BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Several survivors have doubts as to whether a new third-party review panel formed to look into complaints of abuse is really independent of the church.
WJZ’s investigative reporter Mike Hellgren spoke with one survivor who was raped repeatedly while attending Catholic school in south Baltimore.
“This is not for survivors,” said Liv Murphy. “It lacks credibility.”
Murphy listened as Baltimore’s archbishop called for zero-tolerance for sexual abuse and outlined new steps that the church was taking to deal with the crisis.
But her faith has not been restored.
“I so want to trust in the archbishop’s good intentions,” said Murphy. “But it was just a media blitz.”
WJZ has the full interview.
Murphy endured being raped repeatedly in her Catholic school by her teacher, John Merzbacher, as church leadership tried to cover it up for years.
Merzbacher is now in prison for child rape.
“What keeps me up at night, is the image of my classmate’s dead body,” said Murphy. “Because he could no longer endure the suffering of his sexual abuse. That’s what keeps me up at night. What keeps me up at night are the hundreds of stories that I’ve heard from survivors. And what keeps me up at night, is this disingenuous response from my church. ”
She had recently spent more than two hours testifying before a team from Maryland’s Attorney General’s office as part of their investigation into the church.
“Yes, I have been interviewed by the Attorney General’s office,” said Gloria Larkin, another abuse survivor who also spent hours telling the AG’s team her story.
She was abused by Father Joseph Maskell, who was featured in “The Keepers” documentary.
“I have no faith whatsoever in the Catholic church doing the right thing,” said Larkin. “They’re there to protect the institution. Period. So I do have hope that the Attorney General will be dogged in their persistence of the truth.”
Tuesday, the archbishop apologized to victims and the Archdiocese has turned over around 50,000 documents and counting to the AG’s office.
Survivors hope the AG gets all of the documents.