Waiting

 

Bishop William Murphy of Long Island’s Diocese of Rockville Centre will meet January 19 with four hundred of his priests. It’s about time. Murphy is responding to a request made in a letter signed by fifty priests calling for a conversation with the bishop. The letter noted a “sadness and sense of desperation” among Rockville Centre clergy in the aftermath of the sexual-abuse crisis, and asserted that “life goes on under a dark cloud.” The bishop has a responsibility to deal more directly with his flock, the letter writers said. So do all bishops. Murphy was a prominent adviser to Cardinal Bernard Law, and questions about his handling of allegations of sexual abuse against Boston priests have never been answered satisfactorily. Some Catholics, including the local branch of Voice of the Faithful, have called for his resignation. It is hoped that the January meeting will at the very least begin to grapple with the paralysis felt by many Catholics on Long Island. These frustrations are shared by Catholics across the country, clergy and laity alike. Dioceses and bishops differ, of course, but few observers dispute the fact that the church suffers from a morale crisis of daunting proportions. The laity is wary and disengaged. Many priests feel they have been betrayed by their bishops-even made scapegoats for the sexual-abuse crisis. Nor is it a secret that bishops, having been subjected to a firestorm of media...

To read the rest of this article please login or become a subscriber.