The Martyrdom of

Thomas Merton

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Report of Merton's death from the National Archives

For more information about Thomas Merton visit:

The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

The Standard Account of Merton's Death

Thomas Merton Quotes

A Modern Thomas à Becket      

   In 1968, someone spoke regarding Thomas Merton as Henry II spoke regarding Thomas à Becket on Christmas Day, AD 1170, "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?" And, as in 1170 so in 1968, someone did rid the speaker "of this meddlesome priest." The difference in the two cases is that in 1170, Pope Alexander immediately started an investigation, determined who the murderers were—four knights, a bishop and Henry II— and excommunicated them. In 1968, however, the powers that be in the Church, the state and media fabricated a story on how Merton died, adopted it, and extensively and exclusively publicized it.  

     In 1968, Thomas Merton was the last in the triad of murder of men of global eminence who were commanding and compelling voices on behalf of the wretched of the earth in the U.S. and beyond. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were the other two. And as religious and secular realpolitik would have it, the murderers of all three were protected by government, corporate, and religious systematic deceit operations nearly as impenetrable to this day as they were in 1968.

                         -Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

From Spellbound (Judy Collins album)

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Thomas Merton Crime Scene Photos

William Ramsey interviews Hugh Turley

The Official Thai Reports on Thomas Merton's Death appear in

The Catholic Historical Review, Spring 2024

Published by

The Catholic University of America Press