The Rot and Ratzinger
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.
“In spite of these difficulties,” Archbishop Weakland wrote, “we are still hoping we can avoid undue publicity that would be negative toward the church.”
In spite of papal infallibility (sic), we are less hopeful we can avoid a situation where we’re forced to confess our leader is an abettor of the serial abuse of children.
UPDATE: The Times also has a welcome – if, I think, hastily written – lead editorial in Thursday’s paper in response to the article above entitled “The Pope and the Pedophilia Scandal,” taking aim at what it calls “the emerging global scandal of child abuse by predatory priests.” There is also a useful piece summarizing the most recent revelations of widespread abuse and systematic cover-up in Europe. As the editorial notes, there are “questions about Benedict’s directive as a Vatican cardinal in 2001 that bishops worldwide were to keep pedophilia investigations secret under threat of ex-communication.” Added to that is what looks to be a remarkable collection of documents which the church fought to keep secret relating to the US case of “solicitation in the confessional” at the school for deaf children and the priest who apparently managed to stave off any form of institutional sanction in part thanks to a personal appeal to then Cardinal Ratzinger (“I have repented of any of my past transgressions… I simply want to live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my priesthood”). That priest, Lawrence Murphy, buried in his priestly vestments, is pictured below from a flyer put together by some of his victims and handed out in front of his church as part of an unsuccessful 30 year campaign to bring him to justice.
Why Did The Heavens Not Darken?