Cardinal Raymond Burke, a former top Vatican official with ties to Steve Bannon, has reportedly distanced himself from the former White House staffer after he said many clergymen are gay and advocated for marriage among priests. According to BuzzFeed News, Burke wrote in a statement that he “disagree[ed] completely” with a number of Bannon’s views outlined in a LifeSite News article, which claimed Bannon sought to create a film exposing the prevalence of homosexuality in the church’s ranks. Burke denied ever working closely with Bannon in his organization, and said he only met with him “on occasion to discuss Catholic social teaching regarding certain political questions.” Burke, who was named the Honorary President of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, a right-wing think tank that has reportedly embraced some of Bannon's ideas, stated that he would be ending his relationship with the institute after he recognized that it was becoming “more and more identified with the political program of Mr. Bannon.”
The LifeSite News article, which was reportedly removed, recalled a meeting between Bannon and French journalist Frédéric Martel, who wrote a book about the “underground gay culture” at the Vatican. Martel told BuzzFeed that Bannon did endorse marriage among priests and agreed that many in the church were likely gay. The ex-Trump official reportedly endorsed changes in the church’s sexual rules so it could bring attention to “the important issue: China, Islam, immigration and so on.” Bannon reportedly did not respond to BuzzFeed’s request for comment.