Thursday, March 25, 2010

Press Release: Diocese of Superior of Wisconsin -- Statement of the Diocese of Superior in Response to the 3/25/10 Duluth News Tribune Article

Articles appeared today in the New York Times, the Times of London, the Duluth News Tribune, the Star Tribune and many other newspapers and internet sites reporting on the subject of this press release from the Diocese of Superior.
In this press release, the Diocese of Superior denies that Father Lawrence Murphy was ever attached to the Diocese of Superior.


Diocese of Superior


For More Information Contact:

Mr. Richard Lyons

Director of Administrative Services

PH: 715-394-0203

March 25, 2010

Statement of the Diocese of Superior in Response to the 3/25/10 Duluth News Tribune Article

On behalf of Bishop Christensen, we are sharing some information with you.

As noted by Bishop Christensen, “Of course, any news regarding inappropriate sexual behavior of a priest is distressing and scandalous and, obviously, contrary to the teaching of the Christian faith.”

In light of recent articles on Lawrence Murphy, it is our understanding that he went on temporary sick leave from his assignment at St. John's School for the Deaf in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in September, 1974. That same year he took up residence at his mother's home near Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. He was never formally associated as a priest of the Diocese of Superior and was always the responsibility of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Consequently, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has and will be addressing the issues regarding Lawrence Murphy. A statement released today by the Archdiocese is included below.

Given the mandates clarified by the Charter for the Protection for Children and Young People which was established in 2002, no priest, deacon, sister, brother or lay person will ever be allowed to serve in the Diocese of Superior who in any way is known to have abused any child, anywhere, at any time.

Following is the statement released by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee:

Statement of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in Response to the 3/25/10 New York Times Article

The case of Lawrence Murphy has been well documented since the mid-1970s when allegations were first reported to civil authorities, although criminal charges were not filed. A chronology of Lawrence Murphy is available on the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Web site at .

Murphy’s actions were criminal and we sincerely apologize to those who have been harmed. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee continues to reach out to victims-survivors who were harmed by Lawrence Murphy, and encourages them to report any abuse they suffered.

Most importantly, today, no priest with any substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor serves in public ministry in any way in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

A public record of all diocesan priests with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor is also available on the Web site at

St. John’s School for the Deaf closed in 1983.

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