Monday, April 5, 2010

Casting the first shadow

An alert reader notes that among the New York Times documents from Father Lawrence Murphy's file, reposted at Bishop Accountability, is the September 2, 1998 letter from Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Archbishop Weakland first informs Cardinal Bertone that he can close his file because Father Murphy died August 21, 1998. Weakland goes on,
Although we thought the family had agreed to a private funeral Mass at the chapel of one of our cemeteries and that the casket would be closed, they did just the opposite, defied our agreement, invited people from the deaf community to attend, had the casket open and Father dressed in full vestments. The Mass was celebrated by the Auxilary Bishop of Milwaukee, His Excellency Bishop Richard Sklba. Bishop Sklba, in his carefully prepared words, alluded to the good work Father Murphy did, but also, in deference to the deaf community present, had to mention that some shadows had been cast on his ministry.
My reader wonders if Bishop Sklba could not have insisted, before proceeding, that the family comply with the agreement to the extent it was still possible. The letter goes on,
In spite of these difficulties, we are hoping we can avoid undue publicity that would be negative toward the Church.
How much negative publicity could there be if "Murphy’s actions were public knowledge and reported to civil authorities as early as 1973; in newspaper articles as early as 1974; and through civil court proceedings as early as 1975." as we were told in that statement from Archdiocesan spokesman Jerry Topczewski in the October 13, 2009 Milwaukee Catholic Herald?

1 comment:

  1. "...some shadows had been cast on his ministry."....?

    ...and World War 1 was a "spot of bother" on the European mainland!

    And Bp. Sklba - like Bp. Trautman - worries that the new translation of the Missal will not be understood by the people in the pews?

    Interesting too, that Bp. Sklba was the one to officiate at the funeral. The tag-team of Weakland/Sklba at work again.