01Mar Murphy report is reviewed in latest ‘Studies’

The Winter issue of Studies is entirely dedicated to ‘revisiting the Murphy Report’, the Commission of Investigation: Report into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, chaired by Judge Yvonne Murphy and published in 2009. The commission, according to the document’s introductory paragraph, ‘was established to report on the handling by Church and State authorities of a representative sample of allegations and suspicions of child sexual abuse against clerics operating under the aegis of the Archdiocese of Dublin over the period 1975 to 2004’ (1.1).

This review of the Commissions of Investigation Act, 2004, in relation to the work and report of the Murphy Commission, as it became known, accepts and acknowledges that grave injustice and suffering were inflicted on young people and their families by the sexual abuse of children perpetrated by clerics in positions of trust, operating under the aegis of the archdiocese of Dublin.

The full Editorial can be read here

2 Responses

  1. Joe O'Leary

    We are all seared by the clerical sex abuse scandal, but it is necessary to counter exaggerations and extrapolations. When the SNAP folk broadcast the idea that 100,000 US children were raped by Catholic clergy, we need to check their claims. In fact the word “raped” here covers all kinds of abuse, not only sexual abuse, and the word “children” covers all minors up to the age of 18, while the word “were” means “are alleged to have been”, and the number “100,000” was thought up by an expert at a Vatican meeting who multiplied actual allegations by 5. According to some sources, the number of US clergy accused of actual physical rape of minors only 68. (If this is incorrect, let SNAP give their own statistics.) 68 too many of course, but not a number high enough to justify the perception of physical rape as a typical activity of RC clergy. The number accused of raping pre-pubescent children is no doubt far lower, and the number of such cases that are proven no doubt far lower again. To ask these questions is not to minimise — it is merely something that is necessary if we are to get the facts straight.

  2. Paddy Ferry

    I have read Fr. Bradley’s article and I have to say I found it a very reasonable analysis though it doesn’t really help me dispel my sense of unease which began when I first became aware of the Judge Fergal Sweeney critique of the work of the Murphy Commission.

    However, leaving that aside, the statement that jumped off the page/screen as I read Fr. Bradley’s piece was his quotation from Judge Sweeney –” It goes without saying that to be publicly condemned by the Commission as someone in authority who could have prevented further instances of child sexual abuse, yet knowingly turned a blind eye to same, was always likely to bring a lifetimes work down in shame and ignominy”

    The case I have in mind was not part of the Commission’s work nor did it involve the Dublin Archdiocese. Yet the rest of the quotation above from Sweeney does apply precisely to “someone in authority”, the highest cleric in the land, infact, yet it does not appear to me that he is living “in shame and ignominy”.