25 March 2010

All the News That's Fit to Print

In this morning’s New York Times, there is a story about a wretched priest in Milwaukee who allegedly molested over 200 boys committed to his care in a home for the deaf to which he was assigned from 1950 to 1974, but the story is less about this depraved degenerate than about the alleged cover-up perpetrated by none other than Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. The Times makes every effort to place the full responsibility for this monster not being punished on Ratzinger, but as is always the case, there is more to the story than is published by the rag that brags it has “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” In response to this naked effort by the Times to paint Benedict XVI as a man who gave aid and comfort to child molesters, the Holy See issued this statement:

“The tragic case of Father Lawrence Murphy, a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, involved particularly vulnerable victims who suffered terribly from what he did. By sexually abusing children who were hearing-impaired, Father Murphy violated the law and, more importantly, the sacred trust that his victims had placed in him.

“During the mid-1970s, some of Father Murphy's victims reported his abuse to civil authorities, who investigated him at that time; however, according to news reports, that investigation was dropped. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was not informed of the matter until some twenty years later.

“It has been suggested that a relationship exists between the application of Crimen sollicitationis and the non-reporting of child abuse to civil authorities in this case. In fact, there is no such relationship. Indeed, contrary to some statements that have circulated in the press, neither Crimen nor the Code of Canon Law ever prohibited the reporting of child abuse to law enforcement authorities.

“In the late 1990s, after over two decades had passed since the abuse had been reported to diocesan officials and the police, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was presented for the first time with the question of how to treat the Murphy case canonically. The Congregation was informed of the matter because it involved solicitation in the confessional, which is a violation of the Sacrament of Penance. It is important to note that the canonical question presented to the Congregation was unrelated to any potential civil or criminal proceedings against Father Murphy.

“In such cases, the Code of Canon Law does not envision automatic penalties, but recommends that a judgment be made not excluding even the greatest ecclesiastical penalty of dismissal from the clerical state (cf. Canon 1395, no. 2). In light of the facts that Father Murphy was elderly and in very poor health, and that he was living in seclusion and no allegations of abuse had been reported in over 20 years, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith suggested that the Archbishop of Milwaukee give consideration to addressing the situation by, for example, restricting Father Murphy's public ministry and requiring that Father Murphy accept full responsibility for the gravity of his acts. Father Murphy died approximately four months later, without further incident.”

The molestation of boys and young men by a priest is a grotesque crime and a mortal sin that endangers the immortal soul of the molester, and the failure of bishops and other superiors to remove these criminals from priestly ministry is an even worse and more outrageous abdication of responsibility. But the New York Times is not attempting to find justice for the poor boys who were so injured by this one sordid reprobate; instead, the New York Times is today attempting to make Joseph Ratzinger the story because it hates the Catholic Church and everything she stands for. 

Sadly, the priests who molested minors and the bishops who did nothing about their crimes handed to those who hate the Church the club with which we are all now being beaten, but let us not accept the lie that the beating is for the sake of children and teens who were injured. The Catholic Church is the last voice in the world raised loudly and clearly in defense of the traditional understanding of human sexuality and the right to life of unborn children, and this the self-important mandarins of our culture, starting with the inky wretches of the New York Times, cannot abide.