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NYTimes vs. Pope Benedict: Paper Seeks to Implicate Pope in Abuse Cases -- Your Life, Family, and Culture Outpost ^ | March 26, 2010 | By John Jalsevac

Posted on 03/29/2010 8:40:25 AM PDT by topher

Friday March 26, 2010

NYTimes vs. Pope Benedict: Paper Seeks to Implicate Pope in Abuse Cases

Vatican told of one case when abuser priest was dying, over two decades after incidents occured

By John Jalsevac

March 26, 2010 ( - The NYTimes has set its sights firmly on Pope Benedict in its front page coverage of the fallout of the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, which has been reignited in recent weeks and months after revelations of abuse by priests and religious in Ireland and Germany.

In recent days the U.S. paper has published a series of articles claiming to have unearthed information personally implicating the pope and/or "top Vatican officials" of having allowed a known child abuser to be put back into pastoral service, and having ignored requests to defrock a known child sex abuser.

The Vatican in turn has blasted the NYTimes coverage - claiming in one case that the coverage included no new information that has not already been soundly refuted, and, in another, that the paper had unfairly targeted the pope and the Vatican for having declined to defrock a priest whose alleged crimes had occurred over two decades previous, and who was dying at the time the Vatican was informed about his misdeeds.

At the same time L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, said this week that the Times' coverage evidences a "clear and despicable intention" to strike at Benedict "at any cost."

"The prevalent tendency in the media is to ignore the facts and stretch interpretations with the aim of spreading the picture of the Catholic Church as the only one responsible for sexual abuse, something which does not correspond to reality," the Vatican newspaper charged.

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League labeled the Times coverage "the last straw," and said that, "the time has come to ask some serious questions about why the Times is working overtime with wholly discredited lawyers to uncover dirt in the Catholic Church that occurred a half-century ago."

On Thursday the Times ran a front page story about the case of Fr. Lawrence Murphy, a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. It began with the sensational lead line: "Top Vatican officials - including the future Pope Benedict XVI - did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit."

Fr. Murphy, a priest with the Milwaukee diocese, reportedly sexually abused the boys during his tenure at the school for the deaf in the 1950s to early 1970s. The abuse was brought to the attention of the civil authorities at the time by several of Fr. Murphy's victims, but though an investigation was launched, it was concluded without charges being laid.

Finally, over two decades later, in 1996, the case was brought to the attention of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which was then headed by Cardinal Ratzinger, by then Archbishop of Milwaukee Rembert Weakland.

The CDF ordered canonical proceedings against the priest to begin in Milwaukee, a process that could have resulted in Murphy's being defrocked. But according to the Times these proceedings were cut short after Murphy wrote to the CDF and Cardinal Ratzinger, saying that he had repented of his sins, and was in poor health.

Vatican Spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi responded to the Times' insinuation that the Vatican had "failed" to defrock the priest simply because the "matter could embarrass the church."  Lombardi pointed out that, "in light of the facts that Father Murphy was elderly in very poor health," and that "no allegations of abuse had been reported in over 20 years," the CDF suggested that the archdiocese restrict Fr. Murphy's ministry and require that "Father Murphy accept full responsibility for the gravity of his acts."

"Father Murphy died approximately four months later, without further incident."

The Times' attempt to pin the Vatican's decision on Pope Benedict has also been weakened by the testimony of Archbishop Weakland, who told the BBC this week that, "At that time, honestly, I don't think that Cardinal Ratzinger was personally yet involved in those cases."

The other case that the NYTimes has zeroed in on is the one involving Rev. Peter Hullermann, who was accused of molesting boys in Germany in 1979. The case has received a great deal of attention of the past week, due to the fact that Hullermann was subsequently sent from the Essen diocese to the Munich archdiocese, which was then headed by Cardinal Ratzinger, where he was to receive psychological treatment.

While in Munich the priest was returned to active ministry, despite the fact that he still presented a risk to children - a concern that was proven valid as the priest later reoffended. Attempts have been made in recent weeks to connect the decision to allow the priest to continue ministry on the pope. However, thus far the media has been unable to unearth any clear evidence that the pope knew the specifics of Hullermann's crimes, or that he was involved in the decision-making process in his case.

Any effort to put the decision on Benedict has been severely undercut after then-vicar general, Msgr. Gerhard Gruber, publicly stated that he was fully responsible for the decision to transfer Hullermann.

On Thursday, however, the Times ran a story with the headline "Pope Was Told Pedophile Priest Would Get Transfer." That headline was later downgraded to "Memo to Pope Described Transfer of Pedophile Priest," apparently due to the paper's inability to confirm that the pope had been "told" about the priest.

The main piece of evidence that the Times coverage touted as evidence for the pope's role in the decision, is that he was copied on a memo about the issue. "The future Pope Benedict XVI was kept more closely apprised of a sexual abuse case in Germany than previous church statements have suggested," wrote the Times, "raising fresh questions about his handling of a scandal unfolding under his direct supervision before he rose to the top of the church's hierarchy."

But according to Rev. Lorenz Wolf, the judicial vicar at the Munich archdiocese, the memo was routine and was "unlikely to have landed on the archbishop's desk." The Times reports, however, that Wolf could not "rule out" that the archbishop had seen the memo.

The Vatican also responded rapidly to Thursday's article, observing that it "contains no new information beyond that which the archdiocese has already communicated concerning the then archbishop's knowledge of the situation of Father H."

"The then vicar general, Msgr. Gerhard Gruber, has assumed full responsibility for his own erroneous decision to reassign Father H. to pastoral activity."

According to the Vatican statement, the archdiocese, " rejects any other version of events as mere speculation."

Related stories on New York Times bias:

New York Times Caught in Abortion-Promoting Whopper - Infanticide Portrayed as Abortion

New York Times Bias Exposed Again as Company Caught in Donation to Planned Parenthood

New York Times Totally Ignores Pro-Life March of 300,000

BBC, NY Times and Guardian Appear to Have Stage-Managed Muslim Anti-Pope Hatred


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TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: abuse; b16; benedict; benedictxvi; bxvi; catholic; nytimes; pedophilepriests; pedophiles; pope; scandal; vatican
Anyone for a copy of the NY SLIMES...
1 posted on 03/29/2010 8:40:26 AM PDT by topher
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To: topher

The NYT makes its living printing lies.

Move along.

2 posted on 03/29/2010 8:42:47 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: topher

The rabid anti-Catholics who sometimes comment here at FR ought to think twice: a natural inclination for any rational FReeper should be to consider embracing anything that the New York Times HATES as much as it hates the CATHOLIC CHURCH.

3 posted on 03/29/2010 8:55:52 AM PDT by Notwithstanding (Wer glaubt ist nie allein. Who believes is never alone.)
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To: topher

How long before Christians start have to start wearing yellow armbands?

4 posted on 03/29/2010 8:57:47 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: topher
Scoundrel Time(s)

The Pope and the Murphy case: what the New York Times story didn't tell you

5 posted on 03/29/2010 9:00:01 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

catholics in America vote liberal. SHould it surprise them that the liberal rag attacks the Pope? I mean, cinos don’t really care now do they!

6 posted on 03/29/2010 9:03:30 AM PDT by MHGinTN (Obots, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when they are deceived.)
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You said that Catholics vote liberal. You are mistaken, in my estimation.

REAL Catholics vote VERY conservatively. (Like the Catholics you find here on FR!)

CINOs — Catholics in name only are the people you are speaking of. They really don’t know what being a REAL Catholic means in many instances. Otherwise, they would not be voting in support of the dimocratic platform which supports the killing of babies — abortion.

7 posted on 03/29/2010 9:08:43 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Pro-Life movement has a strong basis in the Catholic Church. The problem is the Catholic Church is the largest single religious group in the nation. Former Catholics make up the next larger group.

Courting just a few of those votes (the liberal side) can sway elections...

This makes the TRUE leadership of the church [Pope Benedict, Archbishoop Dolan, Archbishop Chaput, Cardinal George) targets of media and liberal political groups...

8 posted on 03/29/2010 9:11:34 AM PDT by topher (Let us return to old-fashioned morality - morality that has stood the test of time...)
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To: Notwithstanding

Here’s betting of Murdoch’s efforts to take down Sulzberger.

9 posted on 03/29/2010 10:24:12 AM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: topher

You have it. Their MO is discredit the oppostion when you can’t discredit their arguments.

10 posted on 03/29/2010 10:28:36 AM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: Salvation

No, I wrote that ‘catholics’ vote liberal. Did you not even notice that I did not capitalize at the start of the sentence? cinos are catholics, not Catholics.

11 posted on 03/29/2010 2:58:44 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Obots, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when they are deceived.)
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To: nmh

The obama times attacks the Pope during holy week.

Bloomberg comes out for much more gun control at the same time a bunch of folks in the Michigan are arrested for a conspiricy.

The obamamedia and their boss have launched well coordinated assault against us.

Tax day is coming as well as April 19. Be careful around that date.

Just thinking.

12 posted on 03/29/2010 3:04:52 PM PDT by Texas resident (Outlaw fisherman)
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To: topher

soetoro APPROVED

13 posted on 03/30/2010 9:24:02 AM PDT by onedoug
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