Rev. Lawrence Murphy [on the left, hands clasped]
was a priest in Milwaukee, WI, who served as principal
at the St. John’s School for the Deaf, 1950–1974.
Murphy admitted to molesting at least thirty boys,
and may have sexually abused more than 100, at St.
John’s, leaving them with a legacy of shame,
and sexual confusion.
Suave, secretive, and Hollywood handsome, he was
never indicted, and continued working in parishes
and schools, with deaf people, and leading youth
in the Diocese of Superior. He retired, and then
in 1998. Sadly, he was only one of many, many priests
accused with proof of child abuse in the United
States and other countries in recent decades.
Father Murphy in front of the tabernacle,
with Pat Kuehn, one the boys he molested.
Priestly abuse of children cases, going back for
scores of years, have been uncovered all over the
world. Particularly regrettably is the fact that
and superiors of religious orders, not to mention
Pope benedict XVI, engaged in a cover-up rather
than openly admitting that these were not only sinful
moral failures endangering the lives of children
and youth (some of whom suffered mental and emotional
damage, some of whom eventually committed suicide),
but serious crimes.
moving the criminals from parish to parish and post
to post, the superiors became enablers, complicit
themselves in the cover-up and continuity of illicit
criminal activities. In one
study 32% of abused children later attempted
to You in shame for the sinful crimes of some of
Your priests and religious brothers in America,
Canada, Ireland, Italy
and elsewhere across the world.
for their souls, and even more,
for the souls of their innocent,
shame and sorrow atone in some small way for the
sins of evil clerics who committed grave sins with
young boys, laying on them potential lifelong guilt
and possibly severe psychological problems which
too, naively or from lack
of moral courage, compounded the problem
by failing to report crimes of child abuse
to police, and by sending offending priest- criminals
repeatedly to rehabilitative counseling which did
not, ultimately, change
their behaviors, and then assigning them again and
again, their records undisclosed,
to one parish or school after another,
where their malfeasance continued.
This reprehensible activity has caused
irreparable damage to the reputation
of Your Church, damage which will persist
for many, many years to come.
leaders put a false reputation
of the Church above the protection
of innocent youngsters, by hiding the repeated malevolence
of criminal pastors.
Lord, cleanse our churches,
lift the terrible and unjustified feelings
of guilt from the victims, and prevent errant criminal
clerics from harming more innocents
in the future. May their heinous crimes
be atoned for and their shameful sins
Please bless and invigorate the majority
of priests who had no part in this activity, or
in hiding it, and who serve faithfully
in our parishes and schools to this day.
May the souls of all involved, and the souls
of all your faithful, particularly
the victims of these egregious crimes,
May those who suffered abuse be heard
and healed and hallowed.
all our children all over the world
now grow up in innocence and joy,
guided by pastors and teachers
of peerless character, surrounded by goodness and
protected from evil.
this I pray in trust to you.
Image Ownership Credits
2011 Donn B. Murphy
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