.- The interim chairman of the USCCB-created National Review Board, created to monitor Church response to clerical sexual abuse, addressed the national conference of âCall to Actionâ last Saturday, reassuring the board will keep its âindependenceâ from the bishops.
Anne Burke, an Illinois appellate judge who replaced former Oklahoma governor Frank Keating as head of the board, participated last Saturday at the national meeting of âCall to Action,â an organization that advocates for âreformsâ at odds with current Church teachings, among them the ordination of women and optional celibacy for priests.
Burke said 76 percent of US Catholic dioceses have reported information about sexual abuse victims, perpetrators and events for a survey sponsored by the National Review Board. The survey is scheduled to be released in February.
âEven though there was some foot-dragging in the beginning, they are complying,â Burke told âCall To Actionâ members.
âThere is an old moral axiom that declares, âJustice must not only be done, but it must be seen to be done.â When it is followed, virtue abounds, but failure to head such truths in our Catholic past has resulted in unprecedented sorrow,â Burke said.
During the meeting, âCall to Actionâ members accused the board of acting as a mouthpiece for the bishops, and called for an âindependentâ board.
But Burke denied that the bishops controlled the board.
âThe lay board is in no way a rubber stamp to the hierarchy. They may not like everything we're doing, because we're independent people,â she said.