On July 16, 2007, we wrote about the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles having to pay $1.3 million dollars to each child molested by priests in the largest diocese in the USA.  508 victims were paid for their religious suffering.  If that wasn’t galling enough, we now learn about the disgraced Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy, who molested children over a 33 year career in the Church.  His specialty, as reported by the New York Times, was taking advantage of Deaf boys.

Mr. Geier, now 59, said that between the ages of 14 and 15, starting around 1965, Father Murphy molested him four times in a closet at the school. The priest, a hearing man fluent in sign language, said that God wanted him to teach the boy about sex but that he had to keep it quiet because it was under the sacrament of confession. Mr. Geier said he felt sick. …

Father Murphy may have molested as many as 200 boys while he worked at the school from 1950 to 1974, according to the accounts of victims and a social worker hired by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to interview him.

Mr. Geier said he first tried to tell the priest at his home parish in Madison, where he served as an altar boy, in 1966 when he was just 16. But the priest, he said, told him he did not want to hear about it, and to just forget about it. He told another priest while he was still a teenager, and yet a third priest years later, after he married.

That priest, the Rev. Tom Schroeder, 72, who led Masses for the deaf in Madison from 1970 to 1992, said in an interview Friday that he remembered Mr. Geier’s telling him about Father Murphy. Father Schroeder said that he told a nun, who told another nun who was a dormitory supervisor at St. John’s, but that the supervisor did not believe it and nothing ever came of it.

I do not understand how a Church can have such, proven, well-documented, institutional ill-will against children — it’s as if a child stands up to protest their molestation by a priest, the church hurriedly rallies around the abuser and vilifies the victim through doctrinal petulance, peer ostracism and by simply pretending nothing was ever said.

We know the disabled are the most vulnerable among us — and they deserve our extra protection — but when we learn of monsters like Father Murphy, protected by the Vatican, and allowed to live to molest
again and again and to die with honor as a full priest in 1998, we are
left stupefied and dumbfounded as to what sort of torture chamber
catechism can be in the hands of an unrepentant, yet institutionally and
peer-protected, serial child molester.


  1. Truly atrocious. This is unspeakably horrific, David, and I don’t know why they don’t get in worse trouble with the law.

  2. The NYTimes uncovers more Father Murphy sins this morning:

    “There was a group of boys from which client regularly selected someone to go to his cottage in Boulder Junction to engage in sexual behavior,” Ms. Walter wrote. Her notes refer to Father Murphy’s time of service at the school for the deaf, and were intended to help church leaders decide how to deal with him.
    “Sexually oriented to male adolescents,” she wrote in her conclusions, adding at another point, “This client seems to have no sense of the extent of harm caused.”
    In the two years before Father Murphy died, the bishops in Milwaukee and Superior tried to have him defrocked but were dissuaded by Vatican officials who had received a letter from Father Murphy asking for leniency. The Vatican said Father Murphy had shown “apparent good conduct” in the 24 years since he had been removed from St. John’s and sent to Boulder Junction.


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