A canonical trial authorised by Cardinal Ratzinger’s deputy was halted after Fr. Murphy wrote to the future pope asking that proceedings be stopped, despite objections from a second archbishop.
The accused priest said in the letter that he was ill and wanted to live out the remainder of his time in the “dignity of my priesthood”.
Victims say Fr Murphy – who died in 1998 – assaulted boys while hearing their confessions, in his office, his car, at his mother’s house and in their dormitory beds.
He was quietly moved to the Diocese of Superior in northern Wisconsin in 1974, where he spent his last 24 years working freely with children in parishes and schools, according to one lawsuit.
What bothers me is the Vatican’s response to this. Instead of quiet dignity, we find defiance: it’s about the pope and not about the children who were abused under his watch. Directly or not, you are responsible Pope Benedict. Take responsibility. Accusing the media and critics of “petty gossip” about really serious matters only serves to paint you as petty and seeking to deflect attention from those sins you may have committed. Focus on what matters. Further, you are the Vicar of Christ; so much for blessing those who curse you.