Statement Regarding Administrative Leave of Msgr. Daniel Murray

By Joe Fenton
Diocese of Orange
September 13, 2003

In keeping with the sexual misconduct policy of the Diocese of Orange and the USCCB "National Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People," Bishop Tod Brown has placed Msgr. Daniel Murray, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Newport Beach, on administrative leave with regret.

The Diocese of Orange considers every accusation of sexual abuse a very serious matter and conducts a thorough investigation. Placing Msgr. Murray on administrative leave does not imply his guilt but begins our procedures for due process.

Bishop Brown received notification of a civil lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Orange and Msgr. Murray. The alleged victim claims that the sexual abuse occurred approximately 25 years ago over a six-year period. Msgr. Murray categorically denies these charges. He will remain on administrative leave pending the results of a preliminary investigation by the Sexual Misconduct Oversight and Review Board. The board will determine if there is sufficient evidence that sexual abuse of a minor has or has not occurred and will present its findings along with a recommendation to the Bishop.

While Msgr. Murray is on leave, he will not act officially in any public setting. During the interim, Msgr. Lawrence Baird, Vicar for Development and administrator of St. John Vianney Chapel, Balboa Island will administer Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.

The Diocese is also greatly concerned about the welfare of the alleged victim and will offer counseling services paid at diocesan expense to help in the healing process.

Please ask the Lord in your prayers to help us heal and resolve this matter. This is a difficult time for all involved.


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