Amid heightened tensions over ISIS-fueled terror attacks and anti-Muslim rhetoric, a prominent U.S. cardinal says Islam “wants to govern the world” and Americans must decide if they are going to reassert “the Christian origin of our own nation” in order to avoid that fate.
Cardinal Raymond Burke, a Rome-based prelate known as an outspoken conservative and critic of Pope Francis’ reformist approach, said in an interview on Wednesday (July 20) that Islam is “fundamentally a form of government.”
While Catholic teaching recognizes that all Abrahamic faiths worship the same God, Burke criticized Catholic leaders who, in an effort to be tolerant, have a tendency “to simply think that Islam is a religion like the Catholic faith or the Jewish faith.”
“That simply is not objectively the case,” he said.
Burke, who was once archbishop of St. Louis, stressed that he did not want to be “disrespectful” of Islam or “generate hostility.”
But he said he worries that many people do not understand that, in his view, “when they (Muslims) become the majority in any country they have the duty to submit the whole population to Shariah,” as the Islamic code of law is known.
The cardinal is a canon lawyer who headed the Vatican’s court system before Francis named him chaplain of the Knights of Malta, a Rome-based charitable order.
Burke was speaking by telephone from his home state of Wisconsin, where he was spending time this summer while doing interviews for a new book, “Hope for the World: To Unite All Things in Christ.” The book is an extended interview with a French journalist and it covers a range of often controversial topics.
Speaking to RNS, Burke said that individual Muslims “are lovely people” and can speak “in a very peaceful manner about questions of religion.”