Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke is calling on every state to conduct a grand jury investigation into predator priests in the Catholic Church.
After a damning grand jury report released by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court earlier this month found that over 300 predator priests sexually abused over a 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke is calling on every state to conduct a similar grand jury investigation into predator priests being protected by the Catholic Church.
Justice Burke, a devout Catholic who was once interim chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops study on nationwide clerical sexual abuse in 2002, is arguing that the government, and not the church, should be investigating predator priests and the church leaders protecting and enabling the predators.
Commenting on the Pennsylvania grand jury report, Burke told the Chicago Sun Times:
I wasn’t shocked. Not at all.
Noting the intolerable abuses within the church Burke opined:
I think every state should convene a grand jury into this culture of secrecy that protected offenders at all costs.
Commenting on her experience working on the 2002 U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops study on nationwide clerical sexual abuse, Burke said:
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.
We had no government authority!
We did a lot of research, but a lot was kept from us and we knew it. 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.
But we did report bishops were transferring priests from parish to parish and diocese to diocese knowing they had a history of abuse.
Reaffirming her commitment to secular, criminal investigations into church misconduct, Burke told NPR:
Only the civil authorities – who are solely disinterested, not convened by the church itself – can get to the bottom of how prevalent is this problem.
Justice Burke is right. Every state Supreme Court should convene a grand jury to investigate the Catholic Church. The numbers in the Pennsylvania report are horrific, but not surprising. It is a well established fact that the Catholic Church has been and continues to be riddled with predator priests that rape and sexually abuse children, using their supposed spiritual authority as church leaders to intimidate and bully their victims into silence.
Pennsylvania is not unique. Wherever there is a Catholic Church, there will be predator priests raping and abusing children, and church leaders willing to cover up those crimes in a vain attempt to preserve the reputation of a morally corrupt church.
Bottom line: Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke is calling on every state to conduct a grand jury investigation into predator priests and the Catholic Church. It’s a good idea. Secular authorities should begin investigating the crimes of the Catholic Church immediately.
Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke Calls For National Investigation Into Predator Priests (Image via Screen Grab)