Pope Apologizes But It Isn’t Enough

The following except is from an analysis by Christopher Landau, BBC religious affairs correspondent, filed Friday, 26 March 2010: The Catholic Church has been hit by a series of allegations in Europe and the US over the past months. The latest allegations stem from the US, after it emerged that Archbishops had complained in 1996 about a priest, Fr Lawrence Murphy. Their complaints went to a Vatican office led by the future Pope Benedict XVI, but apparently received no response.

One victim [of Fr Murphy] told the BBC the Pope had known of a cover-up “for many years”. Arthur Budzinski [alleged Wisconsin child abuse victim], now 61, said Pope Benedict should confess about what he knew. He said through an interpreter: “It goes all the way up to him – he was in charge of these types of cases.”

Fr Murphy is suspected of abusing some 200 boys at St John’s School for the Deaf in St Francis, Wisconsin, between 1950 and 1974.

According to Church documents, an [Milwaukee] archbishop [Rembert G. Weakland] wrote in 1996 to a Vatican morals watchdog led by the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to complain about Fr Murphy. Fr Murphy had written to Cardinal Ratzinger saying he was ill and wanted to live out his life in the “dignity of my priesthood”.

The Pope’s official spokesman, Federico Lombardi, said the Murphy case had only reached the Vatican in 1996 – two decades after the Milwaukee diocese in Wisconsin first learned of the allegations, and two years before the priest died. [Kat: I guess the Vatican used slow carrier pigeons back in the 1970s.]

The BBC’s Robert Pigott in Milwaukee says the US case is particularly shocking, not only because the priest abused boys but because he was allowed to go on to another diocese where he had access to children all over again. Our correspondent says that although there is no direct evidence against the then Cardinal Ratzinger, this is an uncomfortable confluence of events for the Vatican. This is a case of concealment, he says, and that is where the Pope will have a case to answer.

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.

Link to The New York Times Winconsin Priest Sex Scandal site: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/27/us/27wisconsin.html?hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1269694950-GXawfDbYjmQtS0iBQ2pXkA

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Kat: So let’s see – America priest sex scandal (wrapped up in 2002 by an unbelieving/unapologizing Pope John Paul II), Ireland priest sex scandal (16 years of clerical cover-up), Netherlands priest sex scandal, German priest sex scandal (dating before 1980s, 250+ cases, 1n 18/27 dioceses), Italy priest sex scandal (1950-1980s), Mexico priest sex scandal (1940-1950s), Brazil, Spain … a know-nothing pope … a do-nothing former Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, director Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the most involved and in-the-know director, swept everything under the Vatican carpets, requesting “reserved life of prayer and penance” of its pedophile priests during his tenure before he became pope. Clearly, the pope is no victim – Munich [Germany] cases are surfacing that happened when he was archbishop – and he passed the priest on to … Wisconsin, and into the beds of 200 sleeping deaf boys. I think the Pope doth protest too much! Why does this matter so much to me? My son was an alter server for 11+ years, and the priest that he served with was convicted as a pedophile priest.