Catholic Priest

Edmundus Murphy

Diocese: Diocese of Erie

From the Report I of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

On December 21, 2007 an e-mail communication was sent to Monsignor Robert Smith, Vicar General of the Diocese of Erie from the Society of the Divine Word in Techny, Ilinois. The purpose of the e-mail was to inform Smith that a victim was sexually abused by a staff member while he was a minor at Sacred Heart High School in 1964. This school was operated by the Society of the Divine Word Missionaries in Girard.

The victim claimed that during the summer between his freshman and sophomore years of high school, Brother Edmundus Murphy, who was 33 years of age at this time, was the wrestling coach at the school.  Murphy encouraged the victim to join the team and, under the pretense of teaching him some wrestling moves, the two wrestled naked “as the ancient Greeks and Romans did.” The victim alleged that during these “wrestling” sessions he was sodomized by Murphy.

Immediately after the incident, the victim asked Murphy what he was doing and, according to the victim, Murphy sat on the floor and began to cry.

The Grand Jury investigation found no documentation that the Diocese notified local law enforcement or the District Attorney’s Office about Murphy’s behavior.  The only note in the file was a handwritten notation on top of the printed out e-mail which read; “not responsible—Priest/Deacon only,” Call Helen Schumacher to verify on 7/18/08.” This was signed by R. Smith 7/18/08.

Additional information regarding the widespread sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Dioceses of Pennsylvania and the systemic cover up by senior church officials is compiled in the Pennsylvania Diocese Victim’s Report published by the Pennsylvania Attorney General following a two-year grand jury investigation.  A complete copy of the Report is available on the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s website.