By Christopher Lamb
(La Stampa) Donald Trump was “undoubtedly” preferable to Hillary Clinton due to
her stance on abortion while the new president will be well-placed to
tackle government corruption, according to Cardinal Raymond Burke.
The cardinal, a leading conservative figure in the United States,
said that care for refugees and the poor were important but do not carry
the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia: Trump has said he is
pro-life while Clinton supports legal terminations.
Pope Francis, however, has made care for outcasts a central part of
his papacy and questioned the president-elect’s Christian faith after he
proposed building a wall between the United States and Mexico to
prevent migrants crossing the border.
During the 2004 presidential campaign Cardinal Burke, a former
Archbishop of St Louis, Missouri, said he would deny communion to John
Kerry and other pro-abortion Catholic politicians.
In an interview originally reported in The Tablet
the cardinal, now Patron of the Order of Malta and based in Rome, talks about the United States’ election results.
What is Your Eminence’s reaction to Donald Trump’s election?
I am very happy that my fellow Americans have chosen a new President,
and given him a strong mandate to address resolutely the corruption
that has beset the federal government in recent years. I pray that Our
Blessed Lord bestows on President-elect Trump all the graces necessary
for him to fulfil this mandate for the true promotion of the Common
Good. It is my hope that my homeland will soon be united again, so that
we can work for the good of all.
Was President-elect Trump a preferable candidate to Secretary Clinton given her support for late term abortion?
President-elect Trump holds positions that would
be harmful to migrants and other vulnerable groups and has been accused
of committing indecent acts against women. But he said he was pro-life
on the abortion question. Is a political candidate who is anti-abortion
preferable even if he holds policies contrary to other elements of
Catholic teaching and has been accused of indecent behaviour?
Firstly, to be accused of something is not the same thing as to be
guilty of it. Secondly, abortion is the systematic murder of human
beings at their most vulnerable stage of development — we need to
remember that. Thirdly, we do need to draw a distinction between a
migrant and a refugee. How many economical migrants a country accepts is
a prudential matter, about which people in good faith are free to
disagree. One’s heart must always be open to the genuine refugee,
fleeing death, terror and persecution however.
In your given example, I do not see any moral equivalence between
abortion, and the welfare of migrants. I hope it is obvious that I think
migrants, made in the image and likeness of God like you and me, should
be treated with every care and respect. But to put the two issues on
the same plane is simply wrong (as the Church clearly teaches)... (continued)