Raymond Burke's Greatest Fits: Recalling the Lowlights of the Vatican's Newest Cardinal

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Jay Bevenour
Rev. Raymond Burke
Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI promoted former St. Louis archbishop Raymond Burke to the rank of cardinal -- the fourth-highest status in the Catholic church.

In honor of Burke's ascension up the hierarchy, here are a few of the cardinal's actions over the years that were "rightly the source of the greatest scandal." 

  • Demanded that Saint Louis University basketball coach Rick Majerus be "disciplined" for expressing his support of stem-cell research.

  • Made headlines in 2004 when he said he would deny communion to presidential candidate John Kerry for being pro-choice. 

  • Made headlines again in 2009 when he scolded University of Notre Dame for giving President Barack Obama an honorary degree. Said Burke: "The proposed granting of an honorary doctorate at Notre Dame University to our president, who is so aggressively advancing an anti-life and anti-family agenda, is rightly the source of the greatest scandal."

  • And finally, during his time as bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin, in the early 2000s, Burke kept hidden the names of priests known to have been sexually abusive, denied requests to set up a victims' fund and allowed several priests to remain clerics in good standing long after allegations of their sexual misconduct had been proven. 

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