Fr. William Michael Burke – Diocese of Rockville Centre

| Dec 30, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father William Michael Burke 

Diocese of Rockville Centre

Ordained: 1946

Died: 1995

Assignment History:

  • 1947-1953      Queen of Peace (Kew Gardens, NY)
  • 1954-1957      Curé of Ars, St. John M. Vianney (Merrick, NY) 
  • 1958-1960      St. Catherine of Sienna (Franklin Square, NY)
  • 1961                Absent on Leave 
  • 1962                St. Patrick (Southhold, NY)
  • 1963-1968      Absent on Leave 
  • 1969                St. Martin (Amityville, NY)
  • 1970-1974      St. Lawrence the Martyr (Sayville, NY)  
  • 1975-1978      St. Andrew (Sag Harbor, NY) 
  • 1979-1982      St. Vincent de Paul (Elmont, NY)
  • 1983                Sick Leave
  • 1984-1988      St. John the Evangelist (Center Moriches, NY)
  • 1989                Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father William Michael Burke:

Father William Michael Burke was ordained in the Diocese of Brooklyn. He worked at several parishes in the Diocese of Rockville Centre when it was established in 1957. Health problems led to his retirement in 1990. He died in a house fire in 1995.

According to media reports, in April 2002, a lawsuit was brought against Father Burke alleging that he molested a 14-year-old boy in 1987, while he worked at a boarding school in Tampa, Florida. Another lawsuit, in 2003, was filed alleging that in the early 1970s, Father Burke sexually abused an elementary school student, while he was a deacon assigned to St. Lawrence the Martyr in Sayville, New York. 

In August 2019, Father Burke was accused in a lawsuit filed under the NY Child Victims Act, of sexually abusing a 7-year-old child in 1972 during school activities and in a room at St. Lawrence the Martyr in Sayville, New York. Another suit was filed alleging that from 1974 to 1979, Father Burke along with Father Soave, sexually abused a child from the ages of 8 to 14 years, at St. Andrews in Sag Harbor, New York. 

In addition, the abuse primarily took place at St. Lawrence the Martyr Church in Sayville in the early 1970s, at his house in Hampton Bays, in his car, and on beach trips.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Rockville Centre in New York.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New York, contact our office today. In October 2020, the Rockville Centre Diocese filed for federal bankruptcy protection.  The Court will resolve all claims of sexual abuse in this process but strict filing deadlines will apply and no late claims will be considered, so contact us today.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.