Bishop Leads Prayers for Healing of Church;
Apologizes to Voice of the Faithful

By Pete Sheehan
Long Island Catholic [Rockville Centre NY]
May 26, 2004

As the strains of the organ music and the strong scent of incense filled the air, Bishop William Murphy processed into St. Agnes Cathedral Monday night to lead people in prayers of repentance.

"We gather to acknowledge our own personal and ecclesial faults and failures, wrongs and sins," Bishop Murphy told the 125 people gathered for the May 24 evening prayer service, part of a novena to the Holy Spirit for repentance, reconciliation and healing of the hurt from the clergy sex abuse scandal.

As a bishop "charged with the spiritual leadership of this diocese, I must take the lead. While I have expressed my sorrow many times in many venues, I do so tonight hopeful that I might, as a penitent, be an instrument that God will use to help heal the hearts of you, my brothers and sisters," Bishop Murphy said.

In his homily, Bishop Murphy said "I should have been less quick to judge those who to me were too critical of the Church I love. I should have been kinder and more open to all of you in all your pain, whether victim, family member, priest, Religious or parishioner.

"I should have been more open and helpful to you all, including those of you who, with great good faith, have been active in Voice of the Faithful," the bishop said. "I'm sorry for this and I ask your forgiveness as I seek before God to do better in the future."


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