Victims give “F” grade to Memphis bishop

Victims give “F” grade to Mphs bishop

He’s been on the job now for six months

They ‘out’ two  more local abuser clerics

Both worked in Memphis but are ‘under the radar

But the diocese won’t post a ‘credibly accused’ list

Most other bishops in the US have already done so

And group urges Tennessee’s AG to investigate all TN dioceses


Using chalk, clergy molestation victims will write on a sidewalk the names of predator priests and disclose two more ‘still under the radar’ credibly alleged pedophile priests who were in Memphis, but have attracted any public or media attention in the area.

Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, they will also give Memphis’ new Catholic bishop a grade of “F” his first six months on the job, for refusing to

--post names of credibly accused clerics, and

--remove one of his predecessors – acknowledged by Catholic officials to be an abuser – from church programs and buildings.

They will call on the bishop to also reveal these alleged offenders’ names, photos, whereabouts and work histories immediately.

And they’ll call on current and former Catholic employees to ‘speak up’ about suspicions of child sex crimes and cover ups, in light of a new global church policy that says it’s their duty to do so.


Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 1:00 p.m.


On the sidewalk outside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 1695 Central Ave. (corner of Rozelle St.) in Memphis, TN (901 725 2700)


Three-five members of a support group for clergy molestation victims called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (, including a Missouri man who is the group’s former long time executive director and a Little Rock man who is its Arkansas director


--1) Six months ago, Fr. David Holley of Alexandria LA was promoted and became Bishop David Holley of Memphis TN (901 373 1200). The nation’s largest, oldest and most active support group for victims is giving him an “F” grade so far for his tenure in his new diocese.

In part, that’s because he’s refused to identify a single child molesting cleric.

SNAP has found and is revealing today the names of and information about two more alleged predator priests who have gotten no local attention:

--Fr. Alfred Longley, who is included on official lists of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse’ in Duluth diocese and the St. Paul Archdiocese. According to church records, Fr. Longley worked at three colleges:  Christian Brothers in Memphis, Notre Dame in Indiana and Fontbonne in Missouri.

He also worked in Belgium, as a US Army chaplain and in numerous Minnesota towns including Faribault, Richland, Brainerd, Gull Lake, Mahtomedi and Minneapolis. In 1968, Fr. Longley was supposedly permanently removed from ministry and he died in 1974.

--Fr. James W. Murphy, an Iowa priest who has been credibly accused by several men of molesting two kids in Memphis in the 1960s. He also “allegedly participated in orgies with Davenport Iowa priests,” according to legal records. (paragraph 18) (paragraph 4) (paragraph 5)

The group wants Memphis church officials to disclose the allegations against Fr. Murphy and visit each parish where he worked and beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to step forward and call police.
Before passing in 2016, Fr. Murphy lived at Villa Vianney in Cordova, TN. Before that, he was at the Ave Maria Home (2805 Charles Bryan Rd, Bartlett, 901 386 3211) from 2000-2002.!/Obituary

He has had an unusual work history for a diocesan priest. Twice he has worked outside the diocese at Catholic facilities in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area (1996-2000 and 1994-1996). His last known job was in 2002 at St. Peter Manor in midtown Memphis.

Fr. Murphy worked in seven Memphis parishes: Sacred Heart (1948-52 and again 1985-88), St. Thomas (1952-54), St. Anthony of Padua (1963-66), Our Lady of Fatima (1966-68), St. James (1968-74), Our Lady of Sorrows (1974-79), and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (1983-85). He also worked at parishes in four other Tennessee towns: Cookeville (St. Thomas, 1954-58), Eastland (St. Charles, 1955-58), Union City (Immaculate Conception, 1958-63) and Paris (Church of the Holy Cross, 1958-63).

Fr. Murphy had other Tennessee assignments: Christian Brothers College (1979-82), Baptist Memorial Hospital (1984-85), VA Medical Center (1987-93), and Methodist Hospital (1981-84).

The Iowa priests who allegedly participated in the orgies are Fr. James Jansen, Fr. Francis Bass and Fr. Theodore Geerts, all of whom went to seminary in St. Louis and have had multiple child sex abuse lawsuits filed against them that have been settled. None are in active ministry now.

(For more information on the Davenport documents that accuse Fr. Murphy: Terry McKiernan 508 479 9304, [email protected] or Craig Levien 563 349 2180, [email protected]).

(In June, SNAP ‘outed’ two other credibly accused child molesting clerics who were in Memphis but who had attracted no attention whatsoever in western Tennessee: Fr. Thomas Joseph Dove (who was at St. Patrick’s parish in Memphis in the 1990s) and Br. Ralph August Mravintz (who was at Memphis Catholic High School in the 1980s).

The vast majority of the nearly 200 US Catholic bishops have posted the names of credibly accused child molesting clerics on their diocesan websites. Every diocese abutting Memphis (including Nashville) has done this, some as long ago as 2002. Yet Memphis church officials refuse, which “keeps kids at risk, deceives parishioners and rubs salt into the already-deep wounds of abuse victims,” SNAP says.

They want Talley to release predators’ names immediately, and permanently and prominently post them on church websites, along with the photos, whereabouts middle names and full work histories.

“Every day a bishop hides a predator priest, kids are needlessly in harm’s way and that molester has ample chances to intimidate victims, threaten witnesses, discredit whistleblowers, destroy evidence, fabricate alibis and flee the country,” said David Clohessy of SNAP. “Better for Holley to release a partial list of predators immediately and add more later if need be than for him to keep endangering the most vulnerable by his complicity and timidity.”

“Concealing child molesters, then revealing their names in a group serves only corrupt church officials,” he stressed. “It’s smart PR for the bishop but it hurts police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners, the public and – most of all – innocent kids and vulnerable adults.”

2) Even though his colleague in Virginia has deemed a former Memphis prelate, Carroll Dozier, ‘credibly accused of abuse,’ Bishop Talley refuses to accept this, a refusal that SNAP says “rubs even more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of clergy sex abuse victims.”

SNAP believes the diocese has a ‘peace and justice’ award named after him and perhaps St. Francis Hospital still has a rehab center named after him. 

3) SNAP is urging Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery to emulate his colleagues in 18 states who are conducting investigations into clergy sex crimes and cover ups. Slatery claims he lacks authority, but SNAP is convinced there are “helpful steps” he could and should take now. (for example, the creation of a state-wide clergy sex abuse and cover up hotline). The group also says he should prod the legislature to give him more authority in this realm.



An independent, respected on-line archive about the church’s abuse and cover up crisis lists nine publicly accused child molesting Memphis clerics: Daniel T. Dupree, Juan Carlos Duran, Walter Emala, Milton J. Guthrie, William R. Kantner, Richard L. Mickey, James William Murphy, Joseph (a.k.a. Edward) Nguyen and Paul Wiley St. Charles. (

The Memphis Catholic diocese spans 21 counties and includes 42 parishes.


David Clohessy 314-566-9790, [email protected], Zach Hiner 517-974-9009, [email protected], Susan Vance 865-748-3518, 865-927- 2923 [email protected]

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant