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Canonical judge in Milwaukee case corrects the record, rips Times reporting

Catholic World News - March 30, 2010

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.

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Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: alencon - Mar. 31, 2010 9:14 AM ET USA

    The truth is totally irrelevant when the agenda of the secular media is to destroy the Catholic Church. The only recourse left is to pray and fast so that some of them may turn to Christ before the end.

  • Posted by: Miss Cathy - Mar. 30, 2010 10:05 PM ET USA

    The world sees what it wants you to see. When dissident nuns supported the Senate Health Care bill, it was reported as all the nuns. When faithful nuns supported the Bishops, no report. We no longer have news, we have agendas in journalism.

  • Posted by: wolfdavef3415 - Mar. 30, 2010 9:48 PM ET USA

    "The Catholic Church is probably the safest place for children at this point in history." I could not agree more. http://www.humantrafficking.org/updates/707 Of course, there is this piece of information in this article: "In the UK there are 5,000 child prostitutes. 75% of them are girls." Secular media outrage is selective indeed.

  • Posted by: florentine - Mar. 30, 2010 7:01 PM ET USA

    This is astounding! I've had news in background all day, and NO mention of Fr. Brundage very clear and methodical correction of the slanderous and erroneous information about our beloved Pope Benedict. Shouldn't Fr. Brundage's letter be headlined on New York Times, ABC, CNN, and all those so called news outlets who take such salacious joy in promoting all things which undermine the credibility of Catholic Church?

  • Posted by: New Sister - Mar. 30, 2010 6:23 PM ET USA

    Cornelius - you write well...

  • Posted by: Cornelius - Mar. 30, 2010 1:58 PM ET USA

    This is excellent, but needs broader exposure than the Catholic Anchor or even Catholic blogs. This should go in the op-ed page of the NT Times, WashPost, USAToday, FoxNews, or any of the other places that mindlessly parrotted the Times.

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