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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 16.12.2013]


Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press.


BURKE Card. Raymond Leo

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, was born on 30 June 1948 in Richland Center, Wisconsin, USA. He was the youngest of six children and attended high school and college at Holy Cross Seminary in La Crosse, Wisconsin, before becoming a Basselin scholar at the Catholic University of America in 1971.

He studied for the priesthood at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was ordained a priest by Pope Paul VI on 29 June 1975 in St. Peter’s Basilica. After his ordination, he returned to La Cross and served as associate rector at the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman and taught religion at the Aquinas High School.

In 1980, he returned to Rome and earned a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University. In 1984, he served as moderator of the curia and vice-chancellor of the diocese of La Crosse. In 1989, he was nominated defender of the bond of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.

On 10 December 1994 he was appointed bishop of La Crosse and received episcopal ordination on 6 January 1995 in St. Peter’s Basilica.

On 2 December 2003 he was appointed Archbishop of Saint Louis.

On 27 June 2008 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 20 November 2010, of the Deaconry of Sant’Agata de’Goti (Saint Agatha of the Goths).

Member of:

  • Secretariat of State (second section);
  • Congregations: for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; 
  • Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

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