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Born on June 30, 1948 in Richland Center, Wisconsin, Raymond Leo Burke attended Holy Cross Seminary in La Crosse, Wisconsin, the Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained a priest by Pope Paul VI in 1975.

In 1984, Fr. Burke obtained his Ph.D in canon law. In 1994, Pope John Paul II ordained and named him Bishop of La Crosse, where he served nine years and where he founded the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In 2003, Bishop Burke became Archbishop of St. Louis where he served four years, and in 2006, he welcomed the AHC to establish its headquarters there.

In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Burke Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, of which he was already a member, and President of the Supreme Court of the Vatican City State.

In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI named him a Cardinal and appointed him Cardinal-Deacon of Sant’Agrat dei Goti. After his elevation to the College of Cardinals, the Holy Father appointed Cardinal Burke as a member of the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, and in 2011, a member of the Council of Cardinals and Bishops of the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State.