Rev. Peter A. Burns

Summary of Case: Burns admitted in 1992 to having sexually assaulted two boys, a 13-year-old in 1987 and a 14-year-old in 1988. Bishop Sklba knew of the 1987 abuse, yet Burns continued to have boys spend the night with him at the rectory. One of Burns' victims is known to have taken his own life in the early 1990s. Burns spent nine months in jail and was put on probation for ten years. He has been laicized.

: 1986


Start Stop Parish Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Milwaukee archbishop was Rembert George Weakland, O.S.B. (1977-2002)

1991 St. Peter Claver


Burns admitted in 1992 to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in 1987, and a 13-year-old boy in 1988. (Chicago Tribune
January 23, 1992)

WI 2/2

Parish had a school with 313-244 students.

Burns served nine months in jail and was put on probation for 10 years for the assault of the 13 year old. (Wisconsin State Journal
January 26, 1994) The boy who had been abused in 1987 suicided in the early 1990s. Sklba knew in 1987 that Burns had abused the boy, but Burns continued to have boys spend the night with him. (Dallas Morning News June 12, 2002)

1991 1996 Absent on Leave       Burns is indexed in the Directories through 1996. He was laicized sometime before 1994. (Archdiocese of Milwaukee July 9, 2004)


Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1987-1996)

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Burns' career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on Feb. 22, 2011.