The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
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Sex Abuse Victims Seek Investigation
A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is writing Albany's Roman Catholic bishop, Howard Hubbard, urging him to investigate a Catholic cleric who is a sex offender and a lay minister at a local church.
According to the Dallas Morning News, a convicted child molester recently read from the Bible during Mass at St. Joseph's Church in Dolgeville, New York. The man, John Evangelist Murphy, is a former Canadian parochial school teacher who fondled at least four boys in the 1950s.
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are asking Bishop Howard Hubbard to look into the matter and determine whether church officials in Albany or Dolgeville knew about Murphy's past. They also want Murphy suspended and want Hubbard to visit the parish and urge anyone who witnessed, suspected or experienced abuse to contact law enforcement.
In a year-long investigation, The Dallas Morning News has found that more than 200 known, admitted or suspected abusive Catholic clerics have quietly moved across national borders, often on the run from the law.
Canadian Christian Brother Ronald Lasik, also identified in story, was deported from his home country after serving a prison sentence for sexual abuse. He is now a registered sex offender living at a residence for Christian Brothers in the town of West Park on the Hudson River in Ulster County.
"This is a travesty that discourages victims from coming forward and rubs salt into the already deep wounds of those already hurting," said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP's National Director. SNAP's letter is signed by the group's Capital Region director, Mark Furnish.
SNAP, is the nation's oldest and largest support group for victims of clergy sexual abuse with support groups in over 60 cities nation wide.
A copy of SNAP letter to Hubbard sent today by fax and e mail,
December 10, 2004
Bishop Howard J. Hubbard
Dear Bishop Hubbard:
We are alarmed at a news story in the Dallas Morning News showing that John Evangelist Murphy, a convicted ex-teacher at a horrific Canadian orphanage, is apparently a lay minister at St. Joseph's Church in Dolgevile.
At best, someone in your diocese was terribly reckless, by not questioning the background of a man once associated with the scandal-ridden Mt. Cashel orphanage.
At worst, someone in your diocese knew about and kept secret Murphy's background.
Either scenario is very upsetting. We can not help but wonder if there are other known, admitted or convicted sexually abusive clerics who have moved into the Albany Diocese.
For the safety of children and the reassurance of your flock, we believe you should
- investigate this matter immediately,
- make your findings known promptly, and
- visit the parish and publicly urge anyone who witnessed, suspected or experienced abuse to contact law enforcement.
Given Murphy's criminal behavior and the incorrigibility of child molesters. we obviously feel he should be suspended. You know that molesters rarely stop and that advanced age alone is no cure for a deeply rooted sexual compulsion. It would be naive to assume he hasn't molested kids in or around Dolgeville. It would likewise be dangerous to think he's safe now.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests