Sex Abuse Victims to Sue Vatican

The Pope’s record is “above discussion”!

Pope failed to defrock an American priest who molested hundreds of deaf boys, despite receiving letters from American bishops pleading with him to act (Times)

A church sex scandal where the truth is crucified (Toronto Star)


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The Pope has been accused of protecting Father Lawrence Murphy


NEW revelations about Pope Benedict XVI’s alleged role in covering up accusations of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy have exposed the Vatican to the risk of lawsuits brought by victims around the world.

Mounting anger at the Catholic Church’s failure to act on predatory priests in the US, Europe and Mexico has plunged the papacy into an institutional crisis described by an American Catholic newspaper last week as “the largest in centuries”.

Yesterday the Vatican denounced the “aggressive persistence” of critics who were attempting to “involve the Holy Father personally in the matter of abuse”. A spokesman told Vatican Radio that the Pope’s record was “above discussion”.

Yet the talk in Catholic circles was of little else as the Pope’s former life as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, archbishop of Munich and senior Vatican administrator, came under intensifying scrutiny.

Last week it was alleged that, as head of the Vatican office monitoring priestly misconduct, Ratzinger failed to punish Father Lawrence Murphy, who abused up to 200 boys at a Wisconsin school for the deaf.

Instead of being defrocked or reported to police, Murphy remained a priest until his death in 1998.

“We are talking about a man who, before he became Pope, knew what Murphy was doing and did nothing about it,” said Donald Marshall, a mechanic who claims Murphy assaulted him in 1977 when he was 13. “The Pope is a fraud and a hypocrite.”

The reports coincided with a burgeoning German row over Father Peter Hullermann, a Bavarian priest who received therapy for paedophilia in Ratzinger’s diocese and was transferred to a new parish, where he continued molesting boys.

Read moreSex Abuse Victims to Sue Vatican

Pope Benedict Signals Won’t Be Intimidated By Abuse Critics, Uses Popemobile For First Time On A Palm Sunday

Pope Signals Won’t Be Intimidated By Abuse Critics (New York Times):

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict, facing one of the gravest crises of his pontificate as a sexual abuse scandal sweeps the Church, indicated Sunday that his faith would give him the courage not to be intimidated by critics.

Oh, really?:

Pope uses popemobile for first time on a Palm Sunday (France24)

(AFP) – Pope Benedict XVI, under fire as the Roman Catholic Church grapples with snowballing paedophilia scandals, used the popemobile for the first time on a Palm Sunday for his traditional outing in St Peter’s Square.

The 82-year-old pope, appearing in good health, used the iconic white vehicle to criss-cross the sun-drenched square, waving to tens of thousands of pilgrims. In previous years he has carried out the tradition on foot.

Security concerns may also have prompted the decision to use the popemobile, the white bulletproof vehicle introduced for Benedict’s predecessor John Paul II.

What faith???

Read morePope Benedict Signals Won’t Be Intimidated By Abuse Critics, Uses Popemobile For First Time On A Palm Sunday

Vatican knew of abuse in Ontario: Victim

Papal embassy officials told in 1993, says man abused by former monsignor

former-monsignor-bernard-prince-right-befriended-pope-john-paul-ii
Former Monsignor Bernard Prince, right, befriended Pope John Paul II.

An Ontario victim of a pedophile priest who later became a top Vatican official says the Vatican knew of allegations against the priest years before he was convicted.

The priest, former Monsignor Bernard Prince, was convicted in 2008 of molesting 13 young boys between 1964 and 1984. Most of the incidents occurred in the Killaloe area, near Pembroke in eastern Ontario. He was defrocked last year.

Prince was appointed to a top Vatican job in Rome in 1991 – the year after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pembroke learned of sex abuse allegations – says the victim, who can’t be identified because of a court publication ban on identifying him. The victim says in 1993 the Apostolic Nunciature in Ottawa – the Vatican’s embassy – was notified of the allegations.

Yet Prince remained secretary general of the Vatican’s Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith until his retirement in 2004.

“The Apostolic Nuncio in Ottawa was aware of the allegations,” says the victim, referring to the Vatican’s ambassador at the time, Archbishop Carlo Curis.

“They did nothing about it,” the victim alleges, referring to Vatican officials. “In fact, they just continued to cover him up.”

Read moreVatican knew of abuse in Ontario: Victim

Sinead O’Connor: ‘There Should Be A Full Criminal Investigation Of The Pope’

Pope failed to defrock an American priest who molested hundreds of deaf boys, despite receiving letters from American bishops pleading with him to act (Times)

Catholic Church quietly expelling and punishing children, homeless (Irish Central)


Years after her controversial ‘Saturday Night Live’ appearance, the Irish singer is still at odds with the Catholic Church, saying it must come clean about sexual-abuse allegations.

sinead-o-connor
During an appearance on TV’s “Saturday Night Live,” Irish singer Sinead O’Connor tore a papal photo. (NBC-TV / October 5, 1992)

Reporting from Bray, Ireland – She shot to fame 20 years ago with her shaved head, chiseled cheeks and haunting rendition of the song “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Then she gained notoriety when she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II on American TV, calling him “the enemy” and urging people to fight child abuse.

Sinead O’Connor is still singing. And she’s still speaking out against abuse — only now her 1992 stunt on “Saturday Night Live” almost seems prescient as the Roman Catholic Church faces a growing catalog of complaints about child sexual and physical assault by priests in her Irish homeland and across Europe.

Such mistreatment was rampant here in Ireland, going back decades. By 1987, the Irish church was alarmed enough that it took out an insurance policy against future lawsuits and claims for compensation stemming from sexual-abuse allegations.

This past weekend, Pope Benedict XVI issued a “pastoral letter” apologizing to the flock in Ireland for the church’s past failures. He did not outline any disciplinary action against the bishops who many here say covered up priestly misdeeds, though on Wednesday he accepted the resignation of Bishop John Magee, who had been accused of failing to report suspected pedophile priests to police. The pope also pinned no blame on the Vatican itself for a culture of secrecy that critics say it deliberately fostered.

O’Connor, now 43 and a mother of four, spoke to The Times on Tuesday at her seaside home in Bray, south of Dublin, about the abuse scandal.

Do you feel the pope’s letter was enough?

It’s a study in the fine art of lying and actually betraying your own people. . . . He starts by saying that he’s writing with great concern for the people of Ireland. If he was that concerned, why has it taken him 23 years to write a letter, and why did he or the last pope never get on an airplane and come to meet the victims in any of these countries and apologize?

The letter sells the Irish [church] hierarchy downriver by stating again and again that the Irish hierarchy has somehow acted independently of the Vatican. . . . The documents are there to prove that that’s a lie. . . .

If you were the boss of a company and some of the employees of your company were known to sexually abuse children, you would fire them instantly. You would also go instantly to meet the people who had been abused and profusely apologize and offer your help in any way whatsoever to deal with this. . . . That has never happened.

As a cardinal, the pope wrote an order in 2001 demanding that abuse cases be dealt with in secret. But doesn’t the directive also mention cooperating with civil authorities?

Read moreSinead O’Connor: ‘There Should Be A Full Criminal Investigation Of The Pope’

Pope failed to defrock an American priest who molested hundreds of deaf boys, despite receiving letters from American bishops pleading with him to act

See also:

Pope faces fresh claims of child sex abuse cover-up (AFP)

Victims: Vatican Accused Of Ignoring Reported Sex Abuse (WISN)

Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland routinely shredded copies of weekly reports about sexual abuse by priests:

Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland routinely shredded copies of weekly reports about sexual abuse by priests, according to formerly sealed testimony turned over to Milwaukee County’s district attorney on Thursday.


Pope ‘failed to act’ on US sex abuse claims

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in the Paul VI hall for his weekly general audience at the Vatican
Pope Benedict XVI (AP)

The sex abuse scandal enveloping the Catholic Church moved closer to Pope Benedict XVI today with revelations that in the 1990s the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger failed to defrock an American priest who molested hundreds of deaf boys, despite receiving letters from a number of American bishops pleading with him to act.

Internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Ratzinger, warning him and other top Vatican officials that failure to act could embarrass the church, have been unearthed as part of a lawsuit, according to The New York Times.

The case, against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, involves the Reverend Lawrence Murphy, who worked at the St John’s School for the Deaf in St Francis, Wisconsin, from 1950 to 1974, starting as a teacher and rising to director.

He allegedly molested up to 200 pupils, preying on his victims in their dormitories, on class excursions and even at his mother’s country house.

According to The New York Times, in 1996 the case was forwarded to the the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the office which decides on canonical trials, which Cardinal Ratzinger led at the time.

The cardinal apparently failed to reply to two letters about Father Murphy from Rembert Weakland, then Archbishop of Milwaukee

Read morePope failed to defrock an American priest who molested hundreds of deaf boys, despite receiving letters from American bishops pleading with him to act

Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland routinely shredded copies of weekly reports about sexual abuse by priests (Flashback)

rembert-weakland1
Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland

Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland routinely shredded copies of weekly reports about sexual abuse by priests, according to formerly sealed testimony turned over to Milwaukee County’s district attorney on Thursday.

In a 1993 deposition, Weakland admitted destroying copies of the reports in his office, according to a partial transcript of the deposition released by Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Peter Isely, SNAP’s Midwest director, turned over the partial transcript, as well as portions of the logs to which Weakland was referring, to Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and asked him to review them for any possible criminal violations. Chisholm accepted the records and promised a thorough review.

The 16-year-old deposition documents have come to light during the discovery process in more than a dozen civil fraud lawsuits filed against the Milwaukee archdiocese.

Read moreFormer Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland routinely shredded copies of weekly reports about sexual abuse by priests (Flashback)

Swiss Catholic Church Investigating 10 Abuse Cases

(Reuters) – The Swiss Catholic Church is investigating around 10 allegations of abuse by clergy, including some acts committed since 2001, making Switzerland the latest country to be hit by a wave of scandal sweeping Europe.

In a pastoral letter on Saturday, Pope Benedict apologized to victims of child sex abuse by clergy in Ireland and ordered an official inquiry there.

The Swiss Bishops’ Conference said the Pope’s letter confirmed the church in Switzerland had acted correctly in dealing with cases of abuse, and added that it had already worked together with victims to report abuse to the authorities.

“The letter supports the guidelines that the Church introduced for cases of sexual abuse in 2002,” said Conference spokesman Walter Mueller.

The Diocese of Chur, in eastern Switzerland, said it was investigating around 10 complaints of abuse. “Our primary goal now is to help the victims,” the bishop’s representative, Christoph Casetti, told national Swiss television station SF1.

The abbot of a monastery in the diocese said at least three of the 77 monks at Einsiedeln had committed acts of abuse since he took up office in December 2001, but no legal action had been taken in any of the cases.

Read moreSwiss Catholic Church Investigating 10 Abuse Cases

Lawsuit: Sexual Abuse Of Boy Scouts By Scout Leaders

Boy Scouts coverup of sex abuse alleged

sexual-abuse-of-boy-scouts-by-scout-leaders
(Credit: CBS Graphic)

(AP) — The Boy Scouts of America has long kept an extensive archive of secret documents that chronicle the sexual abuse of young boys by Scout leaders over the years.

The “perversion files,” a nickname the Boy Scouts are said to have used for the documents, have rarely been seen by the public, but that could change in the coming weeks in a Portland, Ore., courtroom.

The attorney for a man who was allegedly molested in the 1980s by a Scout leader has obtained about 1,000 Boy Scouts sex files and is expected to release some of them at a trial that began Wednesday. The lawyer says the files show the organization has covered up abuse for decades.

On Friday, testimony from a Mormon bishop responsible for a Scout troop of church members suggested that the Scouts never provided training about spotting abuse or preventing it.

Read moreLawsuit: Sexual Abuse Of Boy Scouts By Scout Leaders

Irish Catholic Church Paid Child Sex Abuse Victim To Keep Quiet

Reports of settlement overseen by bishop of Derry adds to abuse scandals surrounding Catholic churches in Europe

The Catholic church in Ireland was today embroiled in another child abuse scandal after allegations that a victim was paid to keep quiet in a deal overseen by the bishop of Derry.

Bishop Seamus Hegarty was named as a party in a confidential civil settlement after a woman claimed she was abused by a priest for more than a decade, according to a report in today’s Belfast Telegraph. According to the newspaper, the claim was settled without admission of liability but with a payment of £12,000 to the alleged victim. The settlement between the archdiocese of Derry and the woman, who was eight when the abuse began, reportedly contained a confidentiality clause preventing her from discussing the case.

See also:

Catholic Church Child Abuse: Nuns Now Also Accused (Radio Netherlands Worldwide)

Church: Pope Had Role in Moving Molesting Priest (Bloomberg)

Pope knew priest was paedophile but allowed him to continue with ministry (Times)

Pope will struggle to survive abuse scandal (Irish Independent)

Benedict’s involvement ’shows extent of cover-ups’ (Irish Independent)

Sinead O’Connor: I’d help Jesus to burn down the Vatican (Irish Independent)

RIGHTS-GERMANY: ‘Catholic Church Protects Paedophile Priests’ (IPS)

Child abuse claims sweep Catholic Church in Europe (AP)

Her ordeal allegedly began in 1979 and lasted for a decade before she revealed at her 18th birthday party that she had been repeatedly abused by the priest.

The allegation came as further developments in similar abuse scandals in Germany and Austria compounded the woes of Pope Benedict XVI. In Germany, the archbishop of Munich, Reinhard Marx, said Catholic bishops in Benedict’s home state of Bavaria felt “deep consternation and shame” at the reports of abuse.

Read moreIrish Catholic Church Paid Child Sex Abuse Victim To Keep Quiet

Catholic Church Child Abuse: Nuns Now Also Accused

catholic-child-abuse-nuns-now-also-accused

Following recent reports about sexual abuse of children by Dutch priests, it now appears that some nuns also took advantage of their charges. Tuesday’s edition of newspaper De Telegraaf contains the story of Herman Harends, who says he was abused by nuns at a Roman Catholic boarding school he attended in the 1950s.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide and newspaper NRC Handelsblad published their report on sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic church two weeks ago. Since then, more and people have come forward, saying they, too, were childhood victims.

Mr Harends and his two brothers attended a boarding school in the southern Dutch town of Tegelen.
“I have not spoken out before because it is a hard claim to substantiate,” he explains, “I’m not looking for atonement or apologies, most of the nuns have died.”

“The abuse by the sisters started when I was 11. When I was in the bath they played with my penis and tried to give me an erection … They would also put my hand under their robes and into their underwear.”

Read moreCatholic Church Child Abuse: Nuns Now Also Accused