Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lawrence Murphy's files given to plaintiff's attorney

Some time back, our Archdiocesan newspaper published this letter "sent by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 9 to Catholic leaders and others who minister in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee". It deals with lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by the late Father Lawrence Murphy while on the staff of the St. John's School for the Deaf.
The actions of Lawrence Murphy are nauseating, criminal, and go against everything the Church stands for.

It happens that a case alleging abuse was brought while Murphy and Archbishop Cousins were alive. After the Archbishop's deposition testimony in 1975, the case was dropped. See Staring abuse straight in the face. The Chronology posted on the Archdiocesan website indicates that in December 1993 Murphy admitted "sexual contact with students from St. John’s between 1952 and 1974."
So why do I write to you about this now?

As part of the civil litigation in this case, records of this deceased priest have been delivered to the plaintiff's attorney.

While this reads almost as if it was done to save postage, in context I get the impression our Archdiocese resisted disclosing these records, but finally was ordered to do so.
history suggests all the gory details will be published. So, get ready for more sickening stories about this horror. Although it is not fresh "news," as is clear from what I wrote above, you can still expect to "read all about it!"

Such document dumps, and talk of them, are an occasion to raise the question whether there was an opportunity for a comprehensive settlement of all the abuse claims when Archbishop Dolan arrived in 2002.

[Milwaukee Catholic Herald,
December 18, 2008]


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