Activist: Priests and Bishops
Join the Dialogue among NY Priests
Earlier this week, priests in Rockville Centre had a long-awaited
meeting with Bishop William Murphy to discuss issues raised in their
October 1, 2003 letter, including "dissatisfaction" and
"lack of confidence" in Murphy's leadership. Meanwhile,
priests in the New York Archdiocese were rebuffed by Cardinal Egan
after they delivered a petition on December 12, 2003 that cited
"low morale" regarding the archdiocese's care of priests.
Egan wants them to go through established channels.
Please consider reviewing the Rockville Centre priests' letter,
the New York priests' petition
as it was excerpted in the media, and several news
accounts, and then writing a letter to the editor, and/or a
note of encouragement or criticism to the priests who have spoken
out. See below for addresses and brief comments on the issues.
Letters to the Editor
* Please send
us a copy of your letter to the editor.
* New York Times: send an email
and see their help
page for details.
* Newsday: send an email
and see their letter
page for guidance and examples.
* New York Post: send an email.
* New York Daily News: send an
* Click here
for SNAP's helpful guide to writing letters to the editor and contacting
your local newspaper.
A Card or Note to One of the Priests
* Please let
us know if you write to one of the priests.
of the Rockville Centre priests who wrote to Bishop Murphy
of two organizers of the NY petition
Brief Comments on the Issues
* Activism among Priests
- Priests are beginning to speak out. Established groups are more assertive,
and new groups are forming. This is a positive development for bishop
accountability. But the Suffolk County grand jury report
on Rockville Centre illustrates the clerical silence within which abuse
flourished in that diocese and elsewhere. Much of the activism among priests
focuses on "due process" for accused priests, which is a valid
and important issue. But priests are speaking out for the victims of abuse
much less frequently, although there are honorable exceptions.
* Survivors' Concerns about Priests' Activism - The sister
of a NY survivor writes to us: "Any collective action on the part
of priests regarding their rights and grievances has to be placed in the
context of broader issues: (1) justice for victims/survivors, (2) the
establishment of a just, effective, transparent process of dealing with
abuse and its effects, and (3) steps toward authentic reform of governance
that includes the involvement of all Catholics, lay and clerical."
for the full text of her powerful letter.
* Rockville Centre Diocese - Murphy's remoteness in Rockville
Centre and his poor record in Boston are both cause for serious concern.
His banning of VOTF is also an issue. After the release of Massachusetts
Attorney General Reilly's report,
there were calls for Murphy's resignation. See the archive
on Murphy and Rockville Centre that we are building.
* New York Archdiocese - Cardinal Egan has not been forthcoming
about his record in Bridgeport CT, and has stonewalled interminably on
releasing the names of accused priests. The petitioning priests seem not
to favor such a release; victims groups demand it. Egan already meets
regularly with his priests; he has refused to meet with victims. See the
archive that we are building on Egan
and the New York archdiocese.
Previous Ten-Minute Activist Features
Admits That He Is Keeping an Accused Priest in Ministry (12/5/03)
the Audit: USCCB Audit Needs Local Perspectives (1/9-16/04)
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