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Former St. Louis archbishop to be elevated to cardinal

Former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke at his installation Mass in 2004
(St. Louis Public Radio)
Former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke at his installation Mass in 2004

By AP / Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio

ST. LOUIS – The former Archbishop of St. Louis, Raymond Burke, will be elevated late next month to the College of Cardinals.

Burke, 62, is currently the head of the Vatican's highest legal authority. He will be one of the youngest Cardinals in the world when the elevation becomes official next month at a ceremony in Rome. The elevation makes Burke eligible to vote for a new Pope should the need arise.

"Cardinal-designate Burke's faithfulness and service to the Church have served the people of St. Louis well, and we proudly extend to him our congratulations, best wishes, and promise of prayerful support," said current Archbishop Robert Carlson in a statement.

However, not everyone was pleased with the news.

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said that Burke's record of dealing abuse cases while in St. Louis for four years was disappointing.

"During his tenure in St. Louis he repeatedly put kids at risk and imported predator priests from all across the country," Clohessy said, "Some he put in treatment facilities, others he put in parishes, though, with little or no warning to his flock." Burke is the fifth St. Louis Archbishop to be elevated to cardinal. The elevation will become official on November 20th.