NORWALK – Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Vatican’s Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, the church’s highest court, celebrated a Pontifical Low Mass May 10 at St. Mary Parish for members of the Gospel of Life Society.
Cardinal Burke devoted his homily to what St. John Paul II called “the culture of life,” referring to the late pope’s encyclical “Evangelium Vitae” as one of the greatest gifts of his pontificate.''
He urged the pro-life faithful to continue daily prayer and participation in the sacramental life of the church in support of the defenseless and vulnerable, especially against abortion, euthanasia, artificial generation of human life and destruction of human embryos.
One of the world’s foremost authorities on canon law, Cardinal Burke was invited to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass by Father Greg J. Markey, pastor. Father Markey celebrates a monthly pro-life Mass for the society at 9 a.m. on the second Saturday of the month at St. Mary Church.
The cardinal, who lives in Rome and was in the United States to attend a regional conference of the Canon Law Society of America in Baltimore, supported the parish’s recent $1.6-million renovation of the church with a letter of endorsement that was sent to parishioners.
He has also been a supporter of the traditional Latin Mass, now known as the extraordinary form, that was renewed when Pope Benedict issued his 2007 apostolic letter “Summorum Pontificum,” allowing priests to offer the Tridentine Mass without special permission from their bishops.
A native of Wisconsin, Cardinal Burke previously served as bishop of La Cross, Wis., and archbishop of St. Louis, Mo.
In 2008, when Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as the first American to head the tribunal, he became the second-highest ranking American prelate at the Vatican after Cardinal William Levada, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2010.
Cardinal Burke has been outspoken against the distribution of Communion to pro-abortion politicians.
The Gospel of Life Society has people from throughout Connecticut and beyond as members.