Head of  National Review Board  tells “Call to Action”  board will remain “independent”


The interim chairman of the USCCB-created National Review Board, created to monitor Church response to clerical sexual abuse, addressed the national conference of “Call to Action” last Saturday, reassuring the board will keep its “independence” 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  “Call to Action,” an organization that advocates for “reforms” 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.

“Even though there was some foot-dragging in the beginning, they are complying,” Burke told “Call To Action” members.

“There is an old moral axiom that declares, ‘Justice must not only be done, but it must be seen to be done.’ When it is followed, virtue abounds, but failure to head such truths in our Catholic past has resulted in unprecedented sorrow,” Burke said.

During the meeting, “Call to Action” members accused the board of acting as a mouthpiece for the bishops, and called for an “independent” board.

But Burke denied that the bishops controlled the board.

“The 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,” she said.

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