In a statement Tuesday, Cardinal Raymond Burke issued a correction to a now-removed LifeSiteNews article, which claimed that Burke was collaborating with former President Donald Trump advisor Stephen Bannon on a film exposing homosexuality in the Vatican.
The film in question will be based off a book on the same subject by Frédéric Martel, entitled “In the Closet of the Vatican.”
“LifeSiteNews made no contact with me to verify my possible involvement,” Burke said in his June 25 statement. “Given the overall content of the article and given several statements made by Mr. Bannon in the article, I must make the following clear: I do not, in any way, agree with Mr. Bannon’s assessment of the book in question.”
“Furthermore, I am not at all of the mind that the book should be made into a film,” Burke added. “I disagree completely with a number of Mr. Bannon’s statements regarding the doctrine and discipline of the Roman Catholic Church.”
One of Burke’s main objections to Bannon’s assessment is his questioning of permanent celibacy for priests, which is “in accord with the example and desire of Christ, Head and Shepherd of the Church,” Burke noted.
The article, which has since been removed from LifeSiteNews, linked Burke with Bannon through their involvement in the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, of which Burke was named Honorary President several weeks ago.
Bannon, a well-known critic of Pope Francis, has been working with Dignitatis Humanae for several years, and has currently been working on building up a leadership training program and right-wing think tank within the institute for American and European Catholics, according to Reuters. Bannon also told Reuters that he is working on building up a populist national movement in Europe, in contrast to the European Union.
In September 2018, Burke told Reuters that he was looking forward to working with Bannon at the Institute to “to promote a number of projects that should make a decisive contribution to the defence of what used to be called Christendom.”
In his new statement, Burke clarified that he has “never worked with Mr. Bannon” in his populist nationalist organization, called The Movement, “and I am not presently doing so. I have met with him on occasion to discuss Catholic social teaching regarding certain political questions, but I have no part in his organization.”
“In meeting with him, as in meeting with other political leaders, I have tried to fulfill my mission as a priest to teach the faith and morals for the common good,” Burke said.
Burke said he stated concerns several times to other leaders at the Dignitatis Humanae Institute that it had strayed too far from its original work, which was “to support Christians in public life who act with respect for the moral law and, therefore, promote the common good.”
“While I have urged the Institute to return to its original purpose, it has not done so, as is evident in its involvement with this latest initiative of Mr. Bannon,” Burke said.
“I have, therefore, effective immediately, terminated any relationship with the Dignitatis Humanae Institute,” he concluded.