NY Times: Pope Benedict Shielded Priest Accused of Molesting 200 Deaf Boys

Jim Burroway

March 24th, 2010

Lawrence C. Murphy, at St. John's School for the Deaf in Wisconsin in 1960.

Lawrence C. Murphy, at St. John's School for the Deaf in Wisconsin in 1960.

This leaves me speechless:

BenedictTop Vatican officials — including the future Pope Benedict XVI — did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit. The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal.

…The Wisconsin case involved an American priest, the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy, who worked at a renowned school for deaf children from 1950 to 1974. But it is only one of thousands of cases forwarded over decades by bishops to the Vatican office called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, led from 1981 to 2005 by Cardinal Ratzinger. It is still the office that decides whether accused priests should be given full canonical trials and defrocked.

While the documents obtained by the New York Times do not include responses from Ratzinger, the Times did find that all efforts to defrock Murphy came to a halt after Murphy wrote to Ratzinger asking for leniency. Murphy died four months later and was buried in his priestly vestments.

Tony P

March 24th, 2010

Oh it gets so much better. Benny the Rat had better step down before this comes to a head.

David Roberts

March 24th, 2010

It seems almost insane that the Catholic church, which has such a deplorable record on such things, is still allowed to handle the investigations of these creeps “in house.” And they actually have to decide whether or not the priest will be defrocked? What must one to do be so punished if not that?

They should have one choice when a suspected case comes up — call the police and give them all the information they may have. Anything else is an obstruction of justice.

Someone better get the smoke ready.

Lynn David

March 25th, 2010

Odd… the complaining bishop, Archbishop Weakland, resigned after it became public that he had an affair with a man and used church money to pay him a settlement

Paul in Canada

March 25th, 2010

RCC and the Pope: totally, absolutely and unequivocally absent of anything even slightly resembling morality. I truly wonder (and hope?) that this continues to spin out of control and that this ‘institution’ quickly becomes obsolete and eventually evaporates off the face of this earth.

How does anyone in a position of power, let alone in a position of ‘moral authority’ explain this away?

It is so incredibly mind-numbing to continue to hear of the growing cover-up. Although I’m not a supporter (in the least) of organized religion, there are some (small) churches across all denominations that operate ethically and do good work that benefits many, but it is time for the world to say ‘enough of the corruption’ and separate all ties of previledge to religious institutions.

Back to the basics – encouraging one another in living our faith – not institutionalizing belief systems that are given priviledge and positions of power.

Hey, one can dream….


March 25th, 2010

i cant help but wonder…

who’s “worse”:

a) a pedophile, or

b) a person in authority who knew about the abuse and could have done something about it but instead chose to cover up?

one could argue that a pedophile is “unwell”… society and kids in particular need to be protected from them, because they are sick people who can’t help themselves. they’re totally f’d up, whether they know it or not. that’s the pedo’s crappy “excuse” – it’s pathological or whatever.

wtf is the POPE’s excuse??

Mark F.

March 25th, 2010


However, it should be pointed out that once a priest is validly ordained , he is always a priest. The Pope can, however, take away his job.


March 25th, 2010

the cover up continues… the vatican now claims the pope is the victim… of a smear campaign conducted by the media.

forget the hundreds of nameless deaf kids whose abuse was ignored… our poor, innocent pope is being victimized.

…is anybody still wondering why this problem has persisted and continues to persist?

Paul in Canada

March 26th, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010 – there are no less than 6 articles on CNN on the widening/growing sex abuse scandels within the RCC:





And this is particularly insightful:


March 28th, 2010

“Murphy died four months later and was buried in his priestly vestments.”

Just because he’s dead doesn’t mean it’s not too late to have him tried and stripped of his priestly vestments. The Church can initiate a Synodus Horrenda against Murphy, although they would probably be charged for gross abuse of a corpse.


March 29th, 2010

death… priestly vestments… cheap attempts at attracting sympathy as a distraction for the cover up… oh come on, the poor pedo was months away from his death when we decided that doing something about the hundreds of abuse cases wouldnt be worth the trouble… especially since it would get in the way of the holy pedo being laid to rest in his priestly vestments. nobody has to know, right?

cover up.

they didnt want to be exposed, that’s all.

Paul in Canada

April 1st, 2010

I realize this is an older post but given it is ‘holy week’ and the Pope is very public, here’s the latest in the growing sex abuse scandel(s) is the RCC: The RCC church and Bishops (protecting the Pope) are claiming victimization and a ‘conspiracy against the Church’ by the media…. this just gets sicker and sicker!

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