The board of directors of the Long Island branch of Voice of the Faithful issued the call Tuesday in the wake of a report by the attorney general of Massachusetts into the child abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston.
Bishop Murphy, who was previously attached to the archdiocese, was cited in the report as placing a “higher priority on preventing scandal and providing support to alleged abusers than protecting children.”
Bishop Murphy had misled the faithful in Rockville Centre, the statement continued.
“He mischaracterized his involvement in the Boston sex abuse scandal, blaming his subordinate, Fr. William Murphy,” the statement said. “The Attorney General’s report clearly reveals Bishop William Murphy’s extensive involvement.”
Voice of the Faithful, which came into being last year as a result of the burgeoning child abuse scandal, said that Bishop Murphy had “facilitated a corrupt clerical culture in Boston” and had “lost the moral authority” to lead the Rockville Centre diocese.
The group said that Bishop Murphy’s policies and decisions had also hindered the ability of the diocese to raise funds.
“Bishop William Murphy’s very presence causes disunity and hinders the restoration of trust in our diocese,” the group concluded.
In a statement released on its website following the Massachusetts report, the diocese stated that Bishop Murphy had testified before the grand jury investigating child abuse and had “answered all questions honestly and to the best of his ability.”
What was more relevant to Long Islanders, the statement added, was Bishop Murphy’s “leadership and actions on issues involving sexual abuse since his appointment to the Diocese of Rockville Centre in September, 2001. . . . He remains committed to the people of the Diocese of Rockville Centre to doing everything in his power to ensure protection of the children in the Diocese. “He is determined that any charges of sexual abuse be handled quickly, openly and with a priority being placed on the safety and security of the victims.”
HURLEY WINS QUEENS NOD
Cork native Pat Hurley has been cleared by his party to seek a New York City Council seat in the November election.
Hurley, who is running in the Queens 26th Council District, secured both the Republican and Conservative ballot lines for the Nov. 4 vote.
The 26th district covers Woodside, Sunnyside, Long Island City and portions of Astoria and Maspeth.
Hurley, who is from Skibbereen, expressed his thanks to volunteers in both the GOP and Conservative parties who had collected signatures to put him on the ballot.
Hurley, in a statement, said that during his effort to secure the nomination he had also received encouragement from “many Democratic activists” in the area.
“Whether it is the hardworking family in the daily struggle to make ends meet, or the owner of a once thriving small business, bar or restaurant, bracing in anticipation of the next hurdle city government will throw in their way, this election is about selecting real leaders for real people who face real challenges,” Hurley said.
Hurley is no stranger to street level politics, having been a founder member of the Irish Immigration Reform Movement back in the 1980s.
FUND BILL BEFORE SENATE COMMITTEE
A House of Representatives bill proposing $25 million for the International Fund for Ireland for each of the fiscal years 2004 and 2005 is now being considered by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The bill, HR 1208, or the Northern Ireland Peace and Reconciliation Support Act, is authored by New Jersey GOP representative Chris Smith and has already been approved by the House.
Progress of the bill through Congress comes at a time when the White House is seeking to cut the annual contribution to the IFI from $25 million to about $8.5 million.
The Senate rises for its summer vacation at the end of this week so passage through the Foreign Relations Committee is unlikely before September at the earliest.
S.F. MANSLAUGHTER TRIAL DELAYED
The manslaughter trial of Meath native William Monaghan, who was recently acquitted of murder in San Francisco, has been postponed until next month. Monaghan, 27, has been held in custody on $5 million bail after being acquitted by a jury June 26 in San Francisco Superior court.
Monaghan was charged with the murder of Lionel Voillat, a Swiss national, during a Halloween party aboard a cruise ship in San Francisco Bay last October.
After two days of deliberation, the jury declared Monaghan not guilty of first- and second-degree murder but was also deadlocked on the remaining charges of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.
Subsequent discussions between the prosecution and defense failed to reach agreement on the matter of sentencing for manslaughter and this prompted prosecutors to move for the new trial.
The trial was due to begin with jury selection last week but the revised opening day is now Monday, Aug. 11.
JEANIE CREW LAYS BOSTON WREATH
Crew members of the Jeanie Johnston this week laid a wreath in memory of the Great Hunger dead at the Boston Irish Famine Memorial.
The wreath-laying party was led at the ceremony Monday by the ship’s captain, Tom McCarthy.
The Jeanie Johnston, a replica of a Famine-era sailing ship of the same name, is in Boston and open to the public until Aug. 4.
The Boston Irish Famine Memorial was unveiled five years ago to mark the 150th anniversary of the Great Hunger which resulted in tens of thousands of Irish sailing to Boston, at one point more than 100,000 in a five year period.
BARRY MOVE IN CONGRESS
A resolution that would recognize Commodore John Barry as the first flag officer of the United States Navy has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Peter King.
The Wexford-born Barry is widely knows as the “Father of the U.S. Navy,” but recognition as first flag officer would amount to a more formal tribute.
House Joint Resolution 62 is currently before the House Armed Services Committee and a Senate version is being planned.
A identical House resolution was approved in October 2002 but did not proceed to the Senate. Approval of both houses of Congress is necessary for final passage.
The resolution has to date attracted 19 co-sponsors in the 435-member House, which rose for its summer break at the end of last week.
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