The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Cardinal Burke corrects LifeSiteNews: ‘I have never worked with Steve Bannon’

In his new statement, Burke said he has met with Bannon “on occasion to discuss Catholic social teaching regarding certain political questions, but I have no part in his organization.”

Cardinal Raymond L. Burke leaving a papal audience to exchange Christmas greetings with members of the Roman Curia at the Vatican in this Dec. 22, 2016, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Rome, Italy, Jun 25, 2019 / 12:45 pm (CNA).- In a statement today, Cardinal Raymond Burke issued a correction to a now-removed LifeSiteNews article, which claimed that Burke was collaborating with former President Donald Trump advisor Steven Bannon on a film exposing homosexuality in the Vatican.

The film in question will be based off a book on the same subject by Frédéric Martel, entitled “In the Closet of the Vatican.”

“LifeSiteNews made no contact with me to verify my possible involvement,” Burke said in his June 25 statement. “Given the overall content of the article and given several statements made by Mr. Bannon in the article, I must make the following clear: I do not, in any way, agree with Mr. Bannon’s assessment of the book in question.”

“Furthermore, I am not at all of the mind that the book should be made into a film,” Burke added. “I disagree completely with a number of Mr. Bannon’s statements regarding the doctrine and discipline of the Roman Catholic Church.”

One of Burke’s main objections to Bannon’s assessment is his questioning of permanent celibacy for priests, which is “in accord with the example and desire of Christ, Head and Shepherd of the Church,” Burke noted.

The article, which has since been removed from LifeSiteNews, linked Burke with Bannon through their involvement in the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, of which Burke was named Honorary President several weeks ago.

Bannon, a well-known critic of Pope Francis, has been working with Dignitatis Humanae for several years, and has currently been working on building up a leadership training program and right-wing think tank within the institute for American and European Catholics, according to Reuters. Bannon also told Reuters that he is working on building up a populist national movement in Europe, in contrast to the European Union.

In September 2018, Burke told Reuters that he was looking forward to working with Bannon at the Institute to “to promote a number of projects that should make a decisive contribution to the defence of what used to be called Christendom.”

In his new statement, Burke clarified that he has “never worked with Mr. Bannon” in his populist nationalist organization, called The Movement, “and I am not presently doing so. I have met with him on occasion to discuss Catholic social teaching regarding certain political questions, but I have no part in his organization.”

“In meeting with him, as in meeting with other political leaders, I have tried to fulfill my mission as a priest to teach the faith and morals for the common good,” Burke said.

Burke said he stated concerns several times to other leaders at the Dignitatis Humanae Institute that it had strayed too far from its original work, which was “to support Christians in public life who act with respect for the moral law and, therefore, promote the common good.”

“While I have urged the Institute to return to its original purpose, it has not done so, as is evident in its involvement with this latest initiative of Mr. Bannon,” Burke said.

“I have, therefore, effective immediately, terminated any relationship with the Dignitatis Humanae Institute,” he concluded.


If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


About Catholic News Agency 281 Articles
Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)

9 Comments

  1. Why is this even a “news” story? It seems ideological, aimed at demonizing life site. Though this doesn’t surprise me coming from establishment media CNA. How about instead of “news” like this, cna spent time doing stories on the revelations about cardinal bernardin, who turns out to be another mccarrick, or mons. walter rossi of the national shrine, etc,?

    • “Why is this even a “news” story?”

      Because it’s news. About a Cardinal. Making a significant public statement. Etc.

      “It seems ideological, aimed at demonizing life site.”

      Is there anything in the piece that is not factual?

      “Though this doesn’t surprise me coming from establishment media CNA.”

      That’s rather funny. Is that the same “establishment media” that left-wing and progressive sites denounce as “ideological” and “right-wing” and “extreme”?

      CNA is, of course, separate from CWR, but one reason CWR runs the CNA news pieces is because they have a proven record of being responsible and professional in how they report stories and how they approach rumors and unsubstantiated assertions. LifeSiteNews would do well to learn a few lessons in that regard.

      • Come now, the headline “cardinal corrects lifesitenews” is not a charged one aimed at highlighting life site? There are other less sensational, and perhaps more accurate headlines that could have been used. Life site has now explained why they did not contact Burke. They admitted to something and retracted the piece. Sometimes people make mistakes. If you’re claiming lifesite has a track record of not being factual, etc., I trust you have the many examples to back it up? CNA is establishment in terms of catholic media, as they don’t do much investigative journalism and want to remain on the good side of bishops, and so don’t do too much to expose problems or dig too deep. I cited two examples, which are not just assertion or rumor, e.g., one of them stems from documents from the secret archives of the Arch. of Chicago, the other involves, among other things, statements from Archbishop Vigano, with reference to documents that would be on file at the nunciature, something that could be pursued.

        • “There are other less sensational, and perhaps more accurate headlines that could have been used.”

          This is funny from a man who was just calling for sensational smear stories about Cardinal Bernardin, aka “another McCarrick.” It’s only ‘sensational’ if it attacks someone you politically agree with, I guess.

          • I am not calling for stories I was merely pointing them out. The latest substantial revelation comes from materials gained- apparently by an internal whistle-blower- from the secret archive of the arch. of Chicago, with accounts/allegations going back decades, of Berardin having sexual encounters with minors and adults. This includes complaints sent to the apostolic nuncio, which also means higher ups were made aware of it and nothing was done. Sound familiar? These docs have now also been turned over to civil authorities, so no one is making it up or bluffing. Also, the same victim of mccarrick that led to his downfall, now also publicly says bernardin did the same to him, and in Mccarrick’s presence! Your reaction is the same that was done regarding mccarrick initially- oh, that’s just gossip, that’s a smear, it’s only rumor. If you want to dismiss these things or call victims liars, that’s on your conscience. And we can be sure, just like with Mccarrick, this is the tip of the iceberg.

      • I agree with your comments about LifeSiteNews, but it would be truly news if CNA used the phrase “left wing” a single time in any of their reporting. The fact that they do not is indicative of their own blind spot.

    • Cool your overly touchy jets, David. No serious person would construe this article as an attack on Lifesite. Actually the article is doing a service to Cardinal Burke, since he was the one falsely accused by a short lived Lifesite story. Lifesite simply got something wrong, as we all do from time to time, and this site is helping to correct a wrong. Don’t try to pit one part of the Catholic media against another as some Catholic web sites try to do. We are all on the same side.

  2. To be honest, Bannon is bad news. His meddling cost the GOP a senate seat in Alabama. Even populist politicians in Europe are wary of him.

    His Eminence Cardinal Burke did the right thing.

  3. LifeSite does some good work but they are far too sloppy. This is an important story because readers would have been misled. Here’s the key paragraph: “LifeSiteNews made no contact with me to verify my possible involvement,” Burke said in his June 25 statement. “Given the overall content of the article and given several statements made by Mr. Bannon in the article, I must make the following clear: I do not, in any way, agree with Mr. Bannon’s assessment of the book in question.” It’s a cardinal rule in journalism to at least ask for a response. Frankly I’m glad he’s not working with Banon.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Cardinal Burke corrects LifeSiteNews: ‘I have never worked with Steve Bannon’ -

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.


*