LIVOTF Letter to Massachusetts Attorney General


February 16, 2004

Attorney General Tom Reilly
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Dear Attorney General Reilly:

On February 11, 2004, Ms. Laura Ahearn, Executive Director of Parents for Megan's Law, held a press conference at her organization's offices in Stony Brook, New York. Ms. Ahearn accused Diocese of Rockville Centre Bishop William Murphy of lying about his involvement in assigning known sexual abusers to pastoral ministry while he was Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Boston (1993–2001).

On July 2, 2003, several weeks before your report regarding sexual abuse in the Archdiocese, Bishop Murphy issued a statement in which he reported: "I was not involved in recommending the assignment of any such priest to pastoral ministry where he might have contact with minors." We believe that your report and Ms. Ahearn's information refute Bishop Murphy's statement.

In response to Ms. Ahearn's press conference, The New York Times on February 12, 2004, reported that the diocese issued a statement saying: "Even after a lengthy inquiry by the attorney general in Boston, no one has ever established that Bishop Murphy engaged in any wrongful conduct during his tenure as vicar general in Boston."

Also, in a television interview on Channel 12 on Long Island, the diocesan spokesperson, Fr. Jim Vlaun, stated that your report cleared Bishop Murphy. Perhaps the diocesan spokesperson is reading the press release of The Catholic League For Religious and Civil Rights. On February 11, 2004, William Donohue, President of The Catholic League, issued a press release in which he stated, "It is striking that the report issued by Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly on the Boston Archdiocese didn't lay a glove on Bishop Murphy. We are now to believe that a woman from Long Island, armed with her masters in social work, has found evidence of Murphy's culpability that escaped the army of lawyers working for the Massachusetts Attorney General."

Long Island Voice of the Faithful believes the statements of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and The Catholic League deliberately distort the information in your July 23, 2003, report. We urge you to respond to those statements so that the people of the Diocese of Rockville Centre will know the truth.

Sincerely yours,
Thomas A. Myles
Director
c: Jim Post, Executive Director, Voice of the Faithful