Tuesday, July 8, 2014

WaTimes: For Madison priest, social justice carries a price

Just getting caught up on this one, originally in WisSJ on June 29.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - On May 17, police arrested two people for trespassing and disorderly conduct at Volk Field, a military facility about 90 minutes northwest of Madison.

One was a priest, or so it seemed.

“Are you really a clergy member, or is this just a costume?” the Rev. Jim Murphy remembers the arresting officer asking him.

Murphy, 60, who leads two rural parishes in Grant and Iowa counties, assured the officer he is a priest in the Madison Catholic Diocese. Officers took to calling him “father” as they fingerprinted and photographed him.

Murphy was at Volk Field that day protesting drones, unmanned aerial vehicles. It was his first arrest at Volk Field, but his eighth or ninth overall - he lost count.

All of the arrests were for anti-war activism, except for one in the late 1980s when he was part of a group that blocked the doors to a Madison abortion clinic. Brent King, spokesman for the diocese, said he was unaware of another priest in the 133-priest diocese who has been arrested for his activism on social issues as many times as Murphy.

Bishop Robert Morlino called Murphy “a perfect example” of someone who correctly understands the role of one’s conscience in guiding one’s actions.

“It calls somebody, in the end, to something higher, to something that is beyond the minimum,” Morlino told the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/1pE7CrI).
Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/5/for-madison-priest-social-justice-carries-a-price/?page=1#ixzz36oZRX0MX
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Photo: WisSJ

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