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….

anteros

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

Disturbing.

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.

anteros

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:
http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/03/26/europe.vatican.church.abuse/index.html?hpt=T2

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/03/26/mexico.priest.abuse/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/03/25/church.abuse/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/03/25/ireland.church.abuse/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/03/24/ireland.church.resign/index.html

And this is particularly insightful:
http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/03/24/ireland.child.abuse/index.html

Rob

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.

anteros

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!
http://www.cbc.ca/cp/world/100401/w040165A.html

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

Jubal

Another Temporary Hiatus

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1971: Minnesota Couple Stake Claim To First American Same-Sex Marriage

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1954: "Perverts Vanish" From Miami

Born On This Day, 1907: Evelyn Hooker

Born On This Day, 1925: Fr. John J. McNeill

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.