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Each state in U.S should convene grand juries on Catholic priest sex abuse.
It’s a moral catastrophe.
“I wasn’t shocked. Not at all,” said Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, a devout Catholic and mother of five responding to a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing the sexual abuse of 1,000 young people at the hands of hundreds of Catholic priests.
“I think every state should convene a grand jury into this culture of secrecy that protected offenders at all costs,” said Burke, who was once interim chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops study on nationwide clerical sexual abuse in 2002.
“It was happening in Chicago, but we had to rely on files the bishops were willing to give us — and we knew there had to be more, but we had no subpoena powers,” said Burke. “We had no government authority!”
“We did a lot of research, but a lot was kept from us and we knew it,” she said.
“And shockingly, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops charter our National Review Board was appointed under did NOT include investigating the BISHOPS! Or even penalizing the bishops or Cardinals for transferring these priests,” she said.
“But we did report bishops were transferring priests from parish to parish and diocese to diocese knowing they had a history of abuse.
“One member of our board, Dr. Michael Bland, a former priest and a psychologist, had also been a victim of abuse by a priest.
“It was the nature of the culture to protect these priests back then, and I was stunned when I found out Cardinal Francis George had a priest from another diocese living at the Cardinal’s Mansion who had pled guilty to abusing a minor in another state before he became a priest.
“I was told the man had been a teacher at a Catholic boys school. I even talked to Cardinal George about it!”
“George had hired him to be a language translator in the diocese!”
“It took two years to pull our report together, and we hired Chicago’s former FBI chief Kathleen McChesney, who was the third-highest ranking FBI agent in the U.S. at the time, to open an office of child and youth protection for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“Finally … at last … government authorities, like those in Pennsylvania, are getting involved in investigation of this criminal activity.
“But because trust has been so eroded due to the way the church has handled what is definitely a moral catastrophe, the just announced U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops plan to restore trust will fail if it’s not independent and if they only choose the experts, laity and the Vatican,” she said.
“They will be sadly mistaken not to involve the expertise, authority and independence of a grand jury to open secret files in order to restore the trust and healing the church so desperately needs.”
Source : https://bit.ly/2OnXCkR