By BETSY TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer
January 22, 2008
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A Roman Catholic archbishop said Tuesday that he will ask officials of Saint Louis University to take "appropriate action" against its basketball coach, who said in a television interview that he supports abortion rights.
One of the game's winningest coaches, Rick Majerus made the comment at a weekend rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.
St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke declined to say what the action against Majerus should be, saying that was a decision for the Jesuit university. But he said the coach is a leader and shouldn't support views in opposition to church teaching.
"I'm concerned that a leader at a Catholic university made these comments. It can lead Catholics astray," Burke said by telephone as he attended March for Life anti-abortion events in Washington. "I just believe that it's of the essence for people to understand as a Catholic you just cannot hold these beliefs."
Burke said he will seek to speak with university president Rev. Lawrence Biondi, or a representative, when he returns to St. Louis.
During an interview with KMOV-TV at Saturday's Clinton rally in suburban St. Louis, the first-year Billikens coach identified himself as a Catholic and called himself pro-choice. At first when asked for his views on abortion, he said he didn't want to "go there," but then said he is personally "pro-choice."
Saint Louis University spokesman Clayton Berry said Majerus was at the rally as an individual, not as a representative of the school.