Take a good look at the photo above.
Do you really believe that a gentleman dressed in white, sitting on a stylish chair between court jester bookends would ever engage in anything as untoward as protecting a grown man who molests boys?
I leave out the “deaf” part, because while it does make the story a bit more spectacular, it really doesn’t add to the despicableness (yes, I do know that’s not a real word) of it.
I also won’t mention the backdrop of the demon rising through a sea of wailing souls because, well, it sort of speaks for itself, no?
So, apparently Pope Benedict XVI “was drawn deeper yesterday into the clerical sex abuse scandal that has begun to overwhelm the Roman Catholic Church, when he was accused of personally failing to take action against a serial paedophile…who had molested up to 200 deaf boys.”
That’s A LOT of deaf boys, by pretty much any standard. But again, look at that sweet old man sitting on the naughty chair of Ba’al, erm…I mean the Papal throne. Can you really imagine him allowing anything so devilish to go on under his watch?
From The Times
March 26, 2010
Pope accused of ignoring pleas to stop priest who molested 200 deaf boys
Pope Benedict XVI was drawn deeper yesterday into the clerical sex abuse scandal that has begun to overwhelm the Roman Catholic Church, when he was accused of personally failing to take action against a serial paedophile.
The Pope was blamed directly for ignoring repeated pleas by senior American churchmen to take action against a priest who had molested up to 200 deaf boys.
Father Lawrence C. Murphy, who worked at the St John’s School for the Deaf in St Francis, Wisconsin, from 1950 to 1974, starting as a teacher and rising to director, allegedly molested scores of pupils, preying on his victims in their dormitories and on class trips.
But instead of being defrocked and the police called in, it is alleged that Father Murphy avoided justice and remained a member of the Church after a key intervention by the Pope — then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Murphy was quietly moved to the Diocese of Superior in northern Wisconsin in 1974 and spent his last 24 years working freely with children in parishes and schools. He died in 1998 at the age of 72, still a priest.
In 1996 Monsignor Rembert Weakland, then the Archbishop of Milwaukee, twice wrote about Father Murphy to the current Pope — who was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at that time, a position he held between 1982 and 2005 — requesting that Father Murphy be defrocked after admitting to the abuse. Documents obtained by The New York Times show that Archbishop Weakland told Cardinal Ratzinger that he was referring the case to him as head of doctrine, not least because the priest was alleged to have used his role during confession to solicit victims.
Archbishop Weakland said his aim was to defuse anger among the abused and to restore their trust in the Church. Cardinal Ratzinger did not reply.
Nonetheless, eight months later Father Murphy was subject of a secret canonical trial — one using internal Church law — ordered by Cardinal Ratzinger’s deputy at Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Cardinal Bertone is now the Pope’s right-hand man as Secretary of State, or the Vatican prime minister.
The trial was halted after Father Murphy wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger protesting that he had already repented and was in poor health, adding that the case had run out of time under the Church’s own statute of limitations because it related to allegations made more than two decades previously. “I simply want to live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my priesthood,” Father Murphy told Cardinal Ratzinger, adding: “I ask for your kind assistance in this matter.” Cardinal Bertone agreed, saying that the priest should instead repent, undertake a spiritual retreat and be restricted from celebrating Mass outside his diocese.
“This Dicastery [Vatican administrative department] has every hope that the priest in question will demonstrate a willingness to co-operate in the solution to this painful case which will favour the good of souls and avoid scandal,” wrote Monsignor Bertone.
The documents on the Murphy case were made public by lawyers representing five men who have brought lawsuits against the archdiocese of Milwaukee. They include letters between bishops and the Vatican, victims’ affidavits, handwritten notes by a sexual disorders expert who interviewed Father Murphy and minutes of a final meeting on the case at the Vatican.
A letter from Monsignor Bertone later in 1998, after Father Murphy had died, said: “This Dicastery commends Fr Murphy to the mercy of God and shares with you the hope that the Church will be spared any undue publicity from this matter.”
Victims of Father Murphy’s abuse said yesterday that the Pope should be held responsible. Arthur Budzinksi, 61, said: “The Pope knew about this. He should be held accountable. I believe somebody should be punished.”
Critics of the Pope are also focusing on a 1962 document entitled Crimen Sollicitationis, which he updated in 2001 as Vatican head of doctrine in De Delictis Gravioribus. Referring to cases in which priests were accused of sexual relations with minors, the 2001 instruction said: “Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret” — a phrase interpreted by many in the Church as an instruction not to alert the police to sex abuse claims.
The latest allegations undermine the Pope’s efforts to draw a line under a series of abuse cases that have emerged in the past few months. After official government reports revealed decades of abuse in Ireland last year, cases have begun to emerge more recently in the Pope’s native Germany, as well as Austria, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Brazil. Last week Benedict XVI issued an unprecedented letter to bishops in Ireland, saying that he was deeply disturbed and “truly sorry” over years of abuse by Catholic priests in the country, which the Church had covered up. He stressed that the Church must co-operate with civil authorities.
Victims’ groups said they were disappointed because he had made no reference to the Vatican’s — or his own — responsibility for cover-ups. The Vatican has insisted that no cover-up took place and has denounced what it calls a campaign “to smear the Pope”.
The growing scandal provoked a protest at the Vatican yesterday. Leaders of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (Snap) were detained by police after demonstrating on the edge of St Peter’s Square, holding up pictures of Father Murphy and some of his victims and signs reading “Stop the secrecy now” and “Expose the truth”.
“The goal of Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, was to keep this secret,” said Peter Isely, the Milwaukee-based director of Snap. “This is the most incontrovertible case of paedophilia you could get,” he added, flanked by photos of other clerical abuse victims and a poster of the Pope.
“We need to know why he [the Pope] did not let us know about him [Murphy] and why he didn’t let the police know about him and why he did not condemn him and why he did not take his collar away from him.”
Barbara Blaine, president of Snap, said: “I would ask the Pope if he would please open up the files from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and turn over all the information to the police. I would also ask him to make a public order to all bishops across the globe that all predator priests must be removed from ministry immediately.”
Inside the Vatican there was little sign that that was going to happen. L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, said that there was a “clear and despicable intention” to strike at the pontiff “at any cost” over revelations of how the Vatican handled clerical abuse.
Father Federico Lombardi, the Pope’s spokesman, admitted Father Murphy had violated “particularly vulnerable” children in Milwaukee who “suffered terribly from what he did” in a “tragic case . . . By sexually abusing children who were hearing-impaired, Father Murphy violated the law and, more importantly, the sacred trust that his victims had placed in him.”
But he said that the Vatican had not learnt of the case until 1996, two decades after civil authorities had investigated and dropped it. The “decisive factor” in the decision not to punish or defrock Father Murphy had been his age, his “precarious state of health” and the lack of further accusations against him. Father Lombardi added that the Crimen Sollicitationis and its updated version had not “prohibited the reporting of child abuse to law enforcement authorities”.
Cases that link the Pope to a policy of secrecy
The Vatican argued yesterday that there had been no systematic cover-up of clerical sex abuse and that the Pope was being criticised unfairly . However, three incidents seem to link the Pope with the Church’s apparent policy of secrecy:
1980 As Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Joseph Ratzinger presided at a meeting about Father Peter Hullermann, who had forced an 11-year-old to have oral sex and had assaulted three other children. Diocese authorities approved Hullermann’s transfer to southern Germany for therapy; police were not told. Hullermann returned to pastoral duties within two weeks but it is unclear whether Ratzinger knew this. Hullermann reoffended
1996 The Archbishop of Milwaukee wrote to Ratzinger, then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to ask that the Rev Lawrence C. Murphy, a child abuser, be put through a church trial. Father Murphy had molested up to 200 youngsters. The Archbishop received no response but cardinals halted proceedings against Father Murphy after he wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger begging for mercy
2001 Ratzinger ruled that child abuse claims must be handled in canonical trials behind closed doors. Critics say it has done little to stop paedophile priests from transferring to another parish or to encourage reporting of abuse.