Salesian Priest Quits Samoa

By Martin Daly
The Age [Australia]
July 9, 2004

The head of the Salesian Catholic order of priests and brothers in Samoa, Father John M. Murphy, is reported to have left the country ahead of an investigation into whether he should be deported for supporting a visa application for a fellow Melbourne-based Salesian priest with child abuse convictions.

The departure of Father Murphy from the Order's Moamoa Theological College in the capital, Apia, has been reported by The Observer newspaper, according to Poloma Komiti, from the Samoan Prime Minister's office.

Salesians in Samoa have told The Age for several days they do not know where Father Murphy is, while the order's Melbourne headquarters says it does not know if he is in Australia.

The Melbourne-based head of the order in Australia and the Pacific, Father Ian Murdoch, has not responded to repeated queries about the deepening crisis engulfing the Salesians.

A number of priests and brothers from the order are accused of sexual and physical abuse of young boys at the order's Rupertswood College in Sunbury over decades.


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