March 08, 2006

Priests urge bishop to use mediator



March 8, 2006

It worked for New York City transit workers, so why not for Long Island Catholics?

At least that's the idea being pitched by a priests' group that asked Rockville Centre Bishop William Murphy and members of a Catholic lay group to meet with a mediator. The priests' group, called The Voice of the Ordained, has offered $1,000 toward the cost, and extolled the role mediators played in ending the recent transit strike.

Murphy is one of a handful of bishops nationwide who have banned meetings on church property of Voice of the Faithful, a lay group formed during the clergy sex abuse scandals to demand greater accountability from its leaders. Many say the prohibition has further alienated the group's membership, many of whom are leaders and teachers in their parishes.

The lay group is highly critical of the bishop. Citing his previous job as top deputy to Cardinal Bernard Law, it called for his resignation, saying he helped shield abusive priests in Boston -- an accusation he vehemently denies. Past efforts to negotiate a rapprochement failed.

Posted by kshaw at March 8, 2006 08:00 AM