Tag: John Murray

Fr. John Murray – Diocese of Erie

Father John L. Murray
Diocese of Erie

Fr John L Murray Horowitz Law

Fr John L Murray Horowitz Law

Ordained: May 1947

Sick leave: 1968-1972 and 1985-1987

Criminal conviction: 1985

Permanently restricted: 1987

Death: date unknown

Assigned as follows:

  • 5/31/1947 -5/28/1955: Sacred Heart, Parochial Vicar with Residence, Sharon, PA
  • 5/28/1955 -6/11/1960: St. Paul, Parochial Vicar with Residence, Erie, PA
  • 8/25/1959 -6/11/1960: St. Paul, Parochial Vicar with Residence. Special Duties, Part-Time Faculty, Erie Cathedral Preparatory, Erie, PA
  • 6/11/1960 -8/01/1966: Special Ministry, Erie Cathedral Preparatory, Erie, PA
  • 8/27/1966 -1/31/1969: Special Ministry, DuBois Central Catholic HS, Special Duties, Headmaster, DuBois, PA
  • 6/16/1967 -10/15/1968: St. Bernard, Administration with Residence, Falls Creek, PA
  • 10/15/1968- 5/26/1972: Health Leave
  • 5/26/1972 -1/04/1974: Special Ministry, Vicar Assistant with Residence, Our Lady Queen of the Americas, Conneaut Lake, PA
  • 1/04/1974 – 6/01/1979: Pastor with Residence, Our Lady Queen of the Americas, Conneaut Lake, PA
  • 6/01/1979 – 10/15/1985: Pastor with Residence, St. Matthew in the Woods, Erie, PA
  • 10/15/1985 – 6/01/1987: Sick Leave
  • 6/01/1987: Restricted, Erie, PA

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Murray:

According to the grand jury report, the Diocese of Erie received reports that Father John L. Murray sexually molested young boys in a church rectory before serving mass, as well as in recreational settings such as the lake shore. A review of his Diocesan file revealed that, as a result, the Diocese of Erie paid thousands of dollars in therapy fees and civil settlements. Two of his victims received monetary settlements in the amount of $25,000 each.

The first allegation of sexual abuse against Murray was made in 1967. It was reported that in the summer of 1966, Murray, while in a social setting with the victim’s family at the shore, allegedly fondled the young boy in the water and on shore.

This incident was brought to the attention of the boy’s parents and Bishop John F. Whealon in 1967. There was no indication in the file that law enforcement was notified. Whealon’ s personal notes revealed that he confronted Murray with the accusation and spoke with the victim’s father on a number of occasions. Murray partially denied the allegation by telling the Bishop that the victim has “an overactive imagination,” and that any touching was accidental due to normal roughhousing with the boy.

The notes further indicated that the victim’s father met with Murray and Murray apologized to him for the incident. The records revealed that Whealon convinced the family that nothing could be done in this case. Whealon wrote that the victim’s mother and father have “no doubt that this priest (Murray) did something wrong, in the water and on the shore.”

Whealon recorded the father as saying, “If it was the first time, Father Murray is now so frightened that it will not happen again.”

In April of 1985, Murray was charged by the Pennsylvania State Police with one count each of indecent assault and corruption of minors as the result of Murray sexually molesting a 12-year-old boy who was preparing to serve mass in the church rectory. He eventually pled guilty to both charges, was sentenced to 12 months’ probation and fined.

As a result of Murray’s second instance of child molestation, the Diocese disciplined him by removing his priestly faculties in 1985. While awaiting sentencing on his criminal charges, the Diocese of Erie sent Murray to two treatment facilities. After several years of treatment, paid for by the Diocese, Murray was retired and moved to his family home in Philadelphia. As of 2007, he was still receiving money to pay for his therapy.

Finally, in 2016, Bishop Lawrence Persico received the latest complaint against Murray. This incident came to the attention of the Diocese when the victim was visiting the Conneaut Lake area. According to Persico’s handwritten file note, the victim, now 55 years of age, was a 12-year-old boy in 1973. He was cutting grass at Our Lady of the Americas church where Murray was the Pastor. Murray allegedly grabbed the child’s genitals through the boy’s clothes.

Persico wrote to the victim on September 15, 2016, and advised him that the Diocese notified the Erie County District Attorney’s Office and reported the incident to Childline. He further advised that Murray was out of ministry, was not permitted to function as a priest and offered to speak with the victim should he have any further questions.

Murray appears on the Diocese of Erie’s list of credibly accused priests who are now deceased.  The date of his death is unknown.

Contact us today.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Erie now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

Fr. John J. Murray – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father John J. Murray

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Ordained:  1947

Removed from ministry: 1992

Inpatient treatment: 1992-1993

Retired (with limited faculties): 1993

Fully restricted faculties: 2004

Died: 2006

Assigned as follows:

  • 1947-1948 St. Ambrose (Shuylkill Haven, PA)
  • 1948-1953 Sacred Heart (Havertown, PA)
  • 1953-1958 Our Lady of Fatima (Secane, PA)
  • 1958-1963 St. Paul (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1963-1965 St. Bridget (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1965-1970 St. Joachim (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1970-1978 St. Bernard (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1978-1992 St. Patrick (Kennett Square, PA)
  • 1992-2004 Leave of Absence (Villa St. Joseph)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Murray:

Father John Murray has been accused of sexual abuse of girls during his priesthood.  

According to the 2011 grand jury report, Murray was accused of sexually abusing a young female student who worked in the St. Patrick’s rectory in late 1991.  In April 1992, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia put him into limited ministry, though he was still allowed to celebrate masses in certain locations. Murray was also sent for a psychological evaluation at Villa St. John Vianney, the notorious pedophile priest treatment center owned by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  He never returned to a formal parish assignment, but continued to exercise priestly faculties until 2004.

A second girl made similar allegations not long after the first, also alleging that she was sexually abused as a 15 year old girl over the course of several months in late 1991 as well.  

Murray’s name appeared on a February 1994 memo from William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Secretary for the Clergy, to James Molloy, the Vicar for Administration for the Archdiocese.  The purpose of the memo was to catalog the sexual abuse allegations kept in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Secret Archives, which are files traditionally accessible only by the archbishop and, sometimes, one of his designees.  Under Canon Law, the Archdiocese is required to maintain any potentially scandalous information in the Secret Archives. Of the summaries Lynn wrote, “only basic information is contained in this report so as not to have too much in writing on this matter.”  Murray’s name appears in the section labeled “Guilty of Sexual Misconduct with Minors.” Lynn’s summary states only that Murray “fondled a teenage girl while under the influence of alcohol” in 1992, so this reference refers to a third girl.

Murray died in 2006.  At the time of his death, Murray was still a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, though he was in restricted ministry.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Philadelphia now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.