Archbishop Raymond Burke said he had to oppose the upcoming benefit concert for a local Catholic hospital that features musician and abortion activist Sheryl Crow out of pastoral necessity.
“As the shepherd of this archdiocese, I am required to address an issue that could call into question in the minds of the faithful the commitment of the medical center and the archdiocese to the cause of life,” he said.
Sheryl Crow is scheduled to perform at the April 28 benefit for SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. The benefit is organized by the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation. The management and the executives of the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center did not plan the event.
“Ms. Crow is well-known as an abortion activist,” the archbishop said at a press conference yesterday. “She has lent her celebrity status to the promotion of legislation, such as Missouri’s Amendment 2, that creates legal protection for human cloning and the destruction of human beings who are embryos.
“Her appearance at a fundraising event for Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center is an affront to the identity and mission of the medical center, dedicated as it is to the service of life and Christ’s healing mission,” he said.
Crow’s performance for the SSM Cardinal Glennon Medical Center is contrary to the identity and mission of the Catholic institution, said a press release issued by the diocese. In addition, the Church sees the action as giving scandal, which is defined as “an attitude or behavior which leads another to evil”. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2284)
The archbishop said he attempted to settle the matter with the foundation board. But when the board said it would not address the issue, the archbishop said, it became “necessary that I carry out my pastoral responsibility to clarify the matter.”
“When, for economic gain, a Catholic institution associates itself with such a high profile proponent of the destruction of innocent lives, members of the Church and other people of good will have the right to be confirmed in their commitment to the Gospel of Life,” said the archbishop.
The archbishop has asked the foundation to remove his name from any materials promoting the event, and has resigned as Chairman of the Board.
“I want to express my understanding and compassion for the members of the Board of Governors of the foundation who did not recognize the seriousness of this matter,” the archbishop continued.
“I want to assure the management and employees of Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital of my continued admiration and support for the wonderful treatment provided at our excellent children’s medical center,” he added. “I cannot say enough about their commitment to the lives and health of the children they serve.”
The archdiocese founded the medical center that is now owned by the Franciscan Sisters of Mary. Over the past 10 years, the archdiocese has contributed more than $3 million through the center’s annual campaign and the Fleur de Lis Ball.
In addition to the press release, the archdiocese also released a list of common questions and answers as well as a video clip (please see link below) from the archbishop to clarify the issues surrounding Sheryl Crow’s anti-life stances and pending performance.