Cardinal Raymond Burke, head of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest court at the Vatican, said in a recent interview that President Barack Obama’s policies “have become progressively more hostile toward Christian civilization.”
As CNS News reports, the Vatican’s chief justice stated that Obama would like to restrict religious freedom, outside of a place of worship, and force an individual “to act against his rightly-formed conscience, even in the most serious of moral questions.”
Burke, who is the former archbishop of St. Louis, was asked by Polish publication Polonia Christiana magazine about Obama’s policies toward Christian civilization. The interview was republished in English at LifeSiteNews.
“It is true that the policies of the president of the United States of America have become progressively more hostile toward Christian civilization,” Burke said. “He appears to be a totally secularized man who aggressively promotes anti-life and anti-family policies.”
“Now [Obama] wants to restrict the exercise of the freedom of religion to freedom of worship,” the cardinal continued.
That is, he holds that one is free to act according to his conscience within the confines of his place of worship but that, once the person leaves the place of worship, the government can constrain him to act against his rightly-formed conscience, even in the most serious of moral questions.
One of the arguments brought to the Supreme Court against the HHS mandate is that its requirement that individuals and businesses provide employees with health insurance that offers free contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs violates the First Amendment liberty of employers who may object to these practices due to their faith.
“Such policies would have been unimaginable in the United States even 40 years ago,” said Burke. “It is true that many faithful Catholics, with strong and clear leadership from their Bishops and priests, are reacting against the ever-growing religious persecution in the U.S.”
However, Burke added that it appears that much of the population is not aware of what is happening in the country.
“In a democracy, such a lack of awareness is deadly,” he said. “It leads to the loss of the freedom, which a democratic government exists to protect.”
“It is my hope that more and more of my fellow citizens, as they realize what is happening, will insist on electing leaders who respect the truth of the moral law as it is respected in the founding principles of our nation,” Burke added.
Obama is scheduled to visit Pope Francis for the first time on Thursday, March 27, at the Vatican.
According to CNN, a White House news release stated, “The President looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality.”