Must Read: If Only the Bishops Practiced What They Preached

Voice from the Desert

October 5, 2008

Recently Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, offered U.S. government officials advice and moral guidelines on how to approach solving our country’s financial crisis. That advice was carried on Voice from the Desert.

Below is a response, received via email 10.3.2008, to what Bishop Murphy wrote. The author is Dick Regan of Hammonsport, New York. The response takes the form of a rewrite of the Bishop’s advice using the principles espoused by the bishop and applying them to the Catholic Church’s clerical sex abuse crisis. Included in the rewrite are editorial comments by Mr. Regan.

On September 29th, the Vatican-approved website ZENIT carried a story entitled “US Bishops Offer 5 Keys to End Financial Crisis: Urge Responsibility for Choices Made.”

Given Bishop Murphy’s abysmal record in handling the clergy sex abuse crisis in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, it is, to say the very least, incongruous that he is offering government leaders lessons on responsibility and accountability.

Lest we forget, here is what a Suffolk County Grand Jury report in February 2003 said about the Diocese of Rockville Centre

* “Priests assigned to and working in the Diocese of Rockville Centre committed criminal acts…. These criminal acts included, but were not limited to, Rape, Sodomy, Sexual Abuse, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance. Not one priest in the Diocese who knew about these criminal acts reported them to any law enforcement agency.” (p. 172)

* “As an institution they are incapable of properly handling issues relating to the sexual abuse of children by priests.” (p. 173)

* “They conceived and agreed to a plan using deception and intimidation to prevent victims from seeking legal solutions to their problems.” (p. 173)

* “The conduct of certain Diocesan officials would have warranted criminal prosecution but for the fact that the existing statutes are inadequate.” (p. 174)

Below is the ZENIT story rewritten with major changes. We either used strikethroughs to eliminate references to the nation’s financial crisis or we replaced references to the nation’s financial crisis with references to the Church’s clerical sex abuse crisis. We added yellow highlighting and a bold font to emphasize our proposed changes.

Oh, what a great Church we would have if the bishops just practiced what they preached!


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.