Jimmy Akin follows up:
There is more to say about the story. Quite a bit, actually. In particular, I’ll be responding to Sullivan, and I’ll be able to report on the German story, but first there are some additional facts to get on the table regarding the Wisconsin one.
Let’s start with a piece by Fr. Thomas Brundage (pictured), who writes:
I was the Judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee from 1995-2003. During those years, I presided over four canonical criminal cases, one of which involved Father Lawrence Murphy. Two of the four men died during the process.
Interesting that Brundage says two of the four men died during the process. Contrary to what you would think from press reports, Murphy appears to be one of the two, given what shortly will become clear.
In any event, a 50% death rate seems to indicate aggressive prosecution of men even when they are quite old or in ill health. So already a picture is forming of Brundage as presiding over a vigorous court.
He has not been pleased with the New York Times’ (and other outlets’) reportage on the Murphy case:
As I have found that the reporting on this issue has been inaccurate and poor in terms of the facts, I am also writing from a sense of duty to the truth.
The fact that I presided over this trial and have never once been contacted by any news organization for comment speaks for itself.
In 1996, I was introduced to the story of Father Murphy, formerly the principal of St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee. It had been common knowledge for decades that during Father Murphy’s tenure at the school (1950-1974) there had been a scandal at St. John’s involving him and some deaf children. The details, however, were sketchy at best.
Courageous advocacy on behalf of the victims (and often their wives), led the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to revisit the matter in 1996.
“Courageous advocacy” suggests that there was a struggle requiring courage to get the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to act, presumably this involved the argument that Fr. Murphy’s crimes were committed long ago and that he was no longer in the diocese. Nevertheless . . . Continue reading
The secular agenda has at its core a hatred for the Catholic Church. The Church speaks with the authority of its God-given mandate and the Enemy uses his peons in the world to strike at its heel in anticipation of the moment that its Founder will crush his head. Until then, no holds are barred in this open aggression. A world under the influence of sin and license falls easy prey to the secular media, a favorite arm for deception and bias.
George Weigel writing for First Things: Scoundrel Time(s)
The sexual and physical abuse of children and young people is a global plague; its manifestations run the gamut from fondling by teachers to rape by uncles to kidnapping-and-sex-trafficking. In the United States alone, there are reportedly some 39 million victims of childhood sexual abuse. Forty to sixty percent were abused by family members, including stepfathers and live-in boyfriends of a child’s mother—thus suggesting that abused children are the principal victims of the sexual revolution, the breakdown of marriage, and the hook-up culture. Hofstra University professor Charol Shakeshaft reports that 6-10 percent of public school students have been molested in recent years—some 290,000 between 1991 and 2000. According to other recent studies, 2 percent of sex abuse offenders were Catholic priests—a phenomenon that spiked between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s but seems to have virtually disappeared (six credible cases of clerical sexual abuse in 2009 were reported in the U.S. bishops’ annual audit, in a Church of some 65,000,000 members).
Yet in a pattern exemplifying the dog’s behavior in Proverbs 26:11, the sexual abuse story in the global media is almost entirely a Catholic story, in which the Catholic Church is portrayed as the epicenter of the sexual abuse of the young, with hints of an ecclesiastical criminal conspiracy involving sexual predators whose predations continue today. That the vast majority of the abuse cases in the United States took place decades ago is of no consequence to this story line. For the narrative that has been constructed is often less about the protection of the young (for whom the Catholic Church is, by empirical measure, the safest environment for young people in America today) than it is about taking the Church down—and, eventually, out, both financially and as a credible voice in the public debate over public policy. For if the Church is a global criminal conspiracy of sexual abusers and their protectors, then the Catholic Church has no claim to a place at the table of public moral argument.
Read the rest here.