Skip to comments.Washington Post: Archbishop Burke ‘Kicked Upstairs’ Because of Handling of Abuse Allegations
Posted on 04/28/2010 8:34:27 AM PDT by marshmallow
The web site of The Washington Post has published the astounding-- and completely unsupported-- claim that Archbishop Raymond Burke, former Archbishop of St. Louis and current Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, was kicked upstairs because of improper handling of sexual abuse allegations.
Some prelates acted in ways that constituted cover-ups, writes Anthony Stevens-Arroyo. Many of them have accepted blame for errors and made public statements of apology. Others, like Cardinal Law, formerly of Boston and Archbishop Burke, formerly of St. Louis, have been kicked upstairs to the Vatican. Not only have no apologies come directly from them, one wonders if such prelates might be liable for criminal action in the USA for obstruction of justice concerning the way they handled pedophilia cases.
Contrary to the reckless claim by Stevens-Arroyo, Cardinal Law-- who was indeed the subject of an investigation by law-enforcement officials in Massachusetts-- has apologized repeatedly for his mishandling of abuse cases. No responsible journalist or civil official has ever accused Archbishop Burke of obstruction of justice.
Washington Post article: Benedict Not to Blame
If ANYONE is aware of child sexual abuse in my State and they do no report it they're criminally liable. I suppose an argument could be made if the knowledge was gained as part of the Church Confessional, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
Why on Earth shouldn't these people be held to answer for what is a crime in all 50 States of the Union?
You should pose your question to the appropriate District Attorneys.
Perhaps I will. Thank you.
If ANYONE is aware of child sexual abuse in my State and they do no report it they're criminally liable.
Great question. Don't be surprised if you get castigated as being an official anti-Catholic bigot just for asking it.
Instead of 'kicking' these people 'upstairs', and I say this on the assumption that these accusations are founded, they should be defrocked and summarily turned over to the authorities for prosecution.
I have absolutely no patience or sympathy for child abusers and I have even less for those who by action or inaction enable them.
Uh-oh, you have used the word “defrocked.” Watch for the usual suspects to complain that you are using Anglican propaganda...
I'm not Catholic and have no idea what the proper terminology is. Apologies in advance are sent to anyone whom I may have offended with my ignorance.
Bunny Law is not at The Vatican. He is at a small church in Rome.
If anything, Burke was too strong. My sister lives in St. Louis, so I have second-hand information.
His speciality is canon law. He is in the place most suited to his skills.
Law was in fact, called to testify before a grand jury which was convened by the Massachusetts Attorney General to determine whether he would be prosecuted. However, the investigation did not lead to charges against leaders of the archdiocese. The Mass. Attorney general himself said that state laws on conspiracy, obstruction of justice and being an accessory to a crime would make it difficult to prosecute someone for putting another person in a position to commit a crime. Also, Massachusetts has no law requiring the reporting of a crime. In addition, the statute of limitations on some offenses had run out.
Law was then yanked and sent to Rome.
This is one of those cases where the demons throw one canard so outrageous that everyone accidentally injests the real poison:
Cardinal Law wasn’t moved upstairs at all. By ancient tradition, the Bishop of Rome (better known by his nickname, “the Pope”) is selected by the priests of Rome. Therefore, whenever ANYONE is made a papal elector (active cardinal), he is given the formal position as a pastor of a church in Rome. Usually cardinals have a much more critical job, such as being archbishop of a major arch-diocese, so a “parochial vicar” tends to the day-to-day duties of the parish. When Cardinal Law was relieved of his duties as Archbishop of Boston, he reverted to his role as pastor of his church in Rome... which just happened to be, by virtue of the prominence of Archdiocese of Boston, a very nice church.
But Law was relived of his duties, not “kicked upstairs.”
One thing to consider is that when many of these cases occured mandatory reporting laws were not in place. That being said no matter when these happened the church officials should have done the morally right thing and reported any suspected criminal acts to the proper authorities. As should all persons or institutions.
Cardinal Law was effectively demoted, even if that was not the intention - St. Mary Major is one of the Major Basilicas in Rome, but that's definitely a lower position than being a Cardinal Archbishop of a large archdiocese.
Abp (and surely soon to be Cdl.) Burke, on the other hand, was raised to the second highest judicial post in the Church (right below the Pope himself). That's no demotion. Beyond that, it could put him in a decision-making role if any of these cases come up in a canonical trial.
The Post's writer has not even a slight clue.
>> I’m not a ‘Catholic basher’ by any means but I simply do not understand how the laws, which are in virtually every US State, requiring ANYONE who knows about child sexual abuse to report it to the relevant authorities under pain of criminal punishment are not being applied to these people. <<
Catholic basher? Maybe not. But there is a very simple answer to your question:
Nearly all of these instances (better than 97%) occurred prior to 1990. When they occurred, there was no such law on the books. As a Catholic, I have grave issues with how the bishops handled these cases, because they turned to psychologists, instead of ancient canon law and the sacraments to deal with these cases. Psychology, particularly at the time, was not friendly to religion, in general.
The priests should have been removed from any and all pastoral duties, according to the canon laws first established by the Nicene Council, and availed of the graces of the sacrament of penance. Instead, following the advice of the lay psychologists, they were sent for treatment, until they were certified, “recovered;” Rather than treat their crimes as sins, they were treated as symptoms of evil.
Thanks very much for the information.
If that's true then I understand. However I believe that one has a moral obligation to report something as reprehensible as criminal child sexual abuse to the authorities whether one has a legal responsibility to do so or not.
While I don't presume to speak for the Almighty I can't imagine any circumstances where such behavior would please Him.
The priests should have been removed from any and all pastoral duties, according to the canon laws first established by the Nicene Council, and availed of the graces of the sacrament of penance. Instead, following the advice of the lay psychologists, they were sent for treatment, until they were certified, recovered; Rather than treat their crimes as sins, they were treated as symptoms of sickness (corrected per your post #18).
I've been saying virtually the same thing for years:
....Sin, confession, and church displine of the same is (or should be) an area inside of [the American bishops'] competence. What's telling isn't that the bishops received bad advice on how to act. What's telling is what authority the bishops recognized and sought out, when looking for advice...Moreso, I would accuse that the bishops have rejected scriptural authority in favor of (to modify your term) modern pshrinkology. They didn't define the issue (and it's treatment) as a sin problem to be repented of. They treated it as behavior modification....
-- Alex Murphy, April 2, 2008
I would have expected a religious order to recognize that raping a child is fundamentally a sinful behavior, before they would believe it to be aberrational behavior. It should be a warning sign to everyone that if a religious order looks to "the Psychs" for expert advice on dealing with known sinful behavior, instead of looking in their Bibles for solutions, they prove themselves to be scripturally deficient if not illiterate. "Religious" order, indeed!
We should not expect "psychological treatment" will end sinful behavior. That's what many bishops have believed, however, and look at what fruit it has yielded - $3,000,000,000 awarded in damages and settlements by Catholic dioceses within the United States alone.
The only thing that ends sinful behavior is repentance. Check your Bible if you don't believe me.
-- Alex Murphy, May 20, 2009
[Faithful Departed author Philip] Lawler points out that while less than five percent of American priests have been accused of sexual abuse, some two-thirds of our bishops were apparently complicit in cover-ups. The real scandal isn't the sick excesses of a few dozen pedophiles, or even the hundreds of priests who had affairs with teenage boys -- the bulk of abuse cases. No, according to Lawler, it is the malfeasance of wealthy, powerful, and evidently worldly men who fill the thrones -- but not the shoes -- of the apostles. In case after case, we read in their correspondence, in the records of their soulless, bureaucratic responses to victims of psychic torture and spiritual betrayal, these bishops' prime concern was to save the infrastructure, the bricks and mortar and mortgages. Ironically, their lack of a supernatural concern for souls is precisely what cost them so much money in the end.
-- excerpted from the "Inside Catholic" blog article and 'Catholic Caucus' thread Kneeling Before the World
....The thesis of this book, writes Lawler, is that the sex abuse scandal in American Catholicism was not only aggravated but actually caused by the willingness of church leaders to sacrifice the essential for the inessential; to build up the human institution even to the detriment of the divine mandate. Bishops again and again responded to the crisis as institutional managers, employing public relations stratagems to evade, deceive, and distract attention from their own responsibility. Lawler several times invokes the terse observation of St. Augustine, God does not need my lie. The bishops lied, says Lawler, and many of them are still lying. This is offered not as an accusation but as a conclusion that he believes is compelled by the evidence.
The first aspect of the scandal, the sexual abuse of children, has been acknowledged and addressed, Lawler writes. The second aspect, the rampant homosexuality among Catholic priests, has been acknowledged but not addressed, and later even denied....The third aspect of the scandal has never even been acknowledged by American church leaders. The third aspect, the malfeasance of bishops, is today the most serious of all.
-- excerpted from "Paved with the Skulls of Bishops" by Richard John Neuhaus
"...the scandal was never really about the 4% abusers in their ranks. The real scandal was that 66% of bishops covered for the 4%, negatively affecting 95% of the dioceses in the United States - actions which cost the Catholic Church over three billion dollars paid in settlements and awards to the victims."
-- Alex Murphy, September 29, 2009
The catch is that the priest in question was lionized as a folk hero by liberal press, being on the front page of Washington Post-Owned Newsweek. A Paul Simon song even seems to refer to him:
The mama pajama rolled out of bed(Paul Simon has implicitly denied any specific reference was intended by this song.)
And she ran to the police station
When the papa found out he began to shout
And he started the investigation
Its against the law
It was against the law
What the mama saw
It was against the law
...Me and Julio down by the schoolyard
In a couple of days they come and take me away
But the press let the story leak
And when the radical priest
Come to get me released
We was all on the cover of Newsweek
When Cardinal Law tried to have the priest disciplined for his inappropriate politics (i.e., being a supporter of the North American Man-Boy Lovers' Association), the Boston press went ballistic that these were trumped up charges by a supposedly reactionary bishop against a kindly, loving, heroic priest.
To his eternal infamy, Law was too cowardly to do anything.
I get a real kick out of FReepers, who would never trust the Washington Post on an issue of “secular politics,” swallowing whatever it says about Catholics, no questions asked.
Ditto for the NYTimes.
What a bunch of hypocrites.
It is precisely because the disobedience of the bishops was so grave that Rome was put in such a compromised situation. Young Catholics in 2010 need to put the 1970s into perspective:
In 1961, the Vatican prohibited the ordination of homosexual and even homophilic priests, even if chaste, finding that the rigors of celibacy required those in excellent psycho-sexual health. In 1965, Vatican II established Latin as the normal language of Catholic Worship and exalted classical hymns as an expression of honor to God. But it made a few concessions: the vernacular was recognized as helpful to catechesis; an exception vernacular song may have its place in mass; in “extraordinary” circumstances, when a shortage of priests necessitated it, eucharist could be distributed by the laity. A few short years later, Pope Paul VI condemned artificial birth control.
In the following years, the American Catholic church completely revolted. Pop songs replaced sacred hymns (”A Song for Parents and Children,” maybe, but “Leaving on a Jet Plane”???) Nearly all AmChurch dioceses ordained homosexuals. Communion was de-rigeur handed out by the laity, while priests sat on “thrones” where the tabernacle used to be. Priests and bishops advocated for birth control, or even abortion.
John Paul II came in, realized the grave state of the church , and launched many reforms. His one weakness may have been that he was accustomed to enemies of the Church using accusations of homosexuality as a pretext for Communist Re-education camps, and was slow to recognize this particular abuse. As he became aware of the scope, he must also have realized how gravely compromised the church as a whole was. With, as you say, 2/3rds of diocese compromised, an overt disciplinarian purge would only cause formal schism. (I’d caution, however, of equating too many of those diocese with the outright malfeasance of Mahony and Law.) So his work was quiet, and behind the scenes.
Many would prefer heads on pikes, understandably. But the effectiveness of the John Paul-Ratzinger reforms from Rome in the 1980s are gravely misunderstood. According to Hopkins University commission, chaired by Governor Keating, between 1978 and 1991, the number of abuse cases fell by over 95%, before the American press, which styles itself now as champion of the cleanup, even got wind of it. And it continued to fall after that.
It might be more gratifying to the victims of the abuse to see more abusers publicly humiliated earlier. But I doubt if it would have been so successful.
Thank you for injecting some facts into the discussion.
One thing this latest campaign by the NYTimes to link the pope and now one of the truly honest, solid, conservative Catholic bishops, to various crimes has shown me is that I cannot trust my fellow FReepers to read the news critically and honestly.
As a result, I know now, when the come to take me away on the basis of false accusations of child abuse or sexual harrassment, simply because I stood up in my classroom for traditional marriage, denounced the feminists, told the gays they are disordered
when they come to take me away based on false accusations like the ones leveled against Burke
I know that half of Freepers will be sitting there shouting, fry him, he had it coming, Scumbag.
The day is coming when Catholic bishops and those who defend them will go to prison for defending marriage, defending traditional sexuality, defending truth
and some of you Freepers will be cheering them on because you always already know that Catholics are sex abusers
Think about it.
More facts. Thank you.
>> I get a real kick out of FReepers, who would never trust the Washington Post on an issue of secular politics, swallowing whatever it says about Catholics, no questions asked. ... What a bunch of hypocrites. <<
Many Freepers naturally trust the conservative movement, and know the truth, so they recognize when the Post lies. But they naturally distrust the Catholic Church, and fail to recognize mainstream-media lies. It’s closer to ignorance, even if it borders on willful ignorance in some cases. But it’s not necessarily hypocrisy, and people will immediately tune out anyone who calls them a hypocrite. It’s far better to keep pointing out, over and over and over again, the deceitful nature of the Washington Post.
Then get back to me about what I actually said and tell me where you disagree with it.
Those are the laws in place now; I don't think they were at the time the vast bulk of the abuse took place (in the '60s and '70s). I think they may have been passed in the wake of the great day-care sex abuse scare.
These attacks having nothing to do with eliminating abuse or protecting the children. These attacks are part of a very refined battlefield prep operation.
In order for the final offensive against the Catholic faith to have credibility, they have to implant firmly in the minds of the public that Catholic bishops and the pope are enablers of child molesters.
Some Catholic bishops were. But notice that the current attacks are nearly all aimed at conservative, traditional bishops and the conservative, traditional pope. Where liberal bishops in fact did enable criminals (Weakland in Milwaukee), the NYTimes ignores Weakland and tries to make it stick to Benedict.
Burke, Castrillon-Hoyos etc. are traditionalists. They have to be discredited in order to discredit the recovery of tradition that Benedict launched in 1985 and continues to this day. It is succeeding. They’ve hated his guts ever since 1985 when he, almost single-handedly, turned the tide from post-Vatican II liberal craziness to implementing what the Council really intended.
After they have sucked all you gullible non-Catholic Freepers in, sowed doubt in your minds about Burke and Benedict etc. and after they have sucked 90 % of self-proclaimed Catholics in, making them distrust their own pope and those associated with him (Burke as head of the highest Roman court),
after they have sucked all you gullible folks in
they will turn on the rest of us. They will create Test Acts to force people to choose: is same-sex attraction disordered or totally normal? Must marriage be restricted to a man and a woman? Is sex outside marriage wrong? Is sex separated from procreation wrong?
Say yes to any of the above and you will be declared a hater, falsely accused of child abuse or some similar crime, and hauled away.
And the Evangelical defenders of traditional values on FR, where will you stand then? Will you stand with us or will you take the charges of child abuse leveled against your fellow Catholic Freepers at face value?
Think about it.
You are being set up. The battlefield is being prepared for the assault. They first have to gull you into believing that most Catholics, after all, are either abusers or enablers because of their stoooooppppidd beliefs about contraception and celibacy.
It’s becoming clearer by the day to me that we Catholics will have very few defenders outside the church, indeed, very few inside the Church, when the final push comes.
Freepers pride themselves on their ability to sniff out lies in the press, to have smoked out the Texas National Guard Dan Rather stuff etc.
It is hypocritical to abandon the same critical acumen on this one issue.
Sure it hurts. The truth hurts. It is hypocritical. All I ask is the same level of critical suspicion on this issue as on other issues. It’s not there.
Shanley first gained notoriety during 1970s as a “street priest” and icon of the Progressive movement whose writings included “Changing Norms of Sexuality”.  During the 1980s, Shanley served as pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Newton[,MA]. In 1990, he was transferred to St. Anne’s in San Bernardino, California. While there he and another priest, John J. White, co-owned “a bed-and-breakfast for gay customers 50 miles away in Palm Springs”.
Father Shanley had earned the nickname “the hippie priest” for his long hair and outspoken views, including his public rejection of the church’s condemnation of homosexuality. He attended the meeting at which NAMBLA, the male homosexual pedophile organisation, was formed.
According to Leon Podles in his book Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church, “In late 1993, Shanley was sent to the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut, for evaluation. The Boston archdiocese has refused to release this evaluation, but other released files show that Shanley admitted to nine sexual encounters, of which four involved boys, and that he was diagnosed as ‘narcissistic’ and ‘histrionic’. Shanley admitted that he was ‘attracted to adolescents’ and on the basis of this confession, the Boston archdiocese secretly settled several lawsuits against Shanley. The archdiocese of Boston in 1993 had to admit to the diocese of San Bernardino part of the truth about Shanley, and the bishop of San Bernardino immediately dismissed him.”
1. The outrageousness of the case against Shanley stems from behavior condoned by the media: that the Boston Archdiocese had to know he was a monster, because he ran a gay-themed bed-and-breakfast, and had attended a gay-rights meeting which led to the creation of NAMBLA.
2. The Boston Archdiocese found out what it actually did know about actual crimes, because Shanley ADMITTED IT to the Archdiocese, something he never would have done if he could have expected he would have been turned over to the police, instead of sent for treatment.
3. Shanley was convicted of a single case of sexual abuse, based on repressed memory syndrome, which came to light AFTER his admissions. My opinion is that had the highly politicized Massachusetts court NOT known about the then-public, but completely unadmissable admissions by Shanley to abuse, the case would have been thrown out.
IOW, if the Catholic Church relied on the same procedures for discovering, investigating, and punishing sex offenders that lay society now demands, he probably would never have stood accused, and might likely have been exonerated.
I;m sorry, not from Newsweek, but Wikipedia in that previous post.
This is one of the disappointments of the bishops: our shepherds are themselves but cowering lambs.
My first disappointment was the moral equivalence between the United States and the Soviet Union implicit in their call for unilateral disarmament.
Another disappointment is the prevalence of misplaced compassion- compassion for the priests in this discussion at the expense of their victims, compassion for the lives of dangerous convicted murderers at the expense of justice, compassion for illegal aliens at the expense of taxpayers, public safety, and the law.
I am afraid that with few exceptions we are being led by "men without chests".
Because you’re assuming facts not in evidence. I don’t think they are accused of covering up child sex abuse. They were accused of re-assigning priests that had had allegations made against them.
Cardinal Burke was NOT “kicked upstairs.” He was rewarded for his EXTRAORDINARY, OUTSTANDING piety, traditionalism, conservatism, and zealous defense of the Church, with an extremely important position in Rome, overseeing the Doctrine of the Faith, as His Holiness, Benedict XVI did in his former personage.
Which in my State would be a crime if they didn't immediately report those allegations to the proper authorities.
The standard here I believe is 'reasonable suspicion' that children are being abused. No one in my State is exempt from this law. Period.
If in fact they aided or abetted in any way those who abused children they need to be prosecuted and harshly. The Catholic Church does itself no favors by 'transferring' them anywhere but into the hands of law enforcement.
Many people also conveniently forget that the Boy Scouts were similarly plagued by predatory liberal homosexual leninists and thus barred them from membership or staff. This is why the homos are so deathly against the BSA, AND the Catholic church. If the CC was REALLY homo friendly, the faggot lobby would love them.
Alas, it was ever thus.
I take great comfort in knowing of the ancient bishop, St. John who earned the nickname, “Crysostom” meaning, “Gold Mouth,” for such statements as “the floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”
Pope Benedict, as Cardinal Ratzinger, was head of the Confraternity for Doctrine (CDC). Cardinal Burke is head of the Supreme Tribunal. As such, Benedict was more like the Attorney General, whereas Burke is more like the Chief Justice.
I said “cowardly.” Having met him, my skin crawled. Seeing who his friends were, his outwardly conservatism was only because, unlike Mahony, he was smart enough to figure out that an outwardly radical bishop could never be papabile. He quietly affirmed the supposed saintliness of the Kennedys of the world. He was more like a double agent. When I later read about Shanley, it just fit. Many people presume his downfall was the work of the mainstream media, acting against his conservative image, especially because they shadow-boxed. It was not; he was done in by Rod Dreher, reporting for the National Review, in an article entitled, “The Sins of the Fathers.” The mainstream media had let the 1994-95 eruption of sex scandals die down when they realized their greatest ally by leagues, Cardinal Bernadin, had become ensnared in their net. Dreher’s article reignited the furor when he pointed out the continuing malfeasance of the Boston and Los Angeles archdioceses. (If anything, perhaps Law did get the bad press over Mahony because Mahony was still too valuable.)
ex post facto law legal definition
A law intended to apply to crimes or events that took place before its passage. The United States Constitution forbids the passage of ex post facto criminal laws, on the principle that it is wrong to punish an act which was not illegal when committed
I was exploring counseling at one point in my career.
One day there was the discussion of sexual abuse of children by fathers or step fathers.
The therapeutic climate of the day stated keep the fathers in the home, keep the family intact even if there was an ongoing risk to the child.
Legally it was discouraged from prosecuting.
Things do not take place in a vacuum.
I kicked that little exploration to the curb and found a field were common sense had a greater role.
The whole point of the article is that Burke is being slandered. He was "not kicked upstairs" because of anything having to do with sexual abuse. IMO, he should consider legal action against the newspaper.
So who are "these people" you're talking about? Law went before a grand jury and was not indicted. If you think someone else in the US is violating the law on an ongoing basis and getting away with it, present your evidence.
The American bishops issued a policy statement way back in 1992, part of which stated clearly that they were responsible to report incidents to the lawful authorities.
If you know of someone who is violating this policy, go for it.
Burke may be guilty in being an overall administrative failure, a major egotist, and butting into other bishops’ business, but I don’t see him guilty or complacent in any cover-up. He actually sent a couple guilty men to prison.
St. Mary Major a "little" church? One of the four great basilicas and the only one that's the original building????? That's a plum assignment.