(NCR Online) When Pope Francis named Archbishop Blase Cupich to lead the Chicago archdiocese, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke wrote to the prelate offering to help him get acquainted with his vast new charge.
To her surprise, Cupich emailed back within the hour. And when the archbishop moved to Chicago weeks later, the justice and her husband Edward Burke, a long-time Chicago alderman, began hosting dinners to introduce Cupich to a wide array of Chicago politicians and civic leaders.
It was a small decision, made quickly. But it was also one that said more than a few things about the new leader of Chicago’s 2.2 million Catholics.
Other prelates might have been reluctant to associate with Burke, who years ago sharply criticized the U.S. bishops for what she saw as an insufficient institutional response to the explosion of the clergy sexual abuse crisis in 2002.
After serving as the head of the bishops’ national lay review board for child protection, the justice resigned in 2004 because she thought the bishops were not taking the problem seriously enough. [More]