Skip to comments.The Pope and the Murphy case: what the New York Times story didn't tell you
Posted on 03/26/2010 9:38:33 PM PDT by Salvation
Today's front-page story in the New York Times suggests that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), under the direction of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, failed to act against a Wisconsin priest who was accused of molesting scores of boys at a school for the deaf.
Is the story damaging? Yes. Should the Vatican have acted faster? Yes. Should the accused priest have been laicized? In all probability, Yes again.
Nevertheless, before assigning all blame to the Vatican, consider these factors:
1. The allegations of abuse by Father Lawrence Murphy began in 1955 and continued in 1974, according to the Times account. The Vatican was first notified in 1996: 40 years after Church officials in Wisconsin were first made aware of the problem. Local Church leaders could have taken action in the 1950s. They didn't.
2. The Vatican, following the standard procedures required by canon law, kept its own inquiries confidential. But the CDF never barred other investigations. Local Church officials could have given police all the information they had about the allegations against Murphy. Indeed they could have informed police 40 years earlier. They didn't.
3. Milwaukee's Archbishop Cousins could have suspended Father Murphy from priestly ministry in 1974, when he was evidently convinced that the priest was guilty of gross misconduct. He didn't. Instead he transferred the predator priest to a new diocese, allowing him to continue pastoral work giving him access to other innocent young people. And as if that weren't enough, later Archbishop Weakland made sure that there was no "paper trail." There was certainly a cover-up in this case. It was in Milwaukee, not in Rome.
4. Having called the Vatican's attention to Murphy's case, Archbishop Weakland apparently wanted an immediate response, and was unhappy that the CDF took 8 months to respond. But again, the Milwaukee archdiocese had waited decades to take this action. Because the Milwaukee archdiocese had waited so long to take action, the canonical statute of limitations had become an important factor in the Vatican's decision to advise against an ecclesiastical trial.
5. In a plea for mercy addressed to Cardinal Ratzinger, Father Murphy said that he had repented his misdeeds, was guilty of no recent misconduct, and was in failing health. Earlier this month Msgr. Charles Scicluna, the chief Vatican prosecutor in sex-abuse cases, explained that in many cases involving elderly or ailing priests, the CDF chooses to forego a full canonical trial, instead ordering the priest to remove himself from public ministry and devote his remaining days to penance and prayer. This was, in effect, the final result of the Vatican's inquiry in this case; Father Murphy died just months later.
6. The correspondence makes it clear that Archbishop Weakland took action not because he wanted to protect the public from an abusive priest, but because he wanted to avoid the huge public outcry that he predicted would emerge if Murphy was not disciplined. In 1996, when the archbishop made that prediction, the public outcry would--and should--have been focused on the Milwaukee archdiocese, if it had materialized. Now, 14 years later, a much more intense public outcry is focused on the Vatican. The anger is justifiable, but it is misdirected.
This is a story about the abject failure of the Milwaukee archdiocese to discipline a dangerous priest, and the tardy effort by Archbishop Weakland--who would soon become the subject of a major scandal himself--to shift responsibility to Rome.
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Weakland is a leading”progressive” and a know homosexuals, who spent Church money to hush up a blackmailer. He is a traitor to Christ.
Once again ... looks like the American Church failure.
What do you mean by “American Church?” The Catholic Church in America?
Or is this a point of the New York times failing to put out the entire story?
I’d believe the Catholic Church on ANYTHING before I would believe the NYSlimes on one thing! LOL!
Oh, I see what you are saying.
Weakland and the Milwaukee Archdioces failure vs. a Vatican failure.
Just a little tired tonight.
As I have said on other threads it amazes me how poster here at FR will denounce the NYTimes and other MSM outlets for there chronic inncorrect reporting untill it fits the posters agenda to attack....in this case The Catholic Church/Christ.
Having been around here longer than a decade I do not ever remember seeing the attacks this bad.
It is sad for those who hate what is the truth.
It only strengthens those who adore our Mother and Father.
As I remarked to KV it is SO important to his prayer life during this time as one who suffers from severe disabilities to lift ALL of humanity up in his prayer for intersession.
It is a Huge and Important Job he has.
Yeah he knows, he has been at it for almost two decades quietly.
God bless you and KV.
Prayers for you and God Bless.
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He is a traitor to Christ.
I agree that this is the fault of Cousins and Weakland, but can anybody tell me why Weakland himself hasn’t been defrocked by the Vatican? He is an open homosexual who has declared publicly that the Church is wrong about homosexual behavior.
WEAKLAND QUOTE: “If you say our God is an all-loving god, how do you explain that at any given time probably 400 million living on the planet would be gay? Are the
religions of the world, as does Catholicism, saying to
those hundreds of millions of people, you have to pass your whole life without any physical, genital expression of that love?”
This will NEVER be covered on the alphabets!!
It is so obvious that the forces of evil are making a desperate push to tarnish B16. They fear him because he follows our Lord and serves as a beacon to Christ for believers. May God bless and keep B16,
Run time about 20 mins mainly narrated by victims, priests and bishops.
Very interesting, I hope it is available for viewing in the U.S
I know that it is extremely difficult for the Vatican to be on top of everybody, but if they do get wind of a Bishop saying things like this they definitely should do something about it!