The Washington Post
April 18, 2019
By Michelle Boorstein, Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Bailey
When the first Catholic clergy sexual abuse crisis erupted in the early 2000s, Wilton Gregory led hundreds of defensive and divided bishops in passing the most aggressive action on abuse in U.S. church history.
But Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke remembers something else about Gregory, who was selected this month by Pope Francis to head the prestigious District of Columbia Archdiocese.
As one of the laypeople Gregory appointed to serve on an advisory board to the bishops, Burke was struck by an inquiry he made to her one night when they found themselves alone after a meeting. He wanted to know how she’d been able to visit Vatican officials for her research on abuse.
She’d searched “Vatican,” she told him, selected several offices she thought were related to the abuse issue, then faxed letters asking to visit.
“His face was ashen. ‘You what?’ ” she recalls him saying. At 55, that was, she believed, Gregory’s first experience with laypeople who went outside the chain of command.
Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.