The Vatican: Deaf To Pedophilia

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If Cardinal Ratzinger did not know of the transgressions of Father Murphy in Wisconsin’s St. John’s School for deaf boys then, as the old blues song says: “grits ain’t groceries, eggs ain’t poultry and Mona Lisa was a man.”

[Guerrilla Journalism: Commentary]

In his New York Times column-advertorial of March 30, 2010 Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights(CL) stated that “recent accusations against the Vatican deserve a response."

It was of course an understatement--he was referring to the pedophilia scandals that have rocked the Catholic church to its core. He focused on the case of Father Lawrence Murphy, who allegedly raped deaf minors while a priest in a Wisconsin church.

Next, in his column, Donohue says that Father Murphy began his practice as a pedophile in Wisconsin in the 1950s. Donohue then tells us that Cardinal Ratzinger, (who is today Pope Benedict XVI) who was in charge of the Vatican office which decides whether accused priests should be tried and defrocked, knew nothing regarding charges or allegations against the unholy right reverend Father Murphy.

He goes on to say, “That there is no evidence that he knew…”

Regarding this point, it has been stated by the Times that Archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert G. Weakland, had on different occasions sent two letters to Ratzinger at the office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding Father Murphy and the overwhelming number of allegations of pedophilia against him.

Cardinal Ratzinger never responded to either of Archbishop Weakland’s letters. A Cardinal Torcisio Bertone, second in command at the Vatican office for the Doctrine of the Faith, instructed the bishops in Wisconsin to conduct a “secret trial” of the Priestly Pedophile, Father Murphy.

When Murphy, Patron Saint of Pedophilia, got the word about his upcoming trial he quickly sent off a correspondence to Cardinal Ratzinger. Donohue, of the Catholic League, wants us to believe that Cardinal Ratzinger in his official capacity within the Vatican knew nothing about this child raping pedophile, wreaking havoc in this St. John’s school for the deaf.

I find that difficult to accept.

Documents unearthed by representatives of victims disclosed that Murphy would roam the sleeping quarters of these boys and select from among them which ones he would have for his ungodly practice. To Father Murphy, it must have been akin to being in the supermarket, walking among the candies and cookies, and selecting the ones he wanted to have before bedtime.

Well, that was the practice of Father Lawrence Murphy. And based on interviews he had with investigators, he did this over 200 times to young Catholic boys who were deaf and speechless. In these documents investigators stated that Father Murphy never expressed any remorse for his actions. Instead, he wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger, protesting, because as he says: he had already repented, and besides, he should not be tried because the statutatory time limitation for prosecution had expired anyway.

This, to me, is an indication that this man was clear about what he was doing; he was not sick and clearly without remorse. Further more in his correspondence he says “I simply want to live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my priesthood.”

Shortly after this letter to Cardinal Ratzinger the trial process began by Bishop Bertrone was brought to an abrupt halt. If Cardinal Ratzinger did not know of the transgressions of Father Murphy in Wisconsin’s St. John’s School for deaf boys then, as the old blues song says: “grits ain’t groceries, eggs ain’t poultry and Mona Lisa was a man.”

The only way this particular case could have gone on for so long had to have been because others in the Vatican organization covered it up. At another point in the column, Donohue attempts and fails miserably to spin the facts, as when he says, “The Times says repeatedly that the church officials did not report accusations of abuse to the police.”

Well the Vatican leadership didn’t. Documents uncovered as a result of the legal process clearly show that the Vatican attempted to cover up many instances of sexual abuse of children by its “priestly brotherhood of pedophilia.” And, I contend, as sure as sugar is sweet and Sugar-Honey-Ice-Tea stinks there are incidents of child sex abuse which the Vatican is aware of that is yet to be revealed.

As for the Vatican hiding information from the public and legal authorities, we can look at documents and news stories and see many instances of cover up. In the instance of Lawrence Murphy three successive archbishops in Wisconsin were told that Father Murphy was sexually abusing children, the documents show, but never reported it to criminal or civil authorities.

Furthermore, as to inference that there is no Vatican cover up, what would Donohue say to this: A BBC 2006 documentary “Sex Crimes and the Vatican” claims a secret church decree called “Crimen Solicitations” imposes the strictest oath of secrecy on the child victim, the priest dealing with the allegation and any witnesses.

It was stated that breaking that oath means instant banishment from the church--excommunication. This BBC documentary quoted the 2005 Fern Report: “A culture of secrecy and fear of scandal that led bishops to place the interest of the Catholic Church ahead of the safety of children.”

Coming from the same documentary, Rick Romley, a district attorney of Phoenix stated, “The secrecy, the obstruction I saw during my investigation of the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was unparallel in my entire career as a D.A. …”

In my view this entire episode of Catholic priests sexually assaulting little Catholic boys and the Vatican officials covering up these crimes of rape is just that--crimes. The priest committed the criminal act of a rape against children. The authorities of the church who fail to report these offences to the legal authorities committed the crime of obstruction. The cover up on the part of the Vatican was not to protect the identity of the victims or to help the pedophile priests with counseling for the purpose of curing his or her criminal behavior. Documents in the Vatican’s position revealed that the Vatican’s intent was to save itself the embarrassment of this reign of “priestly pedophilia” within the catholic organization being made public.

Donohue and the Catholic League must have money to burn or throw away. Whatever was paid to The New York Times to print the column, placed as an advertisement, was a an attempt to “spin” a story to defend the Vatican’s jugular (moral authority); it was money down the drain.

In the United States from 1950 to 2009 the Vatican has paid out approximately $2.5 billion to victims of sex-abuse and their families according to  data compiled by the John Jay report of 2004. So  Donohue's assertion that the Times was off base with its charge of a Vatican cover-up, is preposterous.

These payments are the results of settlements in and out of court. It would be worthwhile to note that there have been payments to victims and their families in other countries as well, which, for the Vatican has driven the cost of settlements even higher. To me these payments confirm the existence of Vatican cover-up of sex abuse.

Donohue also claimed the Times continues to editorialize about the “pedophilia crisis” when all along it’s been a “homosexual crisis”. Eighty percent of the victims of priestly sexual abuse are males and most of them are “post-pubescent.” Donohue, as they say in the hood, “don’t go there.”

I’ll keep this one short and sweet. By Donohue's own acknowledgement the “priestly brotherhood of pedophilia” is raping the entire spectrum of male Catholic children from the babies to the young adults. In 2004 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (U.S. C.C.B.) commissioned the John Jay Report, which had an aspect to compile data on priests accused of sexual abuse and likewise the victims.

The John Jay report said between 1950 and 2002 there had been 10,667 reported allegations of child sexual abuse against 4,392 priests. 81% of the victims were males; 22% of all the victims were younger than 10 years of age. 51% were between 11 and 14 years of age.

Donohue and the church, rather than trying to spin the informational data, need to analyze it in an objective fashion. It is my view that the Vatican has both a crisis of pedophilia in the priesthood as well as, to quote Donohue himself, a “crisis of homosexuality”in the priesthood which need immediate attention and not a cover up.

The “priestly brotherhood of pedophilia” is a global disorder; the leader in this global order of priestly disorder is the catholic church of the United States of America.

It is said that when Jesus entered the temple and saw how the merchants and shylarks had so defiled it he took a whip to them and drove them all out. If Jesus were to enter the temple now to witness this global brotherhood of pedophilia and the massive cover-up of same, what do you suppose he would do… lock and load maybe.


Shaheed A. Muhammad is a guerrilla journalist. Classes meet at True South Bookstore. Call (347) 257-7330 for information

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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