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Raymond Leo Burke is the former Archbishop of St. Louis who currently serves as the highest ranking American clergyman in the Catholic Church, holding a position in the Vatican that is comparable to the Chief Justice of the United States.
He is a strong advocate of moral principles, such as pro-life and traditional marriage.
Fr. Burke was born June 30, 1948 in Richland Center, Wisconsin to Thomas and Marie Burke. He attended elementary school at St. Mary School in Richland Center, secondary school at St. Joseph School in Stratford and high school at Holy Cross Seminary in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Burke attended college at Catholic University of America in Washington. He studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was ordained to the priesthood by Pope Paul VI on June 29, 1975, at the Basilica of St. Peter.  Fr. Burke returned to Wisconsin as associate rector of the Cathedral of St. Joseph and teacher of religion at Aquinas High School in La Crosse. In 1980, Father Burke returned to Rome to study Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University. In 1989, Pope John Paul II named him Defender of the Bond of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the first American to hold this position on the Church’s highest court. Bishop Burke was ordained to the episcopacy by Pope John Paul II on January 6, 1995, at the Basilica of St. Peter and became Bishop for the Diocese of La Crosse on February 22, 1995.
Fr. Burke sent private letters to three local politicians advising them that they risked their spiritual wellbeing by not giving up their pro-abortion voting patterns. The letters were leaked to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and published with accompanying criticism. He proceeded to put additional concepts into practice. The following week, Fr. Burke published more letters in which he advised the Central Wisconsin HIV/AIDS Ministry to withdraw from an annual AIDS fundraising due to pro-homosexual groups participation. In a hail of criticism he said, "I have no regret whatsoever. It was my duty as bishop.... "  Shortly after, Bishop Burke was informed that he had been appointed Archbishop of St. Louis. He was appointed Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on June 27, 2008.
|“||“My greatest joy is to teach the faith and celebrate the Sacraments for the flock which God has entrusted to my pastoral care. Having been called by Christ to the priesthood, I am ever more humbled by the reality of the priestly life and ministry. At the same time, I am filled with confidence, because the ministry belongs to Christ Whom I, through no merit of mine, have the privilege to serve.”||”|
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- "‘Thou Hast Given Him Dominion:' God's Plan for Man Within Creation," Be (July-August, 2001), 8-10.
- "The Church and the Current Crisis in Rural America: A Time to Act," Catholic Rural Life, 41 (1999), No. 2, 4-7.
- "A Crisis in Rural America," America, 181 (1999), No. 13, 8-11.
- "Agricultural Ethic from the Perspective of the Christian Faith," Earth Ethics, 9 (1998), Nos. 3 & 4, 10-13.
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- "Doubt Concerning the Admission of Advocates Living in an Irregular Union to Patronise Marriage Cases in Diocesan Tribunals: Commentary." Forum 5 (1994), 49-55.
- "The Distinction of Personnel in Hierarchically-Related Tribunals." Studia canonica 28 (1994), 85-98.
- "Acta Tribunalium S. Sedis: Commentarium de responso in casu particulari de inidoneitate advocatorum qui in unione irregulari vivunt ad patrocinium in causis nullitatis matrimonii exercendum." Periodica de re canonica 82 (1993), 699-708.
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- Lack of Discretion of Judgment Because of Schizophrenia, Analecta Gregoriana, No. 238. Roma: Editrice Pontificia University, Gregoriana, 1986.
- On the Memorial of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, June 21, 2005
- On the Reorganization of the Archdiocesan Curia, June 4, 2005
- On the Pastoral Reorganization of the South City Deanery, Feb. 25, 2005
- On the Pastoral Reorganization of the Northeast County Deanery, Feb. 11, 2005
- On Our Civic Responsibility for the Common Good, Oct. 1, 2004
- On the Dignity of Human Life and Civic Responsibility, Nov. 23, 2003
- On the Christian Burial of the Dead, Nov. 2, 2000
- On the Celebration of Mass for Special Occasions or Special Gatherings or Associations of the Faithful, Especially on Saturdays and Sundays, June 7, 1997
- On the Preparation of the Jubilee Year 2000, Dec. 1, 1996