Expert Weighs In With Heavy Words On Lack of Progress

“The Scandal Continues: Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis,” by Anne M. Burke, U.S. Catholic, April 27, 2011

Burke is an Illinois Supreme Court Justice who served as interim chair of the National Review Board, the board of lay Catholics that was charged by the U.S. bishops to oversee their compliance with the reforms they had pledged to institute in response to the sex abuse crisis. This essay is an excerpt from her March 23, 2010 speech at St. Xavier University in Chicago.

“Thomas Jefferson put it best: Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom. I would be curious now as to how the cardinals of the United States view the archbishop of Philadelphia’s behavior? And what of the behavior of his predecessor, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua?”

3 thoughts on “Expert Weighs In With Heavy Words On Lack of Progress

  1. I wonder if The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue will label The Honorable Justice Burke as a dissentient as they and he have the many lay reformers and reformer organizations pushing hard to get our messages out about protecting children and reforming our church. The voices of good decent Catholics should not be disparaged in our quest for the truth and truthful, honest behavior by the Church we love.

    1. Does anyone who follows the Church’s sexual abuse crisis recognize Bill Donohue as a credible (albeit, unofficial) spokesman for the RCC?

      He is an educated man, but his arguments are seldom cogent. Has he ever persuaded anyone to change their mind on an issue? Who hired him, or does he own the organization?

  2. Justice Anne Burke continues a long-running campaign advocating truthfulness in Church matters. The truth of that statement in 2011 is a message in itself. Her article, drawing on her substantial experience, insight, and loyalty, also appears in the 4/29 Chicago Tribune with the headline:
    Abuse and the Catholic Church – Can the bishops ever be trusted?,0,4821972.story

    We know the Cardinal swore an oath to God and Pope “not to reveal to any one what is confided to me in secret, nor to divulge what may bring harm or dishonor to Holy Church.”

    Dishonor can hardly be avoided in unraveling the abuse coverup tradition. His subordinate clergy are bound to obedience to him and, with very few exceptions, appear to honor that obligation. The courage and virtue needed to meet higher obligations seem rare. Thus, the question: Can the bishops [and others] ever be trusted?” If not, what does your superb, long-needed effort aim for? Whose response would you trust?

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