When it came to the Rev. Robert M. Burns and his sexual attraction to boys, the first consideration of the Archdiocese of Boston was secrecy.
In the early 1990s, keeping Burns’s crimes secret preoccupied top aides to Cardinal Bernard F. Law. They plotted how to mislead inquisitive reporters who might ask about Burns. And when a lawsuit against Burns was filed, the Rev. John B. McCormack, now a bishop, noted emphatically, “Papers are impounded - temporarily!”