According to yesteday’s New York Times, Archbishop Raymond Burke has asked St. Louis University officials to take “appropriate action” against head basketball coach Rick Majerus, who told a reporter while attending a Hillary Clinton rally over the weekend he’s pro-abortion and supports “stem cell research,” which to me can only mean human embryo experimentation in light of the context of the reporter’s question, unless he clarifies (click on graphic for link):
According to the NYT, Burke responded, from the March for Life, coincidentally:
“I’m concerned that a leader at a Catholic university made these comments…. It can lead Catholics astray. I just believe that it’s of the essence for people to understand as a Catholic you just cannot hold these beliefs.”
At this point, it appears SLU is snubbing Burke. The USA Today blog says spokesperson Jeff Fowler responded:
“Rick’s comments were his own personal view. They were made at an event he did not attend as a university representative. It was his own personal visit to the rally. The comments were his, he was not speaking for the university in whatever comments he made to Channel 4.”
I disagree. As columnist Bill Pollack queried, “Would the coach of Army or the Naval Academy ever speak out against the war in Iraq?”
Added Burke to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“When you hold a position in a Catholic university, you don’t have to embrace everything the Catholic church teaches. But you can’t make statements which call into question the identity and mission of the Catholic church…. You can’t have a Catholic university with one of its prominent staff making declarations” in conflict with the church.
Pollack also wrote, “I’ve always found it ironic that he dresses like a priest, sans the collar.”
Not surprisingly, idiots are calling this a free speech issue, which it is not. We have the right, as U.S. citizens, to free speech, but not as employees. It is grounds for termination of an employee, particularly in a leadership position, to countermand his or her employer.
Will Majerus be disciplined? I think not, although Burke is one tough pro-life cookie, so I hope I’m wrong. The guy should be fired. He’s paid to influence young men to perform at their peak in all aspects, not just physically. He cannot possibly do that with a pro-abortion stance. That’s one very important indicator of a messed up mentor.