Jesus Wept

Vatican Declined to Defrock U.S. Priest Who Abused Boys

The Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy, with hands together, at St. John’s School for the Deaf in Wisconsin in 1960.


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.  The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal. . .

Read it here.


1 thought on “Jesus Wept”

  1. Well, you see this kind of thing in many various iterations. Institutions and the people who run them are almost always loathe to act in the interests of third parties i.e. in this case sodomized deaf children when the institution’s own interest are at stake i.e. the reputation for probity of Catholic bishops. The specific problem here is that the more certitude held by leaders of the institution of their own superiority, the less responsibility they feel towards others.

    And it is pretty shameful. Worldwide, and for decades, the Catholic Church has taken the position, our priests are sacrosanct, if they want to fuck your 9 year old child in the ass, there is nothing we will do to stop them, and if you don’t keep your fucking mouth shut about it, we will destroy you. Because we’re the Church. Seriously, in the Bosten version of this story, that was basically what came out: threats against children and their parents to shut up or face retaliation.

    And why do thuggish organizations like this get preferential tax treatment?

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