November 22, 2005

Bishop on L.I. Is Challenged After Decision in Boston

The New York Times

Published: November 22, 2005
Federal prosecutors have ended a criminal investigation into whether the Catholic Church covered up complaints against a priest in Boston, a case that focused on the central role played by a prelate who is now the bishop of Long Island.

Prosecutors in Boston announced on Friday that they would not indict anyone. But in return for the government's dropping the case, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston agreed to adopt new safeguards to prevent sex abuse.

Critics accused the prosecutors of letting the church and the bishop off easy.Abuse Tracker groups like Bishop Accountability and Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests called the safeguards insufficient and said the case should have gone to trial.

The prosecutors were considering charging the archdiocese with giving the government false information in the background-check form that the bishop, William F. Murphy, sent in 1999 recommending a priest's appointment as a military chaplain.

Bishop Murphy, who was vicar general in Boston at the time, marked "no" to the form's question "Do you have any adverse information?" about the priest. The bishop also sent a letter, described as a "testimonial" for the applicant, calling him "a priest in good standing."

Posted by kshaw at November 22, 2005 09:02 AM