Bishop Lauded for Alert about Sex-Abuse Scandal

Indianapolis Star [Fort Wayne IN]
October 19, 2004

Fort Wayne -- A former member of the national panel reviewing the Roman Catholic church sexual-abuse scandal credited Bishop John M. D'Arcy with seeing the church's problems long before they became public.

Anne Burke, an Illinois Appellate Court justice, spoke Sunday as a guest of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend for the annual Red Mass, a blessing for those in the legal profession, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

D'Arcy, Fort Wayne-South Bend bishop since 1985, was auxiliary bishop of Boston when he wrote private letters to other church officials as early as 1978 questioning the reassignment of Boston Archdiocese priests accused of sexual misconduct.

Burke was interim chairwoman of the National Catholic Lay Review Board, which was established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 to address the clergy abuse scandal that has rocked the church.

Burke criticized the church hierarchy for not paying attention to the warnings from D'Arcy.

Of the church hierarchy, Burke said, "their inability to listen to him was truly their unraveling."

Burke's tenure with the lay review board ended Friday.


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