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Pope accused of failing to act on sex abuse case

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by X-PASTER, Mar 25, 2010.


    X-PASTER Moderator

    Mar 25, 2010
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    Pope accused of failing to act on sex abuse case

    Pope Benedict XVI has been accused of failing to act on complaints from two archbishops in the US about a priest who allegedly abused 200 deaf boys.

    As a cardinal heading the Vatican office that dealt with sex abuse cases, the future pontiff allegedly failed to respond to letters about the case.

    US media reports say a church trial of the priest, Lawrence Murphy, was halted when he pleaded ill health.

    The Vatican said US civil authorities had investigated and dropped the case.

    The Holy See has been haunted for months by sex abuse cover-up allegations in Europe, including Ireland, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, as well as the pope's native Germany.

    For more than 20 years before he was made Pope, Joseph Ratzinger led the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith - the Vatican office with responsibility, among other issues, for the Church's response to child abuse cases.

    Documents suggest that in 1996, the then Cardinal Ratzinger twice failed to respond to letters sent to him personally, reported the New York Times, which broke the story.

    They concerned the Rev Lawrence Murphy, who worked at a Wisconsin school for deaf children from the 1950s.

    Two archbishops wrote letters to the Vatican office led by Cardinal Ratzinger calling for disciplinary proceedings against Fr Murphy, but the Vatican halted the process, according to the documents.

    Fr Lawrence Murphy died in 1998 with
    no official blemish on his record

    Lawsuits have been filed on behalf of five men alleging the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in Wisconsin did not take sufficient action against the priest.

    At a news conference on Thursday in Milwaukee, one of the victims, Arthur Budzinski, said Fr Murphy had begun to assault him when he was 12.

    Neither the clerical authorities, nor the police had intervened when he reported it, the 61-year-old said.

    Mr Budzinski was asked through a sign language interpreter what he wanted to see happen now.

    "That they step up and take responsibility and stop with these vacant apologies and start 'fessing up to this," the interpreter said.

    "Ratzinger can have all of the colonels and lieutenants they want fall on the sword for him, but eventually he has to 'fess up."

    Meanwhile, members of a group of clerical abuse victims who denounced Benedict's handling of the case in a news conference outside the Vatican were briefly detained by Italian police for not having a permit.

    The priest allegedly assaulted them while hearing their confessions, in his office, his car, at his mother's house and in their dormitory beds.

    Fr Murphy was quietly moved to the Diocese of Superior in northern Wisconsin in 1974, where he spent his last 24 years working freely with children in parishes and schools, according to one lawsuit.

    Fr Murphy died in 1998, with - in the Church's view - no official blemish on his record.

    The Pope's official spokesman, Federico Lombardi, called it a "tragic case", but said there was no provision in Church law for automatic punishment.

    Protecting reputation

    He also pointed out the Vatican had become involved only in 1996, after US civil authorities had dropped the case.

    "During the mid-1970s, some of Fr Murphy's victims reported his abuse to civil authorities," the Rev Lombardi said in a statement.

    "The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith was not informed of the matter until some 20 years later."

    The Milwaukee diocese was asked to take action by "restricting Father Murphy's public ministry and requiring that Father Murphy accept full responsibility for the gravity of his acts", the Rev Lombardi added.

    Fr Lombardi also said that Fr Murphy's poor health and a lack of more recent allegations had been factors in the decision not to defrock him.

    But the Vatican's decision not to carry out its own investigation is the question that brings the now Pope's own involvement centre stage, says BBC religious affairs correspondent Christopher Landau.

    Victims of sexual abuse by priests have long argued that the Church has been more interested in protecting its reputation and helping its priests than seeking justice for victims, our correspondent adds.

    Last week the Pope issued an unprecedented letter to Ireland addressing the 16 years of clerical cover-up scandals.

    He has yet to comment on his handling of a child sex abuse case involving a German priest, which developed while Benedict was overseeing the Munich archdiocese.

    The Rev Peter Hullermann had been accused of abusing boys in the 1970s when the now Pope approved his 1980 transfer to Munich to receive psychological treatment for paedophilia.

    Hullermann was convicted in 1986 of abusing a youth, but stayed within the Church, serving as a village priest until 2008.

  2. F

    Fungu la kukosa Member

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    Haya kama viongozi wa dini wataendekeza ngono je sisi wauminin tutafika wapi jamani?
    Kuanzia leo mimi si muumin wa Kanisa Katolik tena kama mambo yenyewe ni hivi. Afadhali niwe mpagani potelea pote.
  3. genekai

    genekai JF-Expert Member

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    Kama ulibatizwa huwezi tena kuwa mpagani na kama hukubatizwa basi jibu unalo. Dini siyo siasa kwamba mwenye kura nyingi anaingia madarakani. Kimsingi the faith of the faithful should in no way rest on the morality of the religious ministers but on whom one believes in. Kwangu mimi imani yangu iko kwa kristo. Nitabaki hapahapa labda Yesu mwenyewe abadili dini.
  4. P

    PELE JF-Expert Member

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    Vatican denies hiding molestation case

    Last Updated: Thursday, March 25, 2010 | 2:58 PM ET

    The Associated Press

    The Vatican denies there was a coverup in the church's handling of a priest accused of molesting as many as 200 deaf boys in Milwaukee.The New York Times reported Thursday that two Wisconsin bishops urged the Vatican office led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — now Pope Benedict XVI — to let them conduct a church trial against accused priest Rev. Lawrence Murphy, but the Vatican ordered the process halted.

    The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano dismissed the story, saying there was a "clear and despicable intention" to smear Benedict "at any cost."
    Murphy, who died in 1998, worked at the former St. John's School for the Deaf in St. Francis, Wis., from 1950 to 1975.

    In 1996, then-Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland sent letters about Murphy to the Vatican office called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which was led from 1981 to 2005 by Ratzinger.

    Weakland received no response from Ratzinger, according to documents obtained by the Times.
    Eight months later, the second-in-command at the doctrinal office, Cardinal Tarciscio Bertone — now the Vatican's secretary of state — told the Wisconsin bishops to begin secret disciplinary proceedings, according to the documents.
    But Bertone halted that process after Murphy wrote to Ratzinger saying that he already had repented, was ailing and that the case's statute of limitations had run out, the Times reported.
    No response

    The documents contain no response from Cardinal Ratzinger.
    On Thursday, a group of clerical abuse victims, including some from Milwaukee, staged a news conference outside the Vatican to denounce Benedict's handling of the case.
    "The goal of Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, was to keep this secret," said Peter Isely, Milwaukee-based director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

    During the news conference, a police officer asked for their documents and the protesters were subsequently detained, police said.
    The emerging story of abuse in Milwaukee added fuel to an already swirling scandal about the way the Vatican in general, and Benedict in particular, handled reports of priests abusing children over the years. The Pope last week issued an unprecedented letter to Ireland addressing the 16 years of church coverup scandals there.

    But he has yet to say anything about his handling of a case in Germany known to have developed when, as cardinal, he oversaw the Munich Archdiocese from 1977 to 1982.
    Rev. Federico Lombardi, a spokesman for the Vatican, said in a statement the Vatican was not told about the abuse allegations against Murphy until 1996, years after civil authorities had investigated and dropped the case.
    Fraud alleged

    Lombardi also said Murphy's age, poor health and a lack of more recent allegations were factors in the decision not to defrock him.

    The Times obtained the Murphy documents from Jeff Anderson and Mike Finnegan, lawyers for five men who have sued the Milwaukee archdiocese alleging fraud. The newspaper said the documents included letters between bishops and the Vatican, victims' affidavits, the handwritten notes of an expert on sexual disorders who interviewed Murphy and minutes of a final meeting on the case at the Vatican.
    After Murphy was removed from the school in 1974, he went to northern Wisconsin, where he spent the rest of his life working in parishes, schools and, according to one lawsuit, a juvenile detention centre.
    Previously released court documents show Weakland oversaw a 1993 evaluation of Murphy that concluded the priest likely assaulted up to 200 students at the school.
    Weakland resigned as archbishop in 2002 after admitting the archdiocese secretly paid $450,000 to a man who accused him of sexual abuse.


    X-PASTER Moderator

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    Una uhakika na uliyo yaandika hapa!?
  6. Anyisile Obheli

    Anyisile Obheli JF-Expert Member

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    kumbe wewe unatenda mema mbele za viongozi wa dini ili ujulikane na wao siyo?? tenda wema kwa ajili utukufu wa Mungu, viongozi wa dini watu kama wewe, na wana mapungufu kama wanadamu wengine tu,
    .....kumbuka hakuna aliye kamili isipokuwa Mungu tu......
  7. Masikini_Jeuri

    Masikini_Jeuri JF-Expert Member

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    Mhh; topic nyeti; lakini kabla sijachangia zaidi kunasemekana akiwa Muadhama kardinali alipokea waraka uliohusu jambo hili; imenisikitisha kuwa ndio maana hatupati msaada kwa viongozi wa kiroho hata hapa nyumbani; they always tend to look the other side when attrocities are commited