Man believes he was groomed by priest

A Central Otago man believes he dodged a bullet after being groomed by Catholic priest Fr Magnus Murray in Dunedin.

The man, whom ODT Insight has agreed not to name, said as a 13 or 14-year-old he had returned to Dunedin on a break from boarding school when he ran into Fr Murray in the mid-1960s.

His parents, both staunch Catholics, attended St Bernadette's Church, and it was while visiting them he ran into Fr Murray, who was assistant priest curate at the church.

Fr Magnus Murray. Photo: supplied
Fr Magnus Murray. Photo: supplied
Fr Murray soon approached and ''invited me to help weed his mother's garden'' in Anderson's Bay, the man said.

''We hopped into his car and off we went to Andy Bay and we worked hard in the garden all morning.

''We came back [to St Bernadette's presbytery] and he said 'oh, would you like to stay for lunch?'

''Then he said 'oh, would you like a shower?'''

The boy accepted the offers, but while showering began ''feeling uncomfortable''.

''He was just sort of loitering around. As far as I can remember, nothing actually happened, but I still remember the unpleasant feeling of being watched.''

The man returned to his boarding school soon after, and saw nothing more of Fr Murray, but the incident remained ''a very unpleasant memory''.

''I just wonder whether I was actually being groomed.

''Of course, my parents, being ardent Catholics of course, you'd never talk about a thing like this. It just couldn't happen.

''Priests could do no wrong, basically.''

He considered himself ''lucky'', but now wondered if others had similar experiences.

''It might bring a few skeletons out of the closet.''



I don't trust religion or followers, as they obviously can't think for themselves, but naming this guy for someone feeling a bit uncomfortable upon 50 years of reflection and media hype seems a bit unfair with lack of others or evidence at this point.
Innocent until proven guilty?
More like guilty through trial by media



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter