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Author: Subject: Pope Failed To Act Re. Paedophile Priest.

Extreme Peach





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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 01:46 PM
At best he failed to act. At worst he colluded in a cover up of the abuse of 200 deaf boys by Wisconsin priest Lawrence Murphy. The hierarchy of the Catholic church just disgusts me more and more!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8587082.stm


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 recently been plagued by abuse cover-up claims in Europe, echoing a similar scandal that hit the Church in the US eight years ago.

Allegations, many dating back decades, have surfaced in recent months in Ireland, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, as well as the Pope's native Germany.
ANALYSIS
David Willey, BBC Vatican correspondent

Hardly a day goes by without new allegations of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests somewhere in the world being reported in the media.

The Pope's spokesman defended Benedict, saying the Vatican department which the future pontiff was in charge of had not been informed of these latest allegations until 1996 - 20 years after the priest's victims first informed the police.

But the Vatican's rather lame excuse for lack of any action is that canon law, as Church law is called, "does not envision automatic penalties".

The Catholic Church teaches that paedophilia is a grave sin, but the evidence is that accused priests were usually moved to another parish rather than punished.

While the Pope is now promoting a policy of zero tolerance to clerical abuse, the suspicion remains that for many years he failed to react to the damning evidence which arrived on his desk.
Pressure grows on Pope


For more than 20 years before he was made pontiff, Joseph Ratzinger led the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith - the Vatican office with responsibility, among other issues, for 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, a popular priest 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.

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.

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



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


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.


 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 02:24 PM
Thankfully, this is becoming a huge story. It would be nice if the victims could get a little justice this time around.

 

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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 02:37 PM
The Catholic Church is the most hypocritical club of shameless child molesters ever. They hide behind their lilly white robes and try to block the view so that outsiders can't see in. Shuffling pedophiles around is their version of three card monty. It's time that it stopped and these bastards are put in jail where they can be properly be taken care of by the population on A block. I was born & raised Catholic, but haven't practiced my faith in a very long time. Just about all of their dealings and customs seemed shady to me ever since I was a kid. They could NEVER pull the wool over my eyes !!
 

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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 02:46 PM
Sadly George W. Bush gave this current Pope immunity from ever being prosecuted on US soil on one of his trips to the Vatican.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 02:52 PM
quote:
Sadly George W. Bush gave this current Pope immunity from ever being prosecuted on US soil on one of his trips to the Vatican.


Interesting, I didnt know that. Ive never liked this Pope. John Paul? Loved him. Pope Panzer? Never in a million years. The guy just looks evil and Im sorry but thats just a personal observation based on nothing.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 02:58 PM
It seems to me that having sex with boys was almost a fringe benefit of being a Catholic priest. Those who weren't involved seem to have not only looked the other way, but even helped hide the behavior. Sickening.

 

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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 03:28 PM
What do you expect from a religion that makes their Preachers practice celibacy??? Never made any sense to me to have someone preaching to you about family and marriage values when they have zero first hand experience on the subject. I am very thankful that I never came into contact with any of these sleazy pedophile priests when I served as an Altar Boy for three years from 10 to 12 years old. I do not practice organized Religion any more. Nothing against those who do but I don't need any Priest telling me how to be a decent and quality human being.

This is just another stain on the Catholic Church.

 

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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 03:29 PM
Such an egregious breach of trust...it's unfathomable. As a Catholic I'm horrified that this happened. I guess I became more religious and less "Catholic" as I got older so I never had the believe in Church hierarchy's infallibility and piety that my parents and grandparents did, but the generation before hours is devastated by things like this.

There's no possible way the victims could ever receive justice or whatever they seek, this is so horrific, only God can dole that out and I trust that he will.

 

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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 03:29 PM
The pope walks into the bathroom at the Vatican, and stands at a urinal next to a priest. He peeks down and is shocked to see some type of fabric on the priest's priate parts

"What in the world is that" says the pope

"It's a nicotine patch", says the priest

"Does it work down there" says the pope

"Damn straight" says the priest "I'm down to two butts a day now"


 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 03:30 PM
quote:
Sadly George W. Bush gave this current Pope immunity from ever being prosecuted on US soil on one of his trips to the Vatican.


Really? Why would he do that? Is that a recognised thing that a U.S. President would do to a Pope or a head of another religion or a head of state? Or were there concerns that Ratzinger might be prosecuted for something and Bush was looking out for him for whatever reason?

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 03:31 PM
You would think after the publicity this type of behavior has gotten in the last 10 years the Catholic Church would have adopted a strict zero tolerance policy and an aggresive internal investigation to reestablish it's credibility. Hell, the FBI should be investigating the Catholic Church. Is there any reason they can't if there is evidence of crimes being committed?

 

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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 03:40 PM
quote:
What do you expect from a religion that makes their Preachers practice celibacy??? Never made any sense to me to have someone preaching to you about family and marriage values when they have zero first hand experience on the subject. I am very thankful that I never came into contact with any of these sleazy pedophile priests when I served as an Altar Boy for three years from 10 to 12 years old. I do not practice organized Religion any more. Nothing against those who do but I don't need any Priest telling me how to be a decent and quality human being.

This is just another stain on the Catholic Church.


This issue is the main sticking point between me and the Church and why I no longer take part in it very much anymore.

I also never had contact when I was an altar boy, but I do remember one priest that i thought was creepy then, and looking back I wouldn't be surprised if he was a pedophile. I was a bit of a fat kid, so maybe I wasn't in good enough shape for him.

I agree on the celibacy part...but I've never been able to figure out the rampant pedophilia...and why it's not priests having affairs with secret female or male adults, but priests preying on children.

 

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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 03:44 PM
quote:
quote:
Sadly George W. Bush gave this current Pope immunity from ever being prosecuted on US soil on one of his trips to the Vatican.


Really? Why would he do that? Is that a recognised thing that a U.S. President would do to a Pope or a head of another religion or a head of state? Or were there concerns that Ratzinger might be prosecuted for something and Bush was looking out for him for whatever reason?


I remember reading the Newsweek article a 2-3 years ago. I suspect after the initial wave of lawsuits against the Catholic Church for this very reason, the Pope asked W for a favor so save his hide.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 03:49 PM
quote:
quote:
Sadly George W. Bush gave this current Pope immunity from ever being prosecuted on US soil on one of his trips to the Vatican.


Really? Why would he do that? Is that a recognised thing that a U.S. President would do to a Pope or a head of another religion or a head of state? Or were there concerns that Ratzinger might be prosecuted for something and Bush was looking out for him for whatever reason?


The Pope is a Head of State of Vatican City, aka The Holy See. We have established diplomatic relations with Vatican City. He's immune on that basis.

 

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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 04:08 PM
Pedophiles tend to seek jobs where there is contact with children. Having access is probably one of the draws of the job; at the same time I beliieve many with leanings also take the job in an attempt to sublimate their urges. There was a counselor for many years at a camp I worked at (and was a camper at) who took advantage of the weak (like a hyena waiting for a weak Zebra to fall) i don't think there is anything in their experience that turns priests into pedophiles. i think they find the profession for the two reasons I cited above.

And, with all the healthcare talk re: how dr's don't weed out the bad ones; with the blue shield of silence in the police force; I guess even men of god have the same natural tenedency to protect their own.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 04:23 PM
quote:
Pedophiles tend to seek jobs where there is contact with children. Having access is probably one of the draws of the job; at the same time I beliieve many with leanings also take the job in an attempt to sublimate their urges. There was a counselor for many years at a camp I worked at (and was a camper at) who took advantage of the weak (like a hyena waiting for a weak Zebra to fall) i don't think there is anything in their experience that turns priests into pedophiles. i think they find the profession for the two reasons I cited above.



Yes, and I've heard that before, but four years undergrad and two to four years at seminary just to satisfy their sexual urges? It's not like you can go apply to be a priest and all of the sudden you are one.

 

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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 04:41 PM
These effin' priests need to get married and stop abusing children with their pent up frustration. Since it is so rampant, the Church itself needs to realize many priests simply cannot be celibate, it just creates an additional struggle for them that so many of them fail with. The problem is their failure not only effects themselves, it destroys all these other people's lives. Some faiths allow their pastors and ministers to marry, so what the heck is the problem with these freakin' Catholics?

 

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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 04:48 PM
quote:
quote:
Pedophiles tend to seek jobs where there is contact with children. Having access is probably one of the draws of the job; at the same time I beliieve many with leanings also take the job in an attempt to sublimate their urges. There was a counselor for many years at a camp I worked at (and was a camper at) who took advantage of the weak (like a hyena waiting for a weak Zebra to fall) i don't think there is anything in their experience that turns priests into pedophiles. i think they find the profession for the two reasons I cited above.



Yes, and I've heard that before, but four years undergrad and two to four years at seminary just to satisfy their sexual urges? It's not like you can go apply to be a priest and all of the sudden you are one.


My wife knew someone who went through 4 years of med-school and 5 years of residency to become a child-psychologist and abuse kids. He obviously had some desire to make money as well as pull an uncle ernie

 

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  posted on 3/25/2010 at 05:03 PM
Maybe they all need a really long psychological profile test which will point out that they have this desire for children. If they fail the psyc part of their priestly training, they cannot become one. Something has to be done.

 

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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 08:10 AM
Looks like a pattern is emerging here.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8612787.stm

The Vatican has defended the Pope against allegations that he was responsible for delaying Church action against a US paedophile priest.

A spokesman said the claims, which stem from a letter signed by Benedict XVI when he was a senior Vatican official, had been taken out of context.

AP published a letter, signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 1985, resisting Stephen Kiesle's defrocking.

The Vatican says he was exercising due caution before sacking the priest.

A leading British Catholic commentator said the issue had exposed an ongoing power struggle between senior Vatican cardinals that started during the papacy of Pope Benedict's predecessor, John Paul II.

Series of scandals

In the letter, Cardinal Ratzinger - who was at the time the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which has responsibility for tackling abuse by clerics - said the "good of the universal Church" needed to be considered in any defrocking, AP reported.

The Vatican claims the letter must be considered in its true context of a lengthy exchange of correspondence between California and Rome about defrocking an American priest who was a known child molester.

The Pope's critics claim that he stalled and left unanswered for years letters concerning alleged cases of sexual abuse by priests.

American bishops are coming under increasing pressure from their flocks to explain why the Church in Rome did not take more robust action or took no action at all.

So they are releasing confidential documents which put the future Pope's lack of action in a bad light.

The Vatican insists that the Pope was only exercising due caution before sacking a priest for sexual misconduct.


A Vatican spokesman said the letter was part of a long correspondence and should not be taken out of context.

"The press office doesn't believe it is necessary to respond to every single document taken out of context regarding particular legal situations," said the spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi.

He acknowledged that the Church had lost public trust and said Church law could no longer be placed above civil laws if that trust were to be recovered.

This is an abrupt change of tone by the Vatican, says BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott.

Officials had previously accused critics of trying to smear the Pope personally and only last weekend said he should ignore petty gossip directed at him, our correspondent adds.

The Catholic Church has been hit by a series of child abuse scandals in recent years, including in Ireland, the US, Germany and Norway, and has faced criticism for failing to deal adequately with the problem.

On Friday, the Vatican urged Catholic dioceses around the world to co-operate with police investigating sex abuse allegations against priests.

The Vatican says the Pope is willing to meet more victims of clerical abuse, while the Church is set to publish an internet guide as to how bishops deal with accusations of sexual abuse.

'Grave significance'

AP said Fr Kiesle was sentenced to three years of probation in 1978 for lewd conduct with two young boys in San Francisco. ALLEGATIONS FACING POPE
In 1980 as archbishop of Munich and Freising, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger unwittingly approved housing for a priest accused of child abuse; a former deputy later said he made the decision
Cardinal Ratzinger failed to act over complaints during the 1990s about US priest Lawrence Murphy, who is thought to have abused some 200 deaf boys in Wisconsin
Cardinal Ratzinger allowed a case against Arizona priest Michael Teta to languish at the Vatican for more than a decade despite repeated pleas for his removal
Cardinal Ratzinger resisted the defrocking of California priest Stephen Kiesle, a convicted offender, saying "good of the universal Church" needed to be considered
The Pope's supporters say he has been unfairly blamed for cases handled by junior staff, and that he has been proactive in addressing child abuse.


It said the Oakland diocese had recommended Fr Kiesle's removal in 1981 but that that did not happen until 1987.

A Vatican attorney said Kiesle was not accused of any misdemeanour during the period.

Cardinal Ratzinger took over the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1981.

AP says the 1985 correspondence, written in Latin, shows the cardinal saying that Kiesle's removal would need careful review.

Cardinal Ratzinger urged "as much paternal care as possible" for Kiesle.

Kiesle was sentenced to six years in prison in 2004 after admitting molesting a young girl in 1995.

Kiesle is now 63 and is on the registered sex offenders list in California.

Power struggle

While the scandal has prompted calls for the Pope's resignation, a columnist for Britain's leading Catholic newspaper said Cardinal Ratzinger had actually wanted to crack down hard on paedophile priests in the 1980s.
This court... deems it necessary to consider the good of the Universal Church together with that of the petitioner

Text of Pope 'letter'
Pope willing to see abuse victims


Clifford Longley, a columnist for The Tablet, said the cardinal was thwarted by other senior Vatican figures who wanted to cover up the sex-abuse crisis, until he was given overall control of the issue in 2001.

"Ratzinger was thwarted on several occasions... by people surrounding the Pope, and indeed possibly by John Paul II himself, who did not appear to be taking the situation anything like as seriously as Ratzinger," said Mr Longley.

Since Benedict XVI was elected as Pope in 2006, things had changed radically, added Mr Longley, but the power-struggle was ongoing.

The Vatican has ruled out any possibility of a papal resignation over the scandal.


 

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True Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 08:45 AM
quote:
Sadly George W. Bush gave this current Pope immunity from ever being prosecuted on US soil on one of his trips to the Vatican.
Wow! even though he condemed him for the war in IRAQ!. so Bush was a closet CHOMO facilitator as well as a douche-bag!

[Edited on 4/10/2010 by pops42]

 

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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 09:00 AM
The Catholic church is all about control and always has been just read their history for the last 500 years the whole thing is sickening, and the worst of it is the manipulation of people by using their faith in God.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 09:18 AM
It blows my mind that this organization that claims to speak for God and places its leader in a position second only God has raped and plundered this planet for centuries, enslaved its people, and in the modern age has systematically abused children and engaged in a huge cover up to keep it quiet. For the life of me, I don't understand the perversion present throughout such an organization. Not only were these animals abusing children, but they are the same ones who listen to people's "confessions" and gave advice on how to live a good, Godly life. Personally, it makes me want to throw up.

Does anyone know why the Vatican is a sovereign state? Because Mussolini gave them that status. You can thank one of our enemies in WWII for all the power the Catholic Church has now.

 

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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 10:38 AM
quote:
These effin' priests need to get married and stop abusing children with their pent up frustration. Since it is so rampant, the Church itself needs to realize many priests simply cannot be celibate, it just creates an additional struggle for them that so many of them fail with. The problem is their failure not only effects themselves, it destroys all these other people's lives. Some faiths allow their pastors and ministers to marry, so what the heck is the problem with these freakin' Catholics?


this goes beyond celibacy. This has nothing to do with marriage or sex. There are a littany of things I could list about the Catholic church that are in direct conflict or not even a part of, the Holy Bible. Too many to mention...and sadly, many people look at Catholocism as being the religion equated with knowing God, which really isn't true at all.

 

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  posted on 4/10/2010 at 10:42 AM
Celebacy is a 'gift' a person gives to God to be in His/Her service. Pedophilia has nothing to do with celebacy. I personally think pedophiles are drawn to the Church as a cover for being attracted to little boys. If priests were allowed to marry, the Church wouldn't be such a convenient refuge for perverts.

 

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