Illinois Supreme Court Justice Says Government, Not Church, Should Investigate Catholic Sex Abuse

Aug 24, 2018

By Brian Mackey

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke is calling for a new investigation into sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Church authorities are doing just that, but Burke says the matter cannot be left to the Catholic hierarchy.

Burke is a lifelong Catholic who was part of the 2002 National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People.

She says the ongoing revelations about sex abuse by priests — including last week’s grand jury report in Pennsylvania — show it’s time for government authorities to investigate, not the church.

“If they had only done what we asked them to do — and what they asked us to do — was to find out how many offenders and how many victims there were,” Burke said Friday in a telephone interview. “But they withheld. They withheld the information. It’s obvious.”

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13 comments on “Illinois Supreme Court Justice Says Government, Not Church, Should Investigate Catholic Sex Abuse

  • @OP – Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke is calling for a new investigation into sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Church authorities are doing just that, but Burke says the matter cannot be left to the Catholic hierarchy.

    I think that the church has shown beyond all reasonable doubt, that it is unfit to carry out honest and competent investigations, because of conficts of interest, and its fundamental processes of “faith/wish-thinking”, which allow it to reach conclusions based on preconceptions of “religious goodness”!



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  • “And I’m angry that the people who were entrusted with the
    administration of our religion — just the administration of it — have
    failed us.”

    A applaud Judge Burke for finally stepping up, but I take issue with her reference to “the administration” of her professed religion.

    This is about felonies–clear and documented felonies. It should never have been delegated to a branch of a religious organization to be addressed and corrected.



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  • 13:47
    The victims of clerical abuse who met with Pope Francis yesterday have spoken about their time with him.
    He was “taken aback” and “shocked” upon hearing about mother and baby homes and had “no idea” what a Magdalene laundry was, according to one of the survivors present.



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  • Olgun #4
    Aug 26, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    13:47
    He was “taken aback” and “shocked” upon hearing about mother and baby homes and had “no idea” what a Magdalene laundry was,
    according to one of the survivors present.

    . . . . . . but had not seen this lack of knowledge or investigation, as an indication of his lack of research into the issues before preaching about them, impediment to calling for forgiveness of the perpetrators, – or demonstating any need to stop the RCC obstruction of compensation claims which is happening in various countries!



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  • Olgun #4
    Alan4discussion #6

    Given the time — at least seventy years — in which the relevant criminal activity was going on, it is astonishing how dilatory, how unconcerned, the Vatican has been all along about getting to the bottom of the problem and ensuring that justice and healing were applied. Pope Francis can be as taken aback and as shocked as he may affect, but there is no excuse for his ignorance. He has still not acknowledged the basic problem, which is the church’s (and his own) priority to serve the institutional church’s interests before anyone else’s, and, given the nature and character of the Catholic Church, this will not change. And so we see Pope Francis, that agreeable chap, doing the public-relations stunts for which he was elected. He brings nothing to Ireland that will make any real difference, unless he is prepared to surrender papal and Vatican sovereignty. (Internal affairs in the Vatican would ensure that he would die before such a step could even be mentioned in public.)

    Irish Catholics in any case have already started taking the action they need to take, by dissociating themselves from the church.



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  • Garrick #7
    Aug 27, 2018 at 3:26 am

    , it is astonishing how dilatory, how unconcerned, the Vatican has been all along about getting to the bottom of the problem
    and ensuring that justice and healing were applied.
    Pope Francis can be as taken aback and as shocked as he may affect,
    but there is no excuse for his ignorance.

    I think this is “convenient ignorance”!

    It has been demonstrated in numerous posts from theists on this RDFS site, that while they may grudgingly accept points made challenging their views, by the time they comment in the next discussion, or even later in the same discussion, they have “pressed the reset button in their brains”, casually sidelined the key points, and reveted to the core indoctrinations “that their religion is all things good and wonderful”.
    A few “No True Scotsman” fallacies and it is “all fixed and reset” while they get on with promoting the spread of their religious memes!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45318100

    Pope Francis has refused to respond to claims by a former Vatican diplomat, who has called for him to resign.

    Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano also accused him of covering up allegations of sexual abuse by a US cardinal.

    The Pope was asked about the accusations by reporters on his flight back to Rome after this weekend’s Papal visit to Ireland.

    He said he would not say a single word in response to the 11-page letter from Archbishop Vigano.

    “I will say sincerely that I must say this, to you,” he said, when asked by a journalist about the letter, “and all of you who are interested:
    Read the document carefully and judge it for yourselves.

    “I will not say one word on this. I think the statement speaks for itself.”

    I see there is the standard assertion of “sincerity” – immediately before the disingenuous evasion of the issue and a refusal to confirm or deny the allegations!

    What does Archbishop Vigano allege?

    He says the pontiff knew about allegations of sex abuse by a prominent US cardinal for five years before accepting his resignation last month.

    Archbishop Vigano says he had told Pope Francis in 2013 that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had faced extensive accusations of sexually abusing lower-ranking seminarians and priests.

    The Pope “knew from at least June 23 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator,” wrote Archbishop Vigano, adding that “he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end.”

    “Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them,” the letter says.

    He also says he wrote a memo to senior figures in the Vatican as early as 2006, warning that Theodore McCarrick was suspected of abusing adults at a seminary while he was a bishop in New Jersey between 1981 and 2001.

    McCarrick, now 88, resigned in disgrace in July.



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  • Garrick #7

    Pope Francis can be as taken aback and as shocked as he may affect,
    but there is no excuse for his ignorance.

    Yes, “affect” is indeed the correct verb to use here.

    We can now be quite sure that the “dear”, “sweet”, “kindly”, “simple” Pope Francis is a liar.

    He has now claimed a) that he cares deeply about the appalling abuses perpetrated by the Catholic church and b) that he had never heard about one of the worst and most publicised instances of them.

    One of those claims must be a lie.

    Either he cares – in which case that care would have led him to look into the matter enough to have known about the Laundries.

    Or he didn’t know about the Laundries – in which case he clearly doesn’t care enough to register even this, one of the most notorious and widely reported examples of the very abuses he claims to be so exercised and penitent about.

    The Catholic church is a vast, labyrinthine institution with a long history of greed, corruption and naked self-interest. For all the pious veneer, it is, at heart, as sincerely devoted to the pursuit of yet more wealth and power as any Trump or Putin regime. No way does it elect an ingenu to be its figurehead – not if it believes that ingenuousness to be sincere. The Pope is there to be the public face of the church, a kind of eye-candy, if you will: a figure they can wheel out to smile benignly at the world and drip honeyed words in order to undermine claims about the true nature of the institution he nominally leads.



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  • I see that 500,000 free tickets were issued (exclusively?) to the faithful for the papal mass in Phoenix Park, with cheering crowds of the “faith-fools” waving as the pope-mobile passed by!

    He has said:
    “I beg the Lord’s forgiveness for the scandal and betrayal felt by so many others in God’s family.
    I ask our Blessed Mother to intercede for healing of survivors. . . ”

    So” Mother Mary” is going to belatedly fix it for him with some “faith-healing”, while “The Lord” forgives him and his teams of abusers!!!

    The indoctrination must be strong in those who are prepared to swallow or applaud, this delusional pseudo-action!



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  • Alan #10

    I see that 500,000 free tickets were issued (exclusively?) to the
    faithful for the papal mass in Phoenix Park

    And yet, as with Trump’s inauguration, actual turnout was just a fraction of that – the linked article includes an aerial photo:

    https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/pope-francis-in-ireland/crowds-for-phoenix-park-mass-fall-well-below-expected-level-of-500000-37254339.html

    It does sound as if there were some logistical issues that contributed to the lower turnout, but it’s hard to imagine them making this huge a difference.



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  • Marco #11
    Aug 27, 2018 at 6:49 am

    It does sound as if there were some logistical issues that contributed to the lower turnout, but it’s hard to imagine them making this huge a difference.

    @your link:

    Some infirm people faced harsh weather conditions while some protesters were believed to have obtained tickets with no intention of attending

    Apparently his god sent some seriously heavy rain, which probably deterred more than just a few “infirm people”! 🙂

    Protesters, I would have expected to attend so they could be seen protesting!



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  • @#8 – Archbishop Vigano says he had told Pope Francis in 2013 that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had faced extensive accusations of sexually abusing lower-ranking seminarians and priests.

    The Pope “knew from at least June 23 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator,” wrote Archbishop Vigano, adding that “he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end.”

    “Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them,” the letter says.

    I see we now have a response to this letter!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45332850

    Catholic sex abuse: Pope critic Archbishop Vigano ‘in hiding’

    A former Vatican diplomat who accused the Pope of covering up reports of clerical sex abuse is lying low over fears for his safety, it is claimed.

    Similar claims that the archbishop is concerned about his safety were made by Edward Pentin of the conservative National Catholic Register.

    Journalist Marco Tosatti, who says he helped the archbishop draft his bombshell 11-page letter, which was published on Sunday, told the BBC:
    “I don’t know where he may be. He told me that he wanted to remain quiet.
    And at the moment, he’s not answering his phone.”




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