American Catholic Cardinal Cuts Ties With Group Linked to Steve Bannon

Cardinal Raymond Burke applauds during a news conference at the Italian Senate on Sept. 6, 2018, on the first anniversary of the death of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

A conservative American cardinal distanced himself Tuesday (June 25) from former White House adviser Steve Bannon and severed ties with a Bannon-linked institute that wants to train future populist leaders in Europe.

Cardinal Raymond Burke said in a statement that he was terminating his relationship with the Dignitatis Humanae Institute immediately because “it has become more identified with the political program of Mr. Bannon.” Burke had been its honorary president.

Bannon and the institute launched plans to establish an academy for future populists at a medieval monastery outside Rome. Italy’s government has blocked the project over what it said were unpaid concession fees and a failure to do necessary maintenance.

The final straw for Burke appears to have been a report on the conservative LifeSiteNews website Tuesday that Bannon hinted he was interested in making a film about the Vatican’s gay subculture, based on a book by gay French writer Frederic Martel.

The book, “In the Closet of the Vatican,” was released to great fanfare in February. In it, Martel exposed what he said was a vast community of gay but homophobic priests, monsignors and cardinals at the Holy See.

In his statement, Burke said he disagreed that Martel’s book should be made into a film and also disagreed with many of Bannon’s statements about the doctrine and discipline of the Catholic Church.

News reports have frequently painted Burke as Bannon’s point-person at the Vatican, a claim Burke appeared keen to quash Tuesday.

He said he met with Bannon on occasion, as he has with other political leaders, but did so only in his mission as a priest.

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Source: Religion News Service