Thousands Rally to Support Cardinal Demoted by Vatican

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LifeSiteNews petition thanks Cardinal Burke “for being a strong and uncompromising voice in defense of the truths of life and the family."

“Many have tried to paint Cardinal Burke as a heartless conservative ‘villain,’” said LifeSiteNews managing director Steve Jalsevac. "Nothing could be further from the truth.

Nearly 20,000 Catholics have signed a petition in support of outspoken Cardinal Raymond Burke, just days after Pope Francis removed him from his influential Vatican post.

Launched by LifeSiteNews, a pro-life news agency, the petition thanks Burke “for being a strong and uncompromising voice in defense of the truths of life and the family."

“Many have tried to paint Cardinal Burke as a heartless conservative ‘villain,’” said LifeSiteNews managing director Steve Jalsevac. "Nothing could be further from the truth. Cardinal Burke is humble, gentle, and deeply compassionate, but - because he stands uncompromisingly for unpopular truths - he has often been ill-treated."

“The overwhelming response to our petition shows, however, that despite the best efforts of his enemies, Cardinal Burke remains a much-beloved figure to many everyday Catholics in the pews."

Burke is especially seen as a hero by the pro-life and pro-family movements. During the Vatican’s recent Extraordinary Synod on the Family, he unapologetically defended Catholic teachings on controversial issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.

“Among the cardinals of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Burke is the greatest defender of faith, life and family,” said John-Henry Westen, editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews.com.

Westen, who is also a co-founder of the influential pro-family group Voice of the Family, said it was "natural" for Catholics to “thank Burke and pledge to follow in his footsteps of speaking and living the truth in season and out of season. At a time when most reject sound doctrine he has shown himself willing to sacrifice all for the truth.”

Despite their disappointment with the demotion, pro-life and pro-family leaders have said that they are hopeful that Burke's new position will give him more freedom to speak on the important issues facing the Church and the world.

“Others may have more important posts in the church, but for Catholic families, Cardinal Burke is the leading defender of Catholic teaching, especially in matters relating to human sexuality,” said Voice of the Family co-founder John Smeaton, the Executive Director of the UK’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

“Lay Catholics are looking to this great apostle of the 21st century to continue his service to the Church and his ministry to our families."

The petition can be signed here.

About LifeSiteNews:

Founded in 1997, LifeSiteNews is one of the world's largest pro-life and pro-family news organizations. With reporters and contributors in10 countries on six continents, it is a vital resource for the promotion of traditional values around the globe.

LifeSiteNews' first-class reporting, insightful commentary, and other petitions can be found here at http://www.lifesitenews.com.

About Voice of the Family:
Voice of the Family is an international lay coalition of major pro-life and pro-family organizations that formed to offer expertise and resources to leaders of the church, the media, NGOs, and governments. Its membership includes 15 influential pro-life and pro-family groups from around the world. Its principles focus on changing the Culture of Death through sacramental marriage, opposition to contraception and abortion, and empowering parents.

Voice of the Family consists of 18 member organizations from eight nations on five continents. Members include Alfa Szövetség/Alpha Alliance, Campagne Québec-Vie, Campaign Life Catholics, Campaign Life Coalition Canada, Catholic Democrats, Catholic Voice, CENAP, Culture of Life Africa, European Life Network, Famiglia Domani, Family Life International NZ, Hnutí Pro život ČR, Human Life International (HLI), Liga pár páru ČR, LifeSiteNews.com, the National Association of Catholic Families (NACF), Profesionales por la Ética, and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).

Learn more about Voice of the Family at http://www.voiceofthefamily.info.

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Dustin Siggins
Voice of the Family
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