Last Friday, Raymond Arroyo interviewed Cardinal Raymond Burke, the chief justice of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura for EWTN’s World Over.
The former St. Louis archbishop, said that the Obama administration’s controversial decision to move the US Embassy to The Holy See, last month, was “not surprising,” because of “the way the present administration treats the Catholic Church in general.”
He characterized the HHS contraception mandate, “a disaster on conscience rights” and “an absolute contradiction of the founding principles of this nation.”
Via Human Events:
Arroyo asked Cardinal Burke: “The question is, does that [the embassy relocation] in any way–is the perception, and I’ve been speaking to some of the former Vatican ambassadors and they are concerned about the perception of the message this sends to the Holy See, that somehow the United States does not think you [the Vatican] are worthy of having a stand-alone embassy any longer.”
Cardinal Burke said: “Well, it does give that impression, to be honest. But I have to say, given the way the present administration treats the Catholic Church in general, that wouldn’t surprise me too much.”
Then the cardinal turned to the Obamacare mandate saying: “This whole disaster on conscience rights and so forth–“Arroyo: “The HHS mandate, contraception mandate, in the health-care law.”
Cardinal Burke: “The whole question, the idea that, yes, you can have freedom of religion but it’s reduced now to freedom of worship, you can do whatever you want in the four walls of your church but, beyond that, what you believe in the depth of your heart is of no importance to the government of the United States of America–which, by the way, is an absolute contradiction of the founding principles of this nation. That the nation doesn’t care anymore, or the government, I should say, about this relationship [with the Vatican], I could believe it.”
Under the Obamacare contraception mandate, issued as a regulation by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), nearly all health insurance plans must provide coverage, without fees or co-pay, for contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs. Only churches themselves, religious orders and the immediate auxiliaries of churches are fully exempt from the regulation.
The comments begin at the 27:00 mark in this video. To hear the Cardinal’s thoughts on Pope Francis, start at the beginning.
On Monday, Pope Francis announced changes in the Vatican office that evaluates and nominates candidates for bishops around the world.
Some members of the congregation were not reconfirmed – including Cardinal Raymond Burke. He will retain his position as the head of the Vatican high court, the Apostolic Signatura.