St. Anne's Priest Talks about Sexual Abuse Allegations against Former Colleague
By Ross Farrow
News-Sentinel [Lodi CA]
April 24, 2006
Father Thomas Hayes of St. Anne's Catholic Church in Lodi discussed allegations of sexual abuse of a child by the late Associate Pastor Murty Fahy today with News-Sentinel staff writer Ross Farrow.
Fahy, who died in 2001, has been accused of sexually abusing a St. Anne's School student in the mid-1990s.
Stockton Diocese Bishop Stephen Blaire issued a statement that was read at all St. Anne's Masses on Sunday and released to the media the same day.
Q: When did you learn that someone had accused Father Fahy of sexual abuse with a child?
A: All I got was the thing from the bishop (that was released Sunday).
Q: What was your reaction when you heard the allegation?
A: I was kind of shocked, to be honest with you, devastating to say the least. Knowing Murty all those years, I never saw it in his character.
Q: What do you think of the Stockton Diocese releasing the allegation to the media?
A: We've been accused in the past of keeping these under the table. There are no charges filed. We don't want to hide (anything).
Q: What was Father Fahy like?
A: Murty was highly respected and well-liked priest here, and he was a hard, hard worker. I came in 1994. I knew him before that. I would say I knew the guy pretty dang good.
Q: What do think of what Father Fahy was accused of doing?
A: A lot of this is allegations. Isn't it kind of curious that these (allegations) are done when someone is dead? We don't know the name of the person (who reported it). It's very hard to discuss it when you don't know who it is. I'd like to get proof before we condemn him.
Q: What did you think of the comments by Nancy Sloan of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests? She said the St. Anne's School staff is as responsible as Fahy for Fahy's alleged conduct.
A: Like we would put up with that stuff? The implication that we would condone any of that stuff is totally unfair. Why should we have known if nobody tells us? You know, we're not prophets.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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