If anyone thinks that the upper echelons of the Catholic Church learned anything from the clergy sex abuse scandal, and/or implemented true, effective reforms that would prevent such scandals from recurring . . . think again.
Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill, former general secretary of the U.S. bishops’ conference, announced his resignation Tuesday, after The Pillar found evidence the priest engaged in serial sexual misconduct, while he held a critical oversight role in the Catholic Church’s response to the recent spate of sexual abuse and misconduct scandals.
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Burrill was elected general secretary of the U.S. bishops’ conference in November 2020. In that role, Burrill was effectively the highest-ranking American cleric who is not a bishop.
A priest of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, he began to work at the bishops’ conference as associate general secretary in February 2016. In that capacity, the priest was charged with helping to coordinate the U.S. bishops’ response to the Church’s 2018 sexual abuse and coercion scandals.
But an analysis of app data signals correlated to Burrill’s mobile device shows the priest also visited gay bars and private residences while using a location-based hookup app in numerous cities from 2018 to 2020, even while traveling on assignment for the U.S. bishops’ conference.
According to commercially available records of app signal data obtained by The Pillar, a mobile device correlated to Burrill emitted app data signals from the location-based hookup app Grindr on a near-daily basis during parts of 2018, 2019, and 2020 — at both his USCCB office and his USCCB-owned residence, as well as during USCCB meetings and events in other cities.
There’s more at the link.
I’m truly sad for the many faithful Catholics who’ve been hoping against hope that their bishops and the rest of the Church hierarchy had made serious efforts at reform. I’m here to tell you, they haven’t. It’s all been pious window-dressing. Since my own experience with such corruption in the Church, it’s done – and will doubtless continue to do – nothing whatsoever to address the root of the problem: namely, that the wrong men were allowed to enter the priesthood, and then promoted to positions of authority and power, where they could corrupt everything and everyone around them. Far too many such men are still in positions where they can (and do) effectively ignore measures designed to rein in their evil ways.
I fear greatly for the souls of such men. I do not believe God will allow himself to be mocked like this, and I do not believe those who’ve done so will escape the consequences of their actions. That they could act like this while using the Church, the Body of Christ, as a cloak and a shield for their evil . . . that’s likely to attract a Judgment that I really don’t want to see or hear.
May Almighty God have mercy on us all. We’re going to need it.