25
Mar
10

What next for Catholics and the Catholic Church?

Have you read this story that the New York Times ran today? The article says that Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy in Wisconsin was accused of molesting more than 200 deaf boys and even though  American bishops allegedly warned top Vatican officials to act, the Vatican did not move to defrock Rev. Murphy. It’s a compelling article with some specific allegations relating to then-Cardinal Ratzinger,  have a read and post your thoughts on what you think is next for Catholics and the Catholic Church. Here’s an update, a Reuters article on the Vatican response.


40 Responses to “What next for Catholics and the Catholic Church?”


  1. 1 Jaime Saldarriaga
    March 25, 2010 at 18:20

    When an accusation arises, always there is one right thing next to do: investigate in order to thoroughly establish the truth. Please, do not anticipate conclusions with your question. And, please, publish this comment. Thanks.

  2. 2 Julie P
    March 25, 2010 at 18:23

    It is genuinely disgusting what took place in that school from the 1950’s to the early 1970’s. I believe the difference between now and then is that we no longer sweep things like this under the rug, we bring it out into the light for us talk about. It may be a little after the fact to save these young boys, but it is not too late to get justice and help prevent that from happening again.

    By the way, I attended a different Catholic school in the same archdiocese and just miles from that school in the 60’s and 70’s. The Catholic education I got then was first rate. It is really too bad that that one bad apple came along.

  3. 3 alan
    March 25, 2010 at 18:36

    let it implode in its own filth

  4. 4 Cabe UK
    March 25, 2010 at 18:41

    hmmm ? is giving one topic several titles and then writing about it over several WHYS Blogs good business for you guys ??… Haven’t we already done this to death somewhere else…??? – or do people just continually want to keep repeating themselves over and over on several million similar blogs ?

    The church will live this down, there will be a media fuss for maybe several months, more apologies and then everyone will forget it when the next big news thing comes along… People will demand this and that happens (like imprisonment etc) …. – it may or may not happen, and those who wish to stay with the church will stay, and those who wish to leave it will leave… but other than a total revolution or blowing up the Vatican – don’t think much will change…

    Nostradamus indicates that either this Pope or the next will be the last Pope standing of the Church … so possibly, I assume all this would be the cause of it?

    • 5 nora
      March 25, 2010 at 19:02

      Cabe, this is a breaking news story that has taken centuries. Boccaccio wrote comically about priests, sex and the nature of the cover-up in the first half of the fourteenth century.

      This particular Pope was in a position of power over the issue in his rule at the Vicariat and back in Germany. For those of us involved in breaking the silence and changing law, this is a huge day.

      Forgive us for wanting to heal and chuckle again without the sick feeling that the lie is still in place.

      • 6 Cabe UK
        March 25, 2010 at 19:50

        I know Nora, and don’t get me wrong – I’m all for airing it but why do we now have to have two WHYS blogs about the same thing?
        :(

      • 7 Tim Moles
        March 26, 2010 at 18:45

        I am with you Nora. Any one that says anything other then – hold these people accountable to the letter of the law and shut this down – is part of the problem. That millstone must be getting pretty heavy by now.

        Timothy

  5. 8 alan
    March 25, 2010 at 18:57

    the abused children will not forget it that easily that is for sure, it is for exactly the reason explained by cabeuk that the church is in such a mess, just keep playing it down and it will go away, after all it is just kiddy fiddling, is it not, you disgust me with it all, those who help to brush it all under the carpet are every bit as bad as the filthy perverts who abuse the children

  6. 9 Faris Sayegh
    March 25, 2010 at 19:22

    Pope deaf to abuse of deaf kids… how can anyone, let alone a man of the cloth, tolerate such sins?

  7. March 25, 2010 at 19:33

    Maybe the International Criminal Court should be involved. If the church refuses to deal with the crime and a countries court fail to prosecute, then it should place into the hands of an Organization that can put the Church, the Pope, the Cardinals, Bishops and Priests on trial would be a great way to clean up a corrupt Criminal Organization that obviously has fallen away from any real religious beliefs. Standing behind the Bible and expecting to be safe has to stop. A Crime is a Crime! Put them in Prison!

    • 11 mark
      March 26, 2010 at 03:44

      great idea Alan

      bring in the International Criminal Court to sort out these disgusting people

      if these people were the head of a corporation or company the news would show them being hauled off to jail or court

      and rightly so!!!

  8. 12 alan
    March 25, 2010 at 19:53

    because he convinces himself it has not happened, like his faithful, i have seen on other discussion groups it said that the fault was with the children, they asked for it, and believe it or not i have seen one faithful write that it is traditionally his right, a priest to abuse children, all very sick, but that sums up the church a lot of very sick people, to follow blindly a person who has personally caused so much suffering and deaths in the name of religion, no wonder i have rejected christianity and become a humanist, i wanted to disassociate myself from them all, i suggest you do it as well, or effectively you are condoning their actions, there is no half way, with them or against them, you choose.

    • 13 mark
      March 26, 2010 at 03:51

      hi alan

      great post

      i know this might sound stupid but where can i find info about being a humanist?

      what are the main core values and ethical guidelines etc

      thanks mark

      brisbane austraila

  9. 14 nora
    March 25, 2010 at 19:59

    The cover-up is the greater crime because it involves conspiracy and pre-meditation.

  10. March 25, 2010 at 20:28

    I think that, horrible as the facts involving children in Wisconsin, the article published in the NY Times concerns facts that took place between 1950 and 1974. It added nothing new to the present discussion. All it did was to smear the reputation of the Church a little further on a “dark past” that’s already been amply commented and that is already being addressed at the present, after Pope Benedict’s pastoral letter of last week. The attempt to link this to the then Joseph Ratzinger is, to my view, incomplete and unsuccessful.

    After the Pope’s unprecedented letter of last week, the standing instruction of the Pontiff is that such cases must be dealt with in conjunction with properly constituted authorities and in accordance to the civil authorities and the laws of a sovereign state. As I understand it, in US Soil, particularly at the present, the Constitution takes precedence over Canon Law (or any other institution’s internal rules), it surprises me that this felon hasn’t been prosecuted by the authorities of the State of Wisconsin. Where were they?

    The odd thing to me is that I have seen very little about Bishop Magee’s resignation in Ireland, which was a direct result of affirmative action by the Pope and Vatican, but I now see another derogative story dug up in Wisconsin. I’m starting to think that some institutions in the media are engaged on a witch-hunt against the Catholic clergy.

  11. March 25, 2010 at 20:29

    I think that, horrible as the facts involving children in Wisconsin may have been, the article published in the NY Times concerns facts that took place between 1950 and 1974. It added nothing new to the present discussion. All it did was to smear the reputation of the Church a little further on a “dark past” that’s already been amply commented and that is already being addressed at the present, after Pope Benedict’s pastoral letter of last week. The attempt to link this to the then Joseph Ratzinger is, to my view, incomplete and unsuccessful.

    After the Pope’s unprecedented letter of last week, the standing instruction of the Pontiff is that such cases must be dealt with in conjunction with properly constituted authorities and in accordance to the civil authorities and the laws of a sovereign state. As I understand it, in US Soil, particularly at the present, the Constitution takes precedence over Canon Law (or any other institution’s internal rules), it surprises me that this felon hasn’t been prosecuted by the authorities of the State of Wisconsin. Where were they?

    The odd thing to me is that I have seen very little about Bishop Magee’s resignation in Ireland, which was a direct result of affirmative action by the Pope and Vatican, but I now see another derogative story dug up in Wisconsin. I’m starting to think that some institutions in the media are engaged on a witch-hunt against the Catholic clergy.

  12. March 25, 2010 at 21:12

    The Pope is saying he is being “smeared” because he didn’t press for prosecuting this pedophile. Imagine! He feels NO GUILT.

  13. 18 Richard
    March 25, 2010 at 22:28

    I really do not have much to say about this but I think the priesthood is not waht we think today .

  14. 19 DWF
    March 26, 2010 at 02:12

    The BBC is doing its bit for Catholic bashing too, given the recent programmes being aired. It appears inthe West that child abuse is quite a common thing, hence the several legal issues arising: The priests and religious are picked from the very sick society that thinks nothing of having adult channels being offered to their home viewers. A major chunk of the porn industry is generated from the US and Europe. Is it any wonder that priests fall prey to the evil that engulfs them? They become the scapegoats for all the filth that is flung on them by a filthy society. I live in India, had a fantastic childhood and education surrounded by Catholic priests. I have never witnessed, nor heard rumors of any Catholic priests that abused anyone. A couple of them did leave the priesthood to get married, but that’s the extent of it.

  15. 20 mark
    March 26, 2010 at 03:38

    lets face it people they, really don`t give a damn

    they look down on us from on high, angry that we dare question them, their actions or lack there of, closing ranks protecting the guilty, moving them to other parishes to abuse more children ..

    they have known about this for years and STILL did nothing ..

    they are only making empty apologies because they got caught ..

    the church still seems to think that its the 1500s and it only answers to god and we are not deserving of real apologies or justice

    they are an arrogant self serving institution with its leaders living in opulence while its followers in countries round the world starve

    i really have no time for or any faith in them at all, seeing them repeatedly in papers or on TV news just makes me sick.

    and for me to think that educated people in this day and age are still willing to follow such a corrupt institution absolutely baffles me

  16. 21 Subhash C Mehta
    March 26, 2010 at 07:05

    Sooner or later the Pope will have to resign and make all the offending clerics and others, connected /abetted in the crimes, to resign and face legal action and punishment; then and only then, the lost prestige of the institution of Church can be restored. Any excuses or evasiveness will further damage the people’s faith.

  17. 22 Mike Brett
    March 26, 2010 at 09:20

    The current obsession with sexual abuse by the Church (it’s been going on for thousands of years, it’s nothing new) is misplaced because brainwashing young vunerable people with a medieval superstition arguably does much more harm.

    The decline of religion in modern, advanced nations (with the notable exception of the USA) is not a coincidence – educated people generally see religion for the absurd nonsense it really is, and reject it.
    On the other hand, the popularity of religion in developing nations is a reflection of their ill-educated populace, but they’ll learn eventually…

    At the same time, sexual abuse is a crime and the perpetrators should be prosecuted regardless of their religiosity.

  18. 23 Robert McKay
    March 26, 2010 at 09:37

    This whole story demonstrates what the Catholic Church has always been about – namely power, control and money. When something goes wrong or a scandal emerges, the hierarchy denies, obfuscates and protects its own. If it didn’t the revenue source and with it the power would start to dry up.

    Any large organisation has its “bad apples” but with the Catholic Church it is systemic and part of the philosophy.

    The despicable acts are bad enough, but the drive to cover up and attempt to hold the moral high ground is an insult to the millions of Catholics who look to the priesthood for spiritual & moral leadership. They have been badly let down and will soon realise that the Catholic Church is nothing but a gigantic scam.

    And people wonder why the world is becoming more secular …..

  19. 24 Nigel
    March 26, 2010 at 11:56

    What has been done has been done and cannot be reversed unless money is an acceptable way. However those who were complicit should be turned over to the civil authorities for investigation and charge if warranted and the rules of the Church must clearly point out that future abuses will be dealt with by the law not the Church’s hierarchy.

  20. March 26, 2010 at 13:13

    @ pdxmike:

    I can’t say what the Pope feels or doesn’t feel about this particular case of Winsconsin, as this is something for the Pontiff’s conscience, but what I can tell you is this:

    1. The letters sent to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger were sent 20 years after the fact.
    2. By then, the abuser was a old dying man.
    3. By then, this old dying man hadn’t been prossecuted by the State of Winsconsin and no new charges had been brought against him, which were reasonable grounds for doubt.
    4. Even so, this then supposed abuser WAS put on Canonical Investigation.
    5. The investigation was cancelled on an appeal of imminent death.
    6. The accused DID actually die 4 months after the appeal.

  21. March 26, 2010 at 14:46

    The Vatican needs to come clean over this sordid affair once and for all. Otherwise respect for the Papal office would be badly eroded. The Pope needs to get his house in order. The Pope himself is deeply revered. But his management skills are in question! There lies the crux of the whole problem. By sweeping unpleasant stories under the carpet, the Pope is not doing himself any favours! he needs to confront them headlong!

  22. 27 username
    March 26, 2010 at 16:47

    I think the people of the church will decide. If they don’t well, they become part of the problem.

  23. 28 Echo Rose's Mother in Cincinnati
    March 26, 2010 at 18:16

    @Christina, Forgiveness is between you and God. Prosecution by the law for criminal offenses is between you and society. Priests should not be above the law!

  24. 29 Tim Moles
    March 26, 2010 at 18:32

    What about the Nuns? Where were they? Who takescare of the boys when the Priesthood is not around? There is more to the cover up then the men. The whole thing smells rotten.

    Sincerely,

    Tim Moles Oregon State

  25. 30 Bob Thomas
    March 26, 2010 at 19:01

    I heard a Cardinal on Radio 4 today actually say (about the Pope and the Child Abuse Cover-up scandal) that:

    “Everyone makes mistakes and no one is infallible.”

    I’m sorry but the whole point about The Catholic Church is that The Pope IS infallible.

    If that’s taken as true then the Catholic God must sanctioning child abuse cover-ups!

    If that’s not the case then the Bombshell Headline must now be:

    “POPE NO LONGER INFALLIBLE! – End of The Catholic Church?”

    Bob T.

    • March 29, 2010 at 14:09

      @ Bob:

      If you take the time to visit the Vatican’s website in the sections of Catechism and Canon Law, you can see paragraphs 890 and 891 of Canon Law, which are explicit in that the Pontiff’s infallibility exists insofar as the Pope “proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals” (aka: speaks ex cathedra).

      Infalibility is not present in his every act.

  26. 32 haraway
    March 26, 2010 at 19:46

    Why is it that when non-priests abuse children, many people express absolute disgust and horror, yet when priests abuse children so many excuses are made such as “Oh, they’re just priests.”.

  27. 33 Linda
    March 26, 2010 at 19:55

    A lot of people suggest letting catholic priests marry will help with the pedophilia. Will it really? What do the experts have to say?

    What measure does the Catholic church take for its members who commit crimes of pedophilia?

  28. 34 Robert McKay
    March 26, 2010 at 20:50

    After reading all the comments – 99% of which are highly critical of the Catholic Church, I think it is telling that it is only the church hierarchy that is trying to defend & justify the actions/inactions of the current Pope and the regime he heads.

    The Catholic Church cannot be allowed to police itself – because they’re incapable of doing this. Turkeys voting for Christmas seems a rather appropriate phrase ….

    Anyone – priest or layman, Catholic, Hindu, Jew or Muslim etc who breaks the law of their land – whether it is a simple misdemeanor like a parking ticket or a serious offence such as child abuse must be dealt with by the laws of the land – never, never by their church.

  29. 35 Kennedy Ozo-Enemmo
    March 26, 2010 at 21:17

    The church must act fast to rescue its worsening image. It is unimaginable how the hierarchy try to cover up these acts instead of tackling them squarely. The church is certainly running out of time.

  30. 36 Olumide Anifowoshe
    March 27, 2010 at 16:18

    The catholic church strayed from it’s teachings of doing the right thing. Never cover wrong with lies. They never saw this coming. The sad thing here is that someone somewhere is still been abused by a priest.

  31. 37 Allan
    March 28, 2010 at 13:33

    I agree with Alan in NZ. These people have moved so far away from what they preach and consider themselves to be above the law, which clearly they have been for centuries and in some respects continue to be. As some of the contributors have said, there are a lot of good people in the Catholic Church, but one of the reasons people like myself who were born into Catholicism have turned their back on it is because it’s clear to me it’s not the whiter than white purity I was taught it was, and has never been, and that it has no intention of being so.

  32. 38 Celeste
    March 29, 2010 at 04:24

    I am not Catholic, but am beginning to think that the Catholic establishment is a highly organized pedophilia organization. Pathetic to say it, but the concept keeps getting proven over and over again.

  33. 39 A R Shams
    March 29, 2010 at 11:47

    Since the Catholic Church matter is more a religious than political issue, so it should be solved religiously with the collaboration of the honorable judiciary.

  34. March 29, 2010 at 14:14

    @ Bob Thomas:

    If you take the time to visit the Vatican’s website in the sections of Catechism and Canon Law, you can see paragraphs 890 and 891 of Canon Law, which are explicit in that the Pontiff’s infallibility exists insofar as the Pope “proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals” (aka: speaks ex cathedra).

    Infalibility is not present in his every act.

    @ Celeste:

    Though I agree that child abuse is a tragic injustice and though I share your disgust in that it could happen within the Church, I don’t think you could correct this injustice by committing yet another: to accuse the entirety of the Catholic Church and the Catholic Faith of being “a highly organized pedophilia organization”. We are, quite simply, not so. In fact, the Catholic Church is, amongst other things, the largest global charitable organisation AND the largest humanitarian aid organisation in the world. So please let’s be fair and give us due credit for the good that we do.


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