Immaculate Deception

Some dirty little secrets followed Archbishop Raymond Burke from Wisconsin to St. Louis

By his own reckoning, Burke has met with every victim in St. Louis who has requested an interview. He concedes that he has not met with SNAP's St. Louis-based executive director, David Clohessy. "My approach has always been that I deal directly with victims -- or, alleged victims -- and not through third parties," Burke says.

Thus far Burke has opted not to set up a victims' fund for the Archdiocese of St. Louis and has no plans to make public the names of local priests against whom allegations of sexual abuse have been substantiated.

"My thinking has always been that the diocese repeatedly and through various organs of communications invites victims to come forward," he says, then corrects himself: "Allegedvictims to come forward. That's the policy I follow, and I don't see that any particular good is served by publishing people that have been accused. I think that all happens in a natural way, according to legal processes. What we need to do is to make it abundantly clear that the church wants to hear from all the people who have allegations. That's the best way to approach it."

Jay Bevenour
Victims who claim they were abused by priests in his 
former diocese in La Crosse tell Riverfront 
Times they were stonewalled by Raymond Burke, 
who declined to report their allegations to local 
authorities.
AP/World Wide Photos
Victims who claim they were abused by priests in his former diocese in La Crosse tell Riverfront Times they were stonewalled by Raymond Burke, who declined to report their allegations to local authorities.

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