Archive for the ‘Robert C. Trupia’ tag
For a church which seems absolutely consumed with the topic of sex, from abstinence, to prohibiting condom use in Africa, to circumcision, to homosexual priests, to continued and near ubiquitous charges of molestation of children (some deaf, no less!), readers shouldn’t be surprised that the Catholic Church and Joseph Ratzinger, the current pope, is summoning every possible excuse to deflect the allegations.
Indeed, charges against Catholic officials are mounting. Heaped onto the allegations, the short list includes that of:
• Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul, 55, who is an Indian priest accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old girl, may be extradited to the U.S. to face trial. He was alleged to have sexually assaulted the female church member while serving in Minnesota.
• Peter Hullermann, a German priest who, after receiving therapy for his pedophilia, was allowed to continue working. Current allegations have surfaced, spanning from the 1970s to the late 90s. Only in mid-March of this year was he suspended.
• Father Donald McGuire, who sexually abused two teen boys in the 1960s and was only convicted in 2006. He also allegedly had sexual relationships with at least seven teenage boys between 1969-2004. Here is a timeline of the egregious mess.
• Michael Teta and Robert C. Trupia — Two more, of which the late Tucson Bishop Manuel Moreno struggled with the Vatican to get defrocked.
I could, no doubt, continue. In the latest episode of blame-shifting, the Catholic News Agency is claiming that this New York Times article fails to mention that the lawyer Jeff Anderson has been the lead attorney in numerous suits against the church and has an obvious vested interest in seeing that new allegations come to light. Lawrence Murphy is the topic of The Times article, and he is accused of molesting up to 200 deaf children.
According to a William McGurn opinion piece, what Laurie Goodstein, the author of The Times story,
did not tell readers is that Mr. Anderson isn’t just any old lawyer. When it comes to suing the church, he is America’s leading plaintiffs attorney. Back in 2002, he told the Associated Press that he’d won more than $60 million in settlements from the church, and he once boasted to a Twin Cities weekly that he’s “suing the s–t out of them everywhere.” Nor did the Times report another salient fact about Mr. Anderson: He’s now trying to sue the Vatican in U.S. federal court.
And the Catholic News Agency:
According to the Pioneer Press, Anderson charged that the Pope along with his predecessors was”the mastermind, head, of an international conspiracy to cover up their own crimes and keep them above the law.”
Donald Marshall, who has accused Fr. Murphy of kissing him and attempting to fondle him when he was a teenager at Lincoln Hills Boys Home in Irma, Wisconsin, also spoke at the press conference.
Now 45, Marshall said he was shocked when he was told that “then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — now Pope Benedict XVI — had a chance to defrock Murphy but instead did nothing,” the Pioneer Press says.
Then-Cardinal Ratzinger “may have not fondled me, but he’s no different because he allowed it to happen,” Marshall said, according to the Pioneer Press.
In fact, Cardinal Ratzinger was not appointed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) until 1981, well after the abuse took place.
His office addressed sexual abuse cases only when it involved abuse of the confessional until 2001, when it took over abuse cases from the Roman Rota. Allegations against Murphy came to the CDF’s attention in 1996 because of claims he abused the confessional.
The documents provided to the New York Times by Anderson and Finnegan, as well as the Times’ interpretation of them, have been called into question.
The documentation included the minutes of a key Vatican meeting between three Wisconsin bishops and CDF Secretary Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone. However, the same documentation revealed that these Italian-language minutes were translated “very roughly” into English using a computer translator.
Properly translated, the minutes show that the Vatican never ruled out the laicization of the priest, but a lack of records from the archdiocese created barriers to a canonical trial.
In his Wall Street Journal essay, McGurn provided additional documentation challenging the Times’ claims that the priest was never tried or disciplined by the church’s own justice system. In fact, Fr. Murphy was stripped of his priestly faculties, a process McGurn declares the equivalent of taking away a doctor’s medical license.
McGurn challenged the press to continue examining the “hard questions” about Catholic prelates’ action in the Murphy case. However, he suggested reporters provide “some context, and a bit of journalistic skepticism about the narrative of a plaintiff’s attorney making millions off these cases.”
One can only wonder, however, what difference all this makes. We can’t dispute the fact that lawyers are in law to make money. That Anderson is, perhaps, taking an active role in uncovering corrupt activity either says something about his good character or his bad character. But it doesn’t matter which. The case against Murphy is only one case of a multitude leveled against the Catholic Church. In addition to cases pointed out here, the Murphy case
is only one of thousands of cases forwarded over decades by bishops to the Vatican office called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, led from 1981 to 2005 by Cardinal Ratzinger. It is still the office that decides whether accused priests should be given full canonical trials and defrocked.
And now, we have Ratzinger and other Catholic officials equating the ill-fated church with the persecution of the Jews.
If that sounds like a heinous analogical leap, you would be right.
Speaking in St. Peter’s Basilica, the priest, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, took note that Easter and Passover fell during the same week this year, and said he was led to think of the Jews.
“They know from experience what it means to be victims of collective violence, and also because of this they are quick to recognize the recurring symptoms,” said Father Cantalamessa, who serves under the title of preacher of the papal household. Then he quoted from what he said was a letter from a Jewish friend he did not identify.
“I am following the violent and concentric attacks against the church, the pope and all the faithful by the whole world,” he said the friend wrote. “The use of stereotypes, the passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt, remind me of the more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.”
Quite the contrary, if any institution should feel a generous measure of guilt at this point, it should be the Catholic Church, and it should apologize to us all for the immoral acts it has both condoned, turned a blind eye to and exacted on humankind through these 1,800 or so years. Not to mention the less unseen, but just as disastrous, effects of teaching young children that they are created innately and spiritually sick and commanded to make themselves better by believing (however forced and obligatory that belief may be) or else face the fire. And in such a lowly spiritual condition, children are taught that confession is where they are to by reconciled to God, who, presumably, made them sinners to begin with. At least Protestantism claims to offer direct access to Jesus without a necessary, and also presumably, an equally or possible more sinful, intermediary, as we have learned, and it’s in this sad context that the sex scandals with children only begin, making them, at once, even more internally wanton and deplorable than just the physical act itself.