Mcgrory Response

By Paul Kellen
National Survivor Advocates Coalition
June 17, 2011

[Collateral Damage]

Brian McGrory tries to make a compelling case for mistreatment of Rev Charles Murphy. Alas, he supplies no relevant facts. Unfortunately he falls back on the tools of suggestion, deception and misdirection to make up for this absence of fact.

His use of ‘Innocent’ in his headline states his belief about this man. Rev Murphy was not ‘cleared’ of the accusation that he molested a young deaf girl. The review board did not “clear” Rev Murphy of the charges by the young man. McGrory labels his accusation an “unfounded complaint” but supplies no facts.

When the archdiocesan board’s ruling ‘not substantiated’ is reported there is no description by them of the facts or the standard of judgement used to reach this conclusion. Recall Rev. Bernard Law’s standard was often “Father said he didn’t do it”

No amount of admiration from his friends and parishioners changes this situation.

Joe Corcoran and Jack Pender may be substantial members of the community but they provide no facts.

McGrory’s treatment of the victims is pretty shabby. The woman dropped her complaint because she could not show it was within the statute of limitations. The insinuation is of a false allegation. The fact is that it was a legal technicality. The investigator’s facts, that the man had financial issues and family members who doubted him, prove nothing. It is not unusual for child sexual abuse victims to come from weak family systems or to make imprudent decisions in their adult life.

It is rare that a third party will be present during the abuse. This means that He Said – She Said is a likely situation. This is not resolved by noting that the accused is highly regarded and has done a lot of good. It is also not resolved by picking at the accusers shaky background or unsteady lifestyle choices. But this is the core of McGrory’s defense of Rev Murphy.

Perhaps Rev Murphy was an innocent man, poorly treated. But the villains are those in the Catholic hierarchy whose demonstrated behavior has been to shield criminal clergy, bully victims and turn the perpetrators loose on more defenseless children. To rely on the hierarchy’s secret review board reports as facts shows a disappointing naivete for a major newspaper columnist.

Paul Kellen, Founding Member

National Survivor Advocates Coalition


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