the cause of life and truth.

Here's where I disagree with you. It's a systemic problem in American Catholicism, this being cordial and polite all the time. It is one of the reasons we have so many dissident Catholics. To avoid confrontation we use the excuse that we have to think the best of people. Yesterday I "talked" with an ex-priest (he married a nun and was removed from the priesthood) but he still thinks he's a priest, and he was disagreeing with all sorts of Vatican proclamations. Who's going to correct this guy and wait for him to fully understand the Church's teachings? Do we wait for someone else? Who? How long? In this guy's case it's been 40 years and a documentary has been done about him (John Dee, Minneapolis). He calls himself an "Independent Catholic." Uh, huh. There are MILLIONS of "Catholics" who do the same thing from the pew. I think American bishops have been trained not to be confrontational because they think "love" is being "nice." Well, that didn't stop St. Paul from chastising St. Peter publicity for all time (Galatians 2:10-12). Randall Terry is taking his cue from St. Paul. Except Randall Terry did it very nicely, in my opinion.

Let me take this one step further. There are how many Protestant divisions? And whose fault is that? I say it's the bishop’s fault, for not proclaiming the truth correctly, persistently, and in-your-face. Did our parents treat us nice all the time and refuse to correct us when we were wrong? Where does Matthe 18 play in al this about correction. Does Jesus say, “Well, just back off because they don’t understand it yet. Give them time. Be nice.” Hell no he doesn’t say that. He says CORRECT IT. And if it can’t happen privately, take it to the whole Church. I believe abortion is the result of the scandal of Christianity's separation. There is NO, NONE, ZERO – not ONE moral voice. There are 20,000. Christianity is a text book example of moral relativism. It's fragmented and the world laughs at us. (c.f. John 17 where Christ infers that our separation will result in the world NOT believing in Jesus as the son of God.) And it's the fault of every Catholic bishop who has NOT tried explicitly to correct the errors. American Catholics have been persecuted so much in America by historic anti-Catholic laws and bias that they are just quiet, and let the other side define what Christianity and Catholicism teaches. That, I think, is a sin. Bravo Randall Terry!

And I just hope there's not a typo here somewhere. (Irony intended.)

Mary said...

We pro-lifers MUST constantly remember:

"Be sober and alert! YOUR OPPONENT THE DEVIL is prowling around like a ROARING LION looking for someone to devour. Resist him, solid in your faith, knowing that believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings." 1Peter5:8,9

BEWARE - for UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL. We must be immersed in the TRUTH IN LOVE, with the Holy Father and the authentic Magesterium.

We are sinners also, and the devil knows exactly where to strike us - our own ego is the surest place. So we must be VERY careful that what we do is done with PURITY OF INTENTION FOR LOVE and the GLORY OF GOD ALONE. Then we do love our neighbor as ourselves.

This is spiritual warfare, and the ends do not justify the means, so we have to pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to do HIS WORK, especially for the gifts of zeal tempered by prudence, so that we will not "be not wise in your own eyes..." Prv3:7. GOD RESISTS THE PROUD, AND THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO ACCEPTABLE PLEASING TO HIM UNLESS IT IS DONE IN TRUE HUMILITY AND LOVE.

BEWARE - THE DEVIL wants US MORE than the ones he already has, and his tactics include "divide and conquer," so that he can twist and use our very desire to do good to ENABLE the "party of death".

Is it not incredibly strange how THE DISCIPLES OF DEATH are so UNITED AND UNDIVIDED in the LIE?

(LIE = LIFE without the "F" for "the FEAR OF THE LORD, which is the beginning of WISDOM.")


Kevin Symonds said...

Never liked Randall Terry. The man has indeed some damage. His scandal last year at the Democratic National Convention should have been enough to warrant the man from being banned everywhere.

I know Archbishop Burke and this is an utter injustice brought to him.

Now, perhaps, people will turn their backs on Terry.