The priest who presided over the canonical trial of the late Father Lawrence Murphy– the priest whose case has prompted heavy media criticism of Pope Benedict XVI– has written a devastating critique of the New York Times account of that case.
Father Thomas Brundage, judicial vicar for the Milwaukee archdiocese at the time of the Murphy trial, reveals that, contrary to the Times report, that canonical trial was never halted– by the Vatican or by the archdiocese– and Father Murphy was a defendant at the time of his death.
Father Brundage reveals that he was never contacted by reporters to verify details of the case, although his name appears on documents about the trial. Moreover, he reports that statements attributed to him in the New York Times article taken from handwritten notes– written not by him but by someone else.
In his critique, which is moderate in tone but devastating in effect, Father Brundage explains that he has come forward with his account for these reasons:
To tell the back-story of what actually happened in the Father Murphy case on the local level;
To outline the sloppy and inaccurate reporting on the Father Murphy case by the New York Times and other media outlets;
To assert that Pope Benedict XVI has done more than any other pope or bishop in history to rid the Catholic Church of the scourge of child sexual abuse and provide for those who have been injured;
To set the record straight with regards to the efforts made by the church to heal the wounds caused by clergy sexual misconduct. The Catholic Church is probably the safest place for children at this point in history.
Time for a retraction and an apology from the liars and anti-Catholic bigots at The New York Times.