Skip to comments.Vatican Defends Decision Not to Defrock U.S. Priest
Posted on 03/25/2010 7:00:24 AM PDT by marshmallow
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican did not discipline a Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing up to 200 deaf boys in the United States from the 1950s to the 1970s as Church laws do not require automatic punishment, its spokesman said on Thursday.
The New York Times reported on Thursday that the Vatican did not defrock Rev. Lawrence Murphy in the late 1990s despite receiving clear warnings from his bishops that his case was serious and could embarrass the Church.
The report came amid mounting allegations of sexual abuse by priests in Europe and pressure on bishops, mostly in Ireland, to resign for failing to report cases to civil authorities.
Among 25 internal Church documents the Times posted on its website was a 1996 letter about Murphy to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then the Vatican's top doctrinal official and now Pope Benedict, showing he was informed of his case.
Ratzinger's deputy first advised a secret disciplinary trial but later reversed that in 1998 after Murphy appealed directly to Ratzinger for clemency. The priest died later that year.
Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement that Murphy had broken the law but a civil probe into complaints against him in the mid-1970s had been dropped and the Vatican only learned of the allegations 20 years later.
"The canonical (Church law) question presented to the Congregation was unrelated to any potential civil or criminal proceedings against Father Murphy," Lombardi said.
"In such cases, the Code of Canon Law does not envision automatic penalties."
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The 1996 letter to Ratzinger from the then Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland was not answered, the Times said.
After eight months, Weakland wrote a second letter to Ratzinger's deputy at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), .....................
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
The Pope's crime: failing to respond to two letters from Weakland 20 years after the events.
I think this is related to two things:
The Chruch viewing Homosexauls as o.k. in the Priesthood as long as they are not overtly practicing homosexuals, and
The requirement for a celebate lifestyle in the Regular Clergy.
Both actions invite homosexuals. And although not all homosexuals are sexual predators, it is an abberration in which that kind of behavior can florish, especially given the authority that goes with the clerical robe.
In a related way, Pius XII didn’t say anything about the Holocaust.
Then Abp. Ratzinger was probably confused by the situation of the flaming gay liberal Weakland reporting on someone else. The priest in question was dying at the time and passed away within a year. Weakland may have been trying to divert suspicion from himself.
Did you actually read the article?
The abuse occurred in the '70s, the Vatican was not notified until 20 years later and the priest died in '98 after a prolonged period of poor health.
Archbishop Weakland, himself a homosexual, is the malefactor here.
Look, if the NY Times wants to criticize the Pope for not removing these priests from contact with children and alerting the proper authorities that is fine and I am in general agreement. If, however, the criticism (as it is in this case) is that the Pope did not take the opportunity to defrock a terminally ill priest 20 years after the fact and 4 months before he died because the Pope accepted his repentance, what is a secular newspaper’s standing for that criticism?
Whether he is defrocked or not has no effect on his ability to perpetrate any future injury or crime, and the Pope’s reasoning in granting mercy and accepting repentance from a sinner is WAY above my paygrade and something that has absolutely no relevance to the secular criminal justice system.
How can it not be clear that the NY Times has declared war on the Catholic Church when they give a front page headline to this as the latest in a series of articles on abuses by priests?
Oh...oh...I thought this was about the non-Catholic priest who runs Notre Dame...never mind...
Excuse me- but are not Nazis who participated in crimes against humanity over 50 years ago still being hunted and prosecuted if found? Are they any less guilty of horror and evil because they are doddering old men? Are they excused now?
BECAUSE this is about people who claim to represent GOD we should be more determined to expunge them from the clergy. Covering up such evil, sick abuse of authority and religion cannot be tolerated.
HOW DARE THEY- Pope or anyone else- expect to be excused for tolerating( and aiding!)evil? Why should they not be as reviled as lay people who allow boyfriends and relatives to sexually abuse their children?
Let the heads roll- from the parishes to the Vatican! Better a smaller, clean Church than a large, diseased one.
I am one Roman Catholic who is sick of this, and unafraid of prosecuting ANY and EVERYone involved-past and present.
I want to KNOW if my parish priest- or any clergy that wants me to respect and honor them as consecrated servants of God- is/has violated anyone or is homosexual, since that makes them illegitimate priests with no right to perform as one. And I will- and do- ask directly.
If they are offended, I conclude that they are- at least- tolerant and defensive of such ,
We can no longer safely assume otherwise; the clergy should be as outraged as we are. What’s the popular argument re.
‘good’ Muslims? The good should clean house- if they won’t I won’t assume they are good.
And when he was alive it was the civil authorities who declined to prosecute. Weakland was his bishop so it's no surprise that there was mess.
Why creeps like Father Pfleger and his ilk that advocate for a political philosophy that has resulted in the cold-blooded murder of over 100 million people can still be a Catholic priest in good standing is mind-blowing.
“The Vatican did not discipline a Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing up to 200 deaf boys”
He, like any other disgusting pervert that abuses children ought to be taken out and f**king GUT SHOT!
The police and prosecutors didn't bother to bring charges.
The local bishop(s) all dropped the ball.
But everything is the Vatican's fault. The agenda is completely transparent.
You do realize that he is already dead, right?
So the dead guy got away with it. He was no longer a legitimate priest when he died and should not have been buried as one. Can’t change that now- but can’t continue to excuse the reasoning that allowed it either, can we?
The thinking- the knee-jerk defense- of such sickos in the Church has gotten us to this point. Instead of protecting the Church and its credibility, they care more about protecting each other- and the Church sickens.
If the Vatican loves the diseased priests more than the Church, it is self-destructing.
Bring it ALL out in the open- the guilty and those who protected and excused them. Let them shrivel in the light of truth instead of cloaking themselves in false honor and respectability. I will not take sacraments from hypocritical pedophiles or those who have excused and protected them. No one should.
The Nazis sure thought he did.
Or is it all the Pope's fault?
I do.....I made a mistake in tense present/past.
OH, I agree that there is an agenda here. But the Church is helping it!
The answer is not to ignore this to thwart the agenda- it is to CLEAN HOUSE so the agenda is useless!
22 years ago is STILL happening. The mindset is still there, up to the Vatican. You think it’s not?
Look at it this way- it took this long to hear about this extreme case, how many less extreme will we never hear about because the protectionist mindset still dominates? How many will we hear about 20 years from now?
This is about civil law and child abuse AND church law and breaking vows. BOTH sets of laws should be enforced without prejudice. Forgiveness and mercy for their souls can be discussed AFTER the deed has been lawfully punished.