A Scottish priest has been appointed to the Catholic Church's most senior doctrinal body in Rome where he will work in the department which was until recently run by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. Fr Patrick Burke, who is currently a Parish Priest in Stirlingshire will take up his post as an official in the Doctrinal Section of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in the Vatican this September. Last November the Congregation requested that Cardinal O'Brien release Fr Burke, to work in the Doctrinal Section of the CDF. Cardinal O'Brien, although very short of priests, acceded to the request which he considered was made for the good of the Church. Reacting to the news that Fr Burke will shortly take up this appointment, Cardinal Keith O'Brien said: "Having been approached by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with a request that Fr Patrick Burke contribute to their work, I gave my agreement in recognition of the universal needs of the Church. I wish Fr Patrick every good wish in his new Apostolate." Fr Patrick added: "It is an honour to have been asked to contribute to the work of the universal church in this way. My sadness at leaving my parishioners in Our Lady and St Ninian's in Bannockburn and Sacred Heart in Cowie, is tempered by excitement at the prospect of the new challenges which lie ahead. I am grateful to Cardinal O'Brien for his support and his willingness to release me from my current responsibilities in Scotland." Fr Burke studied Theology and Philosophy at St Andrews University before going on to the Scots College in Rome to study for the Priesthood. He completed degrees in Philosophy and Theology at the Gregorian University in Rome, and was ordained in 1991. After a period as a curate in West Lothian he returned to Rome to do a doctorate in Theology. During this second period in Rome he lived at the Teutonic College in the Vatican and it was there that he met Cardinal Ratzinger who came regularly to the College and who shared an interest in the theology of Karl Rahner on which Fr Burke was doing his doctorate. Fr Burke completed his doctorate in 1997 and his thesis was subsequently published by Fordham University Press in 2001 under the title Reinterpreting Rahner. Fr Patrick is also Chaplain to St Modan's High School in Stirling. Fr Burke was born in Zimbabwe and moved to Scotland in 1982, he is 40 years old and speaks German and Italian. He is currently Parish Priest of Our Lady and St Ninian's parish in Bannockburn in Stirlingshire and Editor of Faith (a journal of Catholic Theology). He will leave his parish at the beginning of September and take up his new position on 12 September 2005. He will also be stepping down as editor of Faith. Source: Scottish Catholic Media Office
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