Ex-Law Aide Said to Manage Abuse Cases

By Associated Press, carried in Baltimore Sun [Long Island NY]
February 9, 2003

NEW YORK -- The former top deputy to Cardinal Bernard Law in Boston, Bishop William F. Murphy, was involved in managing nearly one-third of that city's priest sex abuse cases, according to a published report.

Murphy, who now heads the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., oversaw the reassignment of priests accused of sexual abuse, took care of their legal bills, and helped find them jobs and housing, Newsday reported Sunday, citing information from about 100 confidential personnel files of priests and other documents.

Law resigned as archbishop of Boston in December.

Murphy is to testify Tuesday before a Massachusetts grand jury investigating whether he and other church officials can be prosecuted for allegedly protecting abusive priests. Murphy wouldn't comment on the report.

According to internal memos, Murphy allowed certain priests accused of sexual molestation to remain active. In one case, he provided $14,000 to a priest to start a job bank to help other accused clergymen find work, Newsday said.

Murphy also dealt with cases involving some of the Boston archdiocese's most publicized sex abuse accusations, the documents show.

In one case, Murphy arranged to have legal fees paid for the Rev. Paul Shanley, who pleaded innocent in May to 10 counts of child rape and six counts of indecent assault and battery. In 1994, he also approved $300 dollar rent payments for Shanley.

Murphy also tried for two years to encourage John Geoghan, a convicted child molester who was defrocked in 1998, to seek psychological testing and resign from his archdiocesan office job. Meanwhile, despite dozens of complaints of sexual abuse, Geoghan remained a priest on restricted ministry.


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