SPEAKING OUT ON ABUSE (Diocesan target says board didn’t get a claim against priest)

Lorraine Armet, a member of the civilian review board advising Bishop William Murphy on how to proceed against priests accused of sexually abusing minors, said that a top diocesan official told her to step down for speaking out in favor of settling the lawsuits brought by victims.  She said she had kept the confidentiality of those proceeding, however, she will not continue to participate because she said Murphy is trying to silence her for siding with victims.  Armet was spoke at a Parents For Megan's Law news conference in Stony Brook.  The group's leader, Laura Ahearn, has called for Murphy's resignation because she says he was part of a clerical establishment in the Archdiocese of Boston where he was second in command and failed to put adequate policies to protect children in place on Long Island.

Armet said yesterday that there was at least one written complaint of improper behavior by a priest toward minors that was not sent to the board.  There were things that were with merit that we didn't see.  I know we didn't see all the cases, Armet said at the news conference.  Joanne Novarro, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, said on Tuesday she was unable to comment on Armet's charge because she was unfamiliar with the letter involved.  

Murphy asked Armet and her husband Ronald to serve on the 11 person civilian board last year.  The group has met regularly for 18 months to advise the bishop on whether priests accused of sexually abusing minors should be returned to the ministry.  It also reviews abuse prevention policies put in place by the diocese.