Popular Jesuit removed from ministry

Popular Jesuit removed from ministry June 21, 2011

It stems from an allegation of sex abuse dating back more than 20 years ago:

A prominent Jesuit priest has been permanently barred from public ministry for allegedly improperly touching a minor in the 1980s.

The Maryland Province of the Jesuits said Tuesday that it removed the Rev. James Glenn Murray from church work after an investigator hired by the Roman Catholic order found evidence supporting the allegation. Murray is living in a monitored Jesuit residence.

The Jesuits sent notice of their action to dioceses and high schools where Murray has served since his 1979 ordination.

Murray is a liturgy specialist who helped draft a 1990s document for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on African-American worship in the Roman Catholic Church.

You can read more about Murray here.

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25 responses to “Popular Jesuit removed from ministry”

  1. I went to National Catholic Youth Minister’s Conference a few years ago and had my first exposure to J-Glenn Murray. I walked out of his ‘talk’ in protest.

    His hateful and disrespectful language towards the US Military and the US Government, right after 9-11, was awful. I’ve never heard a priest spew such garbage in my life.

    I’ve avoided all of his talks at the LA Congress and any other Catholic Conference where he’s been a speaker.

    Why is he being allowed to remain a Jesuit and even live in community? If he improperly touched a minor and it’s substantiated, he should be excommunicated, laicized and arrested. I guess the Church is showing the world that child abuse is less of a crime than unauthorized schismatic ordination of women who want to serve the Church and the People of God…or a nun approving of the abortion of a fetus to save the life of a mother.

  2. J Glenn Murray is one of the best spokesmen for the beauty and power of Catholic liturgy. His videos are classic… and among the best liturgical catechesis pieces out there. So sad.

  3. I guess the NPM (National Association of Pastoral Musicians) will be scrambling for a new Keynote Speaker for the opening of their annual convention in Louisville in late July.

    Surely his order will have him in a supervised place where he can still write and serve the Church while dealing with his issues, as John Huels has done in Canon Law circles since his own (much-deserved) removal from ministry.

  4. Michelle, if you actually read the article, you would see that they found evidence supporting the allegation — which means there’s going to be formal (canonical) legal proceedings, I would assume. Laicization, or removal from the order, if it does happen, would happen after that. He could only be arrested if his crime took place in a state where sexual abuse doesn’t have a statute of limitations, which I know nothing about, and which has absolutely nothing to do with the Church. Your erroneous assumptions that this is the *final* step of the Church’s actions against Fr. Murray and not the *first* might be motivated by the clear bad faith that you show in your final sentences.

  5. The Jesuits sent notice of their action to dioceses and high schools where Murray has served since his 1979 ordination.


    Please read before writing!

  6. This is very sad – truly tragic. I am sick of it too, but I am also sick of how we tear each other apart, especially at the lowest moments.

    Does J Glenn Murray not deserve our prayers? Do we believe that God has abandoned him?

    Praying for Murray – or Corapi – or any number of people who are, fairly or not, justifiably or not, accused of allegations is essential for us as Roman Catholic Christians.

    How can we bear witness to Christ if we do not truly love one another? I struggle with this – struggle mightily. However, if our faith is to have life, if we are to live the Gospel and if we are to be Christ in the world, is there an alternative?

    Prayers for all of the accused, convicted, removed… prayers for all those harmed by the actions of any one who abuses another human being in any way. It is all the more heartbreaking and also outrageous when it happens in this setting. However, if we are not called to ultimate forgiveness and reconciliation in Christ and to bear one another with love, what are we doing? Worshipping and adoring Christ alone? If we can’t drag ourselves to each others sides, we are lost indeed.

  7. Jim Dotter, the Jesuits have, or had, a system, called “regency” as I recall. In regency, they would send men on assignments after they had taken vows but prior to ordination. They would be called, not “Father,” but “Mister.” For example, my first year Greek course at Georgetown University was taught by Mr. Pascoe, S.J.

    So it may be possible that Mr. Murray, S.J., would have taught in high school about that time.

  8. “cathyf: Please read before writing!”

    I did. The J. Glenn Murray, S.J. who was at Gonzaga was a scholastic in 74-75. 1979 would be about right for ordination.

  9. Looking for the attack on this person that was so evident with Father Corapi..

    Neither has yet been convicted of anything, just accused, but suspect we will see far different coverage. I suspect he touted the liberal line versus Father Corapi stating the truth of actual church teaching.

  10. This is really sad. I pray for healing for the victim. I pray for all the people who looked up to Fr. Murray who will be hurt by this revelation. I pray for Fr. Murray.

    Fr. Murray has had a tremendous impact on my life and many others I know. He is one of the most powerful preachers I have ever heard, and he has greatly expanded my understanding and appreciation of the liturgy.

    The only positive thing I can say is that the system seems to have worked in this instance. Even after civil authorities and a third party investigator had failed to come up with enough evidence to substantiate the allegations when they were first made in 2005, the Jesuits revisited the case and had another third party investigator look into it. I give the Maryland Province credit in this instance for doing their due diligence.

  11. Wait don’t we need to see 75 more blogo-klatch posts on this by mark shea, la popessa, et al? Surely we can’t stop at just one?

  12. It depends, Brother Jeff. If J-Glenn tapes multiple bloviations about how persecuted he is, and that his accuser is a mentally-ill alcoholic, and that a bishop is slandering him, and that the Church is being taken over by demonic liberals intent on destroying the priesthood, and exhorting his followers to take action — then we will need lots of threads to deal with each specific specifically. If he remains silent, then we are done.

  13. Yah, funny thing is, there were about 75 posts on Corapi before any of that happened. I continue to wait for the next post on Murray. It would probably be a refreshing break for those obsessed with publicly lambasting John Corapi for the last four months.

  14. Jeff…

    All this began when John Corapi announced his suspension, and then in his statement professed his innocence, condemned the process, mentioned the Dallas Charter, and attacked his accuser.

    Corapi (through his media company) then released statements adding more details about his accuser, and branding her a disgruntled employee.

    Corapi then posted statements from the late Avery Dulles and the retired bishop of Corpus Christi condemning the process by which priests are removed from ministry.

    After about three months of relative silence, Corapi then released a statement announcing his announcement.

    Corapi then put forth the Black Sheepdog audio tape, announcing his decision to no longer be “Fr.” Corapi — and did it a full 48 hours before his superiors could respond.

    Corapi has continued to put forth audio tapes, explaining his decision, clarifying what he meant, attacking his accuser (even threatening to release privately recorded audio tapes, which he says would prove she is either an alcoholic or mentally unbalanced), lambasting the bishop of Corpus Christi and otherwise professing his innocence.

    The response from his superiors has been muted and matter-of-fact; the bishop of Corpus Christi, as far as I know, has said nothing. Corapi’s accuser, likewise, has said nothing.

    John Corapi has been driving this story and continuing to try to attract attention. This kind of public performance cries out for public scrutiny. Corapi has gotten that. But maybe it’s time we all said, “Enough.” The story is a mess of puzzling statements and contradictions.

    At this juncture, I’m thinking that the best for all concerned — both Corapi and the blogosphere — is to just shut up. And pray.

  15. A point I have been making, Deacon Greg, for at least the last month. Everyone should shut up about it at this point, the whole topic has become spiritually toxic. I think Don Henley said it best in “Dirty Laundry”:

    “Dirty little secrets, dirty little lies
    We got our dirty little fingers in everybody’s pie
    Love to cut you down to size, we love dirty laundry

    We can do the innuendo, we can dance and sing
    When it’s said and done, we haven’t told you a thing
    We all know that crap is king, give us dirty laundry.”

  16. Cathyf, this story was covered like v-j day from the beginning. Lots of ‘i ihave to go say some rosaries for him’ after ceaseless speculations about his appearance, tone of voice, preaching style, etc. No other ‘scandal’ has,been given remotely similar coverage. The jesuit scandal in seattle was scarcely mentioned and we all know why.

  17. I have nothing but the highest respect for J-Glenn. My assumption is that these allegations, like so many, are false. Indeed there are real victims, just as they are real perpetrators; however there are also false allegations and falsely accused priests.

  18. It is very sad that we who are called catholic promote such hatred. I am not surprised. I am not the judge nor the jury. therefore I will refrain from judgment.
    But what I do ask of you is to live the faith that you were called. In so doing examine yourself and pray for Father John Glenn. Make sure that you have secured your place in eternity. May God bless each of you!

  19. Very little, if anything, was said about Fr. Corapi’s situation before his statement just after Ash Wednesday.

  20. Mr Glenn Murray taught at Gonzaga in the 70s – I graduated in 79. I think he was involved in the dramatic society and frankly was a pretty OK guy that I could see.

    It must be tough being a reverend mister and a priest just as it’s tough being anything else in life.

    That said, it is clear that the outrage shown in some of the above comments is justified. However, might some of the energy that fuels the passion evidenced in many of the above comments be better spent in forgiveness and looking at ways to ensure the issue does not besmirch the reputation of the Jesuit order which devotes itself to bettering all our lives and fostering the Catholic faith. These men devote their lives to others in poverty and for no personal gain.

    I can see the impulse to tear someone up but what in the end is actually achieved – pretty pointless really. He’s being dealt with – move on.

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