Bishop Accountability

Ten-Minute Activist: Priests and Bishops
Join the Dialogue among NY Priests and Bishops

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 email.

* 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.
* Addresses of the Rockville Centre priests who wrote to Bishop Murphy

* Addresses 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." Click here 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

* Bishop Admits That He Is Keeping an Accused Priest in Ministry (12/5/03)
* Audit the Audit: USCCB Audit Needs Local Perspectives (1/9-16/04)


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Original material copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.