Ex-chief of review panel blasts cardinals for handling of abuse cases
"In denial all along"
Oct 07, 2008
An Illinois Supreme Court justice who chaired a lay review board investigating the Catholic sex-abuse scandal is quoted blasting the church and prominent cardinals in a new book and accusing them of dishonesty.
Justice Anne M. Burke, who headed the National Review Board for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2002 to 2004, said “bishops got away with concealing crime” and singled out Cardinal Francis George of Chicago.
Burke said she was furious at George’s “casual attitude” and contended that he “wasn’t honest with me.” Burke also said George, now president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, didn’t tell her he was housing an abusive priest.
“I found the cardinal’s lack of honesty really difficult to deal with,” Burke is quoted as saying in the book by Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy. “How do I go on to trust what he says to me? . . . He and his brother bishops have been in denial all along.”
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).