The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Pope & top aide kept 150 sex allegations vs. predator secret
In 1998, they rebuffed 3 bishops who wanted pedophile ousted
Then-Ratzinger’s staff refused to act because of “fear of scandal”
Victims want pontiff to “come clean” on cases he handled in 2001-2005
US cleric molested hundreds of hearing impaired children in confession
Vatican’s #2 official is also implicated in dozens of pages of long-secret records
Initially, Ratzinger twice ignored letters from Wisconsin Archbishop Rembert Weakland. Later, Ratzinger’s then-top aide, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said Weakland could discipline the priest using a controversial 1962 church policy called ‘Crimens Sollicitationis’ that mandates extreme secrecy. But the predator wrote to Ratzinger, seeking mercy, and Bertone then reversed course. At a meeting in Rome with three Wisconsin bishops, Bertone discouraged them from taking any formal action against Murphy (even though the priest admitted molesting dozens of boys). In 1998, Murphy died. His crimes only came to light in 2002.
Bertone is now the Vatican Secretary of State, the second most powerful church official in the world.
As Pope, Benedict has repeatedly paid lip service to “transparency” in his advice to bishops on child sex cases. In light of this, and recent disclosures of abuse and cover up in his home diocese of Munich, SNAP wants the pontiff to publicly disclose how he handled hundreds of cases from across the globe from 2001-2005 as head of CDF, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office where all such cases are sent.
Murphy worked at St. John’s school from 1950-1974 and headed the school from the early 1960s through 1974. It’s now closed. Besides Weakland, Bishop Richard Sklba of Milwaukee and Bishop Raphael Fliss of Superior also sought Vatican action against Murphy. None acted, however, until civil lawsuits were threatened.
SNAP is holding similar news conferences today (Thursday) in five US cities (Washington DC, Chicago IL, Milwaukee WI, Superior WI, and Boulder Junction WI). For details, see SNAPnetwork.org
Several of Murphy's victims are represented by Minnesota attorneys Jeff Anderson (651 227 9990, 612 817 8665 cell) and Mike Finnegan (651 227 9990, 612 205 5531 cell).
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Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests