Pope Benedict failed to discipline US priest who abused deaf children for 24 years
March 25, 2010
(ChattahBox) – Top Vatican officials, including Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), failed to defrock or even discipline a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys from 1950 to 1974, 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 (first reported by The New York Times), Father Lawrence C. Murphy continued to work within the church despite the allegations. The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin went directly to then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was in charge of the church’s doctrinal enforcement institution at the time, but apparently made protecting the church from scandal a higher priority then acting to dismiss the Reverend. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger allegedly stopped Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, then his deputy at the Congregation and now the Vatican’s secretary of state, from issuing instructions that the local bishops should initiate a secret canonical trial of Murphy. The Pope isn’t the only one who failed to act. During Murphy’s 24 years at the school, three successive archbishops in Wisconsin were told that he was sexually abusing children, but never reported it to criminal or civil authorities. Evidence of the new troubling case was provided by lawyers involved in lawsuits brought against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Father Murphy was quietly finally moved by the archbishop of Milwaukee, William Cousins, to the diocese of Superior, in northern Wisconsin, in 1974, where he worked freely with children until his death in1998 and was never disciplined by the church. Well at least Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy, likely won’t be considered for Sainthood now? This is only one of thousands of cases forwarded over decades by bishops to the pope, who faces scrutiny over fresh allegations of abuse in Germany.